It’s going to be a blast. If you don’t get a chance to submit and participate as an artist in the event, you can participate by coming out to celebrate the artists of our community as well as a couple small businesses that are known for showcasing local talent in the Antelope Valley.
If you grow up in a family of artists, it’s not always easy to be an artist yourself. Instead of being “the creative one” and standing out, your creativity is given automatic comparison. Any artistic freedom and open-ended exploration of ideas can be dampened by a sense of a pressure to compete or to perform at a certain level. It can drive you away from art entirely.
With an artist for a mother and two artistically talented older sisters, Maggie SanFilippo was not always sure that she wanted to enter the fray. She followed her own path. But – and here’s the thing – that path seems to have always pointed back to art.
Doing costume design in the film industry and working for years as an entrepreneur in the area of vintage and hand-made furniture, SanFilippo never strayed far from art, even if she didn’t think of herself as an artist. She works in fields where design and aesthetics are central. Her furniture work in particular had her hustling to rescue and refurbish furniture, applying some imagination to give life back to thrift store finds and in that way bring new ideas to life.
She found herself naturally drawn to musicians and photographers. Maybe she tricked herself in a very quiet way into becoming an artist despite the fact that she wouldn’t have given herself that title. Or maybe she was just waiting for the right encouragement.
When her boyfriend and business partner, musician Ainsley Hubbard encouraged SanFilippo to take her occasional sketches and run with them, the moment seemed right and she did.
In Conjuring Marz, SanFilippo’s show at Sagebrush Café and her first solo show – you can see the process of “running with it” at work in a collection of pieces combining sketching and water color that become a sort of jazz-couture style: firm lines and inventive improvisations of color, gesture and attitude that bring to mind both Ella Fitzgerald and Coco Channel.
And there is a very deliberate harkening back to the past in Conjuring Marz. SanFilippo was inspired to create some pieces for the show while she was watching Feud, the television series about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, figures of glamour and great emotion – and a scrappy determination to insist on themselves and on their own success.
The style that is at work in Conjuring Marz calls on a certain understatement that hides in plain sight. Many of the pieces contrast vivid splashes of color with images of composure and self-possession. There is something in the drawn figures that the color points to, but the faces aren’t giving anything away.
So the joy that seems to shout itself from the bright and quite direct works in the show becomes at least a little bit complicated. There is something else here too.
Many of the figures in the drawings are wearing sunglasses, holding something back, maintaining a cool secret. That, in a way, is what elegance is – flair that is at the same time somehow restraint.
In Conjuring Marz, SanFilippo gives us a set of pieces that seem like the result of a meditation on this dance between the said and the unsaid. There is a sense that the stage sees what the actress wants to show but those inevitable off-stage incidents, those episodes in the wings are what stand behind the knowing smile when the actress takes her bow.
ON ALL Eve – Figuring the Volume of a Utopian Cylinder
Positional Projects invites the community to:
JOIN US FOR A SHORT DESERT WALK, REVISITING THE LLANO DEL RIO COLONY 100 YEARS AGO FOLLOWED BY A SPECIAL EVENING SOUND BATH IN THE SILO RUIN
Friday, August 4th, 2017
Llano, CA – 7pm, 8pm, 9pm
Image: Karyl Newman
Positional Projects in collaboration with Anahata Mousai present “ON ALL Eve – Figuring the Volume of a Utopian Cylinder” an evening event featuring a history walk and conversation under the waxing sturgeon full moon, reflecting on the end of the Llano del Rio socialist Utopian community in the Antelope Valley followed by a meditative sound bath amplified by the silo’s architecture.
In August of 1917, the colonists at Job Harriman’s cooperative experiment were deciding the fate of their desert future. Beinecke fellow and organizer Karyl Newman will share her discoveries at multiple archives specific to their struggle exactly 100 years ago – whether to stay and enact feminist city planner Alice Constance Austin’s innovative plans for the New City or organize an exodus to a more hospitable environment. Each guest will receive a limited edition printed guide and map created by Newman for “ON ALL Day”, a centennial event marking the final May Day of the Llano del Rio Cooperative Colony in Southern California’s Antelope Valley held on May 6th, 2017. Participants at the May event enjoyed the sound bath by local artists Jean Monte, Kristen Cramer and Moriah Cain Gross (Anahata Mousai), and requested an evening encore. Join us at 7pm, 8pm or 9pm on Friday, August 4th, 2017. Capacity in the silo is limited. Tickets are required and available for $10 at https://onalleve.eventbrite.com.
