Great new exhibit opening next week at Riverside Art Museum…

The Riverside Art Museum keeps cranking out the quality exhibitions. Opening next Mon, June 22nd is ‘Strips, Scripts and Scapes: Contemporary Comix in Southern California’.
Opening Reception: Sat, June 27th 7 – 9PM

Exhibition runs June 22nd – August 22nd

Since the turn of the century, a heterogeneous cadre of artists has been churning out contemporary comics (often referred to as comix) in their basements, bedrooms or studios to a hungry fan base with an insatiable appetite for their work. Flying below the radar of the general public only familiar with superheroes in long-underwear, this uncategorizable scene of visionary artists have no guidelines to delineate their work beyond their interest in the intersection of contemporary art, storytelling and flirting with comic strip conventions.

Today’s contemporary comix grow from a diverse lineage including but not limited to George Herriman, Will Eisner, Charles Schultz, R. Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, Spain Rodriguez, Harvey Kurtzman, Art Spiegelman, Harvey Pekar and Gary Panter. As the contemporary art world has tended to focus on increasing inclusion of up-to-the-minute technology, many of these artists still rely on or at least reference the handmade mark-making process. In recent years, much activity has centered in Southern California, with standouts including the Comicon convention in San Diego, Giant Robot magazine and store, Family Store, Hope Gallery, Ooga Booga and numerous one-off events and zines.

Work exhibited in ‘Strips, Scripts, and ‘Scapes’ comes from an umbrella cast of artists influenced by or working in the Southland, but it is by no means comprehensive. It serves as a tasty sampling of printed, hand-drawn and collage comix art, in addition to sculpture and installation work by artists working within the vocabularly of comix.

The exhibition features the work of:
Sammy Harkham, Johnny Ryan, John Pham, Mike Bertino, Travis Millard, Rusty Jordan, Souther Salazar, Brent Harada, Walt Holcombe, Martin Cendreda, Mary Fleener, Taylor McKimens (pictured above), Roberta Gregory, and Megan Whitmarsh.

Riverside Art Museum
3425 Mission Inn Ave in Riverside
(951) 684-7111

fresh stART opening night feeding frenzy…

Just back from the fresh stART event over in Santa Monica. What a night – just packed with art lovers and the works were FLYING off the walls. Insane sales. When we arrived 20 minutes after doors opening, there were folks already streaming past us with purchased works wrapped, and headed out for the eve. Inspiring how much work was selling, and all for a great cause.
Opening night crush

Guest curator Seonna Hung in front of her beautiful wall installation
(our lil’ purchase from the show – watch for her show at New Image on Feb. 21st)

Mark Todd

Matthew Rodriguez

Ana Serrano

Saelee Oh

Esther Pearl Watson

Brooks Salzwedel

When we left at 8:30, the place was still packed, and art was still flying off the walls. Easily more than a good 1/3 of the art sold in this huge group show. fresh stART is held each year to benefit the arts programs at the Para Los Niños Elementary Charter School and Middle School as well as provide therapeutic arts programs for the Youth Development Services which offers current and former youth in foster care, between the ages of 14 and 21, one-on-one tutorial services, life skills training courses, mentoring services and access to all of Para Los Niños’ program. An inspiring evening to say the least, as so many were out enjoying and buying art, it served as a nice lil’ escape from the current state of things out there.