The Art of the Brick

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If you’ve ever played with Legos you’ll remember the feeling of accomplishment when your imagination came to life in your hands. In time, you outgrew the brightly colored block toys unless you’re like Nathan Sawaya. After years of creating with Legos as a hobby, he quit his corporate lawyer job to become a full-time Lego artist. This fascination of creating with Legos on a bigger scale has made him renowned around the world. At his current traveling show, The Art of the Brick, you can get up close with his work.

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It’s the largest display of Lego work featuring over 120 creations and people are raving about it. You’ll experience famous works re-imagined, original work from Sawaya’s psyche and a collaboration with photographer Dean West, in which one focus in each photo is made of Legos. Can you tell which one from afar?

“The museum exhibition is accessible because it engages the child in all of us while simultaneously illuminating sophisticated and complex concepts.” 

It’s family friendly and you can touch two pieces at the end before entering the gift shop. There are also slight variations from city to city, “Be Different,” which represents fish swimming in the same direction except for one was created exclusively for the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, WA.

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The most impressive display is the dedicated gallery to a “dinosaur fossil” that took 80,020 pieces. He doesn’t altar the basic pieces to fit or change the colors that the blocks are originally offered in.

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The work up close is clunky and hard to decipher but once you take a step back the magic happens. It’s not so much about sophistication but rather creativity. It’ll teach you to look at things different like Sawaya did. You didn’t just have to follow the instructions on the box.

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It’s a great way to educate and inspire kids and adults alike. You realize that you don’t always have to outgrow the things you enjoyed in your youth. You never know what will happen. You could end up with your own exhibition.

Has it been to your city?

Check out the schedule at: http://www.brickartist.com


 

Jewel City: Art from San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition

Panama Pacific International Exposition San Francisco 1915 Poster.

As we approach the end of the year we also approach the end of the special centennial exhibitions of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), the San Francisco world’s fair that celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal. It also celebrated the cities recovery from an earthquake in 1906. The deYoung Museum’s current display, “Jewel City: Art from San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition” has several works from the historic event and will be ending on January 10, 2016.

The exhibition originally included 11,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, and photographs. Over 200 can be currently experienced at the museum, American and French Impressionism; works by members of the Ashcan School; paintings from the emerging modernist styles in Italy, Hungary, Austria, Finland, and Norway; and more. Highlights include an impressive survey of American art, with works by Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, Winslow Homer, Frederic Remington, John Sloan, Robert pl22.NEW_Fraser_Trail_Rockwell_printHenri, and other masters. There is also mural work by Arthur Mathews and William de Leftwich Dodge included, they were specifically made for the fair and haven’t been seen in nearly a century.

If you’re not an art expert, the audio tour provided by the museum for an additional charge of $8 general and $7 members will not disappoint. Learn the stories behind most of the artworks by inputting the assigned number into the audio phone. You can go at your own pace and repeat if necessary. The museums curators delve into details that are not included on the placards.

For instance, local bay area resident E. Charlton Fortune made the decision to only use her initial for her first name or else her paintings might not sell. Yet, there was a 7.Fortune_Court_Bonhams_66M_print room dedicated to woman artists and some of those are on display as well. It’s an interesting tidbit because it would seem they were being celebrated but knowing they wouldn’t sell as well as the men’s paintings makes one speculate that the allocation to one location allowed others to skip over them?

James Earle Fraser once said his bronze sculpture; “The End of the Trail” represented a defeated Native American from the weaker race. At the fair, his piece was juxtaposed with a sculpture of a victorious cowboy displaying the belief of “white supremacy”. With so many eyes on San Francisco and the event, many participated to prove their “cultural superiority”; (at least they thought that of themselves). You don’t want to miss this opportunity, as you can see everyone knew it was the place to be at the time. They sent their best artists and work to this turning point event in San Francisco history.

Jewel City: Art from San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific Exposition: Saturday, Oct. 17, through Jan. 10. $15-$25 (free on Oct. 17, community day). De Young Museum, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Memberships are also available and provide access to the museum all year round. (415) 750-3600. www.famsf.org.


 

Art San Diego 2015

Photo by: Melissa Sanchez

Art moves people and makes emotions come to life. It is a physical representation of an artist’s mind at work. Art is what the viewer makes of it and what creates a lasting legacy for those who see it. It gives people the opportunity to create bonds with one another and only strengthens the community with which it is in. The highly anticipated spectrum art show event in Balboa Park’s Activity Center, Art San Diego, takes place from November 5-8, 2015 and showcases art from over 500 artists, exhibitions, art labs and galleries. This is their Seventh Annual event, which attracts everyone from high-end collectors to local art lovers.

I had the pleasure of going to opening night and I must say what a night. The buzz of artists and like-minded art aficionados could be felt in the air. Art San Diego gives artists from all walks of life the opportunity to detail their work. There was a strong Mexican connection with many art labs ranging from Tijuana to Guadalajara, Mexico. It’s that melding of cultures that makes this a strong event and one that everyone should take the opportunity to go see.

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Immediately when you walk in, you are engrossed with beautiful colors, sculptures and other works that will make you do a double take. I spoke with artist, Momilani Ramstrum, whose works of art involves taking all kinds of textures of paint, from dried to fragments on strips, to create pieces that are visually stunning. She told me “the secret is when you feel joy,” this can be said for the artist and the viewer alike. And how true is that, the joy could be felt all over the exhibit halls. Come out and experience Art San Diego; it will leave you feeling joyful to say the least.

