Some Beautiful Words From Longtime Gallery Family Member Bekka Koontz

In the back pages of the August 2006 issue of JUXTAPOZ there was an announcement of Thinkspace’s relocation from its original spot on Melrose, leased through a handshake, to artist Logan Hick‘s studio space on 4210 Santa Monica in Silver Lake, the re-located gallery headed up by L. Croskey and the Hosner brothers. A published mistake that would be rectified in later issues of JUXTAPOZ clarifying the relationship between Thinkspace co-founders Andrew Hosner, wife Shawn Vezinaw (Hosner), and close friend L. Croskey, who was the founder of underground art event Cannibal Flower that underscored the LA Art Scene in the early aughts. Andrew and Shawn connected with L. Croskey through mutual friends as the couple documented the burgeoning scene within the digital pages of their art blog Sour Harvest, which, at the time, provided regular updates on gallery openings, artist interviews and exhibitions of note to several thousand art lovers each month well before any other site was doing so and before many of today’s go to art sites had even launched.

Nearly twenty years later, Thinkspace has fostered the growth of emerging artists and leveraged established names to solidify the importance of New Contemporary work within the greater art landscape. Yet, the history and legacy of this LA establishment and third space for the Los Angeles creative community is threatened by the ramifications of having cancer in America and, with it, the opportunity to recognize one of the most genuine gallery owners in the art market. A fierce woman and gallery mother with a genderless name. Collectors often assumed Shawn to be a man and others that were unfamiliar with Thinkspace, and at times, the tone would shift, but people quickly understood Shawn was not one to be a pushover.

Andrew Hosner highlighted the impact of co-founder and wife Shawn Mary Vezinaw Hosner, who acted as the gallery’s Senior Director and Financial Coordinator in interviews and on social media by expressing how her contributions helped to propel the spaces forward with every growth spurt. The yin to his yang, a balancing force that ensured Thinkspace Projects was in a position to participate in art fairs that brought forth recognition to the movement and collaborative projects with galleries and museums developing curated exhibitions across the country and abroad.

Andrew, Shawn, and L.C. photographed by Estevan Oriol

The 20th-anniversary museum exhibition for JUXTAPOZ at the LA Municipal Art Gallery in 2015 was a milestone moment for Thinkspace, as the show was coordinated in tandem with the debut museum solo exhibition from the esteemed Robert Williams with ‘SLANG Aesthetics!‘. William’s show going on to tour four other museums across the U.S. 

The momentum growing with curated exhibitions at the Honolulu Museum of Art and Long Beach Museum of Art as part of our ongoing partnership with Jasper Wong, founder of Pow! Wow!, a non-profit organization of contemporary artists committed to community enrichment. Thinkspace’s intervention pushed Executive Director of the Long Beach Museum of Art, Ron Nelson, into this Contemporary art world subsect as he was “already looking down the rabbit hole of New Contemporary art and street art.” The show ‘Vitality and Verve‘ pulled in a record number of visitors over the museum’s 60+ year history, as the Long Beach Museum of Art became host to the first-ever all-ephemeral mural exhibition in the USA, which was executed by internationally recognized street artists and muralists who painted directly on the museum walls.

The New Contemporary Art Movement’s institutional recognition is part of Thinkspace Projects‘ continued mission. Ensuring living artists are being supported and able to be seen by a hungry audience of art enthusiasts who are looking for voices that reflect their unique experience. Our second special collaborative exhibition alongside Ozzie Juarez‘s Tlaloc Studio at Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center in Anaheim, ‘TRADITIONS: Honoring Heritage, Ritual, and Family‘ pays homage to the many familiar and cultural facts of our diverse Southern California landscape. The celebration of life for our family member, Shawn Mary Vezinaw Hosner, was held just a day before this meaningful show’s closing, the culmination a bittersweet echo of how our community influences our voice. Shawn’s influence is seen amongst the hundreds and hundreds of faces who came to celebrate her brilliant life and rich contribution to the LA art and music scene.

