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EVERY OBJECT HAS A STORY 21 Collections Tell Us About Ourselves at the Los Angeles Public Library

With “21 Collections: Every Object Has a Story,” Curator Todd Lerew takes library patrons on a trip through nostalgia, craftsmanship, artistry, and even obsession, looking at what every day objects can tell us about the world around us. Preparing for this project, Mr. Lerew visited over 600 museums, libraries, archives, and public and private collections, identifying those he felt told the most compelling and memorable stories. The assembled objects are incredibly varied. Confronted with the mundane, viewers are asked to ponder a larger picture. While nothing could be more ordinary than chunks of asphalt, Dr. V Scott Gordon uses them to evoke the Americana of the very long drive. Barry Harrison has assembled a collection of vintage photographs of men in rows, which collectively speak to how manhood has been defined over time. A collection of gay and lesbian bar matchbooks speak to a social life for people who couldn’t be always fully themselves in public. The “Candy Wrapper Museum” features just that, conjuring nostalgia for what we loved as children but can’t get any longer, but also providing a look at American design and advertising, marketing hype, and even racial slurs of the recent past. There are prison landscape portraits, courtesy of Alyse Edmur, that show incarcerated people across the country posing with murals depicting idealized life beyond the walls. There is a bullfighting collection from George Smith that evokes the Spanish cultural heritage of Los Angeles, and there are “Faded Photographs Of ” assembled by Vincent Ramos that tell stories of the neighborhood of Venice over generations. Harry Smith, filmmaker, musicologist, anthropologist, and inveterate collector of sometimes unusual cultural ephemera, spent 20 years collecting paper airplanes on the streets of New York and meticulously recording their locations and dates, and actor Tom Hanks has loaned vintage typewriters from his collection. While many of the collected items on view are commercially produced, others are artworks crafted from every-day materials. Morgyn Owens-Celli is the founder of the American Museum of Straw, and the straw horses shown are part of her collection of 10,000 straw pieces from around the world.


Completing the Picture at the Pasadena Museum of History A large exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of History is long overdue. The 200 plus pieces on view demonstrate that California women artists of the late 1800s and first half of the 1900s absolutely held their own alongside their male contemporaries—despite the fact that their names are not widely known. The women of “Something Revealed; California Women Artists Emerge, 1860-1960” worked in a variety of mediums—oil paintings, works on paper, ceramics, metalcraft, textiles, sculpture. Their work not only showcases their skills as individual artists, but also speaks to life in a century of huge change. These women were from the first generation of females to attend college in large numbers. Yet they were also expected to give up their careers when they married. Women who had taken up the arts were not always apt to see their work alongside men’s in galleries or museums, yet the women showcased here persisted in their work. But they were not hobbyists. They were accomplished artists who, with this show, are finally getting a bit of the recognition they have always deserved. They worked against a backdrop of California cities that were growing at an almost unimaginable pace from frontier towns into metropolises. The century depicted here began with a civil war and included two world wars. City life meant domesticity, with the world at one’s doorstep. The exhibition is curated by Maurine St. Gaudens Studio and accompanies Ms. St. Gaudens' four volume book,  Emerging from the Shadows; A Survey of Women ArtRuth Miller Kempster (1904-1978), Death of a Christmas Tree, 1941

Virginia Roberts (1912-1983), Composition, 1936 Marian Curtis (1912-1972), Untitled—Unfinished Self-Portrait, n.d. Marian Curtis (1912-1972) The Empty Canvas—Self Portrait, circa 1945 Ruth Miller Kempster (1904-1978), Self-Portrait (Unfinished), circa 1950 Ruth Miller Kempster (1904-1978), Portrait of Myself, circa 1935

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3 Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Museum presents collages made from part of a collection of 17,000 pencils. Olive Percival, a prominent figure in women’s suffrage, gardening, and writing, and a host of salons at her Northeast L.A. home, crafted tiny and exquisite doll hats. Clare Graham shows two examples of functional furniture made from massive amounts of common objects—in this case yardsticks and pull tabs. Detailed dioramas, built by Karen Collins to address an issue she found as a school teacher, that African American students were not being taught their own cultural history, show snatches of political, spiritual, and social life. The interplay between urban life and nature, meanwhile, is shown through the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology’s collection of eggs and nests from bird species that have called Los Angeles home. Senses beyond sight are called into play. The Institute for Art & Olfaction presents public access to and experimentation with scent. And there are collections of sound—Adrian Rew’s sounds of American casinos, Randy Hostetler’s collage of 60 plus friends and family telling stories, and Rhys Chatham’s “A Crimson Grail,” played by 125 guitarists arranged through the Sacré-Cœur, France’s largest church. And then there is William Davies King, who here shows his collection of lovely but usually unnoticed envelope linings; he bills himself as a lifelong collector of “Nothing.” In contrast to the mostly small, even tiny, objects in the show, at the center of it all stands a massive elephant made of walnuts. A recreation of a piece made by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, an elephant in the room may be an odd image, but it helped sell Southern California as a land of plentiful agricultural riches. “With this exhibition, we wanted to honor the role of the public library as the collector of the stories of the people that it serves,” said Mr. Lerew. 21 Collections: Every Object Has a Story Presented by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles in collaboration with the Los Angeles Public Library Los Angeles Central Library, Getty Gallery Through January 27

Typewriter from the collection of Tom Hanks

Olive Percival, Doll Hats

Karen Collins, Martin Luther King Jr. Preaches. African American Museum of Miniatures.

Make it in Glass Create colorful gifts in a short class:



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Bullseye Glass Resource Center Los Angeles 143 Pasadena Ave, Suite B, South Pasadena 323.679.4263

MON - THUR: 12 -7PM FRI - SUN: 11AM -6PM



continued from page 1 ists Working in California, 1860-1960. The experience of “Something Revealed” is apt to leave the viewer incredulous at not having been familiar with more of these talented artists sooner. Something Revealed; California Women Artists Emerge, 1860-1960 Through March 31 (Reinstallation for Phase 2 in January) Pasadena Museum of History 470 West Walnut Street, Pasadena

Vivian F. Stringfield (1881-1933) Ruth Miller Kempster (1904-1978), Housewife, circa 1935

Vivian F. Stringfield (1881-1933) Nelbert Murphy Chouinard (1879-1969)


May Hamilton (a.k.a. Diane May Hamilton de Causse) (1886-1971), Head with Hand, 1934-1938

Almira A. Judson (1872-1945), Untitled—Orchard, Los Gatos, California, circa 1911 Almira A. Judson (1872-1945), Untitled— Alternative title: School House Through the Trees, 1915-1920 Almira A. Judson (1872-1945), Untitled—Near Mill Valley, California, 1915-1920 Elizabeth Eaton Burton (1869-1937), Diana (variant), circa 1908 Esther Bruton (a.k.a. Esther Burton (1896-1992), The Rabbit Hunt, 1929



STAFF Publisher/ Creative Director Cathi Milligan Managing Editor Margaret Arnold Contributors: Margaret Arnold, Cornelius Peter, Brian Mallman, Amy Inouye, Stuart Rapeport, Cathi Milligan, Jennifer Hitchcock, Jeremy Kaplan, Harvey Slater, Madame X, Larisa Code, Tomas Benitez

Happy Holidays!! The House flipped!! Time to celebrate! But we must still persist and resist...and make art or see art. Anyhoot...I have hope again and with that I am looking forward to what the future holds for all of us. For the month of December we do know that there will be gifts, and parties, and humbugs as well. There are best of lists and lists of resolutions. I resolve not to. I say, see as much art as you can, buy handmade locally for the holidays (wanna buy some glass?), and try to get along with your relatives. As for 2019, it’s going to be an interesting year. Let the investigations begin/continue!!

LA Art News is published monthly at the beginning of each month. LA Art News is available free of charge. No person may, without prior written permission from LA Art News, take more than one copy of each monthly issue. Additional copies of the current issue are available for $1, payable in advance, at LA Art News office. Only authorized LA Art News distributors may distribute the LA Art News.

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Monica goes to the FUNBOX

HISTORIC ARTS BUILDING LOST TO FIRE Fire gutted a significant piece of Los Angeles art history November 9, when the Pickle Works Building in the Arts District went up in flames. The Pickle Works, a.k.a. Citizens Warehouse, a.k.a. James K. Hill & Sons Pickle Works Building, was built in 1888-1909 near the Los Angeles River. In the 1970s, the industrial building found new life during the emergence of the Arts District as a neighborhood. It became a space for working artists, as well as home to a drive-up gallery known as Art Dock. Now owned by the City, the building sat on the edge of a Metro railyard, and a chunk of it was sliced off in 2000. The rail yard now is slated for expansion and use as a turnaround. Metro wanted to destroy the Pickle Works. Artists and preservationists wanted to save it. Cause of the fire is unconfirmed, but there was a sizable group of homeless squatting in the building, and apparently little effort on the part of officials to prevent the fire from happening.

