West Coast Art Fairs for Labor Day

Kings Mountain Art Fair

picture from Kings Mountain Art Fair website

If you’re looking for fair options for Labor Day weekend on the west coast, look no further than these ideas. The Kings Mountain Art Fair will be held during the holiday weekend in Woodside, California. It benefits the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade and is staffed by volunteers from the community. It’s set among the redwoods and is in the most stunning location.

Food is available all day for the three days including breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. There is a kiddie section as well called the Kiddie Hollow where children can make their own art projects and there is a Parent’s Retreat overlooking the Kiddie Hollow where parents can kick up their feet and relax while kids play.

Another great option is Art in the Pearl. This is Portland, Oregon’s annual Find Arts & Crafts Festival which occurs each year on Labor Day weekend. The 20th annual festival will take place at the Pearl District’s North Park Blocks and it is free. It’s been named one of the top 10 Arts and Crafts Festivals in the country, and with good reason.

Get out and enjoy the fresh air and the last days of summer with these fairs.

Portland2016 Biennial of Contemporary Art

city-1152575_960_720Portland, Oregon is a fantastic city, and the Portland2016 Biennial of Contemporary Art is a show not to be missed. This event is a survey of Oregon’s visual artists. Michelle Grabner, a nationally recognized curator, will be leading the Portland2016 Biennial.

Now, the show runs through September 18th, so you have awhile to get there. The gallery hours will be noon to five Wednesday through Saturday and there will be volunteer docents from The Dalles Art Center on these days. The artists’ reception will take place on Sunday, July 24th from 3-7pm and there will be a special event on Saturday, September 3.

Come and enjoy!


The Work of Henry Ascencio

It’s always a joy to find talented artists – and even more of a joy to see how they integrate their art with other mediums. Here is a video that showcases the exceptional work of artist Henry Ascencio as he painted two live models while Concert Rock Violinist Aaron Meyer plays in the background.

Ascencio received his artistic training at the Academy of Art University where he graduated from the fine art department with honors in 1999. He began his professional painting career upon finishing at the Academy of Art University and he lives in San Jose, California where he works mostly out of his personal studio.

Watch the video and enjoying seeing his work in motion.

3 Great Ideas for Father’s Day in LA

If you live in Los Angeles and are looking for fun activities to do with dad today, here are a few great ideas:

Parachute Market: If you’ve never been to the Parachute Market, you’re missing out. They host events, dinners and marketplaces throughout June in the Arts District of DTLA. Their theme this year is “Alone Together” and the market was founded by Coryander Friend.  Today, you’ll find them at the MAMA Gallery, 1242 Palmetto Street, Los Angeles, ca 90013.

Angel City Brewery’s Father’s Day Food Truck and Music Fest: The Angel City Brewery is having a great day today. The brewery will have a Father’s Day Food Truck and Music Fest. There will be beer, live music, artisan vendors and local food trucks. The event will start at 2pm.

Pasadena Chalk Festival: If you want something really unique to do for Father’s Day, this might be it. 600 artists come together to create masterpieces in chalk on the streets of Pasadena at the Paseo Colorado shopping center each year.  They have a Kids’ Chalkland section as well where kids can make cards for their dads. Today, Sunday, there will be a Police Classic Car Show from 10-3, live music, shopping and food.



Have a Blast with the 30th ChocolateFest

If you happen to be in Wisconsin this weekend, or you can get there, you’ll have a blast at the 30th Annual ChocolateFest. This is a major fundraiser for the area’s non-profit organizations and it has, in recent years, generated almost cake-pops-693645_960_720$100,000 annually for charitable groups.

Held over Memorial Day Weekend, the event has many aspects to it, and this year’s theme is Vote for Chocolate. You can enter the Chocolate Experience tent where you’ll see chocolate to eat, carving contests, cooking demonstrations, and even a fashion show featuring clothing made from…Nestle’ candy wrappers. There will be oodles of vendors as well, of course, selling their chocolate wares.

They have an $8 Taster Ticket that offers 12 chocolate samples inside the tent. With the chocolate cooking contest, high school students will compete for top honors. Demonstrations will take place with Dan Small, host of MPTV’s “Outdoor Wisconsin,” Chef Ross and Chef Kevin Rausch of Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan.

Other activities in the area will be a fireworks display, the Jaycees arts and crafts fair in Echo Park and the community Memorial Day parade.

Art for Mom This Mother’s Day

If mom likes art and you’re in New York today, here are a few great places to go to enjoy. Certainly, there are hundreds of art locations around New York where you can enjoy a feast for the eyes. First, Portal, taking place through Tuesday at the Federal Hall National Memorial includes 28 artists. These are mostly emerging or new artists and admission is free. All sorts of art is on display from animated videos to oil paintings. Portal is run by artists Nicole Laemmle, Jack Robinson and Antony Zito

Another great fair is the Flux Art Fair that is taking place through May 31 at Marcus Garvey Park. Flux includes almost 50 objects, projects and related exhibitions that are selected by invitation only. The sculptures include such works as Kurt Steger’s plywood structure that sites on a boulder and Bayete Ross Smith’s stack of boomboxes.

Take mom out today and enjoy the art in your area!