The belief that a gallery needs to earn and maintain an artist’s respect through ethical and proactive investment in their growth has been a key component to the sustaining business model. Andrew, Shawn, and LC maintained secondary income streams for years to ensure the gallery’s profits were reinvested into its advancement in the LA art scene. The Thinkspace owners’ collective passion aligned with providing a platform for artists to be seen and exposed to a collector base that is more concerned with building an art collection based on personal taste and not potential resell value. Unlike gallery spaces that operate on the intergenerational wealth of the artistic elite that comes with gratuitous praise and prestige. Thinkspace had been running for 6 years before co-owner Andrew Hosner was able to leave his role at Century Media, and the gallery was able to hire full-time staff with Associate Director Ken Flewellyn. Shawn continued to uphold her role at Ipecac Records til 2017. L. Croskey, Head Preparator, a known Westside DJ with independent expansion of his entrepreneurial role with Art Bar LA in Mar Vista where he continues to provide portfolio reviews, a page from Thinkspace’s early days in Silver Lake where artists like Dabs Myla were discovered.

The wisdom of Shawn Vezinaw has accompanied each expansion of Thinkspace Projects, currently located in the growing West Jefferson district, is a factor that would be limitedly acknowledged by the art establishment as her husband and figured head Andrew Hosner has been the face and voice of Thinkspace Projects for a majority of the last 19 years. Shawn was never one to draw attention to herself. But ask any of the artists who have come through the gallery’s doors, and Shawn’s impact is felt through their ongoing career developments and outpouring of love. Shawn, like most mothers, her contributions can go widely unnoticed, and her influence is rarely seen, although experienced through the planned dinners, booked travel, and the cultivation of community through ensuring connections are made between the talented voices that will shape this next era of art.

Now, Thinkspace, in its 19th year, struggles to fully grasp where it may go from here as co-owner Shawn Vezinaw Hosner joined her ancestors on Wednesday, February 14th, after a courageous 15-month battle with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. The illness exhausted the Hosner’s personal savings and cut badly into Thinkspace’s savings and safety net. A once lean gallery that’s made it through several fluctuations in the economy now relies on its community more than ever to help see a legacy founded and fostered by Shawn continue on and shape the future of the LA Art Scene, as inspired and determined as the landscape its carved out the last two decades.

Thinkspace was the first gallery to host a solo, two-person show, and/or provide institutional inclusion of several prominent artists over the last 19 years including Michael Alvarez, Joshua Petker, Peter Chan, Lola Gil, Felipe Pantone, Hilda Palafox (aka Poni), Roby Dwi Antono, Ozzie Juarez, Keita Morimoto, Giorgiko, Yosuke Ueno, Robert Pokorny, Julio Anaya Cabanding, Noritoshi Mitsuuchi, Hebru Brantley, Taylor Lee, Imon Boy, Perez Bros, Amy Crehore, Ryan Hewett, Willem Hoeffnagel, Kristy Moreno, Audrey Kawasaki, Esao Andrews, B. Robert Moore, Sydnie Jimenez, Dabs Myla, Seth Armstrong, Ozabu, Yasuhito Kawasaki, Kukula, Camilla d’Errico, Brandi Milne, Andrew Hem, Amy Sol, Joao Ruas, Brian M. Viveros, Sandra Chevrier, Michael Reeder, Alex Face, Brett Amory, Ana Bagayan, So Youn Lee, Ryol, Cinta Vidal, TRNZ, Kayla Mahaffey, Sainer, DULK, MILLO, Saner Edgar, and ROA. 

Thinkspace Projects has curated and collaborated with several major art institutions in the Los Angeles / Orange County areas, including:
Long Beach Museum of Art (Long Beach, CA.)
Lancaster Museum of Art and History (Lancaster, CA.)
Lancaster Museum of Art and History: MOAH CEDAR (Lancaster, CA.)
MUZEO Museum and Cultural Center (Anaheim, CA.)
Fullerton Museum Center (Fullerton, CA.)
The Brand Library & Art Center (Glendale, CA.)
Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts (Palm Desert, CA.)
Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Art Park (Hollywood, CA.)
The Muckenthaler Cultural Center (Fullerton, CA.)
Fullerton College Art Gallery (Fullerton, CA.)

In addition to numerous curated exhibitions abroad with various museums and institutions, including:
Urban Nation (Berlin, Germany)
STRAAT (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum (Mesa, AZ.)
Fort Wayne Museum of Art (Fort Wayne, IN.)
Honolulu Museum of Art (Honolulu, HI.)
LSU Museum of Art (Baton Rouge, LA.)
Elmhurst Art Museum (Elmhurst, IL.)
University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ.)
University of Texas (El Paso, TX.)

Along with curated exhibitions with gallery partners in Hong Kong, London, Berlin, New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Portland, New Orleans, and Detroit.

Please help us bounce back after Shawn’s cancer battle

Shawn Mary Vezinaw Hosner’s cancer battle exhausted the Hosner’s personal savings and cut badly into Thinkspace’s savings and financial safety net. We need the help and support of our worldwide art community now more so than ever, and can not let cancer take away what Shawn and the Thinkspace Family has spent the last 19 years building.

