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Small Business Saturday get out an meet some folks

November 30, 2013 in Art, Books, Entertainment, Events, People, Photography, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

Authors and Artists, I have them both for you here in the SGV.

First up is a person I feel tickled to know, actor, writer, blogger and photographer Petrea Burchard.  She released her novel, Camelot & Vine this spring.  She’ll be at two, count ‘em two book signings today.  Petrea will be at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena from 11AM-1PM today.  Then she will move to Websters Fine Stationers in Altadena around 2PM for a few hours.

After that I think you would enjoy Old Town Monrovia, especially the area in front of Paint n Play 2 Art Studio and Gallery.  Several artists will be there from 6PM-10PM for an evening art walk.  Among the artists there will be author and photographer Steve McCarthy.  Steve has written a few books that he will have there and sign for you.  First is “Road Trippin'” and the other is his first novel, “Old Farts Spy Club”.

I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your shopping dollars in the hands of the small businesses in the community.  These small businesses keep their money in the community and help keep us strong and vibrant.  Whether it be my little corner of L.A or yours we all benefit from getting to know them, shop with them and make them strong as they give so much back to our communities.

Daytripping: Southwest Museum & Debs Park

November 18, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Events, LA

With the relatively unheralded news last month that the Autry National Center of the American West was opening up the Southwest Museum to the public for the first time in years to showcase an exhibition of Native American pottery, it was only a matter of time before my wife Susan and I paid a long-overdue inaugural visit to the treasure that is the oldest established museum in all of Los Angeles.

Inside the museum’s Sprague Auditorium was an incredible collection of clay vessels, some dating back more than 400 years — trouble was that was pretty much it. Beyond access to the down-on-its-roots garden, and a small display situated basically beneath the main staircase, our visit to the landmark establishment was way too brief because there was nothing else to see. Still, I’m glad we made the trip for the same reason you should: to show the folks at the Autry that the Southwest Museum and its unparalleled collection of Native American artifacts should be made more accessible, not less.

With time on our hands and some calories to burn in preparation for a visit to Oinkster in Eagle Rock, Susan and I ventured across the Arroyo Seco to the nearby Audubon Center in Ernest Debs Park — another first time visit. From there we ventured up trails to the serene and scenic pond atop the park, where even with Saturday’s unsettled weather conditions limiting the clarity we marveled at the extraordinary views afforded us of downtown and beyond.

If you’re like me and have never been to either place, both make for a great Saturday daytrip (Oinkster optional though also highly recommended). Pics from ours are viewable here on Flickr, and information about the exhibit is below:

Exhibit: Four Centuries of Pueblo Pottery
Where: Southwest Museum of the American Indian, 234 Museum Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90065
When: Saturdays only, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Admission: Free

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American Sabor: Latin flavor in American Music and an LA focus

November 14, 2013 in Art, East Side, Education, Entertainment, History, LA, Movies, Music, People, Social issues, Which Side?

American Sabor opens on Saturday Nov 16th at Cal State  University LA with a huge open house.  Its an exhibit on loan to CSULA until February 6 2014.  The Exhibit is here are part of a grant from Ford Motor Company.  The exhibit left me speechless.  Yes, I knew some of the famous names, but I never knew until touring this exhibit the depth that Latin Music, its flavor or sabor has influenced all of American Music.

More importantly this exhibit has a  portion dedicated solely to the contributions of Angelenos, specifically East LA in the 1990s.  That will be part of the permanent collection at CSULA when the Smithsonian moves on loan to its next city.  Famous Angelenos starting with Desi Arnaz and flash forward to  Black Eyed Peas I was amazed, outright blown away with the influence Latin music has had on pop music, hip hop, jazz and other genres.  Other artists of note that are showcased in the exhibit are Alice Bag, Los Lobos, Los Illegals, and Quetzal. Read the rest of this entry →

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Open Studio tour in Inglewood 11/9-10

November 2, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Holidays, People, Seasonal, Shopping


Its that time of year again. Get your art on in Inglewood with their open studio tour.  More than 50 artists will be showing their work at 8 locations within the city of Inglewood.  Of course my absolute must stop destination is for the art of Luke VanHook (painting) and Ginger VanHook (photography, and author).  They are stop #4 on the tour…just to make sure you don’t miss them.

