Yep, last Saturday, I hopped on my bicycle and off I flew to the Artwalk, and it was indeed another absolutely fabulous Second Saturday Pomona Artwalk! Yay! Pomona is awesome! I wandered through a number of the galleries that night, and even a few businesses, too.
My first stop was the Eve Gallery at the back of Futures Collide. The theme was “CarnEvil.” Yikes, and there were some scary looking clowns. There was actually an expanse in my life when I wouldn’t know what to think about clowns, but now it’s a beautiful, gorgeous satire. My favorite piece in the whole exhibit was called, “Killer Clown Baby,” by Leigh McCleary. It was a baby doll dressed as a clown that had gone mad. Another piece that stood out the most to me was one titled, “Clown Mugshot,” by Wes Huffor, and the image strangely reminded me of our dear city mayor.
I then wandered through some of the vendors in Thomas Plaza and then over to the DPOA gallery, where on display was the Pomona Unified Peace Project Art Contest. It was basically a whole bunch of pieces by local students to encourage some positive habits to have, including not to smoke, fight, gamble, cheat, bully, do graffiti, join a gang, ditch or drop out of school, abuse the self with drugs, have sex with minors, and engage in underage drinking, but instead to do beautiful and peaceful activities. Overall, I felt really impressed and encouraged that so many young people in Pomona are now more aware of the harmfulness of many of these activities, and of alternatives. This artistic encouragement was also sponsored in part by various religeous groups too, such as Pomona First Baptist and the City of Knowledge. Anyway, it’s an awesome show, be sure to check it out if you’re downtown.
My next stop was the Loft Beats gallery where they had a SUPER amazing 3-D art exhibit by the artist Christopharo. Totally amazing stuff, and you get to view the exhibit with 3-D glasses!!!! I got to speak with the artist, and what ze does is: make sketches on paper, scan them into a computer, color them, and then print them with a special process that synchronizes them with the 3-D glasses. I asked hir how ze got into this medium, and ze said that ze had simply come across the technology and ran with it. Totally awesome and worthy of checking out this month at Loft Beats.
After that, I meandered down to the Bunny Gunner gallery where on display were an array of works by Oscar Magellanes, in a show called, “Heuristic.” Magellanes also recently had a show of some other art of hirs at the Pederson Projects Gallery at the May Artwalk. Anyway, similar to hir other work, ze creates some very striking, iconic images of people.
An especially fascinating stop along my way was dropping into the Noisebug shop downtown. I had been in the shop before but hadn’t ever really asked many questions, but simply saw it as an electronic music instrument store. Well friends, I found out that it is much more than that.
I got to have a brief chat with the general manager there, Antonio Rodriguez, and ze gave me an inside scoop on what they are all about. The focus of the store is on rock & roll and jazz music and “sound design through synthesis.” The store essentially sells an abundance of musical “interfaces”: traditional interfaces (electric guitars and pianos), non-traditional interfaces (such as antennae that make different and various sounds as you pass your hands in various proximities to them, or drumming squares that make unusual sounds), electronic boxes that take musical sound and transform them into other musical sounds, and even interfaces such that you can feed in non-musical sounds and it transforms them into musical sounds! It’s totally amazing!!!! And they are in the center of our grand metropolis of Pomona.
I also learned that the Inland Empire Weekly quite recently named them THE Best audio electronics store in the I.E. Be sure to check them out, and they are also on the web at noisebug.net.
My next stop was the Main Street Gallery, where I got to see Joy McAllister’s stunning, “Paradigm Drift” exhibit. This is a show not to be missed. Absolutely amazing. They were paintings, very similar in their abstractness to that of Father Bill Moore, but not geometrical like Father Bill’s works. I had sooooo many favorites in his show, “Fung Shui” looks almost like waves of the ocean crashing, “Reflection” (overwhelmingly my absolute favorite) looks and feels like one is looking over a titanic precipice, “Origin” is like looking into the formation of the dawn of the universe. The depth and layers of color are so intensely rich. Of all the shows at this month’s artwalk, I fell in love with this show the most.
Another significant few moments for me was stopping into the DBA Winebar where the artist RTPece had a bunch on display. Hir art is very similar to the work of Juan Thorp except that it is more organic and archictectural looking to me. Speaking with the artist hirself, I asked hir what kind of art that this would be considered and ze said it was “pop art” as the pieces are based on cartoon characters, are very minimal in shapes and colors, have a great simplicity of their form. With the forms or shapes, ze then uses design techniques such as repeating, mirroring, and peaking over a horizon line. They are some fun wonderful designs. Head on down to the Winebar and enjoy a beer or a glass of wine in the midst of enjoying these wonderful creations!
