LA County Arts Commission's Free Summer Concert Series Presents The kings of 88

Saturday, August 11, 7-10pm in Shaun Diamond Plaza

Since its inception in 1947, the Arts Commission has administered funding for free concerts at venues throughout LA County as part of the Free Concerts in Public Sites Program. From June to October, concerts are held in parks, outdoor amphitheatres, community centers, libraries, museums and more, and feature LA County artists representing a broad range of genres including Americana, blues, Caribbean, cumbia, mariachi, jazz, klezmer, pop, rock and R&B.

The program provides support to organizations presenting accessible, quality music programming that represents the diversity of the region. Artists who perform as part of the Free Concerts in Public Sites program are chosen by the concert presenters from the Arts Commission’s Musicians Roster, a vetted list of over 100 LA County-based groups representing a range of musical styles.

Covering everyone from Billy Joel and Elton John to Ray Charles and Jerry Lee Lewis, the Kings of 88 are a tribute band to the legends of piano rock. Unlike other tribute acts who perform works from one specific artist, these four professional musicians present iconic classics of the genre as a whole, in addition to contemporary artists who are continuing the piano rock tradition.

Downtown Pomona business owners denounce initiative that could allow marijuana shops in the historic core

By LISET MÁRQUEZ | lmarquez@scng.com | Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
PUBLISHED: August 5, 2018 at 7:25 am | UPDATED: August 5, 2018 at 9:55 am


A group of property owners in downtown Pomona is making it very clear: Despite a proposed measure on the November ballot that could usher marijuana businesses into town, they don’t want them in their neighborhood.

Earlier this year, proponents of an initiative that aims to overturn Pomona’s ban on commercial marijuana operations completed the first step in getting the measure on the November ballot. The signatures are under review by the City Clerk and could be placed on the ballot in the coming weeks.

In an open letter dated Aug. 1, Larry Egan, executive director of the Downtown Pomona Owners Association, said there was never any input from property owners about the initiative.

“No one was ever consulted by the cannabis industry,” he said by phone Friday. “We’re not anti-cannabis. We’re not anti-marijuana. It’s just not a good fit. We want to see a comprehensive plan that doesn’t put it all in the downtown.”

Arts Colony developer Ed Tessier raised the issue with the association’s board after learning some in the community believe the business district is behind the proposed ballot.

To the contrary, property owners take issue with it because the cannabis act seeks to throw out the zoning plans that have guided the development of Antique Row, the Arts Colony and Western University since 1994, Tessier said.

Tessier didn’t mince words: The proposed ballot measure is “a direct threat to all the ways the downtown is helping to improve the reputation of Pomona.”

While the property owners recognize recreational and medical use of marijuana is the “law of the land,” Tessier said, that doesn’t mean cannabis-related businesses should locate “in the heart of our historic downtown.”

Pomona banned commercial marijuana operations in late 2017.

In recent weeks, the City Council has had umerous discussions about the resident-backed proposed ordinance. It would amend Pomona’s laws to allow commercial cannabis use in two new zones: a self-described “safety access cannabis” zone in the middle of downtown and pockets of industrial areas throughout the city.

The safe access zone, which would be two blocks north of the Civic Center and in a portion of the business district, would allow storefront, retail, micro-business and distribution uses in the area bound by Monterey Avenue, Third Street, Locust Avenue and Parcels Street; 100 parcels are within this zone.

The ballot measure could allow as many as six dispensaries in the downtown, Councilman Rubio Gonzalez said. Pomona leaders are considering putting up a competing ordinance which would allow activity in other parts of the city, not concentrated in the historic core.

“The City Council’s cannabis ordinance, which is guaranteed to be far more conservative, would at most put one dispensary downtown,” said Gonzalez, who is also an alternate member of the downtown association’s board of directors.

The association’s board of directors unanimously voted their desire to be “a cannabis-free downtown,” the Aug. 1 letter stated. Gonzalez, Councilwoman Adriana Robledo and Kirk Pelser, Pomona’s deputy city manager, and planning Commissioner Carolyn Hemming abstained.

