What’s going on in the Antelope Valley?

What is going on in the Antelope Valley? Hey, thanks for asking.

As it happens, there is a good bit going on. If you are looking for some sites to see in the AV, check out the art scene.

The MOAH is currently featuring a show called, “British Invasion.” Among the two dozen artists included in the show is David Hockney, “one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century” (MOAH).  The work ranges in medium and in style as the show intends to both reference and update the 1960s musical and cultural British Invasion. Fittingly, these artists are showing work inspired by American culture, just as the American blues spurred the inspirations and innovations of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

 MOAH is excited to feature the work of several of the artists who participated in the original British Invasion of the sixties as well as a diverse group of up-and-coming and recently established Britons, whose California-inspired body of work could be said to comprise a contemporary British Invasion.

Also on exhibit at the downtown Lancaster art museum – “The Mojave Project.” This show includes paintings and photography by regional artists and artists interested in the desert region. Kim Stringfellow, Ron Pinkerton (image below) and Terry Cervantes are three of the eight artists taking part in this show.

The current exhibit is part of a larger, ongoing project that promises to fascinate desert and city dwellers alike.

From The Mojave Project:

The Mojave Project is a transmedia documentary and curatorial project led by Kim Stringfellow exploring the physical, geological and cultural landscape of the Mojave Desert. The Mojave Project reconsiders and establishes multiple ways in which to interpret this unique and complex landscape, through association and connection of seemingly unrelated sites, themes, and subjects thus creating a speculative and immersive experience for its audience.

The scope of the conversation represented by the Mojave Project is admirable, especially in a climate wherein flashy news trumps deeper discourse and distraction is king. The artists working with Kim Stringfellow on this project are going against the grain of the instantaneous and developing a substantial and sustained artistic dialogue on what the desert is, what it means, and what it kinds of ideas it contains.

Looking for more inspiration?

Reception: January 26, 6:30-8:30 pm, free. You may also view this exhibit January 26-March 12 during any public event.
Chuck Tedecshi

The city of Palmdale is hosting “Inspired by Nature” – Art by Chuck Tedeschi. The exhibit beings with an opening reception on January 26 and will be on display through March 12 at the Palmdale Playhouse.

Inspired By Nature - Art by Chuck Tedeschi
Chuck Tedeschi

 

Information on Tedeschi is hard to come by, but his work seems to speak for itself. The artist will be present at the opening reception so you can ask him how in the world he is doing what he does…

Also, as you scan the horizon for more arts-related events keep an eye out for happenings groups like these: LPACThe Lakes & Valleys Art Guild and The Antelope Valley Thespians.

For an outsider’s take on how the intersections between the arts, the desert’s open spaces and the Antelope Valley, check out this article from Curbed LA by Jennifer Swan.

Swan still has a 661 area code, according to her bio, so she is not the outsider here, not exactly. But she portrays an interesting image of the Lancaster, Palmdale, Mojave area – seen through the eyes of Venice Beach folks as a place simultaneously full of potential and kind of down-at-the-heels.

Giving a good amount of space in the article to local figures like Robert Benitez (a director of/at MOAH) and Larissa Nickel (artist, advocate, writer and professor), Swan ultimately poses a sort of bizarre question about whether or not the art scene is about to be gentrified here where the population has surpassed 500,000 and the average annual income is just slightly under the California state median income of $60,000.

Presuming Swan is clear on what gentrification means, she poses a strange and intriguing question that seems fitting for a region on the outskirts of Los Angeles, a city of big dreams, big incomes and also little dreams and little incomes. If there is a “culture creep” spreading from Los Angeles, what exactly does that culture consist of? And what does it mean if that culture – however vibrant, however exploratory, however chic – shows up on the outskirts of town?

The desert of the Antelope Valley certainly has wide open spaces and unoccupied territory, but if people occupy the scrub-brush and the dry-washes does that mean Palmdale has been gentrified? In Brooklyn, people didn’t gentrify the alleys and the warehouses…they bought the brownstones, right?

The Antelope Valley is often a projection, for Angelenos, of their own fantasies and biases and Swan would appear to ask what projection might win out: Will it be one that invites notions of a creatively inspiring blank slate and uses this invitation as a call to take ownership of the region’s arts mantle or one that sees the Antelope Valley as place with an identity of its own, defined by the people and artists who already live here?

