Kathy Leonardo

Kathy Leonardo  Photo:Gregory Dahl

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LA Art Party Newsletter

LAArtParty is an arts and entertainment website. Established in 2010, it is an online go-to guide for what's happening in and beyond the LA area - this includes dining, travel and more.

Founded by journalist, and "Blues Mama" Kathy Leonardo (a longtime performer), the campy site has an unusual slant which will keep you entertained. Leonardo has been writing for the past 15 years about various subjects for the Huffington Post, THRIVE GLOBAL, LA Weekly, etc.

Each month the LAArtParty staff, led by Kathy Leonardo decides which events will be featured. Posted at noon on the Thursday prior to the last week of the month, LAArtParty.com features the Top Ten Art Parties, plus other fun events each month. VIP subscribers find out ONE week prior to the public and receive discounts and invites to VIP parties throughout the year.

See Contact Page to find out how to become a VIP subscriber so you don't miss any more great ART Parties!! See Contact/Rates Page to find out how submit and promote your own events!

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July 21, 2017: Gabba Gallery, Val Kilmer

Val Kilmer is set to show his paintings and sculptures in a solo exhibition titled "Icon go on, I'll go on," for one weekend only at the Gabba Gallery. Kilmer, best known as an actor, uses painting to investigate the nature of Icons and to explore issues of celebrity, identity, reproduction, and American mythic archetypes.

In Val Kilmer’s recent paintings his representational choices are not of himself as a subject, but of himself as a character, rendered as an instantly recognizable Icon through the use of stencils. These are not self-portraits (just as the roles he’s drawing from are not self-portraits). They are self-referential only as a stepping-off point to explore these Archetypes. His choice of characters (certainly as a painter and, perhaps as an actor) are Mythic and particularly American ones – The Superhero (Batman), The Cowboy (Doc Holliday), The Rockstar (Jim Morrison), The Writer (Mark Twain – “The First American”), and the Soldier (Iceman from “Top Gun”). The film references in these choices are actually their least important element.
From left to right: Doc Holliday, Composite print, 36" x 36" 2017; Jim Morrison, Composite print, 36" x 36" 2017; Batman, Composite print, 36" x 36" 2017; Mark TwainComposite print, 36" x 36"

So, despite the stencil base, they’re not simple. Paint layers and blotches sometimes obscures the lines indicating that these Mythic Characters are literally colored by the individual human hand that’s bringing them to life. He says: “I've developed strong and nuanced themes in my art from acting and performance that relate to iconic images or ideas - so there's a thread of the icon and the Iconographic throughout the exhibition”.

One room of the gallery will be dedicated to a showing of very recent abstract work. Also painted on metal, these works are iconic as well, but more in the spirit of Russian Icons, replacing wood with metal. The Portrait orientation of the pieces and the depth of the layers encourage the viewer to fall into the frame. The infinite shoreline edges reference the fractal notion of zooming/falling infinitely into the image. Kilmer himself has noted the “Black-Hole” nature of these pieces. They are windows into another world. Also on display (for the first time publicly) are large (82" x 48") works, each comprised of 16 individually painted laser-cut metal panels of the word GOD. Kilmer invokes the word GOD as the ultimate Icon. Naming God and parsing that name out in multiples that invite the viewer to abstract and examine the word, and one's own relationship to the word itself. Individual panels will also be on display. Recontextualizing iconic items is at the heart of the sculpture pieces, A neon Applause Sign (Used on-stage in Val's play Citizen Twain) shifts from APPLAUSE to APOLOGIZE. Tumbleweeds, a symbol of the Old West are transposed into sculpture by recasting multiples of them in Gold and rubber. These familiar words and images and their attendant references and create a conversational space around them that redefines the Icon and the viewer’s relation to it.

Friday, July 21st • Exhibit Preview • 4-11pm  - RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Saturday, July 22nd • Open to the public • Noon – 8pm

 RSVP to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   For additional info on the artist, visit https://valkilmer.gallery

What: Opening Reception
Where: Gabba Gallery, 3126 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90057
When: Friday, July 21st, 4-11pm - RSVP to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Saturday, July 22ndm Noon – 8pm
Phone: (310) 498-2697

Website: http://www.gabbagallery.com/

July 28, 2017: The LUCKYRICE Los Angeles Feast Returns

On July 28, the LUCKYRICE Los Angeles Feast returns to Vibiana in DTLA to spotlight the city’s vibrant Asian culinary scene. Some of the area’s best chefs, hailing from celebrated restaurants, pop-ups, and food trucks, will gather to offer their twists on traditional Asian fare. Taste a variety of delectable dishes paired with specialty cocktails, wine, and beer.
The annual Los Angeles Feast will showcase the best of the city’s Asian and Asian-influenced chefs and mixologists. 
Angelenos are perhaps the most sophisticated eaters when it comes to Asian grub, which is why this year's Feast will showcase the most popular foods from Asia's eating capitals as interpreted by up-and-coming chefs. food truck favorites, popular pop-ups, and old favorites -- all under one roof with plenty of Asian-influenced cocktails to wash down the grub.