The resident-backed proposed initiative would prohibit cannabis businesses within 600 feet of a school, daycare, or youth center as defined by state law. Because of that, Tessier said the cannabis measure would concentrate marijuana activity in Pomona in just a couple of blocks on the east side of Garey Avenue between Second and Fourth streets.

In the last decade, Egan said he’s heard of about three or four shops that have opened illegally downtown. But weeks before the ballot initiative was presented, a cannabis operator approached a property owner on the north side of Second Street, proposing to pay $3 a square foot for a 5,000-square-foot space. A downtown spot, on the high-end, might rent for $1.10 a square foot, Egan explained. The property owner declined the offer, he added.

“We’d like the council to come out with a more thoughtful ordinance,” Egan said. “We think a well-regulated cannabis ordinance will work for the city and bring in new revenues.”

After long absence, Cafe Con Libros returns for seconds in downtown Pomona

Adi Bautista, left, and Pati DeRobles, owners of Cafe Con Libros, a nonprofit bookstore, lending library and meeting space in downtown Pomona on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Adi Bautista, left, and Pati DeRobles, owners of Cafe Con Libros, a nonprofit bookstore, lending library and meeting space in downtown Pomona on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By DAVID ALLEN | dallen@scng.com | Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
PUBLISHED: July 27, 2018 at 4:15 pm | UPDATED: July 30, 2018 at 11:55 am

If someone hadn’t been to the Pomona Arts Colony in a couple of decades, they might be pleased to see that Cafe con Libros was still in business, albeit in an unfamiliar location. And that Adelaida “Adi” Bautista and Patricia “Pati” DeRobles remained as owners.

In fact, the bookstore and meeting spot, which opened in 1997, closed in 2002. Last fall, after an absence of 15 years, the business returned, as if it had never gone away.

I’m one of those who remembers the original, although from a distance, as I never stepped inside. Still, when the name Cafe con Libros suddenly appeared last summer on the exterior of the former Futures Collide vintage furniture store, it was like a blast from the past. The store opened in October and has been establishing itself anew.

“There are people who think we’re new, and people who remembered the original bookstore,” DeRobles said.

Cafe con Libros was the brainchild of Bautista and DeRobles, who met as students at the University of La Verne. They connected as Mexican-American immigrants, first-generation college students and women studying to become teachers.

A few years later, their lives took a turn during a conversation with their friend Vern Mascorro. He had opened Postal Xtra in the fledgling Arts Colony, the portion of downtown west of Garey Avenue whose newly renovated buildings were now home to artist lofts, live-work spaces and galleries.

Mascorro asked them: “If you could open a business, what would it be?” A bookstore, they decided. “Then why don’t you?” he challenged them.

Inspired, the pair rented space on Main Street between George Cuttress’ frame shop and the dA Center for the Arts, sharing a loft and opening their bookstore below. They took its name from the bookstore in the Robert Rodriguez movie “El Mariachi.” It’s a play on cafe con leche, coffee with milk. They made it Cafe con Libros, coffee with books.

Coffee, however, was not a strong component. “We’re not really coffee people,” Bautista said. They sold coffee beans and had an urn of black coffee for events.

The focus was on books by and about women and children of color. “We were told there was no market for that. Well, we’re the market for that,” DeRobles said.

Cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz and the performance troupe Culture Clash were guests. A lesbian Latina group needing a safe space met there. Reading time for children was incorporated. Eldridge Cleaver, the Black Panther minister of information who lived out his last months downtown, was a fixture.

Sign up for The Localist, our daily email newsletter with handpicked stories relevant to where you live. Subscribe here.

The pair had one employee and helpful friends who filled in while they worked their day jobs. Bautista moved on, while DeRobles relocated the space to the corner of Third and Thomas streets before deciding to pack it in when her third child was born.

The two remained friends and kept in touch. DeRobles said her children often brought up the store and asked when it was coming back. “Sometimes things live long in your imagination,” she said.

Last Mother’s Day, she was showing her children the two previous locations for Cafe con Libros when she noticed the original had a “for lease” sign. She texted Bautista and asked if she’d be game for relaunching the store. She was.

