The Brewery Art Walk – Spring 2017 Edition

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Above, the work of Sean Sobczak Sandman Creations.

As always, DTLA’s awesome and eclectic artists lofts, studios, and galleries – the Brewery – offered up a tremendous wealth of art to peruse at the April edition of their twice yearly art walk.  Take a look at some of the artists and art – and if you missed it this spring, be sure to mark the walk on your calendar for October. So much to see, intimate conversations with artists, brilliant art work at reasonable prices. Hard to top that, but this being LA, we threw in a bright, sunny day, some gourmet food trucks, and beer. The Artwalk IPA was perfect.

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Above and below, artist Samuelle Richardson with her wonderfully haunting “Ghost Dogs” sculptural installation. Richardson created these beautiful pieces especially for Art Walk.

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A magical energy in these sculptures, which use fabric and wood to shape powerful and poignant beasts.

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Chenhung Chen’s fluid, alive wire sculptures dance with kinetic energy, below.

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The artist’s wall art, many utilizing staples, is a fresh take on abstract imagery, works that shine literally and figuratively.

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Below, Glen Waggner creates intense and diminutive drawings that tell succinct, perfectly realized impressionistic stories. The prolific artist creates both figures and landscapes.

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Kristine Augustyn, below, offers both lush abstracts and figurative pieces that edge into the surreal. Both Augustyn and Waggner showed works at the Brewery’s Jesus Wall Gallery.

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Below, a work inspired by a trip to Disneyland.

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Randi Hockett’s studio-grown crystals dazzle, below. These raw and glittering works offer a wonderful contrast of sharp crystal textures and the softness of the wax surfaces. This is work that is hard to look away from, which evoke the feminine and the fairy tale.

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Kristine Schomaker, below, has reconstructed and reimagined her own work in an exhibition titled “An Ode to a Lost Love.” Tackling complex issues from body image to gender identity, her sculptural installation below explores both the personal and the universal – and still evoke a fantastical candy store.

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Bill Leigh Brewer, below, creates photographic works that are painterly in style, mysterious and magical in perception.

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From the California desert to the snowy hills of Vermont, Brewer fills his landscapes with a subtext of wonder and loss.

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Winnie Brewer, below, has painted bees and other creatures great and small in exquisitely detailed works that glow with light and color.

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Below, Tony Pinto, in residence at Shoebox Projects, created dimensional paintings and photographic portraits in his exhibition “Art Seen.” His ability to capture the innate essence of artists, writers, and gallerists in LA’s art scene is revealing and insightful.

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While her studio was not open for art walk due to deadlines on completing works for other exhibitions, we had a sneak-peak at a piece currently on exhibit at Durden & Ray’s “Going Native” show from installation and sculptural artist Dani Dodge. Here a deeply layered image invites second, third, and many more looks beneath the surface.

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Her work, above, is like accessing an archeological dig: there is so much going on beneath the surface, an intense energy breaking through.

Below, Ryan McIntosh and Kati Milan share studio space and a wealth of evocative art.

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Artist Ted Meyer, below. A little bit Picasso, a little bit Modigliani in great faces, forms and familiars. These are portraits that tell a story worth “reading” often. Stylized, riveting, and exotic, Meyer’s figures also serve as a healing document for those affected by trauma. Brewery ONE

Below the incredibly rich partnered work of Anna Stump and Daphne Hill blossoms with life – lush and sensual florals.

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There is such an overflowing cornucopia of art at The Brewery that we could not do justice to all the artists here – or even those in this article. Find your own overflowing artistic joy at the next art walk come October.

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  • Genie Davis; Photos: Genie Davis

 

Barrel Down DTLA – Modern Times Tap Takeover Coming

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All Photos by Jack Burke

Barrel Down Beer Hall
Barrel Down Beer Hall

Barrel Down is a hip industrial-chic beer hall in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. With forty taps – that’s right – forty, twenty of which are core brew offerings, twenty rotating – there are plenty of exciting craft beers to taste, and a sleek, minimalist environment to do it in. Adding even more to a beer-lover’s dream is the spot’s new monthly “tap takeover” series.  Coming right up September 2nd, Modern Times, the craft brew purveyor out of San Diego will be holding forth all night with six of their beers.

Apple Cider Sprouts
Apple Cider Sprouts

Along with the beer, there’s beer cocktails, and a wide range of dining options.  Barrel Down has a full Sunday brunch, entrees like fish and chips, and perfect beer drinking snacks like apple cider sprouts – Brussel sprouts with a tangy flavor twist. Our favorites were crisp and addictive cauliflower popcorn that comes with malt ale, ginger aioli  and chili lime vinaigrette, and a shrimp slider in a brioche bun, with the shrimp coated with a well-seasoned corn meal crust.