The answer may clarify the fact that the ideas behind “desert gentrification” are anchored to psychology and class-consciousness as much as or more so than they are to actual class. Ultimately, Swan’s article examines the battle of ideas and identity that persistently crops up in and around the Antelope Valley. Take a look if you have a chance. It’s a really interesting read.

The last artist’s haven in Los Angeles” by Jennifer Swan.

 

The space at 5 Acres, a sign that says 5 Acres in red, with a fire pit, surrounded by desert.

 

The Big Draw @ the AVC Gallery

From the Antelope Valley College Art Gallery:

“The Big Draw-Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 11 am-1 p.m. Free and open to the public.

“Drawing is a universal language, connecting generations, cultures, and communities. Join us at the AVC Art Gallery on Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 11 am to 1 pm for a relaxed and fun collaborative drawing event in collaboration with the Big Draw LA!

“THE BIG DRAW LA is a regional celebration of the act of drawing. The Big Draw creates participatory opportunities for people of all ages to discover that drawing can help us: look more closely, inspire creative thinking, communicate with others, and have fun in the process.

“Ryman Arts launched the inaugural Big Draw LA in October 2010. Organizations of all sizes and kinds, from established institutions to small groups, are invited to sponsor, organize, or host an event during the month of October. Led by the Campaign for Drawing in London, the aim is to raise awareness of drawing’s power as tool for learning, observation, creativity, and social and cultural engagement.

“Let’s draw AV!”

The Art Gallery is located in Fine Arts Quad inside Building FA1, on the West side of the Antelope Valley College Campus, adjacent to the Performing Arts Theater.
Admission to the gallery is free. For additional information, please contact 661-722-6300 extension 6215, visit www.avc.edu/artgallery, email artgallery@avc.edu or follow us at facebook.com/avcartgallery.
Antelope Valley College Art Gallery
3014 West Avenue K
Lancaster, CA  91350
Hours  M-R: 9 am – 9 pm / F: 9 am – 2 pm

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The Land Becomes You – The Artwork of Phillip Aceves

A new show is going up at Sagebrush Cafe – October 15th, 2016.
“The Land Becomes You”
The Artwork of Phillip Aceves

Sagebrush Cafe

The Land Becomes You – The Artwork of Phillip Aceves

aceves-the-land-becomes-you

Join us for the opening reception of a show featuring new work by Phillip Aceves.

Inspired by his time in Arizona, these new paintings vibrate with a sensibility that feels like an echo of the spirit of the desert regions. But, as we in the Antelope Valley know, not all deserts are the same and they are, each and all, far from empty.

To find out more about Aceves and to see more his work, take a look at his Tumblr page.

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Kaleidoscope Art & Music Festival at the Palmdale Amphiteater – Call for Artists

Join us for this free event featuring Phat Cat Swinger, High D Boys, L.A. Cast of Beatlemania, Art of the Brew Craft Beer, Artisans, Visual & Performing Arts and more!The City of Palmdale is extending an invitation to a brand new arts event, Kaleidoscope, and reaching out with a call to artists:

The City of Palmdale is pleased to announce we are seeking artisan applications for our inaugural Kaleidoscope event that will be held on Saturday, October 8 2016 at the Palmdale Amphitheater. 

 Kaleidoscope is a unique art show of exhibitors who create original artwork, providing an opportunity for the general public to learn, enjoy and appreciate art and culture. To meet this purpose, Kaleidoscope is open to all artists as a place for the presentation and sale of their original, creative designs and work.

 To participate in this unique event, please complete the Kaleidoscope Application and Agreement (Artisan Application Agreement Final) and mail by September 22, 2016 to:

Recreation & Culture

Attn: Annie Pagliaro

38260 10th Street East

Palmdale, CA 93550

As you can see, the application is included here (just click the link above) and more details are available at the Palmdale Amphitheater website. Those details include booth fees and a description of what the directors of the event are looking for from artists.

The folks behind Kaleidoscope are casting a wide net, inviting participation from those “who work in blown glass, jewelry, printmaking, ceramics, leather, sculpture, clothing and textiles, mixed media, woodwork, fused glass, painting, illustration, photography and other forms of art.” So, if you make something and make it well, it seems like you’re invited. An especially interesting part of the concept for this event is its approach to the artistic process.

As part of each artist’s presentation, Kaleidoscope is asking for video, photo or other background material on the art and artist that will serve as “a demonstration of an essential element of the art/craft.” That little twist might make for a very interesting and engaging exhibition.

Live music is also part of the plan. Actually, the subtitle of the event is “Art & Music Festival,” so music is a big part of the plan. There is a nice article about the Kaleidoscope event over at AV Today with information on the bands that will be performing.