They met with friends to brainstorm ideas and narrow them into a vision of a social space, lending library and bookstore. One motivation for returning was to push back against their personal feelings of helplessness as immigrants. In Bautista’s words, “How do we maintain our sanity and our dignity in this political environment?”

Ultimately they opted for a space at 280 W. 2nd St. around the corner from their first spot, one with hardwood floors and exposed brick walls. (Bautista notes that the store has been located on three sides of the same square block.) They decorated with donated and reclaimed furniture and interior and exterior murals by Edmar Orozco.

Cafe con Libros is different this time. “We thought we might be more sustainable as a nonprofit,” DeRobles said. A board of directors helps meet the rent. Letting go of the profit motive has sharpened the mission. “We’re more intentional about our work in the community,” DeRobles said.

New and used books are up front, most by writers of color, but also including the Hunger Games trilogy. The store also has T-shirts, posters and crafts with Frida Kahlo and Selena imagery and consignment jewelry.

“People who walk in, their first question is: ‘What is this? Is it a library, a bookstore, an art gallery?’” DeRobles recounted.

“Four or five people a day come in and ask for coffee,” Bautista added. They now have a table with bags of coffee for sale. “We’re still working on the ‘cafe’ part,” she said.

Cafe con Libros isn’t really about selling things or making money — which may prove to be a problem. The pair are trying to provide an inviting space for open-mic nights, writing workshops, clubs and other events, and simply face to face contact. “It’s a very Mexican thing, to be welcoming,” DeRobles said.

They also want to increase access to books, an anchor in both their lives and a counterpoint to an electronic society. “Anyone who walks in can walk out with a book, whether they buy it or borrow it,” Bautista said.

When I visited Wednesday, a half-dozen young people were using the plush, well-worn sofas and chairs as they worked on laptops or chatted.

“If you want to host an event here, they encourage it,” said Mirabel Escobedo, 23, who meets high school students there for mentoring. “The environment is very peaceful and calm.”

Her friend Selena Pacheco, 23, called it one of downtown’s “places of thought,” like the dA and Mi Cafecito. “People really want places like this,” she said. “It’s also great that it’s centered on Latino culture.”

Arts Colony developer Ed Tessier told me later that he’s fond of both Bautista and DeRobles and happy about Cafe con Libros’ return. “It feels like a family reunion,” he said. “They really helped define the character of the neighborhood. It’s great to have them back and exciting to see all the collaborations they’re working on.”

Most of the labor is by volunteers, some of them board members. DeRobles said she and Bautista don’t consider the store theirs but rather are trying to encourage volunteers to take spiritual ownership of it.

One reason is time: Bautista, 47, is a speech pathologist in Downey and DeRobles, 48, is an assistant principal in Riverside. Another is that younger people have good ideas and may be able to keep the store going into the future.

“They have energy,” DeRobles said. “They have social media savvy,” Bautista chimed in. With a self-deprecating chuckle, DeRobles added, “They have more brain cells.”

David Allen writes Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, killing brain cells. Email dallen@scng.com, phone 909-483-9339, visit insidesocal.com/davidallen, like davidallencolumnist on Facebook, follow @davidallen909 on Twitter and buy “Getting Started” and “Pomona A to Z.”

 

A vote of confidence in downtown Pomona as business district is renewed

Larry Egan, executive director of the Downtown Pomona Owners Association, helped win its renewal for another decade. (Photo by David Allen)

Larry Egan, executive director of the Downtown Pomona Owners Association, helped win its renewal for another decade. (Photo by David Allen)

 David Allen July 19, 2018, 8:00 pm

Downtown Pomona’s business improvement district will stick around through 2028 after property owners voted overwhelmingly to keep paying for extra security, cleanup, marketing and events like the Christmas Parade and Second Saturday Art Walk.

Nearly 100 property owners agreed to continue assessing themselves a collective $1 million per year. The vote was 78 percent in favor, up from 74 percent when the Downtown Pomona Owners Association last came up for certification in 2009.

While City Hall is the largest property owner in the district, the affirmative vote of private property owners — including Western University of Health Sciences, the Tessier family and the Tower office building — added up to 67 percent, according to DPOA executive director Larry Egan.