Cauliflower Popcorn
Cauliflower Popcorn
Shrimp slider
Shrimp slider

While a small patio also provides seating, the place to be is inside the long, narrow bar, with clean wooden lines, exposed brick, and high ceilings.

Outside Barrel Down - patio
Outside Barrel Down – patio
Inside Barrel Down
Inside Barrel Down

While the setting is modern and fun, and the bar snacks upscale and tasty, Barrel Down is, as is should be, really all about the beer. Bar manager and beer list cultivator Jason Hamilton is a certified Cicerone. Don’t know what that is? Well, we didn’t either. “There are three levels of certification,” Hamilton explains. “Currently I’m at certified beer server. It’s all about knowledge, from what one is serving and how to properly store beer, to in-depth sensory evaluation of beers. With forty taps,” Hamilton laughs, “being more tech savvy about draft lines and flavor testing is important.”

Modern Times Blazing World
Modern Times Blazing World

In anticipation of the Modern Times tap takeover, we tasted the microbrewery’s Blazing Worlds. This hoppy amber ale has an ABV of 6.8% , featuring Nelson, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops, which offer a rich fruity taste. The beer itself is dry, crisp, and has notes of both fruit and bread. Next came Grazias Vienna Cream Ale from Hess brewing, a creamy, smooth beer with strong notes of chocolate, vanilla, and toast, which offers a rich full taste and a dark malt profile. We also tasted two sours. The Holy Gose from Anderson Valley, which was deliciously light, served up a slight sour pucker along with clean, strong notes of salt water, coriander, and hops to go with its relatively mild 4.2% ABV.  It’s a beer that’s meant for summer afternoons and repeated tasting. Grand Teton’s Snarling Badger is a sour wheat with a stronger sour flavor and a 7.5% ABV. It’s as rich as the Holy Gose is light – an interesting contrast. Our last taste was of Alpine’s Hoppy Birthday Pale Ale, which is a light, refreshing ale that tastes a lot like an IPA.

The variety of tastes we tried mirrors the approach of Barrel Down overall. “We have the ability to support local craft breweries and expose people to the great flavors without being ostentatious,” Hamilton notes. “We make sure our bartenders know our products and can describe them, but we also recognize that some people just want to come in and have a drink without thinking too much about it. Others really want to know about their beer.”

Hamilton certainly knows plenty, including how to offer customers the best possible product. “We want to see lacing and head retention on the glass. We have double trunk lines with a glycol system to make sure that the beer is properly cooled at 34 degrees,” he explains. Barrel Down sources its beers from craft breweries around the U.S., and tries to learn as much about these sources as it can. “We believe there’s a story behind every beer and we like to tell that story to our customers,” Hamilton attests. And if customers are looking to craft their own brew, Barrel Down has that covered, too, with home brew classes offered on the mezzanine level above the bar every second Saturday.

Out of his forty taps, does Hamilton have a favorite? We got a smile and this dissemination “My favorite beer is the beer I’m tasting at the time you ask me.” Of course it would be hard to choose a favorite from among the wide variety of core and rotating brews, but we’re guessing Hamilton will choose a Modern Times draft as his favorite come September 2nd.

Are you “down” with that?

Barrel Down is located at 525 W. 7th St.

Downtown Core

  • Genie Davis; all photos by Jack Burke

Teale Hatheway’s “Fragmented Realities”

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Artist Teale Hatheway is the creator of layered mixed media art and site-specific installations that express evocative emotional connections. Working with acrylic, ink, bleach, metal leaf, burning, and charcoal on linen, her complex work is designed to “explore the theory that we remember environments as compilations of elements with which we develop emotional connections.” Hatheway takes details of pattern, form, color, and texture from urban environments, using them to implicitly and explicitly “trigger recognition of place.”

Hatheway’s work is about memory, grounding, understanding, and experience; with beautifully detailed yet fragmented images compiling pieces on Chinatown, historic bridges over the Los Angeles River, DTLA’s Broadway, and more. With a solo show, “Fragmented Realities: City of Dreams” opening Sept 12th at the Los Angeles Art Association, Hatheway’s self-taught architectonic drawing and the ethereal nature she evokes of even the most common subjects will both be on full display. Her approach is experimental yet investigative, using the often unsung history of Los Angeles architecture to enthrall viewers and advocate for the city’s preservation.

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The artist describes her subject matter as “a means to ground myself in a tangible environment in which an understanding of the whole is made up of an experience of the parts.” These parts are special indeed. As a part of her “Street Lights Abstracted” series, delicately colored outlines and sections of street lights are positioned to form abstract and impressionistic depictions of what could be the ghosts, memories, or filaments of the lights themselves. Her “Detour” combines spray painted images of these lights over a background of gold leaf on canvas. Like the lights themselves, the painting illuminates, both literally glowing from the gold leaf and figuratively from the impression of streetlights. In “Self Reflection” from the same series, a mirror image of an upside down red street lamp,casts beams, also reflectively upside down, against another gold leaf background. The street light here looks almost like a character from the Chinese alphabet, or an ancient rune.