What is left of the Pickle Works building

GIANT MILK CARTON RAISES AWARENESS OF INCARCERATED CHILDREN A giant milk carton was installed at Venice Beach in November. The carton represented, and drew attention to, more than 12,000 children who are being held in detention by the United States government. The transparent milk carton held 12,8000 normal-sized cartons, each one representing a child held in an immigration center. The project was sponsored by the 72U, a nonprofit arts residency program within the global ad agency 72andSunny. 72U invites artists from around the world to develop projects with a focus on social justice issues and designs for good. The project was realized by Now Art LA. Organizers hope to display it at other sites across Los Angeles.








WHAT DO THEY MEAN FOR THE ARTS? The dust is settling on the midterm elections. We know there was higher-than-usual turnout leading to a Republican Party-controlled Senate and a Democratic Party-controlled House. But we are still left with the question: What does this mean for the arts? “Will it mean bipartisanship or gridlock?”, asks Robert Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. Of course, the hope is for bipartisanship. The possibility of across-the-aisle cooperation in support for arts has been demonstrated the past couple of years as Congress has continued, and even raised, support for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities despite White House efforts to eliminate them. Yet it cannot be denied that the sentiment from the Republican-controlled White House is by and large venomous toward the arts. And the likelihood of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House of Representatives is being greeted with optimism on the part of arts advocates. Rep. Pelosi is referred to in the Americans for the Arts Congressional Report Card as, “an outspoken defender of the creative industries.” “As House Democratic Leader, she regularly speaks out to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of artists and cultural organizations in America,” Americans for the Arts says of Rep. Pelosi. The House Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for the National Endowments is currently chaired by Rep. Ken Calvert of Southern California’s Riverside County. Rep. Calvert is a conservative Republican on such major issues as immigration and a border wall. At the same time, he has been among the strongest of Congressional advocates for arts funding, using his position as Chair of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee to steer increased funding to the NEA and NEH. The ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, probably in line to be chair, is Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota. Rep. McCollum is also a powerful force for the arts; she is a member of the Congressional Arts Caucus and is an advocate for historic preservation and increased funding for cultural resources. “ Federal investments in the arts and humanities improve education for our children, offer important opportunities for Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota, in line our veterans, create jobs, foster economic growth, and improve our quality of life,” says Rep. McCollum on her web site. to be a powerful voice for the NEA “At the annual rate of just one dollar per taxpayer, federal support for the arts and humanities is a fantastic return on our investment. I strongly support robust federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities and will strongly oppose any attempts to cut or defund these vital cultural institutions.” Tax policy is of huge concern to the arts and culture sector. Charitable tax deductions have spent the past couple of years on the chopping block, and arts advocates hope for a turnaround. There is major news in this regard; the House Ways and Means Committee will now be chaired by Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, whom the Americans for the Arts Action Fund has on their short list of Congressional arts supporters, saying that Rep. Neal, “has been a strong advocate for preserving the charitable tax deduction along with other tax policies affecting nonprofit charities.” Thirty-one per cent of the average arts organization budget is at stake here. Forty per cent of support for nonprofit performing arts comes from charitable giving. Loss of this support through loss of the tax credit is potentially disastrous for publicly-accessible arts. Americans for the Arts and a number of other advocacy organizations support a universal charitable tax deduction that could be available to all tax payers including those who do not itemize. Narric Rome, Vice President for Government Affairs and Arts Education at Americans for the Arts, points out that possibilities for arts support are found in a number of governmental funding areas beyond the NEA, NEH, and tax credits. Higher education measures will impact those in search of arts-related careers. Infrastructure bills hold potential for public art components. Transit projects can include art on roads and on transit. Support for small businesses translates into support for the arts. Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia will be chairing the Education Committee. Rep. Scott received an A+ grade on the most Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, recent Americans for the Arts report card, and, according to Mr. Narric, a Scott chairmanship probably means more incoming Ways and Means Chair, will monitoring of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. oversee tax policy as it affects the arts. Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, co-Chair of the Senate Cultural Caucus, may see some movement on the “Create Act” he has been pushing for two years. Recognizing the economic power of art and culture in state and local economies and in tourism, “The Comprehensive Resources for Entrepreneurs in the Arts to Transform the Economy” (CREATE) Act, would support artists and entrepreneurs in creating and sustaining arts-related businesses, support museums and arts institutions, and support arts in communities. There are a lot of new faces in politics this year. Few candidates ran with support for the arts as a platform issue, and it will take some time to see who the strongest arts advocates will be. Certainly the increased diversity of the legislature reflects increased empowerment across cultures, something that should be reflected in the artistic and cultural understanding of the United States in the coming years.



MURAL VICTIM OF RACIST HATE CRIME The community response was swift when a popular Crenshaw mural was the victim of a hate crime early on a Thursday morning in late November. A two block-long mural depicts African American history and icons, including Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. Local residents discovered that swastikas had been painted over the faces of four female Black Panther figures. Artist Enk One, who painted that portion of the mural, was quickly on the scene. The damage was cleaned off, and touch up was done. Officially titled, “Our Mighty Contribution,” and located on what is dubbed “The Crenshaw Wall,” the mural is some 800-feet in length. It was painted in 2001 by 12 artists of the street art collective Rocking the Nation near Crenshaw and 50th Street. Although iconic, the mural is in need of repair, but, according to City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, funds have been allocated for that purpose. “The hate crime that occurred…was a targeted and deliberate act to inflict fear and incite violence,” said Councilmember Harris-Dawson in a statement. “This is yet another example of dangerous, racist sentiment and actions that are beginning to characterize this period of time, and we are not immune to it in Los Angeles.” “I am working with the LAPD, which is investigating the tagging as a possible hate crime,” said State Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove. “Officers are asking any witnesses to come forward and are searching the area for video surveillance…Racism in our community will not be tolerated.” “When people think of racism like this, they think about some far-off time in some far-off land,” Congresswoman Karen Bass posted on Twitter. “But this is today, in South Los Angeles, on Crenshaw.

Enk One, Our Mighty Contribution, The Crenshaw Wall

These are swastikas on Black faces. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”




“We’re in a renaissance of the arts, because of the current situation. It seems like the old world is falling right before our eyes, and new things are about to appear.” —Will Alexander, Poet in Residence at Beyond Baroque BEYOND BAROQUE HONORED The Los Angeles City Council honored Beyond Baroque on the occasion of its 50th birthday November 19. The Venice-based cultural institution offers a diverse variety of literary and arts programming, including readings, workshops, new music, and education, plus a bookstore and art exhibits. “[Beyond Baroque] has been a home and a muse to the beats and to the burgeoning punk movement, home to visiting scholars and some of the richest and most creative poets in Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “They’re dedicated to the possibilities of language and to advancing the love of literary arts.” “One thing that I’ve learned in my 91 years,” said Beyond Baroque founder George Drury Smith, “is that you have to have goals and work towards them. You don’t usually reach your goal, but if you go with the flow, and accept what you get, it’ll be different, and far better than you ever dreamed. That’s what happened with Beyond Baroque. It was the people who came here, not me, who shaped it into the widely recognized place it is today. My contribution was to let them do it. “Another thing I learned was that given space, the arts can flourish. When, after its first decade, Beyond Baroque overflowed my space, we approached Los Angeles City Councilman Pat Russell, and she led the way to leasing the city’s then recently vacated Old Venice City Hall to Beyond Baroque, and that’s where it has flourished for nearly another 39 years.” CULVER CITY SUPPORTS ARTS ED Culver City voters have overwhelmingly passed Measure K, the approval of a parcel tax designed to raise approximately $2,362,500 for core academic programs. The measure specifically mentions arts and music among the program areas to be funded. Beyond Baroque Poet in Residence MUSEUM AND LIBRARY SERVICES ACT Will Alexander and Councilmember The U.S. Senate is taking up funding for museums and libraries via the Museum and Mike Bonin at City Hall (photo: Library Services Act of 2018. The measure was introduced by Senators Jack Reed of Rhode Beyond Baroque) Island, Susan Collins of Maine, Kirstin Gillibrand of New York, and Lisa Murkowski of Rhode Island. The program provides support to over 12,000 libraries and 35,000 museums nationwide. It has been targeted for elimination by the White House. The funding measure was approved with bipartisan support by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in late November. It now advances to the full Senate. Authored by Senator Reed, the bill highlights the role of libraries and museums as community hubs, equipped to meet evolving community needs. The bill updates funding provisions from previous years to help libraries and museums improve technology, enhance collaboration, and better serve the public and communities. In order to become law, the measure will have to pass the full Senate and House of Representatives and be signed by the President. NEA CHAIR NOMINATED Mary Anne Carter has been nominated by the White House to chair the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Ms. Carter Beyond Baroque founder has served as acting chair of the NEA since June, when Chair George Drury Smith, executive Jane Chu’s term expired. She previously served as Senior Deputy director Richard Modiano, and Chairman, managing day-to-day operations, and before that, as Councilmember Mike Bonin at City Chief Policy Advisor to Florida Governor Rick Scott. Hall (photo: Beyond Baroque) ““I am pleased that Mary Anne Carter has been nominated to serve as chair of the National Endowment for the Arts,” said Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert Lynch. “She understands the value of the arts at the community level and how the arts are transformative to individuals as well as to places. She has already demonstrated her commitment to making sure all parts of the country—from rural to urban communities—are supported with NEA grants, and she is also on her way to expanding art therapy programs through the Creative Forces initiative for active military and veterans.”