The site of Llano del Rio (located near the border of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties) occupies over 2,000 acres of open desert dotted with evidence of the historic endeavor, which began in 1914. “ON ALL Eve” takes place in and around the silo, the most intact of the remaining colony structures – a stalwart sentinel on the Antelope Valley horizon. Nearby are the walls of the dairy barn, creamery and bunk house. A cistern and aqueduct are adjacent to a fork of what is now Big Creek Wash, a contemporary example of the water issues that challenged the community’s viability in the Mojave. Explore the “ON ALL Day” digital exhibit to learn more.
“ON ALL Eve” ticket holders will meet and walk with Newman to the silo, learning about the final months at the colony, arriving at the silo where Anahata Mousai will sonify the structure using quartz bowls, bells and a gong. Guests will walk back together through the nearby ruins in conversation with Newman. The program is offered at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm.
“ON ALL Eve” is produced by PositionalProjects.org and LaunchLA.org as an auxiliary project of “ON ALL Day – A Desert Reflection at Llano del Rio”, a program supported in part by a grant from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit calhum.org. Fiscal sponsor, Arts Connection, the Arts Council of San Bernardino County, http://www.artsconnectionnetwork.org/ hosts the digital exhibit.
For further information and images please contact:
Energy is a difficult element to pin down. But you know it when you see it. And you feel it right away when you see Ulrica Bell’s collage work.
The energy jumps right out at you.
Bold colors and innovative patterns highlight Bell’s collages, which are being showcased in a new show at Sagebrush Café in Quartz Hill this summer. “Women and Nature” is a collection of new work that promises a fusion not only of mixed media components but also of ideas.
As an artist, Ulrica Bell seems to call on a variety of influences in her work as she knits together a body of ideas, sometimes taking chances, often asserting a palpable confidence, which may be borne from years of teaching. Bell went to college on the east coast, at Bryn Mawr, and built a career in the classroom.
Today, in person, she cuts a striking figure with a balance of deep sympathy and no-nonsense honesty. She clearly sees past the first layer of things – and people – and her artwork invites us to do the same.
If we are going to dance, then let’s dance. If we’re going to speak, then let’s say what must be said. Take the straight path, she seems to say, and we will be where we are going.
What form will this message take in “Women and Nature”?
As an aside: These observations are based on conversations, on encounters with Bell’s work in person and online, and on her social media persona. In sharing a few thoughts there is much left to tell – and to figure out. The art of Ulrica Bell is something to conjure with, to quote a phrase. Something to see for yourself.
Bell is an active and award-winning Antelope Valley artist. At MOAH’s Cedarfest, Bell won a prize for her mixed media work. But she also shows paintings and plans to bring original poetry into “Women and Nature.” These things point to a certain diversity of character that makes Bell difficult to summarize (if one were to try).
This little speech is not a summary. It’s more of an invitation.
“Women and Nature” will be showing from late June at Sagebrush Café.
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.
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?
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.
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…
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 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.
Sagebrush Café in Quartz Hill playing host to three art events this month. These events are all open to the public. All are invited to participate.
Sagebrush Café: Coffee & Art House
42104 50th Street W., Quartz Hill , CA 93536
Open 7 Days
Open Invitation Art Show: Sagebrush Cafe is putting out a call to Antelope Valley artists to participate in an open invitation art show this month. 25 spaces are available. First come, first serve.
Enter a two-dimensional work of art in any medium on any family friendly subject.
Check out the details at our website: sagebrush-cafe.com/arts
Drop off days are July 19-20. Opening reception on Saturday, July 25 at 5 p.m.
Water Is Precious: Local artists are throwing an interactive and educational art party on July 19, hosted by Sagebrush Café.
“In the near future water will be worth more than Gold. In California, a state that has always had a complicated relationship with wealth, class, and water, we would like to invite you to envision a world where we wear small vials of water instead of diamonds, where we dress ourselves in fishbowls, and our designer handbags our replace with bottle waters. Join us for this interactive art party on Sunday July 19th at Sagebrush Café from 10 to Noon.”
Flash-Fiction Caption Contest: With the help of two Antelope Valley photographers, Sagebrush Café is hosting a flash-fiction caption contest in the month of July. Local writers are invited to submit flash-fiction based on photos provided on our contest page.
“We’re calling it a Flash-Fiction Caption Contest but that doesn’t mean you have to write an actual caption. Write whatever you want as long as it relates to the photo somehow.”
