Antelope Valley Arts & We Are Cedar Providing New Opportunities for Local Artists

The Antelope Valley Art group has teamed up with We Are Cedar to open a gallery in Palmdale and to open new opportunities for local artists.

  • Invitations to Submit to Gallery Shows
  • Art & Artist Workshops
  • Featured Artist Gallery Shows & Receptions

There are several opportunities and calls for submissions that are open right now.

AV ARTS - Self

Take a look at their website or follow them on Instagram to find out more and to keep up with all the activity these folks are getting up to.






AV Arts Convo: Mixed Media Art by Julie O’Sullivan

The AV ArtConvo – featuring art by Julie O’Sullivan.

Presenting Mixed Media Art by Julie O’Sullivan

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.

Julie O’Sullivan is our featured artist this week, showcasing a playful and colorful sensibility. O’Sullivan is an active presence on the Antelope Valley arts scene, showing work and winning prizes and hashing out new ideas along the way. This dynamic and sweet-hearted artist brings a little madness to her method and the results, in turn, are dynamic and sweet-hearted, lively and engaging.

Julie O'Sullivan 4

Who or what are your major artistic influences?

Miro’, hands down. Love him, though, in high school I was a die-hard Andy Warhol fan. I wanted to be Edie Sedgewick. When I moved to NYC I stalked his factory and tried to breath the same air he breathed. Loved him. Now that I have seen his work not only in museums, but in people’s houses, I feel I have moved on. It will always be there influencing me in the back of my mind but I am so ingrained in abstract art that if I could meet one artist in all time it would be Miro’.

Julie O'Sullivan 1

What artist do you currently find yourself talking about most often and why?

Local artists Marthe Aponte and Geoffrey Levitt. I met them when they were starting out and look at where they are now in the matter of a few of years! I love how they have evolved and seek inspiration in their advancement from beginning artists to emerging artist, artists to watch. I think they have greater things ahead for them. I will forever be a fan of Miro’ and Lurcat. I am terribly inspired by them and had the great pleasure of visiting both of their studios.

Julie O'Sullivan 2

How does music influence, shape or fit into your work?

It used to influence it greatly, especially during my celestial series. I would pull up Pandora and paint to new adult alternative artists. I will forever be a fan of Parov Steller and Wax Tailor. They always inspire me to paint openly, they seem to open up my third eye. Through Pandora I found a whole new line-up of international artists. I always paint well to Beruit, they are very calming. The lead singer sounds a lot like David Byrne from the Talking Heads. David has a special place in my heart. Chvrches has an entirely different mood and when I am feeling a bit off I pull that Pandora station up for a listen. Then there is Vampire Weekend, Phoenix and Ratatat for when I am in the “designing” mood. These are bands I would have worked to in architecture school and now work to when I paint cityscapes. Bjork is a long time influence. Love her and her daring to be unique. When I listen to her I feel her mood. I love to paint feelings, such is the life of an abstract artist. A song by Wild Belle, called “Keep You” is one I play over and over. That YouTube Video just hits me for some reason. I am haunted by it. I feel it is like the child within a man that you can never keep.

Julie O'Sullivan 3


Catch up with Antelope Valley Artist Julie O’Sullivan at her website.Arts Blog

More from the AV Arts Blog Convo


“Contexts” – On display at the Edward’s Airforce Base Library

“Contexts” – On display at the Edward’s Airforce Base Library

Artwork by June Marie Milham and Eric Martin

Previous shows at the Edward’s Airforce Base Library have featured Antelope Valley Artists AJ Currado, Michael Jones, and more.



Words and color and the intimacy of portraiture comprise the principal elements of Milham’s latest series, DISTANT RELATIVES.


Martin’s collage work poses the synthetic geometry of printed text along side natural and drawn shapes.


Catch up with them at Sagebrush Café on 50th Street West (x Ave. L-14) in Quartz Hill.

To arrange purchases: contact June at and Eric at

[Thanks to Edwin Vasquez for arranging the show.]

Antelope Valley Artist Spotlight: Michael Jones

Antelope Valley Arts Blog Interview: Michael Jones

I met Michael Jones for the first time when he was putting together a solo show of brightly colored, abstract paintings in 2010 called Static/Electric. Not long after that, he joined me for an online project, Failure of Theory.

Since then, I’ve tried to follow his art doings on FB. Though Jones is good about posting updates, he is almost too busy to keep track of these days. A little interview seems in order to get a refresh on where Michael Jones has been and where he is going.

