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Cabinet of Curiosities unveils mysterious worlds viewed through peepholes at Union Station

August 2, 2016 in Art, Downtown, Mass Transit, Transportation

A peek inside artist David DiMichele's Cabinet​

A peek inside artist David DiMichele’s Cabinet​

DTLA’s iconic Union Station unveils the Cabinet of Curiosities, an original installation of mysterious worlds viewed through peepholes, created by a group of Los Angeles-based artists. The exhibit will open to the public on August 6 and remain on display during station operating hours through August 31. A special reception with the artists, open to the public, will be held on Sunday, August 7 from 3 – 6pm.

Curated by Carl Berg, the exhibit showcases original works from artists Tanya Brodsky, David DiMichele, Ashley Hagen, Noel Korten, Keith Lord, Cecilia Miniucchi and Andre Yi.

Cabinet of Curiosities will feature a visual glimpse into the artists’ world not on a grand scale but rather on a more personal level. Only one person can view the artworks in the exhibition at a time, giving the viewer his or her own intimate experience. It requires active participation by the viewer something often lost in a world of digital billboards, video screens at gas stations, and smart devices on which you can watch movies.

“We’re delighted to bring this intriguing installation to our Grand Waiting Room,” said Ken Pratt, Metro’s Director of Union Station Property Management. “Our goal is to surprise and engage commuters, tourists and others traveling through the station with an unexpected and fanciful art experience.”

“Cabinet of Curiosities” refers to a European practice from the 16th Century, also known as Kunstkabinett, Wunderkammer, Cabinets of Wonder, and wonder-rooms, which were encyclopedic collections of objects and were regarded as microcosms or theaters of the world and were a precursor to the first museums.

These unique worlds formed from an assemblage of objects and in many ways functioned as a library of these objects, not unlike computers and the Internet, by creating relationships between things.

The exhibition however is inherently not digital and the artworks created for this exhibition were mostly handmade by the artists themselves. A throw-back to an era were mystery was created by crafting objects that used visual phenomenon to trick the viewer into seeing something that is really not what is seems to be.

Cabinet of Curiosities is part of Union Station’s first-ever summer entertainment series that spans unique events, thought provoking cultural programs and live music, free to the public throughout the summer season. For more information on Cabinet of Curiosities and summer programs at Union Station visit

About Union Station:
Built in 1939, Union Station is the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, the station’s signature Mission Moderne style makes it one of L.A.’s architectural gems. Today, the station has evolved into a vibrant transportation center serving 75,000 passengers daily. Union Station is currently in the first phase of a Master Plan that will enable it to better handle the growing number of transit riders, accommodate high-speed rail and serve as one of L.A.’s premier public spaces while protecting the historic core of the station. For more information, visit Connect with Union Station on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Art Walk…art, entertainment and art Saturday 7/30

July 26, 2016 in Art, Entertainment, Photography, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

Monrovia Association of Fine Arts is hosting its annual Art Walk in the heart of Old Town Monrovia.  There will be several local artists with various media well represented.  Among those showcasing their work will be this fall’s Celebrate the Arts Featured Artist, Steve McCarthy.  One to watch for is up and coming artist Elizabeth “Isa” Martinez from the Art Institute of Chicago who is a recent Monrovia High graduate.

As always there will be a variety of music in Old Town Monrovia with one of the bands, a jazz band, playing in the heart of the Art Walk.

Once there pop into one of the many new bars and restaurants for a quick cocktail and stroll the Art Walk. Have several and use public transportation to get to Old Town.

Parking can be tough to find in Old Town Monrovia on weekends.  I HIGHLY recommend you take the Gold Line to the Monrovia Station, show your tap card or paid stub and you get a free ride into Old Town courtesy the city transit.  It runs fairly frequently from Station Square to Library Park.  From Library Park its a short 1 block walk to the Art Walk.  IF you simply park at Station Square the shuttle costs a thin buck for the ride.

Deets: July 30, 7-10 PM.  400 and 500 block of South Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016

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Adult Art Night at Paint ‘n’ Play Art Studio and Gallery July 30

July 21, 2016 in Art, Entertainment, Food & Drink, News, People, San Gabriel Valley

Flyer for the to embiggen

Flyer for the event…click to embiggen

This is going to be fun.  A night of nurturing your inner 12 yo with art and limbered up with some right tasty craft brews by Pacific Plate Brewery.  This event is supported by Paint ‘n’ Play Art Studio and Gallery as well as Monrovia Association of Fine Arts.