American Express® Card Members may enjoy special General Admission (GA) or VIP access at the event by purchasing one of the packages with an eligible American Express Card.

Enjoy tastes from: Asian Box, Bling Bling Dumpling, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar + Grill, Chinese Laundry, Doma Kitchen, Fat Dragon, Genghis Cohen, Parks BBQ, The Standing Room, Starry Kitchen, and more.

General Admission is $88; VIP is $150; CLICK HERE to purchase tickets.

What: The LUCKYRICE Los Angeles Feast
Where: Vibiana, 214 South Main Street, Los Angeles,
When: 8-10pm - General Admission; Early admission (7pm) for VIP
Website: http://luckyrice.com/event/los-angeles-feast-4/

July 29, 2017: Skidmore Contemporary Art Welcomes Doug Shoemaker & Emile Dillon

Skidmore Contemporary Art is proud to present new exhibitions..."Poolside," by Doug Shoemaker, "Vanishing America," featuring the art of Emile Dillon.

Doug Shoemaker was once told by the East Coast watercolor painter Howard Etter to "draw what [he saw]." And over his decades-long career as a watercolorist and architect, Shoemaker has done just that, creating indelible, precise images of urban and suburban scenes, often with a focus on the elegance of simple city and residential architecture.
July29-2017-skidmoreDougShoemaker-Poolside-IIIDoug Shoemaker, Poolside III, Watercolor on paper, 36" x 36" 2016

While Shoemaker chooses not to depict people in his paintings, he is far from unconcerned with the idea of the human element, representing the people of San Francisco and other locales with their traces in his series Pools and Lounges: ripples in a pool's surface, the just-arranged folds of a towel, the elasticity of a shadow. Says Shoemaker: “By eliminating any figurative element, I am attempting to express a kind of stillness, a quietude, a Zen sense of alone-ness that may offer a respite from the over-hyped, over-expressed, over-shared society we now live in.”

Emile Dillon's work transports viewers to a distinct and particular setting. His work varies from movie theater signs to restaurants or hotels, each defined by an exact moment, like a photograph. Dillon's 2016 acrylic painting Rae's depicts a specific yet accessible scene, Rae's Restaurant on Pico Boulevard and 29th Street in Santa Monica. The piece portrays a common Los Angeles image--a sunny day in fall, indicated by the brown leaves of the tree behind the sign, perhaps mid-afternoon. Dillon transforms an ordinary, possibly mundane moment into art. Recognizable signs and logos become revolutionized. Dillon's bright, eccentric and playful use of color is not only pleasing to the eye, but is also an identifiable trait for Dillon's body of work. Vibrant sky blues emphasize bright red or yellow signs across United States cities.
July29-2017-skidmore-ThunderbirdInnEmile Dillon, Thunderbird Inn, Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 40”  2017

On view: July 28 - September 2, 2017

What: Opening reception
Where: Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station 2525 Michigan Avenue, B-4 Santa Monica, 90404
When: July 29, 2017 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Phone: 310-828-5070


July 29, 2017: LAAA Hosts its 2017 Annual Benefit Auction!

SATURDAY, JULY 29, 2017, Los Angeles Art Association (LAAA) cordially invites you to celebrate our 92 years of service to artists at the 2017 Annual Benefit Auction.
Hundreds of LA's most influential movers and shakers will attend the exclusive champagne VIP preview featuring food by NOBU, desserts and receive a limited edition archival pigment print on metallic silver paper by J.T. Burke.The event will feature live and silent auctions including important works by Alexander Calder, Frank Gehry, Joan Miró, Ed Moses and more. Items will be also available for online bidding via Paddle8 before the July 29 festivities.

