Sometimes you just need to get away from it all…

By Joy A. Kennelly

I’m writing from Miami, FL where I’ve been enjoying the sun, beach and pool every day. Never knew how much I needed this brief respite until today when I actually feel 100% after a long stint of bronchitis. It’s been real nice to not think about clients or anything else but myself for once.

Not that I don’t love my clients and my work, but sometimes you just need to recharge and rejuvenate away from the day to day stuff to regain your creative juices. I’m just now, after three days here, starting to feel like I can get back to work and think about the future.

I woke up with some fun ideas I want to implement for the South Bay Professional Connection when I return which is all because I’m here in Miami. They really market this area well. I’m definitely taking notes because the South Bay can use some new marketing.

I’ve also enjoyed soaking up some of the local art deco buildings and art on display. I’ll upload images later. Did you know that Jewish settlers were the first to come to Miami? Also, the reason Mt. Sinai was created out here was because back in the day there was a lot of segregation which forced them to create this separate hospital for all the Jewish people who lived here.

It’s always fascinating to me to learn of other groups of people who experience racism and prejudice because it’s not something I normally think about not having to face it myself except for maybe my gender every so often.

There’s a Jewish synagogue museum called aptly enough, The Jewish Museum of Florida. I loved the director’s quote which I’m paraphrasing here, Even if you’re not Jewish you’ll feel a sense of family. Isn’t that sweet?

On another note, it always shocks me when people want to say the Holocaust never happened. That’s why I took the time to visit the amazing Holocaust Memorial here in the heart of South Beach that is hauntingly beautiful.

I bet you didn’t even know this existed since the nightlife so often overshadows the art that’s available here. Apparently now however, the Miami Convention & Visitor Bureau has decided to begin creating a more sophisticated image for their city and focusing more on their arts and culture than sexy nightlife.

Especially in light of the success of their popular Art Basel Miami Beach which “is the most important art show in the United States, a cultural and social highlight for the Americas. As the sister event of Switzerland’s Art Basel, the most prestigious art show worldwide for the past 38 years, Art Basel Miami Beach combines an international selection of top galleries with an exciting program of special exhibitions, parties and crossover events featuring music, film, architecture and design.

Exhibition sites are located in the city’s beautiful Art Deco District, within walking distance of the beach and many hotels.” (according to the official Art Basel Miami Beach site.)

I have loved seeing all the art deco buildings, including Versace’s mansion, and am eager to visit the Lowe Art Museum tomorrow. I know. How boring. Only me! I bet I’m one of the few singles all excited over an art museum, but I can’t help myself. It’s the way I was raised.

We would always hit all the museums in town, stay at the most inexpensive places, and then visit all the high-end resorts for a nice meal. Guess old habits are hard to break! You do see a lot more of the country when you don’t allow your finances to dictate how you enjoy yourself right? LOL

I also plan to hit the Miami Design area because I’m curious what art galleries are out here. I feel that a city’s art reflects the mood of the people which I look forward to seeing up close and personal.

Okay, that’s all for now. Just wanted to check in because I finally feel like I can breathe. I know once I get home I’ll have to hit the ground running again. But for now, am going to hit my Miami friend’s GoChi Juice tasting party and then experience a little of the nightlife with him afterwards. Should be fun and just what the doctor ordered.

Hope you have a great evening! Mark your calendars for my South Bay Professional Connection event on May 29th! You’re not going to want to miss this one!:)

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Very funny analysis of what makes art as told by animals…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDo_vs3Aip4

That’s all, just click and get ready to LOL. Too funny.

Ace Gallery was over the top tonight!

By Joy A. Kennelly

I wasn’t sure I wanted to drive all the way up to Beverly Hills for Ace Gallery’s Art Opening this Wednesday evening, but I’m so glad I did. I’m glad too, I persuaded my friend to join me. We had such a fun time being out and about.

I so rarely go out any more up in Hollywood since I’m not representing any celebrities right now, it’s a real pleasure when I do. Before it was work, now… just pure pleasure. I wear what I want, I arrive when I want, I don’t have to worry about photographers knowing my client is there, I just relax and have a great time.

What’s been interesting about attending art events lately is that the crowds just keep getting better and better looking. Also, bigger and bigger. And more celebrity filled, or maybe it’s just where I’ve been going. I do love a good event.

