Both Sides of the Border: Update

Approximately 300 people showed up for the Nov. 19th opening of the group show, Both Sides of the Border, the premiere contemporary art exhibit at Carlotta’s Passion Fine Art gallery. As a participating artist in the exhibit I was thrilled to see such a large turn out, and over the course of the evening I talked to dozens of art lovers, artists, and other notables in L.A.’s vibrant Latino arts scene.

Excitement over the exhibition continues to grow, and the owner of the gallery, Mr. Robert Squires, informed me that camera crews from Telefutura/Univision will be at the gallery on Saturday the 26th to film the exhibit. Readers of this web log are encouraged to come to Carlotta’s Passion for the 2 pm filming – you’ll see some wonderful art and you just might get yourself on television. As an extra enticement to come to the gallery on Saturday – I have just published a Giclée print edition of Folklorista, one of the oil paintings I have on display at Carlotta’s Passion. The prints will be available for purchase for the first time at the Saturday filming, but if you can’t come by you can always purchase a print online.
Folklorista - Oil painting by Mark Vallen
[ Folklorista – Oil painting by Mark Vallen. Click here for
a larger image and more information on the painting ]
During the opening night artist’s reception, I was delighted to meet Sybil Venegas, art historian and co-curator of the just-concluded Mirando al Sur – Mirando al Norte exhibit at the art gallery of California State University of Northridge. Ms. Venegas and I talked for a short time about the inclination towards activism historically found in Chicano art, and she expressed great interest in my upcoming lecture on the subject to take place at Carlotta’s Passion. My talk, which includes a slide projector presentation of images, takes place on Fri., Dec. 16th at 8:00 pm – all are welcome to attend.
Art lovers viewing the works of Latin American masters on opening night
[ Art lovers viewing the works of Latin American masters on opening night ]
Interestingly enough, another special guest dropped in to see the show, a woman Ms. Venegas sited as a mentor and major influence – Dr. Shifra Goldman. Ms. Goldman is a renowned art historian specializing in modern Latin American and Chicano art, and the author of quite a few important books on the subject. It was a real pleasure to see her at the opening, as I’ve long admired Ms. Goldman’s scholarship. In our conversation she revealed to me that she’s working on publishing a new anthology of her essays – something aficionados of Latin American/Chicano artwork can definitely look forward to. In addition, I had the pleasure of meeting artist Diane Gamboa, who is also exhibiting works at Carlotta’s Passion. A mover and shaker in the Chicano arts movement since the 1970’s, Gamboa and I discussed another one of our shared interests – our having been active participants in the original 1977 L.A. punk rock explosion. We both agreed there is great interest in that period, and decided to discuss in the near future the possibility of some type of collaborative artistic project around the theme of punk.
Looking through the bin of fine prints at Carlotta's Passion
[ Looking through the bin of fine prints at Carlotta’s Passion ]
All in all the opening was a tremendous success, and everyone who attended or participated in the exhibit shared the opinion that Carlotta’s Passion Fine Art gallery could become a leading art space in L.A. It is certain you’ll be reading more about Carlotta’s on this web log, as the gallery has some interesting shows planned for the months to come. In the meantime, check the gallery’s listings of scheduled events for the Both Sides of the Border show, and perhaps I’ll see you there.

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