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

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Opening Reception of Vitality and Verve III Featured in Cartwheel Art

Online magazine Cartwheel Art featured the opening reception of Vitality and Verve III: Transforming the Urban Landscape at the Long Beach Museum of Art.

Each artist’s installation is activated by the space it occupies and the work it sits next to. Occupying both floors of the museum’s galleries, it is nearly impossible to view one artist’s installation on it’s own, without seeing another out of the corner of your eye. This aspect of the exhibit challenges you to experience the layers of artworks as they bounce off one another and consume the space in totality. – Cartwheel Art

Visit their website to view the full review and photos of the event, EVENT PHOTO COVERAGE: Opening Reception of Vitality and Verve III: Transforming the Urban Landscape, at Long Beach Museum of Art. 

Vitality and Verve III: Transforming the Urban Landscape is on view now through September 29th at the Long Beach Museum of Art.

Visit the Thinkspace Projects website for more information here

Vitality & Verve III: Transforming the Urban Landscape Featured on Hypebeast

Hypebeast just hyped our collaboration with the Long Beach Musem of Art for Vitality and Verve III: Transforming the Urban Landscape and we couldn’t be more excited.

Jump over to their website to view a collection of the installations – Long Beach Museum Transformed into a Street Art Playground. 

 

‘VITALITY AND VERVE III’ ON VIEW NOW AT THE LONG BEACH MUSEUM OF ART

Nearly 1,900 of you came out this past Friday to witness the kick-off of the third iteration of our Vitality and Verve exhibition series with the Long Beach Museum of Art as part of the special programming for POW! WOW! Long Beach. If you didn’t make it out this weekend, hours and days are shared below. This history-making exhibition will remain on view through September 9, don’t miss your chance to catch these murals before they are painted over and gone forever. Many thanks to Birdman for capturing them for the ages.

The Long Beach Museum of Art presents:
VITALITY AND VERVE III
 
Curated by Thinkspace as part of POW! WOW! Long Beach
 
On view through September 9, 2018, at:
Long Beach Museum of Art

Amy Sol
Tea Leaves II, 2018
Acrylic on museum wall

Bordalo II
Plastic Seal, 2018
Spray paint on recycled plastics

CASE
In This Together, 2018
Acrylic on museum wall

Dan Witz
Trompe L’Oeil grates and vents, 2018
Oil and digital media on Sintra

Dennis McNett
Back in 5, 2018
Wolfbat’s blood and love installation

Drew Merritt
Coward, 2018
Acrylic on museum wall

Evoca1
Unrest, 2018
Acrylic on museum wall

Fintan Magee
American Fortress, 2018
Acrylic, oil on wood

HERAKUT
ALL QUEENS HERE AGREED that they depended on each other and no kingdom was too small to matter, 2018
Spray painted canvas, acrylic on cardboard on museum wall

Hush
Three Sirens, 2018
Acrylic, spray paint, screen print inks made on paper then deconstructed and reassembled as collage on wall with wheat paste

Jaune
What A Wonderful World, 2018
Acrylic and spray paint on museum wall

Juan Travieso
The Guardian, 2018
Gold leaf, acrylic, oil, on museum wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KOZ DOS
NU-VES, 2018
Acrylic on museum wall

Leon Keer
Buy, Consume and Die, 2018
Acrylic on museum wall

Lauren YS The Lotus Eaters, 2018 Acrylic on museum wall

Michael Reeder
Death from Above 2079, 2018
Spray paint, acrylic, acrylic on wood on museum wall

RISK
Metallic Tissue, 2018
Spray paint, enamel on repurposed license plates and signs

SEEN
Multi-Tags, 2018
Spray paint on museum wall

Sergio Garcia
RISK and SABER, 2018
Oil, acrylic on resin with spraypaint on museum wall

Spenser Little
Matisse Drawing in Bed, 2018
Welded metal with projected LED light

Spenser Little
Spiritual FlucDiety, 2018
One continuous 16 gauge steel wire with projected LED light

Super A
Down The Rabbit Hole (from the Trapped series), 2018
Acrylic on museum wall