(Michael, being literally on the go, got my questions while he was in Oakland for a show. He responded on his way back to the upper desert. Any typos are the phone’s fault…or mine.)


What ideas stand behind your art? ( Is there an underlying concept or a philosophy behind your painting, your poetry…?)


The ideas I would say that stand by my art are just simply gathering life in and enjoying it. I try to focus on positive work that makes the viewer want to lose their mind in my vivid world of art. There are too many negative things happening everyday, so instead of being another crab in the bucket I wanted to journey to make people smile through the eyes of color. Whether my art is good or bad, I hope the message plants a seed to make people want to change for the positive and inspire someone. My concept has never been to be this famous painter; as long as I can aspire to inspire until I expire, I have done what I dreamed of.


Where can people see your work online or locally in person?


Local people can view my art at Graphic Experience located on Lancaster Blvd. My art has been hanging in there for about two years now. It is a great honor to be hanging alongside many talented local artists who have paved the way for a young artist like myself. Big Thanks to Chris Calaba for always having faith and seeing my vision. Without her most of this wouldn’t even be possible.



What has your 2012 been like art-wise? Any highlights?


Highlights for 2012 hmmmmmmmmmmm

To be honest I have accomplished a lot this year, from getting my art put onto shirts by a friend by the name of Cory Bailey to painting on a 2012 challenger with Sergio Hernandez  and Todd Cooper…….to having a feature in the Antelope Valley Lifestyle Magazine. hmmmm it has been a good year and hope many more blessings to come. Anytime I get to paint I think is a big accomplishment to me. I love painting to the death of me. It fuels me and motivates me to be a better person hahaha dont ask.


Can you describe your experience as an artist in the Antelope Valley ? 


I  think living in the A.V. as an artist is awesome and amazing. Took me awhile to accept living in the middle of nowhere but I use that to my advantage now. Not many people get the chance to be surrounded by nature and all its beauty. I can look up at night and see the stars and get captivated in them hahah can’t so much do that in L.A. Hahhaha or can you? lol jk. I have had the pleasure  of working with local artists such as Todd Cooper, Ramon Ramirez , Luis Fileto , Jonathan Baker, Dawn Fox, Arturo ana luz Castanon, Ricardo Cisneros , VINCE Reyes, ZeuS,  Cassandra Whitaker, Suzy Roach, Cory Bailey, Donna Weil, Bryan Pacana, Larissa Nickel, Tonia and Wayne Crews, and not last but not least my mentor Edwin Vasquez. Everyone of these people have helped me as a artist  whether it be telling me about a new product 0r helping me make canvases. I appreciate all of them as friends but most of all inspirational artists.


Over the last few years, your art has really grown and changed. How would you describe the changes?  


I’ve been painting for 3 years as of September 9th. I’m growing as an artist each year and I hope my art is a reflection of that. The only thing I really do differently now is just to have fun doing art , not everyone will like what you do so why have limits. When you have limits you limit yourself , the job of art is to convey a message to the viewer. So with that said I make it a point to try something new everytime I paint no matter what. I love exploring new things and expanding my mind …..isnt that what life is all about taking chances haha. My art three years ago compared to now is a day and night difference but it is all about progressing and molding your craft until you feel comfortable with it. I try to paint at least one hour everyday no matter what..thanks to Edwin Vasquez for that advice I can notice a huge difference in my painting.


What is the most recent art show you’ve participated in? What shows are on the horizon? Where would you like to take your art, stylistically or geographically, in the future? More shows in Los Angeles ? Or…?


I just had a show in Oakland , CA last weekend , was a very amazing show Thanks again Filthe Grime for all the hardwork put into the show. I have several upcoming shows ……next show Will be the D.A.D.A show (put on by artist for artist hahaha) . I also hope to get my solo show going in 2013 but I think that will be more like a 2014 thing. I plan to do some curating in 2013 and perhaps direct my own horror movie. So wish me luck friends and family.

Take a look at more work by Michael Jones and follow his progress at his FB page, Abstract Art by Michael Jones.

SATURATION: AV Arts Publication Vol. 3 – released

SATURATION: AV Arts Publication will release Volume 3 on October 13, 2012.


SATURATION volume 3 is the product of a collaboration now spanning three issues and dozens of Antelope Valley artists and editors, providing a venue for artists to share their work.

The theme of this issue is TURNING POINTS or THE POINT OF NO RETURN. Artists submitted photography, poetry, short stories, drawings, and paintings to this third annual issue.


