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December 1 was a great evening for art. There were numerous gallery openings and I attended two that where as different as Jackson Pollock and William Wendt.
Segil Fine Art in Monrovia was my first stop and well worth the drive. It is an intimate and sophisticated gallery. Owner Laura Segil is a gracious hostess who lines the walls of her gallery with beautiful paintings by impressionists, naturalists and realists. The show whimsically titled "Critters" features art by Scott Garland, who paints all kinds of animals, birds, and even a rain forest frog in "Hanging Out." Each critter has personality without being sentimental. The show also includes many other artists who paint landscapes with a realistic or impressionistic style. One of my favorites is Laura Wambsgans. Known for her landscapes, alive with color and mood, "Winters Wonder," pictured above, is a departure from her standard palette. It showcases her mastery of subtle shades and shadows, proving that Laura is an artist with many dimensions.
My second stop was No Ho Gallery LA. With its art deco exterior and large gallery displays, it takes me back to my days in New York's Soho district. The crowd was energized with a party atmosphere. The featured artist, Tommy Hollenstein, exemplifies the theme of "New Beginnings." Tommy, a quadriplegic, paints with the wheels of his wheel chair in a not at all random chaos. His paintings are filled with motion and a playful use of colors. One of his piece's caught my attention with its pale peach background and vibrant orange and blue overlay. I could envision Tommy dancing over the canvas in his wheel chair. The other artist in the exhibit offer a wonderful variety of styles ranging from photography to surrealism. All the artists have overcome some kind of life changing challenge and are pursuing their art with even more purpose. A portion of Tommy's sales will go to charity.
Both exhibits run through December and have creative ideas for gift giving. You can learn more about the exhibits and the artists at their websites.