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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Artist Charles Swenson Pays Homage to a Dear Friend!

Life is fragile at best. Each person affects another as we travel through this world. For artist Charles Swenson, it was a good friend from art school who left an indelible impression on him. As a result of this association, the artist was inspired to create a body of work entitled the "Sidecar Series."

Slowres-CharlesSweson wPaintingswenson began working on his "Sidecar" series in 2007. He recounts the story that motivated the series. "The sidecar series is based on a little toy that was given to me by my best friend, Michael Haller. We met as kids in art school."

Mike Haller was a successful production designer working in the film industry. He and Swenson continued their friendship as they grew into adulthood....traveling in the same Hollywood circles. "He and I also used to race sidecars," says Swenson. "We were the state champions in.... '76, I think it was..."

Haller passed away about twelve years ago. "The series is a kind of homage to him, a kind of tribute," reveals Swenson. "He was a very unusual and insightful man and was a real grounding influence for me. He could always see clearly to the core of any problem. I think I was a little untethered there for a while after he died. So this series shows a fantasy version of the two of us...as toys...flying through the sky. I think the paintings have a lyrical, uplifting yet wistful quality as a result...at least I hope they do. Thanks Mike," sighs Swenson.

Swenson paints on a daily basis at his large studio in the Brewery in Downtown LA. He admits that working on a set schedule keeps him focused. "I know I have a limited time to work, so I don't tend to waste time...as much," laughs Swenson.

Tlowres CharlesSwenson24 x24  Close Sidecar 3he artist has become involved with much of the happenings at the Brewery, such as bi-annual art walks and special private openings. He confesses that he enjoys being part of an artist community.

"Art is often a very solitary pursuit," cites Swenson. "It's just you and your literal or figurative canvas, so it's very encouraging and enlightening to be able to interact with other artists, see what they are doing, and get input on your own work."

Swenson's work is currently part of a group exhibition at haleARTS S P A C E which opened August 9. Curated by owner Michael Hale, the exhibition also spotlights the work of artists Jerry Shevick and Phyllis Stuart.

haleARTS S P A C E is located at Edgemar Center, 2443 Main St. in Santa Monica. The show will remain on view through August 21. http://www.halearts.com/

To find out more about Charles Swenson and upcoming events at the Brewery as well as private showings, see his website at http://charlesgswenson.com/