Ambitious Elements

By Guest Blogger, Patrick Bollinger

A profile series on the artists and individuals of The Art Classic, one of this year’s exhibitions at the LA County Fair – September 4-27, 2015

Rachel Kaster is a Los Angeles-based multi-media contemporary artist specializing in crafting glass through different techniques.

“Conceptually, it is important for me that (my work) is glass,” Kaster said. She is fascinated by the dichotomies within the material – fragility, strength, clarity, lucidity, the way it traps the light.”

Kaster is originally from New York and there she learned to silversmith. With this skill, she began making jewelry. Her jewelry became bigger and bigger until, eventually, she learned how to cast metal in molds.

“I was casting small molds of silver, then I teamed up with a group that was making bronze and iron casts in a furnace that was similar to making glass.”

She has been working with glass for 13 years now and in her newest collection, titled Ambitious Elements, she is examining the unique combinations of glass with other elements like wood and metal.

She makes objects out of glass using the glass-casting technique.

“Pieces are made with chunks of glass in the mold and suspended above it. Then the piece is heated and the glass drips into the cavity.”

“I like to create a sense of mysterious fantasy, how did these objects come to be?”

“Like the axe and the stump. They are only one half on an unwritten story. It is for the viewer to complete this moment of fantasy.”

Rachel Kaster’s work will be featured in the Millard Sheets Art Center’s upcoming exhibition The Art Classic.

Please join us this year at the LA County Fair, Sept. 4-27, to view Rachel’s work and the other artists profiled in this series from the Los Angeles Art Association who were selected for this year’s exhibition.

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Painting with the Subconscious Mind

By Guest Blogger, Patrick Bollinger

A profile series on the artists and individuals of The Art Classic, one of this year’s exhibitions at the LA County Fair – September 4-27, 2015

“One of the things I try to do when I paint is try not to think.” Steve Jakobsen

Steve Jakobsen is a contemporary artist who is originally from Seattle. He went to school in Seattle for graphic design, and became a graphic designer in New York. He then joined a Mexican soccer team and moved to central Mexico. He said that this experience was a wake up call in his life. He came to the realization that “the whole world is absolutely different than America. People react to things differently. People actually care about things because their lives actually depend on it.”

After Mexico, he moved to Los Angeles and became a painter. As a painter, he tries to do the opposite of what he did as a graphic designer. “I try to get away from that when I’m painting. That’s too much of a process – too engineered.”

“[Painting] is a great time where I’m left alone and my head stops working. Screw the cerebral shit, and just let the lizard part of your brain, the frontal lobe just do whatever it needs to do. It will bring in everything you have experienced in life towards it and help you tell the story when you’re painting.”

When asked about artistic inspiration he said that “walking the streets is the biggest thing, and just riding my bike around the streets of Downtown LA.” He is interested in the community and the “behaviors, textures, motion, speed of flow, and what is going on.”

His artistic process starts with a sketchbook. He sketches just the general idea and layout, then transforms this to the canvas by using spray paint and oil to create the base of where things are going to go.

After this stage he lets his subconscious mind takeover.  His subconscious guides his hand to represent the things he has observed on the streets of Downtown LA. He lets his “Lizard Brain” as he calls it wander all over the canvas. This process makes it very hard to tell when it’s complete. “Knowing when to stop is very hard. It’s hard to stop.”

Steve Jakobsen’s work will be featured in the Millard Sheets Art Center’s upcoming exhibition The Art Classic.

Please join us this year at the LA County Fair to view Steve’s work and the other artists profiled in this series from the Los Angeles Art Association who were selected for this year’s exhibition.

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Photograph or Painting?

By Guest Blogger, Patrick Bollinger

A profile series on the artists and individuals of The Art Classic, one of this year’s exhibitions at the LA County Fair – September 4-27, 2015

Tom Lamb is an aerial landscape photographer based in Laguna Beach, California. In 1980, Tom founded Lamb Studio, a design, communications and photography workshop focused on environmental and cultural interpretation efforts. His work is published, exhibited and collected internationally.

“…Some context, these are aerial photos (not lithos or etchings or paintings) that are NOT manipulated … they are pretty crazy and wonderful.”
- Peter Mays, Executive Director – Los Angeles Art Association – Gallery 825

At first glance, I could not figure out what this picture was. The photograph looked like a mixture of shapes, lines and colors that reminded me of an abstract painting. After inspecting it more closely I realized that this was not an abstract painting, but rather an aerial view of land. These shapes and lines were not random brushstrokes, but actual marks on Earth. As Lamb dangles precariously from the side of a helicopter thousands of feet in the air, he is able to capture the never before seen effect of mankind’s impact on our landscape and present it to us as an abstraction of this reality, left for us to interpret its ultimate purpose.

