Magical Night at Gallery H of Phantom Galleries: “Where the Magic Happens”

Where the Magic Happens at Gallery H - curated by Kristine Schomaker - Photos: Jack Burke

Curated by Kristine Schomaker, the incredible collection of art on display at Gallery H of Phantom Galleries in Hawthorne was ablaze with magic Saturday night. The opening saw many of the 30-plus artists present.

Kristine Schomaker, left; Dwora Fried right
Kristine Schomaker, left; Dwora Fried right – Photos: Jack Burke


Margaret Ouchida


Works by Susan Melly


Margaret Ouchida presents detailed, intimate pieces in “The Battle” and “T’ode to Klimt.”


The exhibition’s theme, of getting out of one’s comfort zone to that special place where magic can indeed occur – or zen, or power, or enlightenment, however you want to look at it – was fully realized in virtually every piece. This group show has the feeling of celebration, and both in terms of the art created and the means by which it was created and displayed, the feeling was genuine. The exhibit included a wide variety of contemporary Los Angeles artists who go beyond conventional artistic boundaries  – the standard gallery system – to establish a vibrant presence in the art community. Presented by Schomaker’s company, Shoebox PR, the artists and their art have created an exciting body of work, and are each showing that work in independent, outside-the-system ways from artist-run galleries to online magazines like this .

From beautifully detailed small scale dioramas to large scale canvases and sculptures crafted from found-materials, there’s something for everyone in this exhibit. Perhaps its the freshness of approach or the freshness of the “we can do it” attitude by these artists, but this is a special show that unfolds the passion of art like the petals of a Georgia O’Keeffe flower.



Terry Arena’s graphite on mixed media piece.

Artists exhibiting include:

Susan Amorde, Terry Arena, JT Burke, Jennifer Celio, Chenhung Chen, Jeanne Dunn, Dwora Fried, Rob Grad, Carlos Grasso, Cie Gumucio, Carla Jay Harris, Teale Hatheway, Cindy Jackson, Echo Lew, Erika Lizée, Susan Lizotte, Dave Lovejoy, Susan Melly, Freyda Miller, Mike M. Mollett, Andrea Monroe, Stacey Moore, Malka Nedivi, Margaret Ouchida, Lori Pond, Linda Sue Price, Lindsey Price, Isabella Kelly-Ramirez, Katherine Rohrbacher, Jane Szabo, Christine Weir

Here’s a closer look at some of the stellar pieces on display.

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Cindy Jackson’s “7 Deadly Sins” are crafted from wood, aluminum, urethane, paint, iPods, and fluorescent lights. And with these materials come seven heads, all the same but painted in a rainbow spectrum. “Because these sins are in each of us, the heads are all the same, with pride standing tall above the rest – anger, lust, greed, pride, envy – envy is always looking elsewhere, gluttony, and sloth,” Jackson says.



Suzanne Lizotte blends the classical and contemporary, using aerosol spray and traditional oil-on-canvas painting in her rich “Seeking Treasure.”


Mixed media artist Lindsey Price is a photographer with a vision, here “A Clockwork Orange” offers a stunning digital photo montage.



Andrea Monroe’s stylized “The Harlot” and “The Oiran and Her Pussy” use acrylic on canvas to create full dimensional figures that pulse with life.


Cie Gumicio’s “Fragile” uses mint glass and light to create a wispy, beautiful vision of the planet earth. “It reflects where we are now with our fragility as a planet,” she says. This delicate image shapes not just a planet but the construction of a leaf-like image when viewed from a certain angle – mother nature meets mother earth in a shadow box. “Art, at its best, reminds us that we are human,”  Gumucio says.


Dancingly nuanced neon is served up by Linda Sue Price with her pieces “Joy Ride” and “Cynthia Rose.”


Jennifer Cielo’s “Astral Travelers” is an example of the artist’s work which “expresses the effects of human disconnection with the natural world.”

Malka Nedivi’s large scale “Woman in a Box,” evokes her singular style using wood with paper, fabric, acrylic, and glue to create an image of poignant beauty. A painter, sculptor, and collage artist, Nedivi says that all of her work is inspired by her mother, and both her parents’ previously unknown past as Holocaust survivors.

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Katherine Rohrbacher’s glittering canvasses “Early One Morning” and “Arcadia” are bright, sparkling, and brilliantly moving all at once. “I  draw everything on like a pattern, then comes the glue, and glittle applied with a paint brush. With only a few colors did I have to put paint beneath the glitter itself.” Her “Arcadia” relates the passing of her cat. “She’s entering a glittery cat Heaven,” the artist explains. “Early One Morning signifies the ending of a relationship, but also the passing of a small bird found on a balcony.”

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Chenhung Chen continues to amaze with her ever evolving art, crocheted copper with its amoeba like, sinuous shapes, a viewer-participation piece “Connect the Dots” that allows guests to literally do that with colored pencils, and free standing wire sculptures. Her works are fluid, like electronically charged water. Delicate and ephemeral are not often the words associated with recycled materials such as copper wires and components, but Chen’s work provides both. She describes her work as being “about the driving force for inner fulfilment, balance, meditative process…and experiencing the inner power.”