Any additional funds raised will go towards a future art award / fund we are putting together with JUXTAPOZ. Full details will follow on this in the coming months.

Your support can make a tremendous difference in making sure Thinkspace Projects is around for years to follow and that we also build towards a lasting annual award in her name. Any contribution, whether big or small, will be greatly appreciated. Here are some ways you can help:

Make a Donation: Your financial contribution will go a long way in helping us honor Shawn’s memory and legacy, helping us to rebuild our savings so that we can operate at full capacity and to build towards an annual artist fund / award / contest with Shawn’s favorite magazine, JUXTAPOZ.

Share Our Campaign: Please share this and our fundraising campaign with your friends, family, and social networks to help us reach a wider audience.

We want to express our heartfelt gratitude in advance for any support you can provide. Together, we can ensure that Shawn’s legacy continues to grow and allow another generation of emerging artists to be inspired by her vision, love and kindness, while simultaneously helping our family in this most difficult time.

Thank you for being a part of preserving the memory and legacy of one of the best humans ever (in our humble opinions).. If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to reach out.

SHAWN MARY VEZINAW HOSNER
3/11/66 to 2/14/24

SHAWN FOREVER.

Photo by BirdMan

Click here to support our GoFundMe
Help us bounce back with a donation via our Venmo
20% off all works on our print shop

Introducing our ‘Shawn Forever’ series of fund-raising prints

This coming Monday, March 11 would have been Shawn Mary Vezinaw Hosner’s 58th birthday. To help us recover from the mountain of medical bills from Shawn’s cancer battle, we are launching a special suite of fund-raising editions in tandem with our good friends at Static Medium on this most special of days.

We are honored to kick things off with two beautiful new editions from Cinta Vidal of works featured in her recent sold-out NYC solo show we hosted for her. We’ve worked with Cinta for over a decade now, and she loved Shawn, so this is a great starting point for this special series.

Static Medium is generously waving all productions fees and the artists are donating the full runs to helping us re-build, get out of debt and back into fighting shape for 2025 and beyond, not to mention build towards a fund for our future art award in Shawn’s honor with our good friends at JUXTAPOZ. The support has been overwhelming to us and we can not begin to express in words what this all means to us, as we are all still so in shock at the loss of our dear Shawn.

Both ‘Eames’ and ‘Plaza’ from Vidal will be available on Monday, March 11 at 10am PST / 1pm EST via our web shop. Full details shared Monday morning via our e-mail newsletter and can be found now on our Facebook page.

CINTA VIDAL
“Eames”
Edition of 50
32 x 32 inches / 81.28cm x 81.28cm
Hand Deckled Edges
On Moab Entrada 290gsm
Each print is signed and numbered by the artist
Printed by Static Medium (Los Angeles)
$250

*Prints will ship rolled in a tube and ship out by the week of the 18th of March.

Available on Monday, March 11 at 10am PST / 1pm EST via our web shop

CINTAL VIDAL
“Plaza”
Edition of 50
24 x 24 inches
60.96cm x 60.96
Hand Deckled Edges
On Moab Entrada 290gsm
Each print is signed and numbered by the artist
Printed by Static Medium (Los Angeles)
$200

*Prints will ship rolled in a tube and ship out by the week of the 18th of March.

Shipping costs are additional and will be calculated during check out. Any customs or duty fees incurred, are not the responsibility of the gallery.

Sorry, no pre-orders are available.

Anyone that has donated to our GoFundMe, Venmo or helped in any way so far, we can not begin to thank you enough. Our community means so much to us and it was EVERYTHING to Shawn. She always wanted everyone to know how much we loved them and respected the fact that there is so much to do every night in Los Angeles, so when you choose to come and hang out with us and our family of creatives, that that really meant something to her and always will to everyone one of us here at Thinkspace.

72 hour timed editions coming up with:
Giorgiko on Friday, March 15
Brian M. Viveros on Friday, March 22

Also watch for new ‘Shawn Forever’ print editions coming very soon with:
Yosuke Ueno, Gustavo Rimada, Dulk, Audrey Kawasaki, Amy Sol, Stom500, Scott Listfield, Jasper Wong, Esao Andrews and many more in the works

SHAWN MARY VEZINAW HOSNER
3/11/66 to 2/14/24

Donation Links:
GoFundMe Link
Paypal Link
Venmo Link

Video Tour & Opening Reception Party of March Exhibitions featuring B. Robert Moore, Marissa Reyes, Roja, & F CANCER Charity Benefit Group Show at Thinkspace Projects

Here is the opening night recap video from this past Saturday’s reception for our March exhibitions. (Opening night photos BELOW for F Cancer Group Show, Marissa Reyes’ and Roja’s solo exhibitions!)