Participating Photographers: Joanne McCubrey & Rheagan E. Martin
April 11th, 2015 Sagebrush Cafe will host its annual arts & crafts festival.
Vendors will fill the yard with offerings of, what else, arts and crafts. Hand-made items and surprising creations have been the core of this event for each of its iterations. New vendors, crafters and artists will join the Sagebrush Cafe team to celebrate another year where spring has arrived, art has been created and people have come together to celebrate both.
Sagebrush Cafe is a coffee and art house in Quartz Hill, CA located at the intersection of 50th Street West and Ave. L-14.
All are invited to breathe in the air, celebrate the vibrant art community that is the Antelope Valley and grab a latte while you’re at it.
From the Antelope Valley College emailed press release:
Please join us at the Antelope Valley College Art Gallery for a special public reception for David Babb: Between Place and Memory including a conversation with artist on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 from 7:00 pm-8:30 pm. Visitors to the exhibition can write their questions between now and March 4th, 2015 inside a notebook in the gallery which will become the basis for our conversation with David Babb.
David Babb: Between Place and Memory
February 16-March 20, 2015
Antelope Valley College Art Gallery presents David Babb: Between Place and Memory a solo exhibition of mixed media artwork from Antelope Valley College faculty member David Babb whose recent bodies of work use the changing landscape of nature and place as a metaphor to express how we perceive and project our individual identities, histories, and memories. The works invoke the wavering stripes between the earth and the sky, questioning the roaming nature of our perspectives as we move from childhood into our adult lives to envision the residue between the lines of these horizons as dependent on our experiences, location, history, recollection, and momentary personal identities.
An avid and successful gardener, David Babb: Between Place and Memory highlights the recently completed series of digital transfer works titled “Secrets,” which feature Babb’s nocturnal photographs of flowers from his elaborate backyard garden. The photographs are compiled into illustrations which reference color, beauty, and transience to investigate the mental constructs and psychological landscapes of childhood as a vehicle for representing experiences of magic, fear, discovery, innocence, imagination and the ambiguity of our personal buried secrets. Together with his “Horizon Line” oil painting series of luminous background skies marred by the visual scars of rendered grey experiences, the vibrant lines in the foreground shadow the fleeting nature of our visual memories, the transience of life, and the perception of each of our individual landscapes.
The exhibition includes a new graphite paper tracing and acrylic drawing installation titled, “Trace Memory/Trace Evidence,” which visually captures the fragile process of remembering the past through the random compilation, orientation, and layering of images in a technique inspired by the transitional learning experience of AVC students.
Visitors are also invited to participate in the community engagement activity “Kid Fears” by writing or drawing a response to the prompt, “What were you most afraid of growing up?” adding to a growing timeline of past and present memories currently on display in the exhibition, transforming the gallery space into a limitless horizon between place and memory–a collective secret garden.
This event is free and open to the public.
Antelope Valley College Art Gallery 3041 West Avenue K Lancaster, CA 93536
The Art Gallery is located in building FA1, the Fine Arts Building, located in the Fine Arts Quad on the West side of the Antelope Valley College Campus, adjacent to the Performing Arts Theater.
APRIL 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 WITTENBERG, by David Davalos
Produced by special arrangement
with Dramatists Play Service, New York.
Set in 1517 at the University of Wittenberg and in the German town of it’s namesake, this highly irreverent “tragical-comical-historical in two acts” explores how three men’s sagas overlap, intertwine, and irrevocably affect the course of each other’s lives. Will Hamlet get his tennis chops back and finally declare a major? Can Dr. Faustus distill the perfect medicine for philosophical angst and win the love of his beautiful Helen? Can the Rev. Fr. Martin Luther defeat the Devil in his privy and reconcile his feelings for the Church? And driving it all, what really is the nature of the Eternal Feminine? Find out (*we can’t guarantee that you will) in this outrageously nerdy romp through literature, philosophy, and religion… A play that, like life, swings from deeply serious to farcically absurd at the drop of a hat.
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 4pm.
There is no performance Sunday April 29th.
Starring: Phillip E. McKaughan, Grant Dagg, Will Nicolai, Missy Schaapman, Sarah Bialobroda, and Aamod Samuel.
All performances at the ANTELOPE VALLEY WINERY on 20th St. W. at Avenue M in Lancaster, CA. Arrive early for wine tasting!
This play contains language and themes unsuitable for young children.