The new boundaries are Garey and Monterey avenues and Main and First streets, a modest expansion, plus the old YMCA at its new owner’s request over to Gibbs Street.

There were dissenters, including a glass shop owner near Gibbs who’ll have to pay $5,000 a year for what she considers scant benefit. One attorney who owns multiple properties on Mission Boulevard got two ballots and split his vote, telling Egan he saw the district’s benefit for one but not the other.

Overall, though, there was little overt opposition compared to 2009, the first renewal after the district’s 2004 formation. The City Council accepted the results Monday.

What’s ahead in the next 10 years? “We want to stay on the same path we’re on now — safe and clean, and make downtown conducive to development,” Egan, executive director since 2007, told me Wednesday. “The goal is to be out of business, ‘We don’t need you anymore.’ Then we’ll have done our job.”

Egan, by the way, had planned to retire June 30, but while recuperating from a health scare earlier this year, he got restless. “I don’t want to resign. I need a purpose,” Egan, 75, recalled thinking. “What am I going to do, clip coupons?”

The board of directors hired him back. Apparently, they still need him. The coupons can wait.

2nd Saturday Artwalk July 2018

July may be the hottest month of the year (hence the name Dog Days of Summer), but there’s plenty of awesome weaved in there, too. Not only is it National Blueberry Month (break out the granola and/or pie crusts), it’s also National Cell Phone Courtesy Month -- which sounds like blissful, wishful thinking. The second week of July is Nude Recreation Week (because who doesn’t want to roast all of their delicate bits), but most importantly, it’s National Anti-Boredom month. That means it’s basically illegal to be bored in July (“only boring people get bored!” mother used to wail) and the galleries in Downtown Pomona can ensure you don’t get cited for displaying ennui if you trek on down to the Art walk to give your brains a bump. 

Metro Gallery opens “Detour,” a solo show by Charisse Abellana, an American-Filipino artist whose paintings are inspired by the values and cultures of both sides of her heritage, and 57 Underground presents the work of ART LAB GROUP in “HARMONY + ART = PEOPLE.” Curated by Oscar Leal, the project features paintings created by differently-abled artists as they listened to a variety of music styles, including classical, country and hip hop, and painted what they felt. The result is a fascinating exploration of how music influences creativity and produces unique understandings.

Charisse Abellana, Western Wilderness3. 24 x 30 Oil on Canvas. Metro Gallery

Charisse Abellana, Western Wilderness3. 24 x 30 Oil on Canvas. Metro Gallery

Charisse Abellana, Western Wilderness1. 18 x 24 Oil on Canvas. Metro Gallery

Charisse Abellana, Western Wilderness1. 18 x 24 Oil on Canvas. Metro Gallery

57 Underground

57 Underground

The Latino Art Museum presents the group show “Independence vs Independent,” featuring the work of Mati Russo, Eduardo Medrano. Charisse Abellana, Rigo Rivas, Lina Garcia, Carolina Garino-Tabit, Celeste Illazki, Juan Carlos Boxler, and David Cruz in their Main Salon East, as well as a Fundraising exhibition from their permanent collection of “Art on Paper,” in the Main Salon South.

Angie Culosso,  Untitled . Acrylic on Paper. Latino Art Museum

Angie Culosso, Untitled. Acrylic on Paper. Latino Art Museum

Graciela Horne Nardi,  Are not guilty,  d o not do more harm . Latino Art Museum

Graciela Horne Nardi, Are not guilty, do not do more harm. Latino Art Museum

Rigo Rivas.  Inside, Looking Out . Latino Art Museum

Rigo Rivas. Inside, Looking Out. Latino Art Museum

Elisa Armendariz  La Infanta-La Menina . Latino Art Museum

Elisa Armendariz La Infanta-La Menina. Latino Art Museum

Charisse Abellana.  Blue Perfume Bottle.  Latino Art Museum

Charisse Abellana. Blue Perfume Bottle. Latino Art Museum

Progress Gallery opens “InBetween,” a group show from Azusa Pacific University MFA graduate students Daniel Hall (installation), Norris Archer Harrington (photography), Diana Isho (narrative illustration), Brianne Witt (narrative drawing), John David Yanke (mattress spring sculptures), and Molly Zakrajsek (fine art pattern and design). Focusing on the spaces in-between art and understanding, the exhibit offers up images and objects for viewers to reconsider, and reflect upon the way connections are made between multifarious worlds.