Many thanks to everyone who came through to support and a big round of applause to b. Robert Moore, Marissa Reyes, and Roja on their new bodies of work.

In Gallery I, strong, evocotive work stirred the non-stop full house for b. ROBERT MOOREOut the Mud: A Black American Rite of Passage’. A museumesque exhibition that had our patrons deeply engaged all evening. (Opening Night photos for b. Robert Moore HERE!)

In Gallery III, YeeHaws and bananas 🍌 helped to lift spirits in MARISSA REYES’s deeply personal body of work for ‘Fighting Fickle Feelings For You.’

In Gallery IV, the textile based work by ROJA in ‘Asco’ wowed the crowds with its intricacies and wild narratives.

And finally in Gallery II, the emotions were deep and the support was strong surrounding our ‘F CANCER’ Group Show to raise funds for cancer research and awareness, in honor of one of our own. CLICK HERE to see the roster of participating artists.

THANK YOU so very much to all the artists who took part and literally dropped everything in their busy schedules when we put this show together a mere six weeks ago. I can not thank you all enough. Still in awe of the special works you all submitted. ❤️

THANK YOU to everyone that has supported this show by purchasing a work, has shared word about it, taken the time to send us a note of support, shared your own painful stories of loved one’s battle with this evil disease, and shared alternative remedies, as we are open to any and all.

This art community is our family and you all really have made Shawn feel so very, very loved and it’s rare to get your flowers, as they say, before you pass on to the next plane of being. Last evening was special on so many levels.

We simply cannot thank you all enough. It has put some much needed extra fuel in our collective tanks for the battle ahead. Now to fight like we have never fought before. Shawn forever.

F*ck you, cancer. F*ck you. To learn more about all the American Cancer Society do, or to make a donation, please check here: www.cancer.org

Shout outs to Venice Beats, GoopmasstaThe Roll N’ Bunn,  Digital Debris Video Gallery, B9RK, Gonga, Roshi, Made Fresh Shop, Society of Shadows and Timeless Brand for helping provide great vibes for all in attendance.

All four exhibits remain on view until March 25, 2023.

Open Tuesday to Saturday from 12-6pm. Viewing Rooms for each show are now live on our website.

Video + photos courtesy @BirdManPhotos

Continue reading Video Tour & Opening Reception Party of March Exhibitions featuring B. Robert Moore, Marissa Reyes, Roja, & F CANCER Charity Benefit Group Show at Thinkspace Projects

Group Exhibition “Elysium” & Lauren Brevner’s Solo Exhibition Opening Reception Recap

Thank you to all that came out to support the opening of our November exhibitions. Congratulations to Atsuko Goto, Audrey Kawasaki, Stella Im Hultberg, Fuco Ueda, Jolene Lai, Lauren Brevner and Lonac on beautiful new bodies of work.

All three exhibits are on view through this Saturday, November 24 at Thinkspace Projects. Visit our website to view the available pieces from Elysium, Menagerie, and Summer in Zaberg. 

Photos courtesy of Birdman.

Group Exhibition “Elysium” Featuring Audrey Kawasaki, Fuco Ueda, Atsuko Goto, Jolene Lai, and Stella Im Hultberg in Main Room, November 10th – November 24th

Group Exhibition – ELYSIUM
featuring new works from
AUDREY KAWASAKI
FUCO UEDA
ATSUKO GOTO
JOLENE LAI
STELLA IM HULTBERG 
Opening Reception:
THIS Saturday, November 10 from 6-9PM

AUDREY KAWASAKI 

Audrey Kawasaki is a Japanese-American artist currently living and working in Los Angeles. She attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY where she was influenced by Manga and art nouveau. Her work depicts sensuous young women on wood panel, with a strong emphasis on line quality and facial expression.

The themes in Audrey Kawasaki’s work are contradictions within themselves. Her work is both innocent and erotic. Each subject is attractive yet disturbing. Her sharp graphic imagery is combined with the natural grain of the wood panels she paints on, bringing forth unexpected warmth to enigmatic subject matter.