NEA Chair Nominee Mary Anne Carter (photo: NEA)

GUSTAVO HERRERA NAMED DIRECTOR OF ARTS FOR LA The Board of Directors of Arts for LA has announced the appointment of Gustavo Herrera as Executive Director. Mr. Herrera will build and lead a diverse constituency in engaging and mobilizing individuals and organizations to advocate for access to the arts across all communities in Greater LA. Mr. Herrera, a Los Angeles County resident with a decade of experience in arts management and advocacy, most recently served as Western Regional Director of Young Invincibles, a national organization that advocates for expanding economic opportunity and political participation for young adults ages 18-34. As Western Regional Director, he piloted the organization’s first regional fundraising board,  launched an inaugural  State of California Millennials Summit  that brought together 100+ supporters and funders to introduce issues to statewide political leadership, and developed earned revenues for the nonprofit through a social venture model.  “Gustavo brings a fresh perspective, creative ideas, and a wealth of experience to Arts for LA” said Arts for LA Board Chair Winifred Neisser, “He expresses a deep belief in the power of the arts and we are confident that he will expand our advocacy work here in the city and county of Los Angeles and beyond.  This is the beginning of an exciting new phase for Arts for LA.” Herrera’s hiring comes as Arts for LA begins its 13th year. He will build on previous executive directors Danielle Brazell and Sofia Klatzker efforts to grow networks of civically engaged advocates; build deep relationships with elected officials; and work in partnership across sectors to prioritize the arts in making LA a vibrant, prosperous, creative, and healthy society.   As Arts for LA has grown this past decade it has also refined its efforts to ensure diverse and underrepresented voices are included in the creation of arts policy. 

Gustavo Herrera to helm Arts for LA

George Davis, Executive Director of the California African American Museum and Chair of the Search Committee said, “After an extensive search, the board of Arts for LA is very excited to appoint Gustavo as our new leader. The visual and performing arts scene in Los Angeles has changed dramatically and our Executive Director must embody that change.  We feel Gustavo brings the vision, strategy and execution skills to expand the reach and impact of our organization.” “I am thrilled to join the Arts for LA team and I look forward to working with the staff, our esteemed Board of Directors and Chairwoman Winifred Neisser. This is such an exciting time to be an Angelino. LA is the creative capital of the world. One in six Angelinos identify as creative industry workers and the arts generate 1.6 million jobs for California. The arts and artists are drivers of innovation and a strong economy. I look forward to partnering with Angelinos and across the sectors to continue to advocate for access, investment and diversity and inclusion to the arts in Los Angeles”, Herrera said. Gustavo Herrera brings extensive management and fundraising experience from previous leadership roles as Chief Operating Officer of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, a Los Angeles County cultural institution, and as Development and Programs Director of the Maestro Foundation in Santa Monica. He holds a M.B.A from American Jewish University in Bel Air, CA and a B.A. in Global Studies & Art History from the University of California in Santa Barbara. 



The Skirball Presents: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF RUTH BADER GINSBURG Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an unlikely cultural icon. Supreme Court Justices keep low public profiles. Yet this 85-year old justice with 25-years on the high court bench has people discussing her work-out routine and wrapping action figures of her in bubble plastic as a symbolic rite of protection. An exhibit on view at the Skirball Cultural Center takes a look at the life and work of America’s most popular judge. Included are her upbringing and young adult life in New York, cases she argued in support of women’s rights, and such ephemera as the spiky lace collar that signals she’s about to issue a dissent. “Notorious BRG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” is the first retrospective about the second woman confirmed to the Supreme Court. It is based on a best-selling book by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik. The resultant exhibit demonstrates how Justice Ginsburg’s brilliant legal career parallels the national struggle for justice for women, at the same time as it presents a very human portrait of a a wife, mother, opera lover, and the Supreme Court version of a fashionista, who speaks her mind. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Through March 10 Skirball Cultural Center

Notorious RBG book cover illustration by Adam Johnson. Courtesy of HarperCollins. Photographs: Crown © by Hurst Photo/ Shutterstock; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Courtroom sketch of Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in Fisher v. University of Texas, June 24, 2013. Sketch by Art Lien.

Ruth and Marty after their engagement party, December 27, 1953. Courtesy of Justice Ginsburg’s Personal Collection.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg teaching at Columbia Law School, 1972. Courtesy of Columbia Law School.



COLUMBUS STATUE REMOVED FROM PUBLIC VIEW “His image should not be celebrated anywhere.” —City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell of Christopher Columbus

The bronze statue of Christopher Columbus, which has stood in Downtown’s Grand Park, adjacent to County offices and across the street from City Hall, for 45 years, left the park in the back of a truck on a Saturday morning in early November, as dozens of onlookers marked its departure with cheers and ceremony. The removal of the statue comes as the result of much effort by the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission. The commission has received the support of city and county officials in the struggle, most notably Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis. Grand Park is countyadministered, and the statue is part of the Los Angeles County Civic Art Collection. “The historic record is clear that Christopher Columbus did not ‘discover’ America since he never reached the shores of North America and there were millions of Indigenous people already living here,” the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission said in a statement. “The genocide of indigenous people during the colonization of the Americas lasted centuries. Today, statues of Christopher Columbus are regarded as signs of oppression.” The crowd that gathered to witness the removal of the statue included a number of members of the Gabrieleño Tongva and the Fernandeño Tataviam Nations, descendants of the Yaavitam, the first people of the ancestral territory of Yaangna, now known as Downtown Los Angeles. There were also Taino, descendants of the Caribbean people who bore the direct brunt of Columbus’ arrival. Los Angeles is home to the largest community of Indigenous The statue is hoisted off its base and into a people in the United States. waiting truck Tanya Melendez, a key member of the public in the struggle to have the statue removed, pointed out that the statue represents how Native culture is attacked through children—through eliminating education and the arts, so that Native children don’t know who they are. Councilmember O’Farrell, a member of the Wyandotte Nation, told those assembled that when Columbus arrived in this hemisphere, he encountered arts, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, culture, humanity and sharing. Fernandeño Tataviam Tribal President and LA City/ In response, Columbus “set in County Native American Indian Commission Chair Rudy motion the greatest genocide in Ortega, Taino activist Irka Mateo, Gabrieleño Tongva recorded history.” leader Andrew Morales, Gabrieleño Tongva Tribal “The world has been out of balance Chairman Chief Red Blood (Anthony Morales), and since,” said Councilmember Gabrieleño Tongva activists O’Farrell. “It is up to us, the current generation, to bring the world back into balance.” “Minimizing – or worse, ignoring – the pain of Los Angeles’ original inhabitants is a disservice to the truth,” wrote Supervisor Solis in a statement. “The removal of the Columbus statue in Grand Park is an act of restorative justice that honors The Christopher Columbus statue leaves Grand Park and embraces the resilient spirit of our County’s original inhabitants.” The morning concluded with a Victory Dance, performed by members of the Gabrieleño Tongva Nation. The statue is now in storage. The commission has announced that a Native American led discussion will be held to decide on a replacement. The removal of the statue follows by only a few weeks the first official celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day in Los Angeles, which took place after the City Council and County Supervisors replaced Columbus Day with the newly-designated holiday. “With [the statue’s] removal,” said Supervisor Solis, “we begin a new chapter of our history where we learn from past mistakes so we are no longer doomed to repeat them.”