More info: http://art-sandiego.com

Photos by: Melissa Sanchez

“Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life” at New York Botanical Garden

If you’re a fan of Frida Kahlo you don’t want to miss, “Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life” at the New York Botanical Garden. The exhibit offers a glimpse into the artist’s life with a collection of her portraits, still life paintings, and a replica of her garden and desk as they are at La Casa Azul (The Blue House) located in Coyoacán, Mexico in Colonia del Carmen. The exhibit also includes an homage to Frida’s painting, “The Two Fridas (1939)” by Humberto Spíndolza.

An homage to Frida's painting, "The Two Fridas (1939)" by Humberto Spíndolza. Photo by: Ana Pines

An homage to Frida’s painting, “The Two Fridas (1939)” by Humberto Spíndolza. Photo by: Ana Pine

Frida’s art channeled her anguish and tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera. “There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst,” she stated. Her accident occurred when she was 18 on September 17, 1925. Doctors were surprised she survived a crash between a trolley and the bus she was on. She injured her spinal column, broke ribs, fractured her right leg, dislocated her pelvis and had a steel handrail go through her abdomen. Her injuries left her infertile and caused her a lifetime of physical and emotional pain

Diego’s numerous affairs had no boundaries and certainly didn’t help her. Frida turned a blind eye and found her own solace in outside affairs including some of the same women Diego slept with and powerful men like Leon Trotsky. It wasn’t until Diego slept with her younger sister that she filed for divorce. Regardless of the pain caused she would find herself back with him later on.

Wall replica of Casa Azul at New York Botanical Garden. Photo by: Ana Pines

Wall replica of Casa Azul at New York Botanical Garden. Photo by: Ana Pines

The tribute combined with the lush surroundings of The New York Botanical Garden is the perfect day trip for you and your family. The garden is a National Historic Landmark founded in 1891. There are over one million diverse living plants covering the 250-acre site. The Garden is located at Bronx River Parkway and Fordham Road in the Bronx, and can be reached by car, subway, bus, and Metro-North.

New York Botanical Garden

“Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life” runs from May 16 until November 1, 2015.
Tickets, tips and directions: http://www.nybg.org

Creative Block

Creative Block group show is back. The show mashes the ideas of a white walls gallery show with the raw outdoor urban feel of SILO in Makers Quarter. Situated on well-lit white walls, the huge group show featured fine art and photography from 50 participating artists with live murals from Honkey Kong, Mike Maxwell, Nekoes, CatGods, and Mr Dvice.

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Featured Artists:
EXIST1981
Spenser Little
Carly Ealey
Christopher Konecki
Dolan Stearns
Neko
Joey Vaiasuso
Kevin Peterson
Sergio Hernandez
Brooks Sterling
Jaclyn Rose
Denial
Matt Stallings
Nicole Waszak
Onions
Tocayo
Bart Club
Celeste Byers
Aaron Glasson
Eno
Joshua Krause
Diekuts
GANE
Brisk
Buffalo Viez
That Kid Peep
SenzWen
Letter Cat Sign Co.
Wendy Teague
Brian Hebets
Paul Drohan
Randall Christopher
C. Bilyeu
Maxx Moses
Nick Mcpherson
Gloria Muriel
Julian Martin
Dion Terry
Eye Gato
España Garcia
Yarns and Noble
Keemo
Sonia López Chávez
Cory Ring
Jeff Raddatz

#CohortCollective #MakersQuarter #SILOSD #CreativeBlock

Take Back the Alley Photos

Take Back the Alley is a fun-filled day organized by Radio Pulso and Roots Factory held at the alley behind Bread and Salt Art Gallery in Logan Heights on Saturday, May 16. It’s part of Media Arts Center San Diego’s (MACSD) initiative and aims to help redefine and transform alleys into safer and friendlier areas of congregation. The next Take Back the Alley event will be held in City Heights on May 29.

 

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Timken Museum’s Art of Fashion

The Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park showcased a rare exhibition of fashion inspired by fine art at the eighth annual Art of Fashion 2015 fundraiser on April 20, 2015. More than 200 fashion enthusiasts from throughout Southern California attended the event, led by honorary chair Dame Zandra Rhodes, international fashion icon and designer.

Ten graduate student costume designers from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s (UCLA TFT) David C. Copley Center for Costume Design have created half-scale costumes inspired by Claude-Joseph Vernet’s 1749 “A Seaport at Sunset” from the Timken collection.

Original costume designs ranging from classic to wildly dramatic will showcase the talents of the students. Each student performed extensive research and infused a certain element of the masterwork in their one-of-a-kind designs, from the unusually large sky, the lighthouse, the ships in the harbor, the tradesmen and their families to the distinctive landscape of the mountain range.

Prior to the evening’s soiree, Rhodes and an honorary committee of fashion-forward and civic-minded female philanthropists will judge the designs at an exclusive private luncheon in the museum, which includes remarks by Academy Award-nominated costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Ph.D., professor and founding director of the UCLA TFT Copley Center.

Attendees were able to to see the winning designs from last year’s gala as well as those from previous Art of Fashion events: Masterworks on display will come to life as guests examine the remarkable costumes up close and speak with the designers about their creations. “Art of Fashion is one of the most important events to the Timken,” says Anita Crider, chief operating officer, Timken Museum of Art. “It’s a brilliant way to construct a creative and interdisciplinary educational opportunity for extremely talented costume design students and it allows us to raise funds for our programs to keep the love of fine art alive in San Diego.

Organizers aim to raise $100,000 at this year’s Art of Fashion, with proceeds supporting the museum’s outreach programs.

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Photo by Kim Rescate

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Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

Photo by Kim Rescate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xavier Ramirez “Solo Art Show” @The Roots Factory

Xavier Ramirez “Solo Art Show” at The Roots Factory in Barrio Logan  (San Diego)

Xavier Ramirez “Solo Art Show” @The Roots Factory – 1878 Main St. Barrio Logan, CA 92112