The list of contributors looks something like this: Larissa Nickel, Todd Cooper, Tom Varden, Edwin Vasquez, Tonia Crews, Sam M., C. Vanderpool, Linda Ruiz, Ruba Alvarado, Vincent Reyes, Frank Rozasy, Frank Dixon, G.L. Helm, Marilyn Dalrymple, and June Marie Milham.

Editors on this project: AJ Currado & Steven Fiche & Eric Martin

Copies are on sale at Sagebrush Cafe and through local art events hosted with/by AJ Currado in Quartz Hill. (Information on those events can be found at AJ’s website and at the AV Arts Blog.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


*This slideshow represents many of the submissions to the 2012 SATURATION. Copyright is owned by the artist. We just wanted to show you what kind of visual art came our way for this issue of the AV Arts magazine.

What People Are Saying About the MOAH in Lancaster

AV Arts Blog asked what people thought about the new Modern Art and History Museum in downtown Lancaster, California – the MOAH. Here is what people are saying about the new Antelope Valley cultural space:

Comment from Janet K. – “Was there Sat, May 5, at public opening. Loved the rooftop live band. ‘Though with the sun and heat blaring at them, sundown concerts or facing opposite direction would please all more. Architecture is unique and exploratory. Structure has so much potential for housing of Antelope Valley art works on a revolving basis. Can easily visualize this most special museum as an art mecca of national interest.”

Posing the Question on Facebook (at an AV Arts Group Page), a discussion erupted. Well, erupted might not be the best term, but it seems to capture some of the dynamic.

In the spirit of neutral discussion, we’ve deleted the names of the people behind each post,  but that doesn’t completely anonymize the discussion as some names are used within the posts. The point isn’t who said what anyway. The point is what was said.

The different directions in which artists come to their opinions museum are clear in these posts and point to a continuing conversation on the arts in the Antelope Valley:

    •  The facility is dope by far but as far as the art inside huge fail

    •  I think it’s a great start. The building is attractive and has a lot to offer in a relatively small space. Personally, I’d like to see less emphasis on postmodernist work that most people find unrelatable and elitist. The general population has better taste than they are given credit for by the urban art establishment. I do appreciate MOAH’s willingness to also display art that is based on skill and thoughtfulness, rather than shock and the trend-of-the-day. All in all, I think it’s a good thing and I look forward to important future exhibitions.
    • Why do you think the art is a fail Michael?
    •  The art is prevalent to the area not hiding that but who wants to see landscape paintings all day everyday. I have nothing against it all but how much is to much ?
    • I don’t know where you get “all day everyday”. Are you being held captive on the second floor? What about the shiny stuff on the ground floor? One room and the hallway upstairs is a show called “The Painted Desert” which, yes, is landscapes…some traditional, some modern. When that show is over it will be something else. The only thing you’ll see every day is the history exhibit…and that will change too.
    • Well, the only way for local artists to participate was through the painted desert exhibition which for some of us was irritating because it often seems the only acceptable means to show out here is to paint landscapes. In order to facilitate more types of local art it would have been appreciated if there had been an opening or opportunity for other types of work to support the “new” facility with new facets of AV art and to flesh out what desert art actually is rather than just simply depictions and illustrations of the desert. For me a museum is much much more than a building. While I can appreciate the new facility and some cool furniture, I was disappointed in the admission fee, lack of community connection, and lack of educational information. I did think the art was fantastic-it was great to see Judy Chicago, Larry Bell, and Craig Kauffman. I’m not sure how I feel as an opening exhibition since LMAG previously had the Weisman Foundation collection which addressed many of the same ideas, but it did bring some amazing pieces here so I guess I wish that there had been more research about any connections to this specific area rather than the general “aerospace occurs here” (and in Burbank, LA and many other areas). Like Michael, I also wish that AV art had been fleshed out past painted deserts. Hopefully an exhibition schedule will be produced and there will be opportunities to expand the definition of local art to incorporate more than just illustrations of things with more conceptual/thoughtful insight into this area. All in all I’m just happy that the museum is again open (!).

    •  We have to remember that it was a huge undertaking just to finish construction and get the place open. There are three opening exhibits. One is modern and non-representational, one is specifically paintings of the desert, and one is a history exhibit (don’t forget that there is an “H” in MOAH). The fact that ANY local artists were given the opportunity to participate is a major step and not what one would expect from a museum at all. The gallery next to the gift shop is another ongoing opportunity, and is currently displaying work that is certainly not traditional landscape. These are all finite shows. When they come down, something else will go up. I have a friend who left in a huff because he didn’t like the postmodernism. You can’t please all the people all the time. I can tell you one thing: just because someone owns a box of crayons and calls themselves an artist, doesn’t mean they have a right to show in a museum.