LAAA's 2017 Annual Benefit Auction serves as an important survey exhibition and auction opportunity featuring one of the most compelling pools of emerging talent, as well as key pieces by established artists. WIN TIX HERE - EMAIL THE CODE PHRASE TO  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  - I want to WIN Art Party tix!!

The artists contributing work to the auction view the fundraiser as an opportunity to give back to LAAA, an organization that has played a critical role in the professional growth of tens of thousands of artists. All proceeds benefit LAAA and the Los Angeles'emerging artist community.

Tickets: VIP Preview | 6-7pm $150 ($180 at the door) Food by NOBU, open bar, desserts and an original signed print by J.T. Burke.

General Admission | 7-9pm $25
Open bar and desserts.
RSVP: Reserve your spot by phone 310.652.8272, or online by clicking here, or by emailing  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Above artwork by Alexander Calder, Joan Miró, and Miguel Osuna

What: LAAA's Annual Benefit Auction, fundraising event benefiting LAAA
When: Saturday, July 29, 2017,  7:00pm - 9:00pm; Live auction begins promptly at 7:15pm; Silent auction closes at 8:30pm.
Where: Gallery 825 - 825 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90069
Phone 310.652.8272,
Website: http://laaa.org

July 30, 2017: Upper West Presents the Art of Bobbie Rich

Upper West presents a solo exhibition featuring the art of Bobbie Rich. This will be Rich's 2nd solo show at the restaurant. She said she was excited about exhibiting again, and was creating new works for the show. "Everyone at Upper West has become like family," added Rich.
July30-2017-BobbieRichSince the last time the artist was showcased at Upper West, her style of painting and her subjects have changed. She has incorporated animals into her work which evolved out of her own travel photography. Another new addition is her Ocean series - and it happens to be one of her biggest sellers. She explained how she created the work..."Waves are built up first with palette knives and molding paste, then brought to life with layers of acrylic and detailed with oil paint."

The exhibit will feature a mixture of people inspired by travel, fashion, nature and personal relationships. She added, "I still very much enjoy painting unique, whimsical people. Most recently my people are primarily oil paint with other media layered in - acrylic, paper, metal leaf, moon paint, etc.

Stop in on Sunday, July 30th, from 4-7pm to meet Bobbie Rich and celebrate her new works. For additional info about the artist, visit her website at http://www.BobbieRich.com

What: Art Party
Where: Upper West Restaurant, 3321 Pico Boulevard, LA 90404
When: Sunday, July 30, 2017, 4:00 - 7:00pm
Website: http://www.theupperwest.com/

2017 Free Summer Concerts!

Ok kids....the art party hop may slow down during the summer a bit - but there are all kinds of FREE music...here's some info on this summer's music events taking place all over LA. We listed the events based on the location of the venue...so depending on where you live, take advantage of what's available in your area. See event websites to confirm times and dates. Check the bottom of this post for additional LINKS to websites for additional sponsored music events (NOT listed below).


Downtown LA...Grand Performances offers performances all weekend long in throughout the summer and well into September. This summer's line up includes acts such as The Secret City, Long Beach Opera - Frida, Hip Hop: First Peoples, New Voices and more
Grand Performances concerts will be held at C
alifornia Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., with suggested parking at a garage at 351 S. Olive St. There will be complimentary bicycle valet service during select events. CLICK HERE for the schedule. 


The Original Farmers Market Friday Night Music hosts Friday night music events (which began May 29). Music from various genres such as Latin jazz soul, swing, world beat, etc., will be featured. Catch Friday live music on the Market's West Patio from 7-9pm; The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036; http://bit.ly/1RaEHWf


In Beverly Hills...Concerts on Canon are live music performances taking place every Thursday night, from June 8 through August 31, 2017. Each evening features two 45-minute sets at 6:00 – 6:45pm and 7:15 – 8:00pm. Events are held in the Beverly Canon Gardens, between Montage Beverly Hills hotel and Bouchon Bistro. Seating is first-come, first-serve with space both on grass and café tables. Complimentary parking is available in the Beverly Canon Gardens lot (241 N. Canon Drive) and simply requires validation at the events' information table. Click Here for the full list of performances.


Head to LACMA this summer - now through the end of November. Enjoy a jazz, Latin Sounds and Chamber Music each weekend. LACMA's jazz series is celebrating its 20th year...featuring jazz legends such as Wayne Shorter, John Clayton, Kenny Burrell, Les McCann, Billy Childs, Arturo Sandoval, Cannonball-Coltrane Project, and Ernie Watts. 
The Latin Sounds series began in 2006 and offers the latest sounds from Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, and Los Angeles on Saturday afternoons from Memorial Day through Labor Day. 