All the details you could want can be found on their website HERE.  To make it even easier there is a FREE SHUTTLE times to the various studios courtesy the city of Inglewood.   Next week will be hopping in Inglewood, join the fun and be prepared for visual over stimulation!

The full press release after the jump Read the rest of this entry →

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Student Artists demonstrate at Celebrate the Arts

October 13, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, News, People, San Gabriel Valley

This post is just about the students, 9 of them at least from the Monrovia Unified School District.  They were at the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts 50th Annual Celebrate the Arts show. All were demonstrating their talents in the flat media with a variety of media.  Urban art to plein air to abstract it was all there and represented.  Nice work by a bunch of talented kids.  Also, aside from this YouTube video there is some images of them and their work on flickr HERE.

Today most of them will be back from 1-5PM in Monrovia’s historic Library Park working on their art.  All you could want to know about Celebrate the Arts HERE.  

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Bill Hyatt featured artist at Celebrate the Arts

October 11, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, People, Profiles, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

Heart and skull

Bill Hyatt is a metal sculptor of some renown in the area. His metal sculptures are beautifully executed ranging from the surreal to literal representation of their subject matter.  They are surreal and real at the same time.  Often whimsical, often make an interesting punctuation mark in the area they are displayed. From small crucifix to room sized they are always different and always beautifully done.

I’ve known Bill for a number of years through the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) which is sponsoring the Celebrate the Arts this weekend.  Bill Hyatt was chosen to be this year’s Featured Artist for a variety of reasons.  Bill has been involved with MAFA for many years, working tirelessly in the lean years to ensure the Celebrate the Arts show was put on.  His devotion to MAFA as well as his beautifully executed art were the reason he was chosen to be the featured artists for this years 50th Anniversary Show.  For a small gallery of his work make the jump.

Read the rest of this entry →

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50th Annual Celebrate the Arts this weekend in Monrovia

October 11, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Food & Drink, News, People, Pets, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

Celebrate the Arts poster

This weekend, October 12 and 13,  marks the 50th Anniversary of Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) annual show, Celebrate the Arts.  Celebrate the Arts is a fine art event that has artists representing many media, from oil/acrylics, metal sculpture to photography/digital art it s all there.  This is a juried event where you can rest assured there are no simple bead stringers, but fine artists at the top of their craft.  But, have no fear, read a bit further and you will quickly realize this is more than some stuffy museum show, as we have our eccentric and unusual coming from the community to spice things up and keep it different.

The event will be held in Library Park in the heart of historic Old Town Monrovia right on Myrtle Avenue. There is ample FREE parking, something Monrovia still believes in providing visitors, all around Library Park.  Celebrate the arts is in the Eastern portion of Library Park on Myrtle Avenue between Palm and Lime avenues.  The show will run both days from 10AM-6PM Read the rest of this entry →

Awesome Automobilia: The Nethercutt Collection & Museum

September 26, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, History, The Valley

I’ve still not been to the reported Miracle Mile motor mecca that is the Petersen Museum — but at least I’ve known about it!

The same cannot be said for the vehicular valhalla otherwise known as The Nethercutt out in Sylmar. Up until a couple weeks ago that institution had somehow avoided me knowing about it my entire life — and it still would be unknown to me had Huell Howser himself not reached out from beyond the grave and told me about it (in the form of an old “Visiting” episode on KCET, but still). Bless you and thank you, Huell!

Wasting no time at all while marveling at all the shiny automobilia Huell was amongst, I wasted no time in googling up the Nethercutt’s website and making a reservation for a guided tour — and get this: it’s free.