Progress Gallery

Progress Gallery

Progress Gallery

Progress Gallery

Progress Gallery

Progress Gallery

The Alley Gallery dips into the spicy side of life and art with “Bondage Art Exhibition,” focusing on the exotic, erotic, and fetish worlds that create their own kind of artistic expression. Guests must be 18+ to attend.

Last but not least, the dA Center for the Arts continues last month’s group show “Sanctuary,” which explores the current climate of fear and isolation thrust upon vulnerable populations in our own country and across the world, offering love, hope and solidarity with those seeking refuge in the light. 
                                                                                -Stacy Davies

Celine Jacques,  I'll be a Living Sanctuary for you . dA Center for the Arts

Celine Jacques, I'll be a Living Sanctuary for you. dA Center for the Arts

Eric Almanza,  In Search for a New Home . dA Center for the Arts

Eric Almanza, In Search for a New Home. dA Center for the Arts

The Kings of 88 come to Downtown Pomona August 11

The Kings of 88

The Kings of 88

LA County Arts Commission's Free Summer Concerts

Since its inception in 1947, the Arts Commission has administered funding for free concerts at venues throughout LA County as part of the Free Concerts in Public Sites Program. From June to October, concerts are held in parks, outdoor amphitheaters, community centers, libraries, museums and more, and feature LA County artists representing a broad range of genres including Americana, blues, Caribbean, cumbia, mariachi, jazz, klezmer, pop, rock and R&B.

The program provides support to organizations presenting accessible, quality music programming that represents the diversity of the region. Artists who perform as part of the Free Concerts in Public Sites program are chosen by the concert presenters from the Arts Commission’s Musicians Roster, a vetted list of over 100 LA County-based groups representing a range of musical styles.
The Kings of 88 will be performing in Shaun Diamond Plaza during the 2nd Saturday Artwalk, Saturday August 11, 7pm-10pm

2nd Saturday Artwalk June 2018

Summer’s just over the horizon, but before you sizzle and sweat your soul away, check out the hottest offerings from Downtown Pomona in June!

The Latino Art Museum offers up their signature style group show, featuring works from artists hailing from Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Chile, El Salvador and Columbia. Curated by Graciela Horne Nardi, this series of acrylic, oil, watercolor, mix media, ink and rock installation expressions come from artists Silvia Garcia, Rosa Elena Osicka, Iris Vodopivec, Eduardo Medrano, Carolina Garino-Tabit, Maria de los Angeles Espinosa, Claudia Cogo

Carla Chavez-Keller, Rebecca Nabarrete, Angie Culasso, Su Horne, Juan Carlos Boxler, Rigo Rivas, Mati Russo, Yolanda Londoño, and Luis Molina – and promise to ignite passions and perceptions galore!

57 Underground celebrates longtime Pomona artist and Cal State Fullerton MFA alum Mervyn Seldon with a retrospective of her early work in “The First 20 Years: Mervyn Seldon’s Favorite Paintings, 1998-2018.” Filled with unique expressions of color and design taken from myriad experiences in her life, the artist’s development can be traced over the years – from her beginnings in still life fruits plucked from her husband’s garden to modern abstractions that reflect the conflicts of our modern time.

Likewise, encaustic artist Karen Ruth Karlsson is a much-heralded creator in the downtown scene, and opens her solo show “Something Just Like This” at the Metro Gallery, featuring printmaking monotypes, collagraphs and etchings. 

The Alley Gallery attempts to cash-in on the current Deadpool love with “Daddy Needs To Express Some ART,” an exhibition themed around the iconic character that also includes an evening of vendors, live art, prizes, raffles and cosplay – which is both welcomed and encouraged!

