Gallery Expo plans series of exhibits for Youth Art Program

share this:

For two months, young artists at several local middle schools have had the unique opportunity to explore their creative side as part of the Youth Art Program run by Gallery Expo in Bixby Knolls.

Art deserves an audience. And so, the Gallery Expo will host a series of exhibitions culminating in a grand prize announcement at an awards ceremony in April.

The Youth Art Program at Gallery Expo is designed as a way to help build middle school students’ awareness of the environment around them and, at the same time, generate excitement about competing in an art program involving other middle school students.

“We didn’t plan the Youth Art Program with the intent of it being a competition between schools, but that seems to be the direction it has taken,” said Douglas Orr, who curates for Gallery Expo. “The program was originally intended for art students only. But, the staff at the schools soon made it clear that they wanted to offer the program to the entire student body of each school and we thought it was a great idea.”

The Youth Art Program will feature two artists’ receptions, both will be open to the public.  The first reception, featuring the 20 best works each from Franklin, Hamilton and Stephens middle schools, will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2010 from 2 to 4pm, followed by a two-week exhibit of the art from those schools.

The second reception, featuring the 20 best works each from Rosewood Park, Hughes and Washington middle schools will be held on Saturday, March 13, 2010 from 2 to 4pm, and will be followed by a two-week exhibit of the art from those schools.

The announcement of the final two grand prize winners will be the culmination of Gallery Expo’s two-month long Youth Art Program, involving five Long Beach Atlantic Corridor middle schools, and one outreach school, Rosewood Park School in Montebello.

Artist receptions will feature snacks and an awards announcement at 3pm, with two finalists selected to compete for Gold and Silver grand prizes in “Visions of a Green Tomorrow.”

The winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on April 2, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., just prior to the opening of Visions, the gallery’s juried show which is open to all LA area artists. A portion of sales of student artwork will be donated back to the respective schools’ art department.

The costs involved in putting on the Youth Art Program at Gallery Expo have been subsidized by community contributions made by the following organizations; 8th District Councilwomen Rae Gabelich, 7th District Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga, Utopia Restaurant, The Copy House, Staples, Poggio Restaurant, The Factory Gastrobar, IHOP Restaurant, Nino’s Italian Restaurant, and El Torito Restaurant. Gallery Expo asks that you show your support to those sponsoring people and businesses and thank them for their kind donations.

Gallery Expo was part of a larger plan by Douglas Orr and other area artists to turn the old Expo Furniture building into an active Arts Center, including a 99-seat theater, two art galleries, (one to sell only art produced in the building), a lobby area for meetings and social events, class rooms spaces for almost every kind of art, meeting rooms, artists and rehearsal studios, and much more.  Orr even drew out detailed floor plans for an Arts Center.

Orr stated, “When I heard that Blair Cohn, Executive Director of the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association, (BKBIA) has worked out a lease for the Expo building with the Long Beach Re-Development Agency, I knew that I had to be on board with them, (BKBIA) and help work towards the realization of my dream of an active arts center in Bixby Knolls”.

Gallery Expo is located in Bixby Knolls at 4321 Atlantic Avenue. Visit their website or email Curator Douglas Orr at

Comments are closed.