Lamb’s work focuses primarily on the environment and is largely influenced by:

“The environment, culture, conservation and the balance of man’s mark on the planet – especially his mark’s on the land and interplay of nature and time.”

His LA river series showcases his focus on the environment and the coexistence of nature and humans.

“I became interested with the LA River working with ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) and TPL (Trust for Public Lands) 15 years ago on a special aerial project to document the full length of the river from Chatsworth to Long Beach.”

This was once a normal river that ran through the LA area, but humans have now diverted its flow into man made cement canals.  We have also affected the color of this water through pollution, and now it is a dull looking dark green. In his photography Lamb capture’s land that we have changed from its natural state for our human needs, and shows it to us from a perspective that is rarely seen.

Tom Lamb’s work will be featured in the Millard Sheets Art Center’s upcoming exhibition The Art Classic.

Please join us this year at the LA County Fair to view Tom’s work and the other artists profiled in this series from the Los Angeles Art Association who were selected for this year’s exhibition.

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The Formations of Caroline PM Jones

By Guest Blogger, Patrick Bollinger

A profile series on the artists and individuals of The Art Classic, one of this year’s exhibitions at the LA County Fair – September 4-27, 2015

Caroline PM Jones is a British artist and sculptor now based in Los Angeles. Jones began painting twenty five years ago in the streets of Spain. She taught herself how to paint, and began a professional career as an artist in Asia. After spending more than ten years in Asia painting portraiture and seeing her family grow, Jones decided it was time to go on a new adventure, which ultimately led her to art school to study ornamental stone carving.

In her latest project, Formations, Jones is working with enormous rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park.

Her artistic process begins with studying the rock formations and creating sketches. “The first thing that I do is go to the location of the place I am studying and I sit outside and sketch profusely.” She starts sketching them with pastels on paper, then moves to oils on linen. “I like pencils and chalk, but I wanted more. I wanted that viscosity you can get with oil. I can create the form and color with loose brushstrokes.”

After weeks of studying and sketching the rock formation in the desert, she comes back to her Los Angeles studio and creates large scale paintings based on those sketches. She then sculps her own monoliths by carving stone and marble blocks. She also creates ceramic representations of the rock formations. These fired clay sculptures have purposefully undergone a process not dissimilar to the actual life cycle of the monoliths.

Jones’ work will be featured in the Millard Sheets Art Center’s upcoming exhibition The Art Classic.

Please join us this year at the LA County Fair to view Caroline’s work and the other artists profiled in this series from the Los Angeles Art Association who were selected for this year’s exhibition.

See you next Wednesday to learn about our next artist contributor. 

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Millard Sheets Art Center Expansion

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.”
- Henry David Thoreau

If you love art and celebrating local artists and their creativity, then you will be thrilled to know that The Millard Sheets Art Center is expanding! In the past, the space was used for the annual Fair exhibition and ArtReach, a regional high school art exhibition. However, now the gallery is being used year round for art education and exhibitions.

With this new expansion, the LA County Fair will be doubling its art “footprint.” For the first time guests will experience two art exhibitions – Tony Sheets’, Art Through The Senses, in the Grand Stand, and The Learning Centers’ exhibition, The Art Classic, in the Millard Sheets Art Center.

This post is the first in a series of 16 that will highlight the individual contributions of each artist and art association featured in The Art Classic.

Guests to The Art Classic will experience:

- Art history exhibition on the Pomona Valley
- Contemporary artwork by artists of the Los Angeles Art Association
- A demonstration gallery featuring artists from the Mid-Valley Arts League, Orange

Art Association, and Associated Artists of the Inland Empire

In addition to exhibitions, The Art Classic features:
- Hands on pottery classes in art studios
- A photo exhibition on Mud Volcanoes of the Salton Sea
- En Plein Air outdoor painting competition in partnership with the California Arts Club

The goal of The Millard Sheets Art Center’s expansion and year round programming is to provide access to a wide range of artists and styles to engage the diverse interests of students and people of the surrounding community. We hope you enjoy learning about our artists and association features coming throughout the summer! Stay tuned for more art updates, and we’ll see you in September for The Art Classic and the LA County Fair!

For more information on The Millard Sheets Art Center click here.

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