Spring Masters Back in Armory from May 6-9

Greek Urn, Phoenix Ancient Art, ca. 550-500 BCE

Greek Urn, Phoenix Ancient Art

For serious collectors and simple art aficionados, the Spring Masters New York is an art fair with a flair. The show, which has been held for the past two years at the Park Avenue Armory, will bring back the ground-breaking hexagonal booth layout, designed by famed architect Rafael Viñoly.

Also back are the over 60 exhibitors representing galleries from Canada, London, Basel and other international venues, as well as major, and less well-known, art hubs in the United States.

Styles and periods span the spectrum from the far-away past to the most up-to-the-minute present. Sculpture, paintings, design, jewelry and more will delight the eye and fire the imagination.

Ring with a sphinx (1295–1069 BC), Egyptian, 19th–20th Dynasty. Phoenix Ancient Art ($750,000)

Ring with a sphinx (1295–1069 BC), Egyptian, 19th–20th Dynasty. Phoenix Ancient Art ($750,000)

Artworks from the distant past will be on display courtesy of veteran exhibitor Phoenix Ancient Art. The New York and Geneva based antique art dealers Ali Aboutaam and Hicham Aboutaam will display beautiful objects d’art from ancient Egypt, Greece, Canaan and many more. Of special interest at this year’s fair is an Egyptian ring with a sphinx dated from 1295-1069 BC. Located at A4, the booth of Phoenix Ancient Art is a must-see for anyone interested in the juxtaposition of rare, beautiful art from incredibly ancient cultures.

Paris-based Galerie Lefebvre specializes in 20th century designers and vintage photographers. A visit to their booth will bring you to works by such notable artists as Man Ray, Vaclav Chochola, and Jules Leleu.

Art from the Far East will be on display at booth E7, manned by the Yufuku Gallery of Tokyo. This gallery represents artists such as Takafumi Asakura, who works in black ink on aluminum leaf mounted on silk screens; Naoki Takeyama, who makes intricate, modern, abstract sculptures of enameled copper with gold and silver leaf; and Takuo Nakamura, who creates exquisitely colorful, enameled, inlaid stoneware.

The fair opens with a by-invitation-only preview party on Thursday evening, May 5. On Friday, May 6 through Monday, May 9 the Armory opens at 11:00 AM and closes at 7:30 PM on Friday and Saturday, and at 6:00 PM on Sunday and Monday. Tickets are $30 at the door for adults; $15 for students; and a run-of-the-fair ticket costs $50. There is a discount for those purchasing tickets on-line.

The Park Avenue Armory is located On Park Avenue between 66th and 67th Street.

Enjoy the 33rd Annual Art in Bloom Festival

bouquet-995438_960_720Here is something really fun and unique to enjoy. The 33rd Annual Art in Bloom festival will take place in Minneapolis, MN from April 28 – May 1. This is a four day festival of floral arrangements and fine art that is being presented by Friends of the Institute at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. It highlights the talent of more than 150 local floral artists. Their floral arrangements will be on display next to the artworks that inspired them.

There will be a Patron Preview Party on Wednesday evening and then from Thursday to Sunday, people can experience the fun of floral arrangements will enjoying lectures and floral demonstrations. There will be docent tours which include complimentary 45 minute tours of the floral displays running four to five times a day from Thursday through Sunday.
There will also be an evening party called Flowers After Hours and a day to bring children on Family Day on Saturday. Have fun!

A Feast for the Eyes: de Chirico & Phoenix Ancient Art

Certainly, anyone who was privy to be at the recent exhibit at the Helly Nahmad Gallery called “Mnemosyne: de Chirico and Antiquity,” will tell you what a fantastic experience it was. The exhibit ran through January 30th before moving to Gstaad for a short viewing. The unusual exhibit was built around 22 paintings from Giorgio de Chirico from his 1920s period. They were juxtaposed alongside 40 examples of Greek and Roman antiquities from Phoenix Ancient Art with brothers Ali Aboutaam and Hicham Aboutaam.

As Roberta Smith describes in her piece entitled “A Sumptuous Surrealist Moment in Manhattan,” in The New York Times, “White marble sculptures of melancholy, reclining goddesses often preside over de Chirico’s deep-shadowed piazzas of the 1910s. But as the Nahmad show indicates, in the 1920s, the artist, who was born in Greece and spent some of his childhood there, turned to figures of flesh and bone. Rosy-skinned gladiators, wrestlers and soldiers in togas and occasionally helmets prevail here, along with bearded philosophers.”

He continues by saying,

“The Phoenix antiquities give de Chirico fierce competition. Stretching from Geometric Period bronze horses to Roman mosaics, they include several impressive Hellenistic statuettes. They reflect the ebb and flow across the Greco-Roman world of the real and the ideal, the sophisticated and the provincial.”

The show was a feast for the eyes and a fantastic challenge to the normal order of how art is displayed. Kudos to The Helly Nahmad Gallery, to Giorgio de Chirico and to Phoenix Ancient Art.

Neon Fun with MONA

sign-52494_960_720Whether you’re already into neon, or you just want a new experience, the Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles is a site to behold. Founded in 1981, the museum includes neon and electric art from artists around the world. It also has restored vintage signs from businesses around Southern California.

The museum has changed locations, originally housed in downtown LA, then at the Universal CityWalk and now in downtown Glendale. It’s across the street from the Americana at Brand, the open air shopping center.

MONA is a walk down memory lane, a place to see all of the neon signs from our past.  And if you happen to be in LA, it’s certainly worth the look.