And last but definitely not least, the School of Arts and Enterprise (SAE) spotlights three of its most impressive AP art students – Jenneyda Rojas, Andrew Carter, and J. Sayer – in “Futures,” featuring everything from the sassy to the surreal
                                                                                                   -Stacy Davies

2nd Saturday Artwalk May 2018

The world is a heap of crazy these days, and with information overload— and most of it not ideal—art swoops in like a warrior to take your pain away! Unlike a hilarious female comedian who brilliantly speaks truth to power at fancy journalist dinners, art won’t give you the same ratatat – but it can provide a refuge where your head and heart reconnect and your optimism flourishes.

The Latino Art Museum is high on the list of positivity, especially this month as they unveil their “Immigrant Mural” by Yolanda Londoño and Luis Fernando Molina, a 6x12 vision of humanity and hope. Londoño and Molina also take over the Main Salon East for a duo show, and in Main Salons South and West, the group show “Immigrants in Pomona” features the lush works of Charisse Abellana, Nurit Avisar, Juan Carlos Boxler, Arthur Carrillo, Ayumi Dickson, Marcela El-Ayoubi, Steven Felix-Jagger, Sergio Hernandez, Eduardo Medrano, Moises Mendoza, Rosa Elena Osicka, Eva Perez, Rigo Rivas, Mati Russo, Iris Vodopivec, Gabriela Zapata, Guillermo Lefranc, Rebecca Nabarrete and Beatriz Hidalgo de la Garza. 

Gabriela Zapata- Latino Art Museum

Gabriela Zapata- Latino Art Museum

Marcela El-Ayoubi- Latino Art Museum

Marcela El-Ayoubi- Latino Art Museum

Steven Felix-Jagger- Latino Art Museum

Steven Felix-Jagger- Latino Art Museum

Luis Fernando Molina- Latino Art Museum

Luis Fernando Molina- Latino Art Museum

Yolanda Londono- Latino Art Museum

Yolanda Londono- Latino Art Museum

The Progress Gallery presents “Intuitive Paintings of Inspiration,” a collection of positive-agenda works by Shellise Berry, who was once a law enforcement professional (including a 911 operator, a jailor, and a crime analyst). Berry uses her experiences of intuition to inform her lush and vibrant work, this time showcasing the talents of her right-side brain.

"Temperance" Shellise Berry- The Progress Gallery

"Temperance" Shellise Berry- The Progress Gallery

" Mercies" Shellise Berry- The Progress Gallery

"
Mercies" Shellise Berry- The Progress Gallery

Metro Gallery explores the use of medium and format film in “Obsolete Perspectives,” a collection of work produced by the students of Chaffey College’s intermediate photography class. The prominence of digital photography has usurped celluloid photography, causing film to become an obsolete craft facing termination from curriculums at many schools and colleges. This exhibition serves as a reminder that old-tech is not necessarily old-art, and showcases a group of artists who forge onward in the analogue realm to produce photography in its rawest form. 

Vanessa Aguilar, Mark Caballero, Raylene De La Torre, Alexys Garcia, Connie Gutierrez, Amber Hazlett, Trent Liendo, Jason Miller, Jessica Murray, Lazaro Reyes, Mary Bernadette Sanchez, Alexandra Uribe, German Valdes, Alyssa Vasquez, Joshua Vega. -The Metro Gallery

Vanessa Aguilar, Mark Caballero, Raylene De La Torre, Alexys Garcia, Connie Gutierrez, Amber Hazlett, Trent Liendo, Jason Miller, Jessica Murray, Lazaro Reyes, Mary Bernadette Sanchez, Alexandra Uribe, German Valdes, Alyssa Vasquez, Joshua Vega. -The Metro Gallery

The School of Arts and Enterprise (SAE) presents the “Second Annual SAE Arts Festival,” featuring performances and work from students in the 6-12 grade who share with the public the skills they’ve acquired while attending The SAE. 
The entire Art Walk day is filled with workshops and demonstrations, including a Symphonic Band Performance and Sight Reading Demo, a Jazz Combo Performance and Improvisation clinic, a Pop/Rock Ensemble Performance featuring Original Protest Songs, an Acting Technique Showcase, Street Pop Up Monologues, a Chance to Dance open class catered to dancers with special needs, the Family Grooves open level hip hop class for dancers to enjoy with their families, a Documentary Filming Booth, and the Exhibition of Student Work and Assorted Art Activities at the Downtown Center. See the SAE site for times, locations and additional events.  
                                                                                                     -Stacy Davies
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                   