    •  ‎”The fact that ANY local artists were given the opportunity to participate is a major step and not what one would expect from a museum at all. ” Oh Todd you’re killing me with that one! DISAGREE! Museums are for the community and the arts community in particular has been integral to this museum since it inception so the museum should never cut out participation. never. ever. Even kids with crayons. This is museum 101. People make a museum and participation is required! It absolutely is expected unless you want a mausoleum of things that no one cares about seeing or learning about. Museums are forums for discussion-good bad and ugly. It’s where you go to express. You may not be shown in the museum, but there should always be opportunities to try- to improve-to participate. This is the “Lancaster Museum” which states that we should take pride in our AV art production and explore what that means in order to develop an understanding of this place in relation to others. (and art is historical. pet peeve- H is redundant. see also Western Hotel Museum)
    •  Todd Todd Todd your killing me haha

    • Okay Larissa, you probably know more about museums than I do, but I’ve visited a few and I’ve never seen an exhibit in the main hall by Joe Blow from down the street. The point is, this museum IS inviting participation by locals…in more ways than one. Just because some locals are not in a show dedicated to paintings of the desert doesn’t mean they won’t have a chance to be in the next show, or the one after that. And if someone never gets their work in a museum or a gallery or a juried show or never sells a piece to a stranger, maybe they should look at the quality of the work instead of blaming the world for not supporting the arts.

    •  hmmm. define quality for me.

    •  hmmmmmm. I haven’t seen the museum, and I’m not an expert on art or museums. but who is anyone to say that anyone else is an artist? isn’t art in the eye of the beholder? If some one creates to express their emotions in whatever medium, if someone contributes to the art community, whether it is showing, conversing, learning, or selling, wouldn’t that make them an artist? (even though it wasn’t directed at me) That statement just makes me feel bad about myself and art in general. I consider myself an artist because I create, because i use words and colors to relay a message or emotion. I do not call myself a professional artist because I am constantly growing, and learning, and trying every medium and art form I can physically handle. I think the fact that the museum has started dialogue is amazing and artistic in itself. Whatever direction the museum goes in, as long as they offer the community some type of art, postmodern or traditional I’m just happy to have an art venue, and I’m happy that there are some intelligent artist in this group to offer their insight.

  • Knowing Todd’s perspective on art, I can understand why he feels that craft and skill is most important to him. The great thing about the arts is the numerous perspectives and amount of diversity in the works. Don’t feel badly about your art or your position in the arts Cassandra. Everyone starts somewhere and forms their ideas and voice continually through life. I disagree with Todd saying that Joe (and Jane) Blows aren’t showing in museums. AVC’s Frank Dixon, and Lee Bergthold both have had well deserved solo shows at the museum and are teaching others right here at AVC. We have AV artists working here who were taught by Craig Kauffman and other well respected artists. We had Tom Miller. I know and have studied with people who have shown at LACMA, MOCA and the Smithsonian and they too really are just the artist’s next door (I’ve seen them get spinach in their teeth). One of the major issues out here is the gully between emerging and professional artists. We need emerging artists. Many are trained in universities or art schools and return here to a void of production and opportunity. We’re missing major pieces like the Lofts Gallery which allowed younger artists to gain experience in showing and producing ideas for different types of shows. Unlike a museum, it gave freedom in the types of events that occurred. Not to bring up old wounds but that type of space is necessary to give younger more experimental opportunities in investigating and growing an arts practice without the pressure of a professional level exhibition. Anyway, my long winded point is that museums build strategies to meet the needs of their local communities—yes that is one facet of the duties—international exhibitions and other strategies do come into play, but this discussion is only helpful to the museum if the needs and wants of this area are expressed. If emerging artists want to be a part of the museum than they should say so. If the younger crowd is sick of desert landscapes, then they should say so. It’s okay to critique and disagree because museums fight for balance. It’s not easy but it’s part of the job and what makes museums important to those it serves. The museum can work to provide residency opportunities, training events, and any number of strategies to address these and many more issues. I have complete faith the museum is listening, and will adapt its programs to the needs of this community because that is exactly what museums do. So as Eric has asked with this thread, what did you think? and furthermore what else do you want?
    Have something to add? Please leave a comment and we’ll may be able to edit it into this post.

