Interactive Arts Experience – South Pasadena”™s annual Event

Interactive Arts Experience – South Pasadena”™s annual Event

Artist Marie Miller's rendering of her "Giant Easels" interactive visual arts project

This Saturday afternoon, grab a paintbrush and get creative! Head over to South Pasadena to check out an extra-special gallery exhibition and art and music event.

The new South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) is hosting an all-ages “Arts Experience,” in conjunction with the 2nd annual South Pasadena Eclectic Music Festival and Art Walk on Saturday, May 1st, 2010, from 2 until 10 p.m.

The SPARC offerings will be anchored by “Giant Easels,” a large-scale, outdoor visual arts project on Meridian Avenue that is open to everyone from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. It is near the Metro Gold Line Mission Station and the Walking Man statue. Designed by artist Marie Miller, it consists of 4×5-foot canvases covered by stretched transparent Visqueen sheeting on specially constructed, 15-foot-tall easels. Wow!

Join in, watch the paintings in progress and walk through the tented easels for another perspective on the artwork as it takes shape. Exterior house paint and acrylics””and protective cover-ups””will be supplied. Professional artists will be on hand to encourage participation. As each canvas is completed, a new blank canvas will be set in its place. The completed canvases will be on display until 9:30 p.m.

“The easels will form an art tunnel for viewers to walk under and through,” Miller explains, “engulfing them in all this beautiful art and color.”

“It encapsulates the term “˜art walk”™,” adds Lissa Reynolds, SPARC Director and Artistic Director of the Fremont Theatre, “and allows anyone to be part of the creative process.”

The second component of the “Arts Experience” is being kept under wraps. This is a secret “Interactive Media Event,” that has been dreamed up by veteran film and TV writer-producer Margo Newman and Blair Witch Project executive producer Kevin Foxe.

Although I cannot reveal the details, it will begin at dusk in the area of the Meridian Iron Works museum, one of the venues where several bands will be performing during the Festival.

“I don”™t want to give away the fun of it,” Foxe says, but during the 15 to 20-minute breaks between musical acts, “just be on the look out for something fun on the wall of the museum and near the train station.”

Around the corner from the museum, visit “Temporary Contemporary SPARC,” a one-day only art show housed in the Station Lofts on El Centro, across from Restaurant de la Gare and Nicole’s.

This special gallery exhibition will feature contemporary works by a wide range of professional South Pasadena painters, sculptors, photographers, textile, mixed media and conceptual artists, many of whom have had shows across the U.S. and internationally. They include the exhibition”™s curators Liz Reday and Catherine Ellen Money, as well as Nathan Rohlander, Amy Runyen, Alice Simpson, Marie Switzer, Kirk Miller, Susan Singer, Connie Rohman, Barry Wetmore, Valerio Ventura, Peter Radsch, Laurie Hendricks, Harry Lieberman and Idelle Steinberg. Selected student work will also be shown. Most of the works will be available for purchase.

“The show should be full of surprises,” Reday says, “and we are grateful to Scott Feldmann of the Chamber of Commerce and Richard Gerrish of Dilbeck Realtors for arranging this great venue. It”™s a dream gallery.”

“We”™re excited about SPARC”™s participation,” Feldmann says. “We want to celebrate the creativity of this town and in a direct way we”™re bringing artists out of their studios and into the streets.” The Festival has grown “to two dozen bands, six live venues, almost a dozen galleries and lots of participation,” he notes. “You can hear David Lindley and five world-class musical acts for just $20, and dozens more throughout town for free. All afternoon, there are many free exhibits and it”™s great family fun.

“This is not a rock “˜n”™ roll fest,” adds Feldmann, “It”™s an eclectic festival with a style or genre for everyone.”

“The South Pasadena Arts Council hopes that its involvement in the Festival will “remind everyone how important the arts are to our community””and that they are here for everyone,” says Arts Events Coordinator Hope Perello, owner of SPACE, the South Pasadena Arts Center.

“When economic times are tough,” Reynolds adds, “the arts are often seen as disposable, yet they are essential to the quality of our lives and our community. They are a way to come together.”

For more information about SPARC, visit their website.

For advance tickets to the Eclectic Music Festival main stage, click here.

Report by Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.

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