2nd Saturday Artwalk April 2018


Art is in bloom as the Downtown bursts forth with a host of new exhibitions from a diverse group of visionary creators. 
Kicking off on Art Walk night, Metro Gallery welcomes Daily Bulletin columnist David Allen, who’ll be reading from his two books, Pomona A to Z and Getting Started, sharing experiences and anecdotes and answering questions from the audience. Allen will also be signing books, and light refreshments will be served. 

Christian Thompson, "Untitled", Lofton2nd

Christian Thompson, "Untitled", Lofton2nd

LOFTon2nd presents “LOTUS Creative Experience,” curated by Disney design artist Christian Thompson and featuring work from Thompson and his colleagues that experiment with digital design, color, and photography that invites onlookers into the life of a not-so-glamorous creative world.

The Latino Art Museum opens two shows. The Main Salon presents the solo work of muralist and digital photographic artist Guillermo Bejarano, whose paintings are influenced by American Post-Expressionism and the Mexican School of Art (mural tradition) in Mexico City. Diving deep into abstraction, Bejarano’s paintings center on the transformation, transfiguring, and transporting of energy and beauty throughout the universe, a creation aspect that directly feeds into the Mayan philosophical concept about one’s own creativity or existence as manifested through art.

Guillermo Bejarano,  "Cinco Mandos", Latino Art Museum

Guillermo Bejarano,  "Cinco Mandos", Latino Art Museum

Guillermo Bejarano, "Earth Maiden III", Latino Art Museum

Guillermo Bejarano, "Earth Maiden III", Latino Art Museum

The Grand Salon West and Main Salon South feature exhibitions from Spain, as well as the “International Collection,” curated by Diana Moya and Gorgonio Sanjuan that presents the work of 50 artists from all over Europe.

Alicia Rubio, Latino Art Museum 

Alicia Rubio, Latino Art Museum 

Emilio Romero, Latino Art Museum

Emilio Romero, Latino Art Museum

Fran Berrago, Latino Art Museum

Fran Berrago, Latino Art Museum

Francana, Latino Art Museum

Francana, Latino Art Museum

57 Underground offers you a “Bail Out!!” – a group show featuring works from Jeanne Anderson, Karen Duckles, Georgia Garside,  Susan Ilsey, Ken Johnson, Mervyn Seldon, Chris Toovey, DA Ward, Yi-li Chin Ward, and Peter Zou who use everything from found objects to Confucianism to re-imagined classic movie collages to tell the stories of primal nature, industrialized societies, and humanity. 

Karen Duckles, "Inside the Box", 57 Underground

Karen Duckles, "Inside the Box", 57 Underground

DA Ward, "Dorothy's Choice", 57 Underground

DA Ward, "Dorothy's Choice", 57 Underground

Peter Zhou, "China Town Ball Out", 57 Underground

Peter Zhou, "China Town Ball Out", 57 Underground

Progress Gallery welcomes Joe Ded (Joe Walsh) for the solo show “Transmission 57,” a series of works that explore the concept that human bodies are the transmitters of signals from unknown dimensions. According to Ded, the number five symbolizes man and the number seven is the divine number of completeness. Ded’s work is a blend of street art, abstract expressionism and art deco styles, and keep the subject matter playful and filled with hints of pop culture references. 

Joe Ded, "Dance of Death Alphabet", 10 x 10

Joe Ded, "Dance of Death Alphabet", 10 x 10

Joe Ded, "Fire Ants Walk With Me" 36 x 36, Progress Gallery

Joe Ded, "Fire Ants Walk With Me" 36 x 36, Progress Gallery

Also on display, the School of Arts and Enterprise (SAE) presents their annual AP Visual and Digital Arts Exhibition, featuring works from 22 advanced-placement art students who have all been accepted into four-year colleges or private universities – half of them on scholarship.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             -Stacy Davies