Gabrieleño Tongva Victory Dance


Taino activist Irka Mateo and Gabrieleño Tongva activist Anthony Morales as the statue is taken down



ALCHEMY 7 X 5 AT MORYORK GALLERY In what has become a Northeast Los Angeles December tradition, five local artists will, for the seventh year, infuse Clare Graham’s already magical MorYork Gallery with the Alchemy of their assemblages, collages, photography, prints and more. The five participating artists explore the alluring and complex transformations of raw materials into art. While they revel in the found materials, ranging from leaves and flowers to vintage doll parts, the end results are always something new—imbued with both the spirit of the material and the personality of the artist. Betty Wan Hamada, a mixed-media artist, creates collages and assemblages that explore alchemical metamorphosis, transformation, and mysticism, creating golden vignettes from a variety of sources using recycled materials. Cidne Hart photographs in museums and botanical gardens, awed and inspired by the early scientists/alchemists. She transforms her images into etchings, books and cyanotypes. She is currently printing leaves and flowers in a process called eco printing. Gail Greenfield Randall’s assemblages capture time and express narratives. She has worked in many artforms and has found that assemblage allows her to capture time and express deep-felt narratives in a profoundly satisfying way. Frank Whipple is a collage artist working primarily with elements hand cut from vintage paper ephemera, and occasionally incorporating bits of vintage textiles and found metal into his compositions, suggesting images of science fiction, dreamscapes, and alternative mythologies. He combines the abstract and the figurative into hybrid forms both ancient and modern. Enamored of the human form, Ruth De Nicola rescues and reassembles old dolls, statues and pictures. Asking viewers to consider the human condition, she believes “once curious, a path opens” and “look until you see.” All of this will be set against the backdrop of Clare Graham’s cavernous space, where he showcases his art created from massive amounts of repurposed materials, from puzzle pieces and scrabble tiles to yardsticks and teddy bears. Alchemy 7 x 5 Saturday, December 8, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. (coinciding with a vintage sidewalk market) Saturday, December 8, 6-10 p.m. (during NELAart Second Saturday Gallery Night) Sunday, December 9. noon-4 p.m. MorYork Gallery 4959 York Boulevard, Highland Park

Cidne Hart, eco print

Ruth De Nicola, assemblages

Betty Wan Hamada, collage

Frank Whipple, collage

Gail Greenfield, assemblage




On the Secon Elysian Valley, art and eateri the updated l

Northeast Los Angeles Arts Organization, Inc.

December 8, 2018 - 7pm - 10pm

(Individual Gallery Hours May Vary. CHECK Gallery web sites for individual information. Just because a gallery is listed does not mean it’s open this month)

39. Kindness and Mischief 5537 N. Figueroa St.

1. Avenue 50 Studio 131 No. Avenue 50 323. 258.1435

20. Toros Pottery 4962 Eagle Rock Blvd 323.344.8330

2. Bike Oven 3706 No Figueroa

21. Kinship Yoga/Wonder Inc. 5612 Figueroa St.

3. Namaste Highland Park 5118 York Blvd.

22. Tierra de la Culebra 240 S. Ave 57

4. Offbeat 6316 York Blvd 5.Twinkle Toes 5917 N Figueroa St (818) 395-3454 6. Future Studio 5558 N Figueroa St. 323 254-4565 7. Collective Arts Incubator 1200 N. Ave 54 8. The Art Form Studio 5611 N Figueroa St. Suite 2 9. Vapegoat 5054 York Blvd. 323.963.VAPE 10. ETA 5630 N. Figueroa St. 11. Adjunct Positions 5041 Coringa Dr. 12. Matters of Space 5005 York Blvd 323.743.3267 13. Mi Vida 5159 York Blvd. 14. Vintage Tattoo Art Parlor 5115 York Blvd. 15. Antigua Coffee House 3400 N. Figueroa St.

41. Possession Vintage 5119 York Blvd. 42. The Situation Room 2313 Norwalk Ave.

23. Cactus Gallery @ Treeline Woodworks 3001 N. Coolidge Ave

43. Bookshow 5503 Figueroa St.

24. Huron Substation 2640 Huron Street Los Angeles, CA 90065 25.Oneg Shabbat Collaborative Gallery 5711 Monte Vista Street, 90042 (inside Temple Beth Israel)

44. Vroom Vroom Bitsy Boo 5031 B York Blvd. 45. Portico Collection 5019 York Blvd. 46. The “O” Mind Gallery 200 N. Ave 55

26. MAN Insurance Ave 50 Satellite 1270 N. Ave 50 323.256.3151

47. Apiary Gallery at The Hive Highland Park 5670 York Blvd.

27. TAJ • ART 1492 Colorado Blvd.

48. Rock Rose Gallery 4108 N. Figueroa St. 323.635.9125

28. The Greyhound 570 N. Figueroa St. 29. Urchin 5006 1/2 York Blvd. 30. Arroyo Arts Collective @ Ave 50 Studio 131 North Avenue 50 31. Living Room 5807 York Blvd.

49. Leader of the Pack 5110 York Blvd. 50. Fahrenheit Ceramics 4102 North Figueroa St. 51. Checker Hall 104 N. Ave 56

32. Vapeology 3714 N. Figueroa St. 323.222.0744

52. Green Design Studios 1260 N. Ave 50

33. Pop-Hop 5002 York Blvd.

53. L34 Group 5622 N. Figueroa St.

34. Social Studies 5028.5 York Blvd.

16. Align Gallery 5045 York Blvd.

35. Occidental College 6100 Campus

17. Leanna Lin’s Wonderland 5204 Eagle Rock Blvd.

36. The Glass Studio 5668 York Blvd.

18. The Rental Girl 4760 York Blvd.

37. Curve Line Space 3348 N. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90065

19. Mindfulnest 5050 York Blvd. 323.999-7969

38. Highland Cafe 5010 York Blvd. 323.259.1000


40. Civil Coffee 5639 N. Figueroa St.

54. Sunday Girl 5662 York Blvd.

Next Art Walk January 12, 2019


nd Saturday of every month galleries, businesses, and artists in Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Glassell Park, Cypress Park, , and Lincoln Heights open their doors a little later in the evening and welcome visitors. Use this map for locations of ies, grab someone you love, get some dinner, and enjoy some art. Friend NELA Art Gallery Night on Facebook for last minute list.

27 17 20 42 11 35 18

45 12 44 16

41 48 14 31 13

31 54 36 47 25 7

4 29 34 9 9 3 4 26 33 19 52 38




8 51 10 46 39 2853 43 6 21 2 2


48 50 23

32 2 15 37 24

Visit us at LA ART NEWS



Gwen Freeman, paintings Fern Bealmear, ceramics Discovery Pop-Up, presented by the Arroyo Arts Collective at Avenue 50 Studio

Madam X, installation detail Discovery Pop-Up, presented by the Arroyo Arts Collective at Avenue 50 Studio

Rebeca Guerrero, Calendar Rebeca Guerrero, Family Portrait Discovery Pop-Up, presented by the Arroyo Arts Collective at Avenue 50 Studio

Mike Mollett, Weaved Archaeologies (2) Discovery Pop-Up, presented by the Arroyo Arts Collective at Avenue 50 Studio

Rachel Zaretsky, Rothstein’s Hardware. Photographs of the hardware store that was once her immigrant grandfather’s. Oneg Shabbat Collaborative Gallery Ester Petschar at Align Gallery



NELA Altar Walk at Mi Vida

Edwin Tuazon at Vapegoat

Kari Dias at L34 Group

Natalie Fratino, Big Saver Natalie Fratino, Highland Park Bowl (formerly Mr. T’s) Read the Signs, Arroyo Arts Collective at Avenue 50 Studio James Gilbert, Don’t Want to Be Anonymous series at L34 Group Sandy Huse Discovery Pop-Up, presented by the Arroyo Arts Collective at Avenue 50 Studio

Kevin Hass Discovery Pop-Up, presented by the Arroyo Arts Collective at Avenue 50 Studio

Betty Wan Hamada Discovery Pop-Up, presented by the Arroyo Arts Collective at Avenue 50 Studio