The art instruction will be given by reknowned local artist Elizabeth Jewell Butterfield who was has also been a past Featured Artists with Monrovia Association of Fine Arts.  You can reserve a spot by calling 626-256-4848 or emailing Ms Jewell direct at [email protected]

This isn’t free, but the $45 fee includes all materials and your Craft Beer.  IMHO its well worth the cost of admission for an evening of art with Ms Butterfield, the craft beer is the icing on the proverbial cake!

Deets:Saturday July 30, 2016 7PM-9PM  418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016  626-256-4848

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Tiki art sale and show at the Tonga Tiki Hut Lounge in NoHo Sunday 7/17

July 13, 2016 in Art, Entertainment, Food & Drink, Shopping, The Valley

Postcard from the Tiki Art Sales...bu Rick Kess no less, click to embiggen.

Postcard from the Tiki Art Sales…by Rick Kess no less, click to embiggen.

This is going to be fun.  Tiki art with a modern twist and vibe will be on show and sale this coming Sunday at the Tonga Tiki Hut Lounge in North Hollywood starting at 2PM.

One of the featured artists will be Rick Kess and his Design Krime Studio works.  He will have originals available for sale as well as extremely affordable prints that are prefect for display and framing.  Not to brag, but I do have a bias for Rick’s work and proudly have 3 pieces on display in my office and home.  Really witty and well executed tiki, mid century mod themed pieces that I hope you will like as much as I do when you see them.

More details on the art and artists to be there on a FB page.  While there pop into the Tonga Hut for a cold libation and enjoy the vintage dive bar atmosphere.

Deets: Sunday 7/17/2016 2PM until ?,Tonga Hut Tiki Lounge 12808 Victory Blvd, North Hollywood, California 91606 (818) 769-0708

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How to build your Art Business with Social Media event Saturday

June 14, 2016 in Art, Education, Events, San Gabriel Valley

MAFA SM EventPart of Monrovia Association of Fine Arts mission is to help artists develop their business.  The second in a series of seminars is this Saturday June 18 at the Monrovia Community Center.

The seminar on how to build your Art Business will be taught by Margaret Danielak, is a well-known art consultant and I have her excellent book entitled “A Gallery without Walls” about this topic. The discounted member fee is only $20.00 and can pay for itself in increased sales. Non-members $30.00, students $10.00.  You can reserve a seat and pay HERE.  The price of admission includes your course handouts, Starbucks’ coffee, juice and snacks.  Hurry as seats are limited.

Deets: Monrovia Community Center Iris Room, 119 W. Palm Ave, Monrovia, 10 a.m. to noon.

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Culver City Art Walk for artists with disabilities Sunday 6/12

June 1, 2016 in Art, Entertainment, LA, News, People, Photography, Social issues

Every so often I get a press release that interests me a lot and I start asking questions and getting more detail for a post.  In this case Nathanael Welch from the Hatchery Los Angeles reached out with info on an Art Walk featuring artists with disabilities he works with.

The Hatchery in short form is a theological school that is focused on building “common cause” community based churches.  Fair enough, but the program Nathanael is working on is special.  Its about giving artists with disabilities a way to showcase their art and share it in pop up galleries that pop up all over Los Angeles.

The event in Culver City will be the #CityWalk, where they take pictures and explore the area. Then they will have the pop-up gallery at a different location at the end of the month. They will meet downtown and then walk around the main street on June 12th. He said you can also have people contact him directly at his email address: [email protected] if you have questions.  To follow Nathanael’s events you can sign up for Email Notices.

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Comic Book Convention in the Valley Sunday March 13

March 7, 2016 in Art, Books, Entertainment, Events, Media, People, Shopping, The Valley

SFV Comic book convention flyer, click to embiggen

SFV Comic book convention flyer, click to embiggen

If you are a collector of vintage comic books, those going back 25-50 years this is the place to be this Sunday in the Valley.  Oic your favorite super hero and or action figure comic character and find them in the stacks of goodies at this show.

There will be numerious vendors and exhibits as well as 8 comic book celebrities and/or Hollywood types gracing the show with their expertise in the minutiae of that business.  Make not mistake about it, this is an art form and is celebrated at this convention.