Jaune
Trash Planet
Spray paint and acrylic on the side of the Long Beach Museum of Art

Jaune
Coffee Break
Spray paint and acrylic on the side of the Long Beach Museum of Art

The Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) presents Vitality and Verve III, an exhibition dedicated to showcasing new works by artists of the New Contemporary Art Movement. Presented in curatorial collaboration with Los Angeles’ Thinkspace Projects and the support of POW! WOW! Long Beach, the exhibition is the third iteration in the collaborative series which has secured record-breaking public attendance since 2015.
Vitality and Verve III presents a relevant cross-section of some of the most exciting artists working under the New Contemporary handle today and will feature site-specific works by these 21 individuals brought together in the same space for the first time. Their impermanent installations are tangentially activated, transforming the ground floor and Ocean View gallery of the LBMA into an immersive ephemeral playground for the senses.
The exhibition features new, site-specific works by internationally renowned artists, Bordalo II, CASE, Evoca1, Sergio Garcia, Herakut, Hush, Jaune, Leon Keer, Koz Dos, Spenser Little, Fintan Magee, Dennis McNett, Drew Merritt, Michael Reeder, RISK, SEEN, Amy Sol, Super A, Juan Travieso, Dan Witz and Lauren YS. Each has contributed a unique piece and vantage point, working across a variety of media.
The New Contemporary Art Movement is known for its diversity; several styles, media, contexts, and exhibition platforms fall within its expansive cast, including public art interventions and site-specific urban murals. This breadth has long been embraced as a subversive impulse vis-a-vis the more exclusionary and contained tenets of contemporary art production, particularly those minted in academe and aspiring to the vetted legitimacy of the ‘white cube.’ The movement’s vested interest in incorporating the social and representational, counter to its often systemic disavowal, has allowed it to thrive outside of institutional support, though this exclusionary paradigm is rapidly shifting.
Largely self-supported and community-driven since the 90’s, many of the movement’s artists are self-taught or have come into their own through multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Gaining international recognition over the past decade, the movement is now widely recognized as both the largest and longest running organized art movement in history, boasting veterans and established artists as well as emergent ones. The evocative potential of representation inspires these artists to draw from popular and countercultural sources like music, illustration, comics, graffiti, design, punk, tattoo culture, hip-hop, skate culture, etc., looking to the outside world rather than to the self-referential gestures that have typified the traditional exclusions of contemporary art.

Long Beach Museum of Art hours and admission: 
Thursday11 AM to 8 PM
Friday – Sunday11 AM to 5 PM
$7 adult admission / $6 seniors (over age 62) and students with Valid I.D.
Free for museum members and children under 12

**FREE ADMISSION after 3 PM on Thursdays and ALL DAY on Fridays (6/30-9/8)**

Taste of Vitality & Verve III: Transforming the Urban Landscape

Tonight marks the opening of Vitality & Verve III: Transforming the Urban Landscape curated by Thinkspace as a part of the special programming for Pow! Wow! Long Beach.

“Vitality and Verve III” is the third iteration of the collaborative series for the Long Beach Museum of Art and will be featuring ephemeral murals and installations from Bordalo II, CASE, Evoca1, Sergio Garcia, Herakut, Hush,
Jaune, Leon Keer, Koz Dos, Spenser Little, Fintan Magee, Dennis McNett, Drew Merritt, Michael Reeder, RISK, SEEN, Amy Sol, Super A, Juan Travieso, Dan Witz and Lauren YS.

The Long Beach Museum of Art presents:
‘VITALITY AND VERVE III’
Curated by Thinkspace with support from POW! WOW! Long Beach

On View June 30th thru September 9th at:

Long Beach Museum of Art
2300 East Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach, CA. 90803

Detail views of a massive new installation from HUSH

Leon Keer playing with perspectives in his installation for Vitality and Verve III

Collaborative installation from Sergio Garcia & SABER | Saber’s hand and forearm has been sculpted in resin and painted by hand by Sergio Garcia to capture the action and energy of one of his iconic tags. Pure magic.