BAKED DELICATA SQUASH HUEVOS RANCHEROS 2 delicata squash 6-8 medium eggs 2 tbsp. avocado oil ¼ cup raw pepitas Sea salt and pepper Sprigs of cilantro for garnish For Salsa Roja: 1 pound ripe tomatoes- roma or plum tomatoes are best 1/2 medium white onion 1 jalapeno chile 8 sprigs of cilantro 1 clove garlic 1 lemon, juiced ¼ tsp. toasted cumin seeds (or ground cumin) 2 tbsp. virgin coconut oil 1 tsp. salt First make the salsa roja. Remove the seeds and veins from the chiles. Roughly chop the tomatoes, onion, chiles and cilantro. Add the chopped vegetables to your blender. Add ½ teaspoon salt. Blend the salsa until it has a coarse texture. Add a little water if needed to break it up into the desired texture and free it from the blender blades. Preheat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Pour the blended salsa in the hot oil. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, taste for salt, then cover and keep warm. While the salsa is simmering, preheat oven to 375-degrees and prepare your baked squash. Cut the delicata squash across the middle into about 4 pieces, 1 ½ - 2 inches thick. Using a paring knife, cut out the seedy center of each slice. You will have 6-8 rings of squash with enough room in the center to hold a cracked egg. If any of your rings (like from the ends of the squash) are too small then don’t use those. They can be saved and added to a smoothie or soup at another time. Brush each squash ring with avocado oil, and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Season each ring with salt and pepper, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until they start to become soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400. Crack one egg into the center of each squash ring. Depending on the size of the egg and the ring, the egg may overflow a little. Season each egg-filled ring with a little more salt and pepper, and return to the oven. Bake for about 15 more minutes At this point, check the doneness of the egg. If you like your egg yolk runny, it may be ready, or it may need a little more time in the oven. To serve, arrange the warm salsa roja and baked squash eggs on a plate. Add some frijoles de la olla to accompany. Garnish with a sprinkle of pepitas and a sprig of cilantro. Harvey Slater is a holistic nutritionist and food blogger located in Pasadena. You can find more healthy recipes like this one on his blog:

INVADER INVADES LA Not a lot is known about street artist Invader. He was born in 1969 in Paris, and he currently lives and works on Earth. He keeps a low profile. But since 1998, Invader has “invaded” cities around the world, leaving behind tiled works of art, styled after the pixellation of early video games, affixed to a variety of structures. “Into the white cube,” at Over the Influence gallery, is Invader’s first solo show in Los Angeles since 2005. The exhibit provides a two-decade retrospective, along with new work. Into the white cube Through December 23 Over the Influence 833 East Third Street Invader at Over the Influence

An Invader piece on Silver Lake Boulevard




Besides being a haven for artists and creative types, Northeast Los Angeles is the home of a fine array of arts classes, especially the industrial arts, but not limited to them. Below is a list of some of the businesses in the area that have classes. Do check with the facility to verify times and prices of their classes. As we find more places we will bring that information to all of you. Adam’s Forge 2640 N. San Fernando Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90065 You may email Nancy with questions at Please check their web site for a listing of all of their classes and special events. Check out a Discovery class. The Glass Studio 5668 York Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90042 323.387.9705 Check for a list of glasses ranging from glass blowing and torchwork to fusing and slumping and jewelry making.

Molten Metal Works 3617 San Fernando Rd Glendale, CA 91204 Please check their web site for a listing of all of their classes and special events. They’re in a new location next to Community Woodshop. Cool new space! Rock Rose Gallery 4108 N. Figueroa Street Highland Park, CA 90065 (323) 635-9125 Visit: Rock Rose Gallery News, Instagram & Twitter Intermediate Ceramics Pottery Class 6 class sessions $240 Check web site for start date A Place to Bead 2566 Mission St San Marino, CA 91108 626.219.6633

Blue Rooster Art Supply Company 4661 Hollywood Blvd LA, CA 90027 (323) 302-5613

Find a variety of jewelry making classes, including stringing and wirework.

Ave 50 Studio 131 No. Avenue 50 323. 258.1435 Guitar Lessons. Salsa Lessons too! Check their web site for more information for this and other classes. Center for the Arts Eagle Rock 2225 Colorado Blvd. Eagle Rock, CA 90041 (323) 561-3044 Check out their web site for a wide variety of fun classes for all ages.

Stained Glass Supplies 19 Backus Street Pasadena, CA 91107 626-219-6055 Classes are ongoing

Check they’re web site for upcoming classes.

Bullseye Glass 143 Pasadena Ave. South Pasadena, CA

Los Angeles County Store 4333 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 / 323-928-2781 Please check their web site for a listing of all of their classes and special events.

They offer a full range of kiln forming glass classes as well as regular free artist talks. Leanna Lin’s Wonderland 5024 Eagle Rock Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90041 323.550.1332 Check Leanna’s web site for a current list of workshops and events. Fahrenheit Ceramics 4200 N. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90042 323.576.2052

These guys offer a wonderful selection of classes from beginner to advanced, membership, and private lessons. Please check their web site for more information and a list of classes.

Barndall Art Park 4800 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027 323.644.6295

Toros Pottery 4962 Eagle Rock Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90041 323.344.8330

They offer a variety of art classes. Check their web site for more information about their classes and events.

Community Woodshop 3617 San Fernando Rd Glendale, CA 91204 626.808.3725

Sugar Mynt Gallery 810 Meridian Ave. South Pasadena, CA 626.222.7257 Paint and Pinot Twice a month. Check their web site for more detail. Holy Grounds Coffee & tea 5371 Alhambra Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90032 323.222.8884 Check out their workshops!

Welcome to the neighborhood!


An Ancient Calendar, A Modern Context The sculptures of Beatriz Cortez work across genres and even across world views to comment on life. The realities of the 21st century work with the realities of earlier industrial periods of this city and with the the artist’s upbringing in El Salvador toward a unified whole. “Tzolk’in,” on view at Occidental College, is inspired by an ancient 260-day agricultural calendar. It marks time through movement that is, at the same time, both linear and cyclical. Ms. Cortez describes the large piece as, “cosmic, spiritual, and industrial.” It honors the ancient Maya, and Mayans who live as immigrants in the U.S. today. Much of the artist’s work not only pays tribute to people of the past and present, but carries the imagery into the future. Futurism rarely includes images of indigenous people and cultures, but Ms. Cortez’ work unifies past and future into a seamless whole. The patina of the calendar is being intentionally allowed to weather, and the piece is therefore continually evolving in relation to its surroundings. While made of industrial materials, it is solar powered, combining the fabricated and the natural. Born in El Salvador, Ms. Cortez has lived in the United States since 1989. She holds an M.F.A. in art from the California Institute of the Arts and a Ph.D. in Latin American Literature from Arizona State University. She teaches in the Department of Central American Studies at California State University. Ms. Cortez will be at Occidental on February 7, when she will participate in the Oxy Arts Speaker Series. Tzolk’in is scheduled to be on campus through March 25. It is easy to find, located in the main campus quad, near the fountain. Tzolk’inThrough March 25(functioning when the sun is out)Occidental

Beatriz Cortez, Tzolk’in, at Occidental College

Artist Beatriz Cortez discusses her work with Occidental students




by Tomas J. Benitez

So I finally got around to writing my letter to Sanity Clause. World peace and good health for all, yeah, yeah, all that stuff. What I really need is a new damn car. But besides that, I wrote a Wish List, focusing upon things in the arts and culture: • I figured I’d get a jump on this one, since it will come up again, as it always does, and since we have leadership that has again threatened cutting funding to the federal arts and culture, humanities and libraries. Contrary to the evil plot to dumb down our beloved country, I wish just once the NEA, NEH and IMLS would not be blamed for draining the coffers and instead be given big bumps in funding. Wouldn’t that be great, more funding for the arts to create bridges, provoke debate, stimulate curiosity, foster intelligence and thought? All the things that terrorize those who would otherwise benefit from an unenlightened populace. And there might even be some money there for individual artists. Why, we might even see funding trickle down to the grass roots organizations.

Return individual fellowships to the National Endowment for the Arts. Period.

• Increased Statewide, City and County funding. We are not competitors; we are more colleagues. And collaborators, and concomitants, and we are stronger with more and many, than with fewer and fewer. But every year we fight over money. Oh, the staffs at these places do their best, most of them are artists too, but what is needed is a large infusion of true value. And those staffs would be the first to tell you they would love to see that very thing. • Fair pay for artists. To do art, to teach, to lead, whatever they have to do to create, be fair. I know thousands of artists, and 90% at least do something else for a living in order to fund their own artwork. Some of it is choice. Most of it is necessity. Imagine what the world would be like if we paid artists their worth and they had more time to make art. • Give the private philanthropic community huge tax breaks, ridiculous incentives to fund the arts. There are many worthy causes, and a mountain of needs in our communities, but the arts has inevitably paid the price in funding shifts and the sun setting of priority funding. We are relegated to non-vital status. Untrue, without art and culture we do not have a society or civilization worth saving. • The arts are one of the few places where a woman is considered an equal to a man, and yet, ask any woman artist, it is still not true. Never mind the film and television industry, those dirty old men, even within the lively arts and visual arts communities and fields, there is an imbalance that remains as a major contradiction to our arrogant profiles of enlightenment and civility. Over 50% of our field is still considered a minority, and treated as such. We must mandate, legislate and instigate fair treatment to women.