Erika Lizee’s curved and haunting hanging piece is an example of the artist’s propensity to create installations that work as journeys, drawing the viewer down mysterious paths on a pursuit of nature and rebirth.


Mike M. Mollett is the sculptor of large scale pieces created from found art, shaped into balls and bundles. His work provides an outside-in look into a different reality, in which balls and bundles of wires appear animate, hold secrets within secrets.


Dwora Fried creates miniature tableaux, using tiny figures and photographs to create detailed worlds inside glass-topped wood boxes. “I keep re-creating the feeling of what it was like growing up,” the artist says, “the box captures the claustrophobic feeling a painting can’t,” she says.

With so many other artists to admire, grab a hold of the magic now. The show rums through October 17th. Gallery H is located at 12619 Hawthorne Blvd. in Hawthorne.

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  • Genie Davis; all photos Jack Burke

Malka Nedivi at the National Council of Jewish Women

Maka Nedivi
Malka Nedivi “Mother and Daughter” – all photos by Jack Burke

At the August 9th reception for artist Malka Nedivi’s solo show “Mother and Daughter,” Nedivi remarked “I’m overwhelmed at how big a reaction people have to this show, and what it does to people in an emotional way. I’m so moved.” Overwhelmingly beautiful and moving are definitely a part of the descriptive vernacular when it comes to Nedivi’s work. Inspired both in subject and material by the artist’s seamstress mother, this don’t-miss-show runs through September 16th at the National Council of Jewish Women in Los Angeles.

Malka Nedivi - Photo by Jack Burke
Malka Nedivi – Photo by Jack Burke

A painter, sculptor, and collage artist, Nedivi says that all of her work is inspired by her mother, and both her parents’ previously unknown past as Holocaust survivors. Nedivi’s work uses a great deal of wood and fabric. “My mom loved wood and boxes, so I chose materials that she loved,” the artist explains. The tactile nature of Nedivi’s work contributes to the feeling that each carefully layered piece is alive with emotion, visually leaping off the floor of the gallery.

Floating Woman

Her “Floating Woman” mixed media sculpture shows a white-bodied, ghostly woman in a vibrant red dress. The vibrancy of the dress beats like a visual heart, and expresses life, no matter how the woman, with her pale facial features, may fade. Emblematic of the artist’s bond with her mother, the piece seems to express the idea that love lives on after the body may have faded away.

Floating Doll

“My Big Doll” is the large scale six-and-a-half-foot mixed media sculpture that greets viewers entering Nedivi’s exhibit at the NCJW. The doll figure’s fabric hair and patterned skirt and top look like flowers. She seems to be blooming with both life and sadness, her eyes downcast, her cheerful colors ignored. With most of the sculpture white, there is the feeling of an otherworldly presence animating her figure.


Mixed media on wood, Nedivi’s “Memory” features a variety of figures, children, and adults, and a tree that may be the tree of knowledge, with ripe fruit upon it. A man and a woman stand at either ends of the piece, with two smaller girls, and a smaller boy and girl, backs turned to us, in the middle. Behind these smaller figures is a woman with Rapunzel-like long hair, holding her face in her hands. This figure is two-dimensional, the others are three. Viewers may take the figures on both ends of the canvas to be Nedivi’s parents, the woman with the long hair sitting beside the tree of knowledge is perhaps the artist herself, endowed with the previously unknowable about her parents, knowledge that children, perhaps her own, perhaps the child she once was, are turning toward.


Created on wood with paper, fabric, acrylic, and glue, the artist’s “Single Woman” is a riveting figure, her expression wise, withdrawn, palpably sad; her skin pale, her hair grey. Within this face is so much poignant life, and so much intricacy that comes with age. The wood itself that holds her visage is knotted and rough, the background to life in an imperfect world.

In each of Nedivi’s works, there is an intertwined immediacy: beauty and sorrow, cast down eyes and triumphant splashes of color, mother and daughter, past and future. The bared-soul intimacy of these pieces make them almost impossible to look away from, nor would viewers wish to do so. Rather, the pieces are made to pull viewers into a hidden world, a magical world, a world of mighty sorrows, hoarded secrets and pieces of fabric and scrap, and a world in which resilience and joy trump even the darkest past.

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“Mother and Daughter” at the JCJW – Photos by Jack Burke

Born in Israel, Nedivi studied theater and literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and film at UCLA. She is also an accomplished film-maker. Her art is self-taught, beginning with ceramics in the 1990s. A move back to Israel inspired her current works, these large scale sculptures and collage paintings on both wood and canvas. Many of the pieces in “Mother and Daughter” use fabric and other materials found in her childhood home.

The artist has previously exhibited at the Santa Monica Fine Art Studios in Santa Monica, Calif., and was recently selected as one of ten Southern California Contemporary Artists from Israel exhibited at the Los Angeles Municipal Gallery in Los Angeles.

  • Genie Davis, All Photos: Jack Burke