Oh, also, there will be beer. And food too, but, yes, Craft Beer.

So, spread the word. There is a booth fee to participate, as mentioned, but sales are encouraged and the actual event will be a free admission event.

This could be a really good thing.

AV Arts Convo – Pottery and Paintings by tjCervantes

AV Arts Convo – Pottery and Paintings by tjCervantes

Presenting artwork and an interview with tjCervantes

SATURATION 2.0: The Arts in Conversation project at Antelope Valley Arts is an ongoing, weekly publishing series: Local artists (painters, poets, photographers, fiction writers) have been invited to submit art and partake in a conversation on artistic influence and inspiration as the print arm of Antelope Valley Arts goes digital.

The conversation today turns to thoughts on collaboration, inspiration and the poetry of pottery in an interview with artist tjCervantes. Working across a number of media, notably uber-creative pottery, tjCervantes always finds a way to bring the whimsy of the Fantastic into her work, evoking the magic of mythology and the charm of fairy tales in pottery and paintings that reach back to the elfin and elemental sensibilities of the Middle English. In these works tjCervantes gives meaning to the idea that art is kind of “dreaming out loud.”

But she is not doing it alone.

tjCervantes mentions an ongoing collaborative project with Marthe Aponte in her interview and some works from that collaboration are included here.

And now, on with the show…

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Is there a certain emotional valence or emotional register that characterizes your work?

My artwork is characterized by the human emotion in a way that is both satirical and whimsical. I am a lover of fantasy, and like most storytellers, it is about the human condition.

I am a lover of moons, and nature, and a good story that will make me laugh, and make me think. Mostly, it’s about laughter, and that we are all in this together.

I love elegance in a morbid and surreal way. So the gods and goddesses show that side of me, as do my bugs that I am just developing. A collaboration is in the works with Marthe Aponte and I to show entomology at it finest.  I have done a few insects with watercolor, but Marthe’s picote gives so much elegance to the insects that I feel there will be more to come.  Three are finished already!

My gods and goddesses masks, moons, even the skeletons dancing on the cups show that whimsical,  satirical side. This affects everyone. They say, “oh, that reminds me of my brother, my friend’s child, or it just gives them a good feeling.

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Who or what are your major artistic influences?

I studied to be an illustrator, and I am a lover of a good fantasy. Combined with my love of pottery, I want my pottery to tell the story of a fantasy with moons talking, gods and goddesses pleasantly ruling in all their majesty, skeletons dancing, and insects and animals are having parties and weddings all by the light of the moon.  Yes, I am a dreamer, and dreams do come true!

My major influencers are from the past, Rene Magritte, he has been my life long influencer. One major influencer from the present is Kit Williams, who is an illustrator of a most fun type of book for adults and children. His book, Masquerade, is one of my favorites. And in pottery, I just found Kurt Weiss, who illustrates wonderful surreal scenes around wonderfully misshapen pottery that he has formed.

There are two people that stand out as catalysts for me to become a potter and an artist. Rich Sim is one. He taught me pottery and motivated me to go on to college to finish my degree in art. He is the only one that was my formal teacher of ceramics. And my dear, long time friend, Debra Bridgman., if it wasn’t for her, I would have been an accountant, lol. She encouraged me to take art classes in college with her. I am not sure I would have taken any art classes if it weren’t for her.  

There are really so many more people and things that influence me. My friends have especially influenced me. We bounce ideas off of one another, and critique our artwork together.  IMG_2432

And if it wasn’t for the current art scene, I am not sure I would have done the amount of art or met my artist friends that I do art with. The art crowd in the Antelope Valley is so enthusiastic to help other people show their art. The Sagebrush Café and MOAH are doing an exceptional job of putting current artwork and local artwork out to the public. Thank you, Eric Martin, Andi Campognone, and Robert Benitez for influencing me, and all of us artists in the Antelope Valley and beyond, to share our art!

And today’s world is what drives me to share my art to the public.

Since retiring six years ago, to become an artist, in the professional sense of the word, I started learning how to market my artwork online. Today, we can embrace the Internet and potentially the world.  The art world has become so huge, art abounds. And we can influence the world with our art. I am my own teacher now, and learning and loving every minute.