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In her “Street Lights” series, gone are the abstract and symbolic shapes. Here the lights are clearly lights, some with vivid matte aqua, red, and mustard yellow colors washing over, through, and around them. The viewer sees the colors as a spectrum that the lights themselves must be illuminating.

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Hatheway’s “Chinatown” series offers a moody evocation of this exotic neighborhood that is nonetheless intrinsically a part of Los Angeles. East-meets-west architecture plunges viewers into another near-magical world. No prosaic impressions here. In “Success,” Hatheway employs acrylic paints and metal leaf on linen to vividly offer the winged edge of a Chinatown building in red, aqua, and gold tipped with white. These could be architectural angel’s wings, could be dragon tails, could be a temple in China – and yet with the California-bright colors, the sense of place blurs between the new West and the old East. Where do the winged edges want to fly?

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Equally vibrant color marks the clearly grounded depiction of double metal gates over the facade of a building in “Secure,” painted using ink, acrylic, bleach, and metal leaf on linen. It’s flight again, or the illusion of it that grabs the viewer in the lime and chartreuse green dominated “Vision,” which shows another curved, wing-like Chinatown roof with the looming white ghost shadow of a larger building behind it, and tiny kite-like flags billowing from the ramparts.

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With a burnt orange sky and a carefully detailed grey and white bridge, the long perspective of “Washington Boulevard Bridge” combines ink and acrylic with bleach on gold leaf in Hatheway’s “Victory – The Historic Bridges Over The Los Angeles.” Bridges from Downtown L.A. to Griffith Park are pristinely stylized, with their location just hinted at, their appeal speaks to a universal desire to cross a bridge to other, more golden banks. These bridges are highly realistic yet as romantic and surreal in design as a fairy tale bridge. These pieces are linked through Hatheway’s exploration of the city, through a connected map of bridges stretching across the SoCal region, which allows viewers to cross into a vivid engagement with the city itself.

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“InTentCity,” Hatheway’s installation commission for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, is a collection of 53 hand painted tipis, painted specifically for the Lake Eldorado camp ground, and reflecting in the mirrored prism of the lake itself. Hatheway created a fully immersive environment in a delicately painted three-dimensional experience. As with so many other works by the artist, there is a magical quality to the environment. We could be in the California desert or in a mysterious other-wordly land that has transformed itself here on our planet, in our state. It’s this magical and mysterious quality that transcends and enhances the images themselves throughout all of Hatheway’s work.

Internationally exhibited, Hatheway received her BA from Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., studying figurative painting at the Slade School of Fine Arts, University College London, and studying photography and architecture at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. Upcoming exhibitions include “Fragmented Realities: City of Dreams” opening Sept 12th at the Los Angeles Art Association, and “Some of the Parts” at West Hollywood’s Gallery 825 in October. Recent shows include “InTentCity” at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., a collection of 53 hand painted tipis; group exhibitions at Red Pipe Gallery in Chinatown, the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and the Riverside Art Museum, among many others.

  • Genie Davis

Red Pipe Gallery: Albert Vitela

Photo by Jack Burke
Photo by Jack Burke

At Chinatown’s Red Pipe Gallery Albert Vitela’s “New Works” exhibition revealed the Los Angeles native’s work as a sweeping panoply of color; abstract depictions of historical events, religious figures, and celebrities. Worlds expressed in fragments of motion-filled color, Vitela combines memories and history in a combination of pop art and abstract expressionism.

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All Photos by Jack Burke
All Photos by Jack Burke

Curated by art critic Mat Gleason, Vitela’s show is about history, anger, war, peace, resolution, and beauty. His belief is that beauty itself cannot exist without awareness, and that peace can become a natural outgrowth of this awareness. He seeks mystical, surreal moments from concrete events ranging from World War II to battles between Samurai, all of which exist for Vitela beyond conventional time constraints.

Vitela has a strong concept in mind when he paints. “My goal is to enrich humanity through my work. I want to create an environment that leads to world peace. You look at television news and you see warfare, you see crime, you see situations such as Watergate. I meditate on all these things. On warfare and peace, the beauty and the ugliness. And then I meld them together.” He finds himself inspired by both current and historical events, and views them as of one piece.

Vitela’s art uses an Impressionist’s color palette in his abstract approach. His samurai in “Kojiro Vs. Musashi, Ganryujima Japan” are cast in striking yellow and blue, his angels’ skin is salmon pink. “I’m looking to create in my art, in my meditation, a beautiful future for the human race. If we do what we say, if we want what we see, that’s emblematic of both war and peace. We can go either way. My paintings express that.”

A talented emerging artist, Vitela works from his own dreams to create vibrant dreamscapes of figures from history and modern life.

  • Genie Davis