LACMA’s weekly chamber music series, Sundays Live, features the best of national, international, Los Angeles and emerging artists. These one-hour concerts are presented free to the public at 6 pm each Sunday in the Leo S. Bing Theater. Highlights include such diverse artists as the Encore Saxophone Quartet, violinist Roberto Cani, pianists Conor Hanick, Nadia Shpachenko, Andrei Baumann, and Petronel Malan, flutist Susan Greetnberg ,clarinettist Michele Zukovsky, lutenist Jason Yoshida, the Lyris and Telegraph Quartets, the Edenstill  Guitar Duo, and our  resident Capitol Ensemble.  CLICK HERE for the schedule.  LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036; http://www.lacma.org/


Fisherman’s Village offers free concerts on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Event times: 2-5pm C.LICK HERE for the June lineup. Fisherman’s Village, 13755 Fiji Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292; http://www.visitmarinadelrey.com/events/


Hop on over to the Getty Center for some live music on Fridays/Saturdays from 6-9pm.
Enjoy the view will enjoying a free show. Check out the website for full lineup through August; There is also music at Getty Villa Saturday & Sunday mornings Click HERE for info. The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049;  http://www.getty.edu/visit/cal/performances.html


KCRW is spreading the music love with its KCRW Summer Nights series taking place at various venues in and around the LA area. Its free series of outdoor shows will feature live band performances and DJ sets, from Pasadena to the Pacific, and from Santa Barbara to Orange County. Events take place at One Colorado Center, City Anaheim, Chinatown, Hammer Museum, Santa Monica Pier, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Union station, California African American Musuem, Annenberg Space for Photography. See the website for dates, times and venue locations.  https://events.kcrw.com/events/category/events/category/summer-nights/


In Santa Monica...the Twilight Concert Series on the Santa Monica Pier kicks off on June 22 and run through August. Enjoy performances by Khalid, Marcia Griffiths, Miami Horror, Warpaint and more. CLICK HERE for the schedule.
Santa Monica Pier, 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401;  http://santamonicapier.org/twilightconcerts/


Levitt Pavillion (MacArthur Park and Pasadena)
hosts its free summer music series. Fifty FREE concerts will be presented at the Levitt Pavilion, featuring acclaimed, emerging talent to seasoned, award-winning performers in a broad range of music genres such as Americana, Jazz, Blues, World, Latin, and more. Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles is located in the northwest corner of MacArthur Park, near the intersection of W. 6th Street and S. Park View St., 90057. The park is located just 10 blocks west of downtown Los Angeles and is bordered by Alvarado Street., W. 6th Street, W. 7th Street, S. Park View Street and intersected by Wilshire Blvd. Music events run from June 29 – September 3 2017; Levitt Pavilion Pasadena, Memorial Park, Pasadena, 85 E. Holly St. Pasadena, CA 91103; http://levittla.org/


Now in its 17th year, the Marina del Rey Summer Concerts present exciting symphonic and pop concerts at the beautiful Burton Chace Park. Enjoy a serene sunset by the water & brilliant music under the stars...for free! Thursday nights spotlights Classical/Broadway style while Saturdays offer R&B/Jazz. Seating is festival-style, available on a first come, first served basis. There is no reserved seating for the public. Please bring a blanket or low-back lawn/beach chairs. No tents or umbrellas. July 6 - August 26, 2017; Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey, California 90292; Click Here to see the full list of performers.


This summer, the Pershing Square Downtown Stage, offers eight weeks of free outdoor concerts, movies...Pershing Square Summer Concert Series includes Wednesday Lunchtime Concerts, Jazz on Spring, Downtown Stage Saturday Concert Series. Bring lawn chairs, or blankets to relax with family and friends, and enjoy free entertainment under the twinkling lights of downtown Los Angeles. Easy access and check-in will be located on the corner of 6th and Olive. It is suggested that all guests read the summer concert rules so that the venue entrance can be accessed quickly and safely. July 8 to August 27, 2017; Pershing Square Downtown Stage, 532 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, 90013;  http://www.laparks.org/pershingsquare/dtstage


This year's Sunset Concerts at the Skirball once again showcases eclectic music, singing, and dancing in a stunning, one-of-a-kind hillside setting. Reinterpreting traditional roots music from America and around the globe, these established and emerging artists will draw music fans from across greater Los Angeles.
2017-SunsetConcertsatthe-SkirballArrive early to dine, shop, and view the exhibitions! Beginning at 5:30 p.m., enjoy grab-and-go light fare and full bar service from Zeidler's Cart. Stop by Audrey's Museum Store, open until 8:00 p.m. And be sure to check out "Paul Simon: Words & Music," which is FREE and open until 10:00 p.m. Check out my Huff Post review of this exhibition.