Now I know… I know. You’re wondering what kind of catalytic converter have I been living under all my life!? You’ve been there six times, and are going back next week to check out the recently added 1956 Porsche! Well I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to to that apparently small minority of angelenos  who, like me, have absolutely  no clue. And to them I’m saying that for the love of all engines internally combusted, if you have even get the slightest wide-eyed when any kind of  classic car rolls past you on the street, then you’ve got to get yourself out to Sylmar and prepare for your jaw to drop at all the mechanized majesty. Many, many times.

Seriously, if you have any type of appreciation for the history and design and evolution of Ye Olde Horseless Carriage, you’ve got to go and check out this unparalleled and extensive array of meticulously restored vehicles. As I said, the collection is free, but tour reservations are required). So click here to check out my Flickr set of images (thumbnailed above) from my visit last Saturday, and then make plans to go get yer car on and get upclose and personal with these magnificent mobile works of fine art.

WHAT: The Nethercutt Collection
WHERE: 15200 Bledsoe Street, Sylmar, CA 91342
WHEN: Guided tours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10a.m. or 1:30p.m. (Reservations are required)
WEB: www.nethercuttcollection.org
NOTE: Directly across the street from the Nethercutt Collection is the Nethercutt Museum, housing a separate and more extensive group of vehicles. That’s open Tuesday – Saturday, 9a.m. – 4:30 p.m. It’s also free, but no reservation is required.

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626 Night Market – Encore this weekend Sat/Sun 8/31 and 9/1

August 29, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

OK, its my little obsession, but its fun.  The 626 Night Market is CROWDED crazy, but fun.  Get there early while the food is still plentiful and Parking is easiest.  Prepare for crowds, but they are friendly and festive so its all good.  Prices are reasonable, not cheap but worth every penny.  Not much in the way of  ‘mericanized stuff, but thats a good thing.

Getting there is easy.  The Santa Anita is constricted due to construction for the Gold Line, I’d recommend exiting at Huntington 1 mile east and follow Huntington, a right turn heading west to Santa Anita Race Track and the 626 Night Market.

Deets Saturday 8/31, Sunday 9/1, 4PM to 1AM. 285 W. Huntington Drive,Arcadia, CA 91007 (Gates 3 or 5 off Huntington Drive; Gate 8 off Baldwin Avenue) MAP HERE. Free parking. Admission $2 4-6PM, $3 after 6PM.

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Paint Nite at Monrovia’s Paint n Play Saturday 8/31

August 27, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Food & Drink, Music, People, San Gabriel Valley

This promises to be a really fun event.  Its being taught by one of my favorite artists/sculptors Rick Kess. I love his work and this class he will teach you the basics of composition and painting while you enjoy complimentary refreshments and live music.  Should be a ton of fun.

Its not free, the cost s $45 and includes the materials and lesson.  Rick will make the class fun and educational at the same time.  The proceeds from this event sponsored by the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts will go to fund their numerous projects that bring art to the community.

Arrive early and you can also take in all the great art presented by local artists at the last Summer Art Walk that will take place on Myrtle Avenue that night.

Deets: Saturday 8/31 7:30PM.  Paint N Play Art Studio, 418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016 MAP HERE  626-256-4848 for Reservations.

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626 Night Market vendor list for this weekend is live

August 2, 2013 in Announcements, Art, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

I’m jazzed and excited for tomorrow night as thats the night we plan on attending the 626 Night Market. Read my other post for deets.

The vendor directory went live yesterday morning. See who will be at 626 Night Market this weekend!