Same thing I just said, only for the gay community and inclusive of all lifestyle choices.

• Make arts education mandatory in all schools all the time, every day and fund it adequately. Every dollar we invest in arts education pays back dividends too numerous to list here, but you know. Foster creativity, and watch the academic performance soar. • Here’s the touchy one. Take a look at the demographics of the nation and then the sum of participation in the arts. Something’s wrong. Something’s unfair, something has to change. Write me all your pretty cultural equity and inclusion statements you want, where’s the money, where’s the action? People of color in the arts have to be treated fairly, once and for all. • be funded.

Size matters. The majors, the mid-sized, the small and the grass roots all deserve their share. A fair and equitable distribution of funding is needed. All deserve to

I need a thousand more words to finish this article. And a car, a nice blue one. But I will make do, I come from a community of artists. World Peace, really. (Tomas Benitez was born and raised in front of a TV set in East L.A. His film SALSA: The Movie was produced in 1988. He has also written for Fred Roos, Starz Encore Films, CBS, and several other producers. In recent years he has written extensively about East Los Angeles including an ongoing, online saga about his home life, titled  “The Gully”. Several of his stories about East L.A. and The Gully have been published by Blue Heron in an anthology of new American fiction, and he is editing two addition collections to be published in 2018. Tomas is the former Executive Director of Self Help Graphics & Art.)


Utility Box, Downtown Los Angeles

Madam X DECEMBER 2018



By Good Witch Jen Hitchcock

I have been studying at the astrological altar of Linda Goodman of late. As such, knowing how hard the holidays can be for most of us to navigate, I am attempting here to use the knowledge gained to put together some guidance here, individualized for each sign of the zodiac. Before you is cosmic advice on how to get through this next month. Please know that this is for entertainment purposes only. Any unsavory or unsatisfying outcomes are due to your inability to take this as the satire it is and not my responsibility. However, anything that rings true or brings forth a brilliant outcome, is, of course, due to my mystical genius. ARIES: It is definitely not your imagination. They are hiding the booze from you. Time to check in with yourself. Look in the mirror and try and remember where you stashed your flask. TAURUS This year, think about what other people might like when shopping for gifts, not what you insist they should like. GEMINI If you manage to pull yourself away from the bustle part of the holiday season, take some time to enjoy the quieter moments. Like in the car ride between errands. CANCER Yes, it is true. Your cat is the only one that truly gets you. And no, it won’t be weird if you bring her to the office holiday party. It will be endearing. Go for it. LEO Try and remember there are other people at the table this year Leo. We have all heard that story before and please pass the gravy. VIRGO They are called “mixed nuts” for a reason. No need to organize them into separate bowls. Just put them out for your guests to enjoy as they were meant to be. LIBRA Family is tough, but try to find balance in your desire to either sneak out back to smoke a joint or burn the house down to the foundation. Use your matches wisely, Libra. SCORPIO Show me to the exchange counter! This has always been your holiday motto. No need to change it up this year. These fools don’t know you. SAGITTARIUS Your chapbook of erotic poetry is definitely the perfect gift for everyone. Go for it. CAPRICORN Re-gift, Re-gift, Re-gift! This has always been your holiday motto. No need to change it up this year. Your Scorpio friends will love the basket of soap and bath beads your elderly neighbor gave you. AQUARIUS As you volunteer and donate this season Aquarius, know it is completely okay for you to judge and look down on all the other signs of the zodiac. We are very disappointing. PISCES This year is all about acceptance. You cannot drink Santa into existence. Seek fantasy and magic in other aspects of the season. Like fruitcake! BOOK SHOW EVENTS

Sunday December 2nd 3pm – 5pm Low Tea & Literature Featuring Sarah Corbett, Myriam Gurba and Beth Pickens Tuesday December 4th 7pm-9:30pm COLLAGE & CRY Collage art night Five dollar donation Friday December 7th 8pm sign up 8:30 start EAT ART OPEN MIC Words & Poetry Saturday December 8th 8pm Antonia Crane UCLA workshop culmination reading Tuesday December 11th 7pm sign up Comedy Open Mic Hosted by Sumukh Torgalkar Wednesday December 12th 7pm doors Historia Storytelling night Suggested donation Thursday December 13th 8pm Laughterhouse 5 Stand up comedy show Friday December 14th 8pm Friday Night Poetry: They’re Just Words Hosted by Ingrid Calderone Poetry open mic & featured poets Sunday December 16th 5:30pm – 8:30 Lettepress holiday card making workshop Taught by Rachel curry $30 RSVP Required!

Drawing by Stuart Rapeport of Chris Nichols at the LA Breakfast Club with Lilly Holiman

Friday December 21st 8pm LMNOP Winter Solstice Celebration & Fundraiser OPEN ON MONDAY DECEMBER 24th FOR LAST MINUTE SHOPPING!!!!!!! 10am -6pm Closed dec 25 & 26th, January 1st




Larisa Code

Note: Create joy, one sip at a time. Featured Wine: Les Deux Moulins Vintage: 2017 Color: Red Varietal: Pinot Noir Price: Under $15 Country: France Region: Loire Featured Wine: Oeno Vintage: 2017 Varietal: Chardonnay Price: Around $20 Country: U.S.A. Region: Russian River Valley (Sonoma) One year, I spent my Christmas on an island in Thailand, in a hut, on the beach, for $5/night. It was such a beautiful experience, and I swore, from then on, I would spend my holidays out of town. Of course, life happened, and my plan went to shit, BUT, that is what wine is for. You see, besides being on a gorgeous island, tanner than any Italian woman at the Pittsburgh city pool, delicious food and drink also bring me joy. And to share those tastes with someone you love makes it even better. So I chose two wines for you to grab and share at any gatherings you find yourself in during the holiday season. Or, if you are alone, grab for yourself. I tested these babies out with my best companion, Curtis; even though he is from the Riverside Pound, he has a hell of a refined palate. I went out of my comfort zone and bought a California chardonnay. Oeno is aged in stainless steel 60% and neutral oak 40%, which I believe makes it perfectly in the middle for oak lovers and haters. I kept looking at reviews, and no one mentioned any oak, but I picked a little up in the nose and at introduction (when I take a sip), but the citrus, pear and crisp dry finish make it okay with me, and for those who love a California chardonnay, this one is on the money. It is a hearty white, made with grapes from 30-year old vines in Sonoma County. The goddess Oeno, who can turn water into wine, would be pleased with herself if this was the wine she made. Perfect for X-mas or New Year’s Day brunch, or if you have lobster or seafood on X-mas Eve, it will go well—also great while lighting a candle each night of Hanukkah. My second choice, Les Deux Moulins, is a pinot noir from France. I usually lean toward pinots with more fruit and/or perfume, but this one isn’t that; it is a very straight forward red, not too heavy, a little bit of licorice and a nice dry finish. This is ideal for X-mas Eve if you make a tomato based seafood stew or X-mas Day with a nut loaf or rib roast—also great while lighting a candle each night of Hanukkah. I am down with old X-mas records for music and no flowers if you aren’t buying fair trade, non-pesticide soaked bouquets. Pair these wines with a meeting to boycott large corporations that don’t pay a living wage. Or put some wine in a little to go cup to sip while shopping at local small businesses for your gifts. Why not pair these wines with a neighborhood baking party and then tipsily go door to door with your goods. We have to be so conscious of everything we do. Be aware of how often you buy from Amazon, a company known for mistreating employees as well as casually wiping out small businesses. Let’s pair these wines with being conscientious this holiday season, with fostering a pet, with manually weeding your garden instead of using Round-Up. Buy a wine that is a little less expensive than your normal purchase and give a homeless person the difference. Yes, it is the holidays and frankly, the world is in trouble, so have wine and delicious food, no matter what your plans are. And reach out to your neighbors with a plate of cookies, a bowl of fruit, tamales or just a card. Remember that as much as we know how bad it is ‘out there,” at the border, in Yemen, in D.C., we do not know how bad it is for someone who lives on our block. Sometimes a little gesture can make all the difference. I don’t know how to phrase this better, I want us all to be kind, be aware of those around us, respect the earth, respect people working their asses off for so little; let’s support each other, be joyful and of course, be tipsy. Happy Holidays! Please keep your pets secure on New Year’s Eve, especially if you live in North East Los Angeles. xo

