Skip the mall this holiday season

Black Maria Gallery in Atwater Village has Skip the Mall on view, their fourth annual holiday exhibit that seeks to woo  shoppers away from the usual consumer stomping grounds by offering affordable original art by young and emerging artists.

As always, the exhibition will have a bazaar theme with some of the accoutrements of the shopping experience: paintings suspended on clothing hangers, displayed in shoe boxes and on display stands holding a variety of artworks.

Owner Zara Zeitousian conceived the show as a reaction to the rampant consumerism typical during the Christmas holidays.

I live across the street from the Glendale Galleria. It’s crazy all the time but during the holidays it’s depressing– such madness. To observe it everyday made me realize Black Maria could offer an alternative to mass-produced products.

Art makes a wonderful gift. We have pieces by several artists that are under $100. Some of them are right out of art school and the young energy in their work is great to see.

Zeitousian may be poking fun, or maybe in the current economy she’s poking a stick in the eye of the shopping experience, but she is serious about the spiritual rewards of appreciating and owning great art.

A painting can be as satisfying as wearing a sexy dress or owning a feature-laden barbecue, except there is an actual, sometimes life-changing meaning waiting to be derived from a work of art.

Skip the Mall at Black Maria Gallery, 3137 Glendale Blvd. LA 90039; through January 3rd.

Jon Measures “Ben”  2008, acrylic on canvas, 4″ x 4″ $45