They have a facebook page that the randomly update with information on the happenings that will take place Sunday at the convention.  With nearly 2.5K followera this is shaping up to be a do not miss.

Deets: San Fernando Valley Comic Book Convention. Sunday March 13, 10AM-4PM 11128 BALBOA BLVD, GRANADA HILLS, CA 91344  MAP HERE Admission: $5.00 Children 12 and under FREE!!!

A list of celebrities after the jump.   Read the rest of this entry →

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Charity Preshow and Reception with John Moran Auctioneers March 16

March 3, 2016 in Art, Entertainment, Food & Drink, News, San Gabriel Valley

Flyer header for the event, click to embiggen

Flyer header for the event, click to embiggen

If you love the California and American Fine Art movements this is an event not to be missed.  John Moran Auctioneers formerly of Pasadena has moved its showroom and activities to Monrovia.  The draw…lots of them and yes, pun intended, bringing them to my corner of the SGV.

They are previewing several paintings my California and American masters that will be in their formal auction on March 22.  The preview show is a charity event, your admission is tax deductible with the proceeds to be split between the Volunteer Center of the San Gabriel Valley and Monrovia Association of Fine Arts. The divided proceeds will be used by MAFA for its at-risk teen art workshop program and the Volunteer Center for its Make a Difference Day outreach. Included in your price of admission is food, wine and a catalog of the Fine Art offerings.  To purchase your ticket you may do so HERE.

DEETS: March 16, 5-7PM  John Moran Auctioneers, 145 E Walnut Ave, Monrovia, CA 91016  Admission:$50 (tax deductible)

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Tax seminar for Artists

January 27, 2016 in Art, Events, LA, San Gabriel Valley, Social issues

Poster for even, click to embiggen.

Poster for even, click to embiggen.

Its that time of year for me. Sorting receipts, wondering what’s deductible or not and what new tax laws affect my art generated income.  If you’re an artist looking for guidance to make sure you get all your deductions and not sure what changes this year took place that could affect you, have I got a seminar for us.

Monrovia Association of Fine Arts as the first installment of its Professional Development Series offers up for artists, members and non-members alike a seminar by Abe Carrow CPA “Tax and the Artist”.  It will be a one day seminar held Saturday February 13 from 10-noon.  The fee is $20 for members, $30 for non-members and $10 for students regardless of membership status and can be paid here.

Deets:  Tax and the Artist.  February 13, 10AM-Noon, Monrovia Community Center, 119 W Palm Ave, Monrovia 91016.

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Recap of this past weekends Celebrate the Arts and ChalkFest

September 29, 2015 in Art, Entertainment, Events, News, People, Photography, San Gabriel Valley

This weekend was a terrifc weekend, if you forget the blazing heat and attended the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts 52nd Annual Celebrate the Arts and first ever ChalkFest.

Celebrate the Arts incorporated several first as I outlined the other day.  What makes these events fun isn’t so much the terrific art, but the ability to see artists working on their art, demonstrating their technique.  There year there were several artists doing just that.  Glass blower Joshua Smilth wowed folks with his tecnhique.  Metal sculpturist Bill Hyatt continued working on his horse head sculpture a painstaking process of welding dot by dot to build up the face and texture of the horse.

Glass artist Joshua Smith bending glass. click to embiggen

Glass artist Joshua Smith bending glass. click to embiggen

To learn more about ChalkFest and see those artists in their creative zone you need to make the jump.  Read the rest of this entry →

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Celebrate the Arts in Monrovia’s Library Park 9/26-27

September 24, 2015 in Art, Books, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, News, Photography, San Gabriel Valley

Show to embiggen.

Show poster…click to embiggen.

This is a biggy for me.  Something that I, as a board member, have been all but consumed with the last several weeks.  Celebrate the Arts is in its 52nd year and its going to have quite a few firsts on top of the already terrific fine artists populating the park with their art.