NONSPACE Alexander Calder at Hauser & Wirth A large exhibition of the mobile and standing sculptures of renowned artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is currently on view at Hauser & Wirth in the Arts District. “Calder: Nonspace” is presented in collaboration with the Calder Foundation of New York.The pieces presented are primarily monochromatic. They can be looked at in and of themselves, or understood as abstractions and maskings that leave the world around them as the art. Essayist and novelist James Jones’ observed that Calder’s sculptures, “fill a given space without occupying it.” The environment was created by Stephanie Goto, who placed the works with an eye to their intuitive spacial relationships. Five outdoor sculptures are sited in relationship to the former industrial character of the building and the Arts District. “One of the most influential artists of the twentieth century,” say the curators, “Calder transformed the very nature of sculpture with his invention of the mobile, introducing the fourth dimension of time and the actuality of real-time experience into the realm of sculpture.” Calder: Nonspace Through January 6 Hauser & Wirth 901 East Third Street Alexander Calder, Morning Cobweb (intermediate maquette), 1967

Alexander Calder, 3 Segments, 1973 Calder Foundation, New York


Alexander Calder, Untitled, 1939

Alexander Calder, Feuille d’arbre, 1974


HISTORIC GAS STATION TO FIND NEW LIFE AS RIVER CONCESSION STAND Seeking Solutions When a Historic Property Doesn’t Meet the Original Need

A historic gas station in Silver Lake will soon be on its way to a new life in a new location. The 1941 Texaco Station is slated to become a park concession stand, probably alongside the Los Angeles River. The situation with the station serves as a case study in what can happen when a building is no longer serving its original purpose, but still illustrates an aspect of Los Angeles history. In the early days of automobiles, people bought their gasoline in cans and put it in their cars themselves. But with the dramatic rise in the number of automobiles in the 1930s and the beginnings of long distance travel by roadway, the concept of a service station came to be—to cater to this customer base with a range of services, to inspire brand loyalty, to create properties recognizable from a distance, and to change the image of the tank from grimy to clean. Gas Stations became one of the most common architectural features of Los Angeles. The Silver Lake Texaco Service Station, at 1650 North Silver Lake Boulevard, is one of the last surviving examples of this time in automobile history. The 1941 Streamline Moderne structure was designed by Walter Dorwin Teague and built by engineer Blaine Noice. It was converted to auto repair in 1988. Texaco was the first national gas chain. In the 1930s, the company hired Norman Bel Geddes and Walter Dorwin Teague to give Texaco a brand image. Walter Teague was already known as the “Dean of Industrial Design” for such products as the Kodak Brownie camera. The make-over wasn’t just about the structure. The duo designed a series of tank trucks and designed the famous red T-star logo and signage. They styled attendants, requiring white uniforms. The Silver Lake Texaco Station “Teague designed the prototypical gas station,” says the Los Angeles City Planning Department report on the Silver Lake building, “a basic white box covered in white porcelain enamel with forest-green stripes and a freestanding post bearing the red Texaco star logo on a white disk. By 1942, the white box of Texaco had slipped seamlessly into the American vernacular, giving Texaco outlets a consistent appearance and identity with some 40,000 stations built across the United States.” SurveyLA, the City’s program to identify significant historic resources, identified the subject property as eligible for listing at the national, state, and local levels as an “Excellent example of an automobile service station from the 1940s” and “A rare, surviving example of automobile commercial development from this era.” But the station was threatened by private development. On April 10, 2018, the Los Angeles City Council, acting on a motion introduced by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, initiated consideration of the subject property as a potential Historic-Cultural Monument, a status which would provide protections. Councilmember O’Farrell’s office did not take a position as to whether the building should be granted monument status, nor was he attempting to block the development slated for the site. He was seeking to ensure that properties identified as significant through Survey LA are thoroughly evaluated before alteration or demolition takes place. In June, the City’s Cultural Heritage Commission took the property under consideration. Property owner William Hefner is an architect who bought the property with his wife ten years ago. He had done his due diligence in finding out that the property had no historic status and was far along in obtaining approvals for a project involving 2,000 square feet of retail with residences above. “Our intent is to develop a beautiful project,” Mr. Hefner said at the Cultural Heritage hearing. But the project was in doubt when the Cultural Heritage Commissioners voted 3-1 to recommend monument status to the City Council. Over the next few months, the situation changed dramatically. Councilmember O’Farrell’s office brokered meetings involving the property owner and River LA, a nonprofit created to champion river-oriented policy and sustainable public spaces for community benefit. Mr. Hefner has agreed to donate the structure, and, working with the council office and River LA., to relocate it for a new life as a concession stand. Following this agreement, Councilmember O’Farrell’s office opposed the monument status at the Silver Lake site, and, in November, the full City Council followed his lead. The result is an unconventional arrangement, but one being hailed by those involved as supporting both historic preservation and the development of housing stock.

Tiny Treasures + One Thē13th annual small works who at Frogtown’s Cactus Gallery includes miniatures from a long list of artists dealing with some traditional and some no-so-traditional subject matter. The exhibit also includes one larger piece from each artist. Artist Eden Folwell

Artist Myriam Powell




Jeremy Kaplan of READ Books

My mother grew up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn that several decades later would cultivate heavyweight champs Mike Tyson & Riddick Bowe, and a decade prior had spawned Bugsy Siegel & Murder Incorporated. Unlike Bugsy & his co-workers, most Brownsville’s citizens have traditionally lacked capital. Like Bugsy & friends, all the men in mom’s era were circumcised. In that peculiarly impecunious region of post-WWII America, X-Mas was a cultural phenomenon that manifested itself in the extended family convening for a twilight dinner at the local Chinese restaurant, followed by a movie at the neighborhood theater. In order to save money for upcoming rent (and perhaps a Hanukah gift or two or eight?), the family patriarchs would order less entrees than there were people dining. The hungry diners’ unenthusiastic efforts toward egalitarian allocation of egg fu young & mu shu pork would often culminate with one faction of the family not speaking to another faction until the next X-Mas. Or longer. Mom married a man who cared little for X-Mas, and less for Brooklyn, so he moved her two time zones to a small Midwestern college town where the Chinese food routinely failed to meet their New Yorky standards, and the movie theaters closed on X-Mas eve. Perhaps in order to fill an egg fu void in her life, or maybe as a misguided attempt at making her Hebrew children believe that they were relatively normal, mom took to pinning three sad, shabby stockings onto the fireplace mantle & stuffing them with the sort of forgettable stuff that I have long since forgotten. If her intention was to make us feel commensurate with our gentile coevals, she failed. To utilize a literary analogy with a nod to our locality (for we are, if nothing else, an Eagle Rock bookstore), it was like finding out your blue-eyed friend had received a signed 1st Edition Dr. Seuss, and then pulling a 1st Edition Boulevard Sentinel, signed by Tom Topping, out of your own ratty stocking. Such was the perennial gift discrepancy. In retrospect, I believe we Jews should’ve stuck to what we knew: a protracted week of greasy latkes & minor-league gifting. You get your signed Seuss, we get our eight little Shel Silverstein poems, and everybody’s fucking happy. Whether you call it assimilation or cultural appropriation—or maybe just bad taste— mom’s vaguely goyishe tendencies increased throughout my youth. Hanukah presents were placed beneath a truncated X-Mas tree that she had the chutzpah to call a Hanukah Bush. She would empty scores of Pringles from their containers, leaving the chips for her children & the containers for her holiday art projects. Projects: Mom carved out a semi-circle from the base of the Pringles can & created wintery dioramas that looked suspiciously like nativity scenes minus the baby Jesus or any men that might be perceived as being wise. Pringles: Having been brought up by a mother brought up in a family where eating X-Mas dinner was a competitive death sport, one X-Mas Eve I surreptitiously ate all the Pringles, puked like a unicorn on heroin, and did not eat a potato chip for the rest of my childhood. Whilst dabbing the vomit from my purplish lips, dad commiserated by telling me how he had once become similarly sick after eating too much halvah. This would prove to be my favorite X-Mas memory ever. Thanks for sharing, dad. RIP. As a recalcitrant teen, I liked to wander the vacant streets of DeKalb on X-Mas Eve with my commie friend, Carl, whose commie parents had as little use for X-Mas rituals as did we secular Jews. Traversing athwart fields of snow, the college campus, and downtown, just us and frozen crickets; It was the sort of isolation befitting a couple of kids discussing Herman Hesse, humming some Joy Division dirge, and debating whether, when we got back to his house, we should watch The Elephant Man or Taxi Driver. I experienced my first bona fide X-Mas dinner in college, when my Lutheran girlfriend with a spectacularly Germanic name took me home with her to meet Mr. & Mrs., well, for narrative purposes, let’s call them Mr. & Mrs. Goebbels (because “The Hitlers” would lack the subtlety I’m striving for here). Yeah, so there I am with my girl, Brunhilde Goebbels, eating an X-Mas dinner of ham and wiener schnitzel in Germantown, Iowa, when Frau Goebbels, a nice lady who’d mistaken me for a nice boy, decided to include her lone un-Teutonic guest in their heretofore festive dinner palaver. “So Jeremy! What does your family talk about when they get together for Christmas dinner?” She and Herr Goebbels shared a smile of cordial, holiday cheer. “Ah y’know,” I frowned sadly at my bowl of sauerkraut. “Mostly we discuss The Holocaust.” X-mas crickets. Brunhilde lets go of my hand, which drops flaccidly into my lap. Something like ten silent minutes pass-by quite pleasantly. “Remember the Cohens?” The nice lady finally addresses her husband, who doesn’t look so damn cordial now. “They were such nice people. Oh! And the Levys! Whatever happened to the Levys?” Mrs. G had been an exemplary host, and sensing that she had run out of known Jews to list, I felt it my duty to answer her Levy query. “The gas chamber, I presume.” It did not go over as well as you might’ve presumed. Brunhilde socked me in the arm. Her mother looked pleadingly to the husband, who took a quit hit from his stein of Becks. “What the hell yuh want me to do?” he growled, turning to his wife. “Light him a can-