Euclid’s Negatives: Collaborative Arts Project Now Live, Seeks Submissions

photo-adam chapman

A collaborative project pairing short fiction and photography includes work by some Antelope Valley artists as well as some folks working in Illinois. If you are looking for some inspiration, maybe they can help you. If you are looking for an opportunity to get your own work “out there”, they are seeking new submissions…

Here is the frontspiece to the project:

In the 4th century B.C., Euclid conjectured on the nature of light and its retention in a pinhole camera…

A pinhole camera is a simple camera without a lens and with a single small aperture – effectively a light-proof box with a small hole in one side. Light from a scene passes through this single point and projects an inverted image on the opposite side of the box.

Our project takes up Euclid’s idea of the “light-proof box” and re-imagines it as a collaborative, online gallery of photography and fiction.


There is a metaphor involved somewhere in there and it probably has something to do with memory and the imagination and how they might work together, like a camera, like a pinhole or like a light-proof box.

Euclid’s Negatives is looking for submissions to expand the conversation and the project.

See guidelines here: SUBMIT

AJ Currado: Interviewed Again, Sort of…Not Really. But Kind of.

Artist AJ Currado is set to open a new, solo show at Sagebrush Cafe in Quartz Hill in September of 2011, a few weeks from now. We’ll let you know the details as soon as we can to fill you in on what she will be showing this time around.

In anticipation of the new show, we went back and dusted off an interview we did with AJ last year regarding her art, art in the Antelope Valley, and other sort of related things.


  We recently sat down to an email interview with Antelope Valley Artist & Painter AJ Currado. Her work is currently on display at the LM/AG 25th Annual Juried Art Show in downtown Lancaster as well as at Sagebrush Café in Quartz Hill.

Describe the AV “art scene” in a few words.

Surprisingly growing and healthy! We have a lot of talented artists in the area and they are tired of driving far away to enter somebody else’s art scene – which is often elite or pretentious anyways. I think they’re finally rising up and creating a vibrant community here, locally. The city of Lancaster is actually (finally) doing some great things for the arts as well with the new artists’ lofts/gallery and new LMAG opening up next year. even in this economy the city is keeping an open budget for fine art.

What has been your personal experience with shows in and around the Antelope Valley?

Hit and miss. I’ve shown at the Cedar Centre, at LMAG, at AVC as a student, and in various coffee shops and a few of our art show/festival opportunities. Most prestigious and largely attended is the Annual Juried at LMAG and it is always encouraging to see my work up with local artists I admire like Glen Knowles and Frank Dixon. The Fair is a joke as far as art is concerned and isn’t worth the bother. I think the most fun and vibrant experience I’ve had has actually been at Sagebrush. I’ve met fascinating people, had great conversations, made connections, and have had excellent sales. I’ve enjoyed the other artists who have shown there as well and even made art purchases myself. People aren’t caught up in creating their own “artsy image” but rather by being part of an artistic community.

What are some specific challenges to showing art, producing art, etc. in the Antelope Valley?

Showing is the hardest part. Driving down to LA to get a load of supplies for a series of works is an enjoyable field trip, but attempting to show down there is a pain. I’ve shown at a few galleries and it hardly seems worth the trouble. As far as showing locally, the hard part is getting the people to see the work.

What are some specific benefits and opportunities to showing art, producing art, etc. in the AV?

Local! It’s so much more enjoyable to meet the people looking at/buying your art. Creating friendships and connections not only is good for sales but also getting inspired by regular interactions with artists. Artists out here are more relaxed and often humble. Some of the pros will go out plein air painting with anybody who wants to join and offer tips. They aren’t snobby about their success. It’s that small-town vibe where everybody knows at least a friend of yours if not you.

How has the AV influenced your art in terms of subject?

Hmmm…I don’t know. I use a lot of travel photos and memories for reference. But I am also obsessed with leaves. I like the desert, I like our sunsets, our buttes, our winters and autumns and springs, our explosion of wild flowers and delicate greenery in spring. I suppose I am influenced by the openness, the delicate details that you have to look for, else it’s swallowed up in the vast brown. You can hate this place and complain about it, but if you really look at it, up close, quietly, if you really explore, it is beautiful. And that’s how I like my art. I want people to go up close to it, to look at it quietly, one-on-one. To discover it’s understatement. I don’t want it to scream for attention, but to wait for attention from those who are willing to pause.