Art + Water + LA County Fair = One Fun Experience

What happens when art, the LA County Fair and water come together? Simple. A breathtaking art exhibition surrounding water is created for guests to enjoy as they visit this year’s Fair.

The Millard Sheets Art Center’s 2016 exhibition The Art Classis: Oasis addresses water as seen through the eyes of Los Angeles artists. The interest in this topic stems from the fact that over the last decade California has seen a severe decrease in rainfall that has led to consequences throughout the state. Since the Los Angeles region, which is comprised of mountains, rivers, ocean shores, farms, cities, and suburbs has had its own unique reaction to the rise and fall of the water levels, The Art Classic: Oasis focuses on how these areas are affected and beautified by the world’s most precious resource – water.

The Art exhibition, a longstanding tradition at the Fair, is perfect for all ages, especially kids, so head to the LA County Fair and learn more about water, the land we live in and how you can have a role in keeping our communities beautiful and healthy.

Fair closes tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 25, so come check out The Art Classic -
it’s your last chance!

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Clay Play

Gallery

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Did you know that you can take a pottery class here at LACF? Wander down Redwood street, where Thunder Alley is roaring.  To the right, behind the Millard Sheets Art Center, you’ll find it.  Tucked away behind a little courtyard … Continue reading

Sense-ational

When you think of art, what’s the first thing that comes into your head?  I’m willing to bet most of you thought of a rare painting or sculpture, something you can experience through sight.  Maybe some of you considered a particular song of great beauty.

The Art of the Senses exhibit here at the LA County Fair takes the concept of art far beyond a single sense.  Here, visitors explore art in it’s many facets, and experience it with all of their senses, rather than just one.  Exhibits for sight (like comic artists and sculptors) sit next to a violin maker who then plays his beautiful works.  Follow the winding paths of the room to find different ways to experience art with your whole body.  You’ll even explore how your senses help you navigate the world around you.

This was an adventure in fun, with plenty of interactive areas for guests of all ages.  Come join us, and perhaps you’ll discover that your  favorite way to experience art……………is to smell it!

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Perception of Beauty and Perfection

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

the art classic“I don’t see the world through the same lens as everybody else” – Jana Cruder

Jana Cruder is a fine-art photographer who is originally from Greensburg, PA – a small rural town outside of Pittsburgh. Since she spent all of her life in the East, coming to the West was very different and eye-opening. When she visited the Southwest on a photo trip, the lighting intrigued her. I guess you could say that she fell in love with our side of the country because after graduating, she moved to Los Angeles, where she has resided for over 10 years now.

Her creative process starts with a general idea of what she is trying to convey, and then she finds a location that will help her convey this idea.  In her series “What Lies Beneath,” Cruder is commenting on “the endless QUESTING young women in our culture do after the perfect ‘KEN.’” She is urging the viewer to think about where we get the idea of beauty from in culture, and how the Barbie doll can influence what we see as beautiful.

In her other photo series, “Great Expectations,” Cruder calls to attention to what happens when Barbie finds her perfect Ken. This series comments on the “great expectations” of young women to have a perfect husband, a home, and kids forming the ideal family unit. In the series the photos show that these great expectations are sometimes too much, and the ideals of a family unit are changing.

Jana selects her models very carefully. “I seek them out. Some are from agencies others are people I’ve met out and about… the look and feel of the models in my imagery is very important to the concept I’m talking about.”

Jana Cruder’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 Jana’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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Defying our Perception Limitations with Hyperrealism

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.

the art classic

“I’m compelled to produce work that is visually poetic by using a medium that defies perceived limitations.” – Vincent Tomczyk

Vincent Tomczyk is a Los Angeles-based fine artist who despite not attending Art School, he is truly passionate about art and everything it entails. “I had always enjoyed painting, but [after taking an art class], I discovered that I was truly a sculptor.”

His sculptures can be categorized by the Hyperrealist style. Hyperrealism is a genre of painting and sculpture resembling a high-resolution photograph. He creates objects that are exactly how they would be in real life down to the smallest detail.

Tomczyk is not just recreating every day objects in great detail. He is creating these objects out of a very unique and fragile medium – paper. “The biggest challenge in creating a paper sculpture is making it structurally sound. I make a foam-core infrastructure in the areas that bear the most weight (foam-core is a 3/16” thick material that has a foam inner layer and 2 paper outer layers – the foam inside consist of more than 98% air, so its actually more paper than the name implies. Next, I layer with paper and add a Trompe L’oeil finish. For cushioned pieces, I add a canvas layer to the underside of the paper so that it doesn’t tear when I hand sew it.”

The reason that he creates these objects out of paper is to challenge perception. By making this chair out of paper, the function of this object is gone, and the form is the only thing that lasts. “By removing the object’s function I’m asking the viewer to consider what the object represents, not what it actually functions as.”

The form of the chairs are made so realistically that I would not be surprised if someone thought it was an actual chair and tried to sit on it. Tomczyk, himself, admitted to being fooled by the chairs function. “I nearly leaned on the Bergère once. I’m not sure if I was proud or embarrassed.”

Tomczyk’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 Vincent’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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Binary Code: A Deceptively Simple Off or On

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

“Art that embodies the notion that it is just a matter of opening ones eyes and minds to these increasingly transparent dimensions creeping into our consciousness: a complex matrix of code & symbols burrowed in our neurology connecting the human with the virtual.” – Diane Silver

Diane Silver is a contemporary artist whose family comes from a long line of Los Angeles artists.  “I have always been an artist. My mother is an artist, my brother is an architect and my daughter is studying art and art history at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.”

Many of her pieces include Binary Code. “I am fascinated by the meeting up of the virtual and the physical worlds.  Binary code was a way of expressing this.”

Most of her work has a flaking/worn-out/scratched paint look. When asked about the artistic process to create this look she says “I lay down plaster and ink/graphite/wax and then manipulate the fabric which includes crunching, stomping, folding, sanding and water pressure – it can be quite cathartic.”

This piece is titled “Lamentation.” “The mouse represents humanity.  Throughout our lives we leave marks, some large some small.  It all seems so complicated but in reality we are all doing the same thing.”

Diane Silver’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 Diane’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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