dle?” This was my second favorite X-Mas memory. Thank you, Herr Goebbels, for bringing a smile to an asshole’s face. That relationship having run its course, I moved to L.A. and married me an Italian girl whose father feted Jesus every 12/24 with a tray of lasagna and football on the TV. After he died, their family soon ceased X-Massing together due to tribal altercations that apparently had nothing to do with either me or Chinese food. Around this time, my parents visited L.A. for the holidays & I was drafted to chauffeur them around Hancock Park to gaze upon the surfeit nativity scenes of well-heeled lawns. Several blocks into our messianic excursion, the chauffeur threw away the script & hightailed it for Skid Row— parents & wife in tow— and its contrasting holiday vision. The Chauffeur was thusly fired by his parents, but I’m told he had no regrets. They say that parenthood causes one to re-think one’s pagan ways, to find religion as the case may be. I could tell you some stories about not finding religion (next month), but for now suffice it to say that the only thing my kids brought to the X-Mas equation was the discovery that I had married a gal who was pro-stocking, which isn’t quite the same as discovering your betrothed is a Republican, but it’s in the same ballpark. An infield bunt, maybe? Thus I entered middle-age spared the burden of X-Mas Eve observance, yet I was obliged to relive the cockcrow emptying of red & white stockings at the foot of a fireplace from my perch of dubious adulthood. This is what I observed: my sons were unequivocally appreciative of whatever the hell my wife chose to dump into their stockings the night before. A Kit Kat bar and a warm bottle of SoBe? What have we done to deserve such blessings? This is what I deduced: Either my boys had been raised right, or I had been (maybe still was/am) an unappreciative brat. Or both. Or neither. I hear some people are nice or mean in spite of the parenting dispensed upon them. My parents retired to Oxnard. As my sons mutated toward alleged manhood, we routinely spent X-Mas in Oxnard. Closing READ Books early on the 24th, we’d drive the 101N to meet my parents at whatever middling Ventura County Chinese restaurant that they futilely hoped would live up to their Brooklyn standards. The food was never going to be as good as they wanted to remember it having been back in the 1950’s, but nowadays we order too much of what we don’t so much like, instead of too little of what we once loved. No one fight overs portions. Is that not progress?


MONUMENTS, THE MONUMENTAL, AND US “MONUMENTality” at the Getty Research Institute

“MONUMENTality,” at the Getty Research Institute, looks at the human desire to create grand monuments to our ideals—monuments that may endure, but may also fall to time or new regimes or new ideals. The exhibit also places contemporary Los Angeles squarely within the context of humanity’s ongoing obsession with monumentality. The exhibit shows us that monumentality, designed to evoke strength, can really be a fragile thing. The city of Palmyra, Syria, shown here through the photography of Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, for centuries hosted monumental ruins that dated from the third to first centuries BCE—towering tombs and the entrance to a massive temple that could once accomodate thousands of worshipers. But in recent years, the structures have been destroyed by ISIS. Los Angeles puts a spin on the concept of monumentality. In its deification of the concept of sprawl, it lays the monument on its side. Ed Ruscha’s 25-foot long accordion book from 1966 depicts every building along the fabled Sunset Strip. Sixtyfive photographs shot at regular intervals from a low-flying helicopter by Lane Barden, depict water, rail, and automotive arteries that define Los Angeles. “The photographs in ‘Linear City’ seek to establish a new iconography about Los Angeles—an iconography that describes how Los Angeles functions, how it grows, and why it looks the way it looks…”, says Mr. Barden. Ed Ruscha, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, 1966 The monuments depicted in MONUMENTality serve as frames to focus our attention—be it the life of one small human remembered after death or something so vast as a slice of the cosmos. “The task of land art…,” writer and critic Lucy Lippard is quoted as saying, “is to focus landscapes too vast for the unaccustomed eye to take in, or to give us views into the cosmos, connecting the places where we stand with the places we will never stand.” The implications inherent in the exhibit are vast as well, as they potentially speak to questions in the world today. Sometimes a monument should stand for centuries, and we might justifiably condemn those powers such as ISIS that would presume to take it down. Sometimes a monument needs to be looked at with new eyes, as depicted in artist in residence Theaster Gates’ “Dancing Minstrel,” in which a monumental version of a toy depicting a racial stereotype pervasive in American culture lies toppled and disassembled on the gallery floor. The criteria for decision-making are an on-going issue. MONUMENTality Curated by Frances Terpak, Maristella Casciato, and Katherine Rochester, with input from Getty Scholars in Residence Through April 21 Getty Research Institute, Getty Center

The toppling of the Vendôme Column, Bruno Braquehais, 1871. The Getty Research Institute.

Theaster Gates, Dancing Minstrel, 2016 and 2018

Lane Barden and The Linear City, 2004-2005

Crossing Under the 134 Freeway from photographic project The Los Angeles River as Sunken Garden in the Linear City portfolio, Lane Barden, 2004–2005. The Getty Research Institute. © Lane Barden, 2018





Grand Park’s Winter Glow Light Experience (through December 25) and City Hall lit for World AIDS Day Los Angeles County Supervisors Katherine Barger and Janice Hahn and State Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, joined by young friends, light the Los Angeles County Christmas Tree


City Hall lit for World AIDS Day, Grand Park’s Winter Glow Light Experience (through December 25), and the Los Angeles County Christmas Tree



Help the Autry Design the Exhibit

Griffith Park is every Angeleno’s backyard. Whether it’s hiking, going to summer camp, riding the merry-go-round, or seeing the Observatory perched on the hill, the 4,000+ acre park is in some way part of everyone’s life. It is therefore fitting that the Autry Museum of the American West has taken the unusual step of inviting the public to help curate its upcoming exhibit in honor of the park’s 125th anniversary. A gallery space at the Autry is currently devoted to getting things started. There is information about the Tongva/Gabrielino relationship to the land. There is a collection of ephemera related to park rangers and park attractions, a collection that will grow with time. Two aspects of the park are singled out for special attention. Film clips show the important place the park has played as a setting through Hollywood history, beginning with Cecil DeMille’s “The Squaw Man” in 1913. And the wildlife of the park, including the famous mountain lion P-22 is represented. There is also interesting, if little known, information about aspects of the history of the land. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the FBI began arresting Japanese men living in Los Angeles, and many of them were held in Griffith Park. In 1942 and 1943, a Civilian Conservation Corp camp in the park became a processing station for Japanese, German, and Italian prisoners of war. From 1947 to 1954, the land now occupied by the museum and zoo was a Quonset hut village providing desperately needed housing for 6,000 adults and children. (And then there is the fact that the land is cursed…) Most importantly, the museum is asking for input—mementos, memories, and thoughts. Ideas based on input will be tested in 2019 and 2020, and then the grand opening of the installation will take place in conjunction with the anniversary. But the exhibit is already of interest now, as it is transformed into a reflection of the experiences of the people of Los Angeles.

Investigating Griffith Park at the Autry

Investigating Griffith Park The Autry in Griffith Park 4700 Western Heritage Way

Families of Rodger Young Village, post-World War II home to 6,000 residents in Griffith Park

“What interesting animals live in the park that you will probably never see? Western grey fox, horned lizards, mountain lion. Who is the most famous wild animal ever to live in Griffith Park? P-22, a male adult mountain lion.” “Hollywood Confidential,” 1997


LA Art News December 2018  

Happy Holidays to all! Here is the December 2018 issue of LA Art News. Enjoy!!

LA Art News December 2018  

Happy Holidays to all! Here is the December 2018 issue of LA Art News. Enjoy!!