Long Beach artists open their studios for Mid-City Studio Tours

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midcity-studio-tour(Watch the Mid-City Studio Tour video after the jump!)

Long Beach-based artists will open their studios this weekend, October 3-4, 2009 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The public is invited to see a diverse range of art works by 21 artists including paintings, mixed media constructions, artist’s books, prints, photographs, sculpture and poetry.

The free event is called The Mid-City Studio Tour because of the location of the neighborhoods where the studios are located in Long Beach. This fourth biennial program (expanded to two days for the first time) celebrates the vital visual artist community in this city. 

Gail Werner, painter, observes “ we want to share our passion for art-making with our neighbors by opening our private studios to the public.”

Sue Ann Robinson, known nationally for her handmade books and innovative book art, comments “There are many wonderful, creative artists in this area who outnumber the arts venues available to present work to the public. So, thanks to the efforts of this year’s event leaders Gisele and Gail Werner, the Mid-City Studio Tour provides a special opportunity to see artists’ environments and processes.”

Invitations and maps for this self-guided studio tour are available before the event at Long Beach Museum of Art (2300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach 90803), BKBIA (4313 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach 90807) Utopia (445 E 1st St Long Beach, CA 90802) and participating It’s A Grind locations (5933 E. Spring St.; 4754 E. Pacific Coast Hwy; 4245 Atlantic Ave.; and 5125 Candlewood St. Lakewood). For more information or to download a map visit the website www.midcitystudiotour.com.

Video courtesy of The Creativity Network

A companion bike tour, organized by BikeLongBeach.Org, is an added element for this year’s Mid-City Studio Tour. In support of the city’s goal to be the most bike-friendly community in the nation, a safe map for cyclists will be made available at all participating It’s A Grind locations on both days of the tour, where artists will also be showing.

Cyclists are encouraged to meet each other at the coffee house locations and ride as a group. There will be refreshments available at each studio and free delivery for all art purchased by local cyclists. For more information on the bike tour visit www.bikelongbeach.org. The Mid-City Tour is part of GLOBAL 2009 – Greater Long Beach Arts Lab – celebrating National Arts and Humanities Month.

Participating Artists in the Mid-City Studio Tour:

Sandy Abrams’ work crosses many media. By using felt, wood, basket materials and various fibers, she makes non-functional objects that echo her connection to nature and to the “ordinary” or mundane routines in life. Interested in process, she finds repetitious movements most rewarding and relaxing. For the past four years she has been returning to Ireland, which she says is “a great source of inspiration and comfort for my soul. At this stage in my career I am interested in developing a deeper connection to the natural world. Ireland and its people help bridge that connection.”

Slater Barron, also known as The Lint Lady, continues to explore the use of dryer lint to create both three-dimensional food items, including a new series of delectable cupcakes, and whimsical pictures. Her mixed media works are often charged with biting social commentary reflecting her early studies in sociology and psychology. New paintings include spiritual elements that celebrate her recovery from lung cancer. The two sided panels with painted in acrylic and metal leaf are hung with carefully calibrated metal pipes, which emit haunting melodic sounds when struck. Karen Holden, well-known poet, will read a selection of her poems at 3 p.m. both days in the garden of Slater Barron’s Studio.

Judy Chan is a mixed-media artist who combines works on paper with 3-dimensional objects. She received BFA and MFA degrees from CSULB. Judy has been honored with various awards, including the NEA Visual Artists Fellowship, Angel’s Gate Cultural Center’s Studio Fellowship and a studio residency at Newfoundland, Canada. She has had a number of solo exhibitions at various venues, including the Long Beach Museum of Art.

Victoria Damrel, photographer and educator, has been producing and exhibiting both commercial and fine art photographs for more than twenty years. Her innovative fine art work examines both the human condition and the natural world.

Cynthia Evans’ award-winning paintings are featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and combine whimsy, humor, and a sense of mystery. In 2008, she was awarded a public art grant from the L.A. Metro to create a “neighborhood poster” about Hermosa Beach. The poster was displayed on buses and trains throughout L.A. County.

Monica Fleming – Her work is an investigation of herself through the medium of painting. She is constantly inspired by the ability of music to alter one’s state of mind. She attempts to translate musical patterns into images on a canvas by matching colors to aural tones. The resulting surface creates rich emotional landscapes. While she may begin with a color or song title, the painting ultimately takes on a life of it’s own. This method serves to create a work that is in constant motion.

Inspired by nature, Gisele’s latest paintings invite the viewer to reacquaint him/herself with the surrounding world. Utilizing organic forms and brilliant colors, the works connect the viewer to a more essential relationship with nature. The images move back and forth in perspective allowing us the opportunity to examine a world of both beauty and mystery. Awarded the 2009 Grant from Vermont Studio Center for a one month residency.