The figures she paints are seductive and contain an air of melancholy. They exist in their own sensually esoteric realm, yet at the same time present a sense of accessibility that draws the observer to them.

FUCO UEDA 

The Tokyo-based Ueda creates surreal paintings of enigmatic girls in strangely beautiful incandescent dreamscapes. With larger than life flowers and creatures ranging from moray eels to butterflies, her paintings are like apparitions pulled from the shadowy depths of the subconscious. Her mischievous adventurers are innocent and devious, at times playful and others sinister, suspended somewhere between the waking world and the beyond. An inscrutable universe of lush neon chrysanthemums and florid skins, Ueda’s world is a hallucinatory daydream.

Ueda’s works convey the lonely meditative feeling of dreams, a world set apart from the existence of others and self-sustained by isolated dread and reverie. At times a darkness pervades with recurring symbols like skeletal hands and the fiery orbs, or hitodama, of Japanese folklore, thought to be the souls of the dead. Another recurring symbol that figures prominently in her works is the chrysanthemum, also a symbol of loss, death, and vulnerability. These surreal apparitions reinforce a sense of displacement and transience. Her lithe figures, often charged with a cryptic eroticism, dissolve into the webs of these conjured worlds; like figments crossing over into ghostly recesses.

The tone of Ueda’s works tends to shift towards a lighter and more whimsical extreme as well. Her girls are often surrounded by small birds, butterflies, underwater creatures, beribboned pets, and dazzling flora, in dreamily abstracted landscapes that seem to glow and hum with weird life. The combination of these light and dark extremes is often unexpected, and psychologically evocative. Beautifully illustrated girls drip with honey and bare skinned knees, while snakes, fish, cobwebs, and bright fungi surround and shroud them. Contrasts abound in her choice of palettes as well, with the mixture of deeply pigmented hues, dark blacks, bright neons and iridescent pastel purples and blues.

ATSUKO GOTO 

Atsuko Goto creates beautifully melancholic images of delicate figures cloaked and merged with natural elements, everything from flowers and butterflies to insects, birds, and fish. Her muted palette is as ghostly as haze, achieved through the unique application of diluted pigments made from semi-precious lapis lazuli, ink, and gum arabic applied to cotton.

Inspired by Japanese Shinto and the belief that nature is animated by divinity and sacred spirits harbored in every living and inanimate thing, Goto creates imagery that conveys this feeling of profuse life force and intangible mystery, offset by a darker suggestion of mourning and lament. Quietly meditative, her works exude a dreamlike calm and resignation despite their abundance of detail and the density of her compositions. Silence and forlorn composure define this existence of the preternatural.

Fragile in their tempered darkness, the works are subtle and near translucent – like the unknown light and strange optics of an otherworldly plane where everything is unsubstantial. A feeling of entrapment and isolation persists, however, in the quietude. Like hauntings from the subconscious, the paintings feel like faded dreams, surreal distortions bordering on the ominous. Unsettling, the muted beauty of these diaphanous idols loom, uncannily caught in a thin veil between worlds.

JOLENE LAI

Jolene Lai is a Los Angeles-based artist and illustrator born and raised in Singapore. After studying painting at Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore, Jolene studied graphic design at UCLA and spent a year working at a movie-poster design house, The Refinery Creative, before returning to focus on fine art.

She works primarily with oil on canvas or mixed media on watercolor paper. With bold use of color, shape and intricate detail, she creates images with a seductive aesthetic and subject matter that weaves in emotions of whimsy, melancholy, irony, and absurdity.

Lai seeks to engage her audience in works that are approachable, newly imagined spaces that the viewer is invited to explore on their own terms.

STELLA IM HULTBERG 

Stella Im Hultberg was born in South Korea, raised in Seoul, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and later in California. She studied Industrial Design and worked as a product designer before serendipitously falling into the art world in late 2005. Stella Im Hultberg’s paintings are conceived in varying combinations of ink, watercolor, and oils on paper, wood, and canvas. Her portraits of women are rendered in easy, flowing lines with soft hues that transcend the typical critiques of feminine beauty, inherent in today’s self-conscious society.

Hultberg originally studied Industrial Design at CSU, which naturally segued into work as a toy designer early on in her career. Work in the design industry serendipitously led to her building on her natural talents as an artist and a career as a self-taught painter soon followed. Having grown up in Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan, she has a diverse blend of cultural influences to pull from.

When not painting or drawing, she likes to eat, ride her bicycle, and play the New York Times crossword puzzle. After a decade in NYC, she now lives (and works) in Portland OR with her daughter and husband.