▸ PRINT out the directory here: http://bit.ly/626NMAugustDirectory
▸ Or SCAN the QR code to access the map on your phone!
▸ Our friends at Splatnom have created a mobile-friendly menu! http://bit.ly/626NM-Menu

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626 Night Market Friday and Saturday August 3 and 4

July 30, 2013 in Art, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

I love this guy. “Mad Asians Everywhere”, actually its a great mix of us folks from here in the SGV. The Night Market is a ton of fun, an emersion in all things Asian, food trucks, art, junk you name it. And a ton of jovial folks. Arrive early and you save a bit on admission and get easier parking. Things get pretty insane around 8PM. Saturday is the busiest day of the 2 day event, but that isn’t saying much as the place is PACKED.  To give you an idea how big and popular this event is they have added another weekend to the mix, August 31 and Sept 1.

Sorry, there isn’t an easy way to get to the 626 Night Market by train. Yet. The Gold Line is still over a year from arriving in Arcadia and Monrovia. You have to drive it on the 210 and Exit Santa Anita. Do allow for a little extra time on Santa Anita as the roadway is a bit constricted in parts for Gold Line construction. An option to avoid that is to take the Huntington Drive exit a mile east of Santa Anita, make a right turn and then follow it until you get to Santa Anita Park.

Deets: Santa Anita Park (Front Paddock Gardens) 285 W. Huntington Drive Arcadia, CA 91007 MAP HERE

Free Parking, Admission: $2 (4-6PM); $3 (after 6PM) Free for children 12 and younger

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626 Night Market returns this summer in Arcadia

March 6, 2013 in Art, Crafts, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

Yup, it was such a success last time around at Santa Anita Park they are returning this summer.  If you made it to the Pasadena locations last year you were probably put off by the density of the crowds and difficulties with parking and stuff.  The move to Santa Anita Park alleviated those obstacles and made the event really fun.  Of course, if you made the ones after the move to Santa Anita you are well aware of how much fun the place was.

The folks at 626 Night Market are so happy with the change of venue they are looking to increase their crowds.  They are having a contest on facebook and are giving away 5 passes to each of the 10 winners.  To enter all you gotta do is like their page and share it with your friends.

626 Night Market is also looking for artists, food trucks and other vendors to pack the place with and add to the fun and enjoyment.  If you are interested visit their web page HERE.  Yes, the prices seem steep, but it includes your canopy, lights, outlets and most importantly your permits.

I’ll post more on the dates as we get closer to the event.  If you want more deets visit the main 626 Night Market site when you have time.

It Caught My Eye: Arts District Angel

September 19, 2012 in Art, Downtown, ICME, Photography

Because of whatever often-fleeting eye candy I might chance upon when venturing forth into the urban arena, I rarely leave home without some sort of photographic documentation device in hand — and that goes double whenever I find myself in the Arts District south and east of downtown. Case in point, discovered near the 6th Street Bridge and signed by what looks to be “dreb” near her left hip (click to enlargify):

It Caught My Eye: Under The Bridge

August 12, 2012 in Art, ICME

Certainly not THAT bridge. Nowhere near the one Anthony Keidis sings of drawing blood and giving his life away. But a bridge’s under nonetheless — in this case the one that carries Sunset Boulevard over Silver Lake Boulevard — that the majority of passers-through traverse safely installed within the confines of vehicles. Perhaps there’s a scant percentage of those commuters who know that it was designed by none other than Los Angeles bridge-building master (and unsung LA hero) Merrill Butler, constructed in 1932 and was declared Historic-Cultural Monument No. 236 in 1981.

Since it’s in my neighborhood, I travel beneath it on foot or by bike pretty regularly. It’s often more foreboding than friendly, but that’s precisely why I venture through… to keep a claim on it. That, and it’s got some nice Romanesque architectural details (groined vault arches, FTW) that go otherwise unnoticed.

Another thing that would otherwise go unseen is a recent addition from Caché (pronounced cat-chay), my favorite muralist, famed around these here parts of LA’s Upside for his prolific chickens. This one, painted simply on the inside of the column in the deepest darkest part of the bridge (shown at right, too dark to capture in the above panorama) is nothing less than a pleasant surprise, a bit of whimsy in a serious place, a ray of light in the shadows. A hidden caché, if you will.