Stories within stories play out inside Moira Hahn’s colorful watercolor paintings. Hahn is a clever visual storyteller with a wry sense of humor. She spins layered tales of excess and caution in vivid images seemingly ripped from ancient Asian scrolls and Japanese woodblock prints.’-from Suvan Geer, review of ‘Night Vision’ exhibition at Koplin Del Rio Gallery ArtScene, January/February 2009

The woodblock prints and mixed media work of Ilee Kaplan have been exhibited both nationally and internationally. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and California Arts Council as well as the Distinguished Artist award from the Long Beach Public Corporation for the Arts. Her dynamic and dramatic figurative imagery seeks to evoke visceral interactions. “I specialize in angst,” she often says.

In college, Curt Miller majored in art but switched to “something you can get a job in” much to his regret. He recently retired and rediscovered painting, enjoying it much more than he ever did in school. He is thrilled to document his adopted town of Long Beach by painting local landscapes, on canvas and in oil.

In the work of Douglas Orr, the viewer is encouraged to open his/her mind, step into the artist’s world and join him on a journey—or just look at his work as decoration and leave it at that. Orr is fascinated with the iconic art that he has seen in his travels. Orr currently operates ORR Visual Communications, a interior/exterior design and construction company, which he has owned since 1997. He also serves as Vice President of the Long Beach Shakespeare Company (2003 to present) and is active with the Second City Arts, DDR Projects, and Long Beach Arts.

Daniel du Plessis reinterprets nature imagery to create psychological environments. Themes include romantic love, transience, and the irrevocable passage of time. Du Plessis is intrigued by how conventional symbols, such as roses and hearts, become invigorated when used in an unexpected context. To misquote Gertrude Stein, sometimes “a rose is not a rose is not a rose”.

Robert Potier does abstract acrylic paintings, some using exotic techniques and materials, such as hand-dyed fabrics. A graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, he has exhibited most recently at the James Gray Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.

Sue Ann Robinson creates one-of-a-kind and limited edition artist’s books. Her works are in numerous public museum collections including the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Getty Research Institute, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Robinson is the recipient of two Long Beach Arts Council / Public Corporation for the Arts Artist Fellowships and has taught book arts with grants from the California Arts Council at the Long Beach Museum of Art and the Long Beach Public Libraries. She will be demonstrating paper marbling throughout the weekend. Robinson will be joined at her studio by Long Beach artist Pia Pizzo, also known for her artist’s books in both California and Italy. Both artists will have their artists’ books available at Robinson’s studio during the tour.

The paintings of Joan Skogsberg Sanders will be on view in her studio. Her paintings with their rich use of color and enigmatic imagery have been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. Her work has also been featured on International Cable Television and the new Fox Channel 11 program, Bones. Author of the book Simple Screenprinting: Basic Techniques and Creative Projects, Annie Stromquist demonstrates her virtuoso technique and evocative imagery in mixed media drawings, collages and prints. Her works have been exhibited nationally and internationally, and she is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner International Fellowship and several artist residencies including two months in Newfoundland.

A member of the Cupeño Band of Southern California Indians, Gail Werner creates paintings and monotypes reflecting the desert landscape and Native American cultural imagery. Combined together within a landscape space, the colors and mysterious quality of rock art, pottery vessels, basketry designs, and plant and bird life evoke a dreamlike, evolving world. She has an upcoming solo show at Merced College Art Gallery in spring 2010 and has shown widely in Southern California and the United States.

Danish-American Lisa Wibroe earned her degree in 3-D Media from CSU Long Beach, which allowed her to work in a wide range of media. She recently curated a Long Beach based exhibition featuring twelve local artists, which also showcased her Viking inspired works including the brass and steel Beowulf Box from her series of Viking Vixen ware/wear. Wibroe’s work in ceramics, bronze, wood, glass, silk, and paper were also displayed. See LB Post podcast by journalist Sander Wolff at http://lbcsrw.podomatic.com/ and go to episode 5.

The Mid-City Studio Tour is sponsored by It’s A Grind Coffee House, Arts Council for Long Beach, and Bikelongbeach.org. For further information contact: Ilee Kaplan, 562.985.7603 or by e-mail at kaplan@csulb.edu. Images, additional information about the artists, and a tour map are available on the event web site: www.midcitystudiotour.com.


One Response to “Long Beach artists open their studios for Mid-City Studio Tours”
  1. Michelle says:

    I am going to see Annie Stromquist today! Yay!