All concerts begin at 8:00pm; FREE; RSVP requested; Parking is $10 per car (cash only); Doors to the concert venue open at 6:30pm; Admission and seating on a first-come, first-served basis. The series runs from July 27 - August 31, 2017; Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, 90049; (310) 440-4500; http://www.skirball.org/programs/sunset-concerts


Enjoy several other FREE music Events sponsored by Amoeba Music, taking place in a variety venues (including Hollywood), Concerts on the Green, Downtown Long Beach Summer and Music, Hermosa Beach Summer Concerts, Sun Sets Concerts at Calabasas Lake, Claremont Concerts in the Park,...Celebrate your Summer with Music!

Performance Thru August 13, 2017: BLINDED World Premiere, Write Act Repertory at The BrickHouse Theatre!

Come the the World Premiere of BLINDED starting July 15, at Write Act Repertory's new home in North Hollywood...The BrickHouse Theatre.

BLINDED - Seventeen years ago, Donald walked in on his mother in bed with someone other than his father. Whatever he saw that day was so devastating that his psyche refused to see another thing from that moment on. At 35, the hysterically blind Donald visits NYC's best shrink, Bob Schneiderman. Donald's last ditch hope before throwing in life's towel. However the doctor's highly unorthodox remedy includes an affair with Schneiderman's younger, beautiful wife, Bridget. There's only one caveat; Bridget can never find out Donald is blind.
july15-2017-Blinded-FLYERWritten by Joni Ravenna. Directed by T.J. Castronovo; Produced by John Lant for Write Act Repertory; Production Stage Manager: Jonathan Harrison, Casting: Jean Scoccamarro; Cast: Cindy Marinangel, Chris Muto, Marilyn Sanabria and Rico Simonini;

Producer John Lant states “When TJ brought me this script, I had to do this play, and soon. I was quite moved by some of the moments and laughed out loud while reading at the local coffee shop. Also getting to work with TJ, and wonderful actors that grace Write Act’s boards over the years Rico, Cindy and Chris was an added bonus. I can’t wait for people to see Joni’s work and have talented newcomer to Write Act, Marilyn Sanabria, join our proud history.”

General Admission / Limited Seating / Refreshments / Air-Conditioned / Heated / ADA Compliant On-Street Parking / On-Site Box Office / The theater is one block north of Camarillo/Vineland/Lankershim cross streets.

Performances thru Sunday, August 13, 2017; Admission: $25. Students and seniors: $20; Call (800) 838-3006 for reservations; Purchase tickets HERE 

 World Premiere engagement of a new dark comedy. 
Where: Write Act Repertory at The BrickHouse Theatre, 10950 Peach Grove Street, North Hollywood, CA 91601 
When: Fri. & Sat. at 8:00, Sun. at 2:00, Performances thru Sunday, August 13, 2017
Phone: (800) 838-3006  
Website: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2993431

Monthly Art Walks and Art Crawls

Thurs 10.4 SanPedro1st ThursdayIf you like Art Walks....the First Thursday of every month offers two fun art walks.

One takes place in San Pedro....

and the other happens in Laguna Beach.

Each have their own charm, so mark your calendars and be sure to check them out.

San Pedro holds a community friendly art walk. Be sure to check their website for a full list of participating galleries at http://1stthursday.com/

Laguna ArtwalkLogoweb111
Or head to Laguna Beach...for a hoppin' walk.

For more info about the Laguna Beach 1st Thursday Artwalk, see their website http://www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com/

The DDAWlogoowntown Art Walk happens the 2nd Thursday of every month. It started on a grass roots level, only to evolve into a full blown art/night life extravaganza. If you haven't checked it out yet....be sure to. See their website too.  http://www.downtownartwalk.org/.

For more info about past events see Examiner article


VACOr in Venice....On the third Thursday of every third month, the Venice Art Crawl takes place. March, June, September and December

The event was modeled after the Downto
wn Art Walk, See their website at http://www.veniceartcrawl.com/

For more info about past events see Santa Monica Mirror and  Examiner article