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Take a look at the latest from tjCervantes and see what she has on offer in these places: 


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AV Arts Convo – pop artist Michael Jones

AV Arts Convo – pop artist Michael Jones

Presenting Pop Artist Michael Jones

SATURATION 2.0: The Arts in Conversation project at Antelope Valley Arts is an ongoing, weekly publishing series: Local artists (painters, poets, photographers, fiction writers) have been invited to submit art and partake in a conversation on artistic influence and inspiration as the print arm of Antelope Valley Arts goes digital.

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Michael Jones, an exciting young pop artist whose vibrant colors and iconic images make his work timely and powerful. Michael’s positive message art created under street name Dream Bigger works to change the inner city dialogue of anger and hopelessness.


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Who is your favorite visual artist? How does he or she influence your work?

My favorite Artist is Basquiat aka Samo, his work inspires me because he wasn’t afraid to do what he wanted.
One of the most original and influential artists of his generation, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960 – 1988) produced deceptively unsophisticated-looking works that belied a complex and unique talent. Born in Brooklyn of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent, Basquiat first gained notoriety with graffiti artwork. He catapulted to fame with paintings that incorporated a fusion of words, symbols, stick figures, animals, and historical and cultural references. Befriended by Andy Warhol, Basquiat collaborated with the renowned Pop Artist on 100 artworks. Despite a career tragically cut short by a heroin overdose, Basquiat introduced the unique African-American and Latino experience to the elite art world.

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Is there a certain emotional valence or emotional register that characterizes your work?
 

Yes I would say happy haha Most of my art is bright, with bold colors. I want to portray happiness on canvas threw colors if that makes any sense at all.The art to losing yourself in life, is to first love yourself and appreciate the beauty of your place in the world.

 

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AV Arts Convo: Museology by Larissa Nickel

AV Arts Convo – featuring museology – art, design and display – by Larissa Nickel

Presenting Museology – Art, Design and Display – by Larissa Nickel

SATURATION 2.0: The Arts in Conversation project at Antelope Valley Arts is an ongoing, weekly publishing series: Local artists (painters, poets, photographers, fiction writers) have been invited to submit art and partake in a conversation on artistic influence and inspiration as the print arm of Antelope Valley Arts goes digital.

Museology is a term that Larissa Nickel uses as part of her description of what she is up to as an artist, what she is looking at and looking through.

I create works and collective projects that address the museology process as more than just a container of materialism, but also as a conceptual space with performative qualities that activates object theatre and expressive curiosity.

A long time advocate for local artists, Nickel is a professor and museum scholar with ties to KCET through arts projects like Hinterculture that emphasize a creative and ecologically-sound relationship between locals and the local landscape. In an article for KCET, Nickel quotes artist David Hockney describing “the process of looking” as a focal interest in the creative experience, as well as the experience of viewing art. Nickel’s museology approach is seems bound up with this notion of “the process of looking” and so becomes as complexly intellectual as it is frankly aesthetic.


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Who is your favorite writer? How does he or she influence your work?

I don’t necessarily have a favorite writer, but there is a common literary thread in theme and device that is influential in my work. Specifically narrative and storytelling concepts such as nonsense literature and the visual/sound devices in Alice in Wonderland, and the wider genre of science fiction such as Frankenstein or Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer have influenced my work including ideas in bioengineering, and nanotechnology. I love magical realism such as Love in the Time of Cholera, and recurring issues of utopia/dystopia which have been in my work for some time. My projects and research on the utopian/dystopian community of Llano del Rio, and dystopian/utopia of illegal dumping in the eco-art project DEHSART (trashed backwards) address our preconceived ideas and the speculative future of these nonsensical binaries.

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Who or what are your major artistic influences?

Life is probably the biggest influence, but that can be considered more specifically as the transdiciplinary reach of the arts and humanities. Art, design, philosophy, literature, music, science, film, architecture, new media, etc are all influential factors as well as curiosity, memory, and my muse the museum. Theorists such as Donna Haraway, and Elizabeth Grosz, have weighed on my ideas in many ways, as well as aesthetic and conceptual connections with the visual art practice of Hannah Wilke, Louise Nevelson, and Marcel Duchamp. The history of technology, and the cabinet of curiosities are things I am constantly wondering about, as are mapping, surveillance, and theories of place/identity such as in Lucy Lippard’s critique and explorations. I’m also engaged in the hybridized identity of artist, curator, educator, and activist and how those entities coalesce and divide in our evolution, and ethics as yet another approach to understanding/influencing our future selves.LarissaNickel_Alice


Keep up with Larissa Nickel and find out more at her website – larissanickel.com.

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