Lots of great VIP Art events recently

By Joy A. Kennelly

What I love about going up to the “big city” is that I never know what direction my travels will take until I’ve hit the road and made a few calls. Last Friday was no exception.

I had a meeting and then a hair appointment immediately after, but then the rest of the day was a blank. Whenever I have a new do I love to go out and show it off. Thus, when my good friend Carla, who works for the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, invited me to join her at the California African American Museum VIP Art Opening that same night I didn’t hesitate.

She is so much fun to hang out with. Plus, I had new hair courtesy of Leslie over at Ona Spa and I knew we’d have a great time together. She knows anybody and everybody in town as a result of her position and warm, generous personality. (She loved my hair too!)

We met through our mutual friend Lana Leazer who does the marketing for The Holiday Inn Express Century City Los Angeles, a spectacular boutique hotel which offers convenience to corporate travelers, families, and vacationers alike. The hotel is a 47 room property that features spacious rooms and suites with spiral staircases, loft bedrooms and breathtaking city views.

(How’d you like that commercial? Hey, gotta help my friends! Plus, you might be looking for a place to stay so we all benefit…)

I realized after that night I really must call Carla more often because she’s a really great, intellectually stimulating, accepting person. Just the kind of people I like in my life — Smart, fun, open-minded, spontaneous and a people person.

Her blog is called Rodeo Drive Lifestyles so check it out here!

What a great mix of people at this event! The ceremony was moving and the art very interesting. There were a couple of exhibits to view: Common Ground, The African Presence in Mexico, A Woman’s Journey: The Life and Work of Artis Lane, and MLK in California. Click on the links to see each exhibit.

I was very impressed that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been so supportive of this museum and its mission. Although he couldn’t be there, his representative read his proclamation.

I was very surprised that Mayor Villaraigosa wasn’t there because it was such a Latin flavored event, but I guess his stumping to be our next Governor-elect took precedence. Maybe Hillary needed him? He annoys me no end. Can you tell?

This event was really special. There were dignitaries from Mexico and others from Chicago in honor of the art exhibits. I was especially moved viewing the art later when I learned that the U.S. was ten years behind in giving MLK his own stamp, whereas Mexico was the first to do so.

I had no idea how inter-related African culture was with Mexican culture and feel everyone should take a visit down to that wonderful museum to see the richness of L.A.’s cultural history.

I especially enjoyed the work of Artis Lane, even though she wasn’t one of the ones featured. Her nude sculptures and busts are quite wonderful. I also enjoyed the diversity and eclectic nature of all the other exhibits as well. It was interesting to realize that the black faces in the paintings were reflective of Africans and there is a lot of overlap between these two cultures.

Highly recommend making a visit down there before the exhibits close. It’s art you won’t see anywhere else in LA, I guarantee it.

Same goes for the art LA and LA Art Show as well. I bumped into my artist friend George Stoll at the show which was fun. He told me to check out his gallery, Kim Light Gallery, and ironically enough, was one of the few exhibitors whose work I really liked. There were others too, but you’ll have to look on their site to see.

Here’s some pictures from the LA Art Show though of artists I enjoyed viewing.

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