by Carolyn Blais
photos by Nancy Accomando
The night sky was saturated with an air of artistic excitement in anticipation of a brand new art opening in downtown LA on Saturday January 9, 2010. Having arrived a half hour early for the event, I could sense, in the words of The Black Eyed Peas, that tonight was going to be a good night. It was indeed a special night because a new art gallery, Temple of Visions, was opening its doors for the very first time. Two doors down, The Hive Gallery was helping to promote the opening by encouraging patrons to save on admission price by visiting the exhibits in both galleries (tickets were $8 for one gallery, $15 for both). With a promotions table and Forth Magazines aplenty, I set up shop at the entrance of The Hive to have a prime seat for all of the action. But before the place gets too packed, I take a look around both galleries to check out the scene and get the scoop.
The ‘buzz’ in The Hive is an eclectic one. There is a variety of art ranging in style, subject and media. My eye catches one piece directly behind the table I’m standing at by the door. With its bright colors and egg-like shape, I’m immediately reminded of a compass and art stencil set that my more artistic than I sister had as a kid. Artist Amanda Sage uses psychedelic colors in reoccurring oval lines and patterns in her piece entitled “Evolution.” The phrase “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure” is precisely what comes to mind at first glance of the next piece I see called “Urban Vision.” In this work, B.P. Szabo creates art from the simplest of everyday objects like a CD, metal Starbucks caps, and the motherboard of a computer. The only artist I have the pleasure of meeting tonight is Sam Graham, an emerging artist who strives to capture spiritual themes in pieces like “Trimorphic Head.” The painting portrays a colorful four eyed creature made from wax, pastel and acrylic. Moving to the back of the gallery, I can’t help but notice giant works of art covering the walls in the room where the band plays. In these paintings by Clinton Neuhaus, the world of old Hollywood appears to collide with the twisted world of dreams like those often portrayed in Tim Burton films. “Wishbone Way,” for example, captures the ghostly stuff of nightmares by portraying the image of a woman’s face peering through the frame of a crooked, old house.
Moving on to Temple of Visions, I am struck by the tranquil, spiritual vibe permeating throughout the exhibit entitled “Downtemple.” The gallery contains works from around the world which all seem to possess mystical, unworldly themes that provoke one to ponder life in this world and the next. The very first piece I see when coming in the door is Mark Henson’s “New Pioneers.” This piece of art displays two worlds; the first world is shown in destructed, still burning ruins; the next world is a land of beautifully cultivated fields and bright horizons. To me, this painting is a metaphor for the human ability to heal from sorrow and despair and rise above to a new world of hope and light. One painting that appears to capture the origins of life is “Shelter for Opening.” In this piece, Autumn Skye Morrison beautifully paints a person in fetal position at the center of the painting. Morrison affixes actual shells in a circle around the main subject, along with leaves, buttons, and keys that have been painted shades of green and brown. This work of art is not only visually interesting, but it also makes the onlooker appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature and the preciousness of life.
Overall, I am impressed by the work that I have seen in both galleries and am thrilled that even when I leave for the night, the line to get into the exhibits continues to stretch down the block. It is proof that even in this day and age art still has the ability to entertain, enlighten, and affect masses of people from all walks of life.
Show: The Hive + Temple of Visions Opening Night
Where: 729 + 719 S. Spring St. , Downtown LA
When: Saturday 1/9/10 , 8pm – 1am