Celebrate the Arts is held in Monrovia’s Library Park from 10AM – 6PM both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.  There will be a lot of firsts at this show that we are really excited about on top of our usual host of Food Trucks, live music, extremely talented artists.  Among our firsts this event:

  • ChalkFest – a competitive street art event with Lori Escalera as our celebrity judge.
  • Children’s Chalk Experience -designed for the 12 and under set to experiment with chalk
  • Featured Artist Elizabeth Butterfield…her collage work is simply stunning
  • The first appearance by students from Mt. Sierra College (11 fine artists and 2 chalk artists)
  • The first appearance by 18 artists new to MAFA
  • Glass Blowing demonstrations
  • TIKI Bobbleheads from artist Rick Kess
  • Authors exhibition with live book signing
  • Photographer Author Stephen McCarthy will be selling his images, autographing his books including his newest “The Extra Virgin Spy Club”

To read more about this years Celebrate the Arts you need to make the jump.   Read the rest of this entry →

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626 Night Market this weekend for the close of summer

September 3, 2015 in Art, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, LA, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

For the final edition of 626 Night Market there as a few new tricks to keep it fun and fresh.  First up is Saturday Nights open Mike with the kids from ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” and then there is the dancing competiton.  Full details HERE  Even if the new stuff doesn’t entice, the old standbys…incredible food, street vendors and music should keep you entertained and satiated.

Having been a few times, its easy access just a few blocks south of the 210 in Arcadia.  You can enter from the gates on Baldwin, but traffic is bad there with the mall.  The other and better option is to exit Santa Anita, head south to Hungtington Dr and turn right (west) on to Huntington and enter in the massive gates there.

Deets Friday 9/4, Saturday 9/5 and Sunday 9/6 4PM to 1AM.  Santa Anita Park, 285 W Huntington Drive, Arcadia CA  MAP HERE

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ICME refugee from the Mad Max set?

August 22, 2015 in Art, Driving, ICME, San Gabriel Valley

click to embiggen and not miss a detail

click to embiggen and not miss a detail

I see the most amazing stuff when I meander off the beaten path. This refugee from the Mad Max set, an art car gone mad if you will, was spotted in an alley just off Myrtle/Lime in Old Town Monrovia. Too bizarre for words.

Pic by me with my phone.  Click to embiggen.

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Monrovia Art Walk Saturday 7/25 7-10PM

July 23, 2015 in Art, Entertainment, Events, People, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

Santiago Heredia will be among the artists doing live demonstrations at this Saturday’s Art Walk in Monrovia sponsored by the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts. Santiago works in acrylic and cranks out paintings full of character and fun live before his audience.

Also demonstrating at the Art Walk will be Elizabeth Butterfield who will show her torn paper collage techniques.  Monrovia High School Ceramics under the direction of Saul Perez will be demonstrating on the potters wheel.

All told there will be 10 (possibly more in the works still) artists on the 400 and 500 block of South Myrtle Avenue.  These artists will include photographers, painters, jewelry sculptures at the Art Walk.  Last. and not least, the Empty Bowls Monrovia project led by Meaghan McCarthy will be there selling the last of the bowls with 100% of the proceeds going to help the Foothill Unity Center feed the homeless and needy here in the SGV.

Lastly, adding to the festive atmosphere there will be live music.

Might I suggest…make a night of it.  Visit one of the many restaurants in Old Town Monrovia, or take in a movie then hit the Art Walk to round out your night.

Deets.  MAFA ART WALK, Saturday 7//25/2015, 7PM-10PM. 400/500 Block S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016 MAP HERE


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Lotus Festival at Echo Park

July 12, 2015 in Art, Downtown, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, Seasonal, Shopping

Echo Park Lake and the lotus in bloom looking at DTLA, Click to embiggen

Echo Park Lake and the lotus in bloom looking at DTLA, Click to embiggen

Well today I ventured to Echo Park for this years Lotus Festival.  Yes, they were in bloom and they were knock me over gorgeous.  The rest of the festival, meh.  My last time there was 2007 when I was a rower with the team metblogs Dragon Boat, but I digress.

This years show had very few artisans.  There was some nifty stuff.  Lots of Day of the Dead skulls painted on stuff you wouldn’t expect.  Great food trucks…gotta give the food vendors the nod as they make this festival.  The rest, sadly was swap meet crap.  Its a common theme in outdoor events too many times of late, they let vendors in reselling cheap import crap forcing out the artisans with quality work who can’t compete at a price point.  grrrr.

The music was fun and lively.  and varied.  Something for everyone and that alone makes its worth the drip to Echo Park and fight for parking.

Today is the last day.  More details on the show in the Lotus Festival FB page.

Pic by Me, more on my Flickr album