My next major stop was at the Mosaic gallery. It used to be a shop, but now it’s a church sponsored gallery, sponsored by a regional church called Mosaic, whose Pomona branch offices are connected to the gallery. The gallery also serves as a community outreach center. I also found out that they rent out the Fox Theater on Sunday mornings for services. I got to meet their art director and their wonderful church pastor, too! The piece in the gallery that most impressed me there was a beautiful collage called, “Carte Blanche.” I learned that it was done by multiple artists at a retreat where a sketch was made across several pieces of canvas and then the various artists went into separate rooms and transformed their portion of the drawing into something wonderful. It’s a marvelous piece to behold.
As I stepped out of the Mosaic gallery, I saw a sign to visit a gallery on the second floor, decided to check out this gallery I’d never been to, and stepped into the elevator to check it out. Emerging from the vertical conveyance, the gallery was that of the artist Gary Bjorklund, who works mostly in creating digital art printed on paper or canvas, and I had a really great conversation with hir about hir work. In the years that ze has engaged as an artist, hir particular focus has been to create accessible, affordable art for everyone. It’s a gallery that’s a little off the beaten path, but definitely some beautiful work to check out; ze has a gorgeous spectrum of art, affordably priced to enhance whatever space you may have.
One of the next spots I visited was GCS Clothing, right between the Fox Theater and the new Vive Tequila Lounge. I had never really been in this particular shop in Pomona and I got to chat with some of the folks there and get the scoop on the what they are all about.
As I walked in, they had a whole lot of art up in one part of the shop, along with a DJ serving up a thick aroma of hoppin’ music. Very nice. Well, I wandered into the more retail portion of the space. It was full of mostly T-shirts and art supplies. My initial impression of the shop was, “Is this a store trying to encourage graffiti in our brilliant shining city,” but it is quite the opposite, it is trying to be a force to encourage serious “urban” art. They sell very high quality paints, many imported from Europe, very high quality markers, pens, pencils, sketch books, and other art supplies, and they also sell many unique books about urban art, as well. Many of the T-shirts they sell are also printed with work by many local artists!
I also learned that the store has been here in Pomona for 18 years! I had a brief chat with one of their very happy customers who was purchasing pens, and a sketchbook. Ze said that ze had been buying hir art supplies there since the store opened in Pomona, and they buy all of their art supplies there. This happy customer actually did art on skateboards! Ze told me, “Everything is art — everything we look at is art.”
If you are a serious, especially professional, urban artist, this is the store for you. And Pomona has this thriving gem of a store right in it’s downtown!
On my way to my next stop, I actually had the pleasure to pass by both John Clifford (a fellow Pomona blogger), and also Ed (who owns a whole bunch of the downtown) in hir wheelchair and exchanged wonderful greetings with both.
My final stop of the evening was the Pederson Projects Gallery where the primary exhibitor was the artist Craig Deines. I got to meet the artist, too. Ze is both a professional artist and a professional teacher, teaching 3-D art and sculpture at the nearby Mt. Sac Community College. Hir pieces on display were all carvings on flat pieces of wood and one of the most wonderful things is the various depths of the cuts into the wood, producing various differentiations to behold. One of my favorites was “Audio,” it just looked loud. Ze told me that ze was influenced much by the work of Ed Ruscha, and Ruscha’s influence is also seen in other pieces there. My most favorite of all hir shown work was a series of carved images titled, “Instruction,” “Construction,” and “Destruction,” each showing the image of an individual, their proportional dimensions (heads tall, and width), a blank dialogue bubble above each, and to their side, an image representing the source of their strength and their nemesis. In my own mind, each represented a particular meme. The first was a pope floating off the ground as if my some divine power, the next was Popeye the Sailor, and, lastly, the Frankenstein monster. Anyway, it’s a great show to check out.
And that was my adventure at the artwalk. If you have never come to the artwalk or it’s been a long while, come on down for a pleasureable night of art and merriment on the second and last Saturdays of every month. Come on your own or with loved ones. Free wine is served at many of the galleries, too! And I certainly enjoyed a glass in the midst of my meaderings.
See ya ‘round Pomona!