When I arrived at my friend’s house he wanted to catch up before dashing out so I regaled him with stories on the latest politics of my hometown, Hermosa Beach. When I recently told one of my other publicist friends that one of the highlighted speakers at a local meeting I’ve been visiting was a bunny breeder we both had a good laugh because I’ve come so far from what I was used to – from Playboy bunny parties to real bunnies.

What a slide.

However, I like where I’ve slid because now I’m focusing on art clients, with the occasional entertainment client thrown in to spice things up, and I’m real happy. Who knew living by the beach in the South Bay would be the place of eternal happiness? Just kidding. I do love the beach though! For the most part, very relaxing and beautiful. Nice guy eye candy too.

What I love now is when I drive up to the “big city” I really enjoy the experience. Tonight was no exception. After a bit of catching up with my bud, we drove over to catch the last hour of the show. And I do mean show.

When we arrived I thought it was only to view Sculptor, Robert Graham‘s latest work forgetting there were other artists on display as well since this gallery is so huge and cavernous.

I love coming here because you never know what you’re going to see and some of it can be really bizarre. This is one of the top of the line contemporary art galleries in LA I’ve been told. Could be wrong, but I believe it to be true.

The gallery again was packed, probably more so earlier, but with still a very large crowd for a Wednesday night in the heart of Beverly Hills at 10:00 at night. Everyone was wearing the requisite black, myself included, and there was a man with the ugliest, hairless dog walking around who was bald himself. Like attracts like?

That’s what I love about going to art openings in Los Angeles. You never know who or what you’ll see next. But that’s mild compared to what came later.

Keep reading.

We wandered into the two smaller rooms hosting Robert Graham’s interesting sculptures and then moved towards the larger room expecting to see more of his work.

I had completely forgotten there was another photographic artist on display named Martin Schoeller who has shot these amazing pictures of female body builders.

Walking into the main room was a little shocking because all these woman’s pictures were blown up huge and they’re all staring at you from every corner with their massively built out bodies and little bikinis – a little intimidating to say the least.

I used to see someone who was a professional body builder in his past. One night I was touching his leg and felt something hard on the back side of his calf. I said, “What’s this?”, knocking on the hard part. “Calf implants,” he replied casually. OY! And I thought breast implants were bad.

Speaking of that, a friend of mine said real breasts are becoming an endangered species. There was also an article about it in the most recent Glamour mag which made me laugh out loud a couple of times. Apparently this young Hollywood actor has been dating so many women with fake breasts he feels he can’t find true love because he feels the women aren’t being real. Get it? Real? Double Oy!

I have breasts on the brain with this blog because later on in the evening as I was preparing to leave I bumped into a friend I haven’t seen in years and couldn’t remember how I knew her.

We both stood there saying I know you, but how? Then she remembered my breast cancer fundraiser I had asked her to help me with years back and it all came flooding back for both of us. See the connection? More breasts. Now that’s a show I would still like to produce – maybe at Ace Gallery? Stranger things have happened!

As my friend and I were catching up, the woman she had brought began macking out wildly with this guy she’d just met and it was so distracting I could barely keep from laughing out loud. It was like a scene out of a Benny Hill sketch!

Then when Mary finally got her friend away from the guy it looked her girlfriend was going to kiss Mary too! You should have seen Mary’s face. It was priceless.

Back to the art exhibit/show. So, we’re wandering around admiring the large photos of intense looking body builder women (you really must click through to see what I’m talking about – amazing!) and there is Wolfgang Puck wearing his chef jacket.

By the time I picked up my bottle of water, he had disappeared. Only to be replaced by our good ‘ole Mayor Villaraigosa. Now I’ve blogged about his major propensity for the spotlight in the past and didn’t really want to see him face-to-face in case he’d read it because I asked him to do his job rather than gadfly around.

Needless to say, I left him alone as the People Magazine journalist interviewed him.

What was funny is that later on towards the end of the evening I was standing near the exit on the phone telling another friend what a fun evening this was, when he walked by and looked directly at me and asked “How are you?” like he knew me. Oy Oy Oy!

I must say, he’s extremely good looking up close and personal. No wonder that woman had an affair with him and who knows how many others? Very sexy and charismatic. Love a man in power wearing a suit!

He wasn’t the only celebrity in attendance though which always makes it fun. As we were admiring Robert Graham’s art drawings in the upstairs part of the gallery (I told you this place was huge!), we were all invited to go back to the main gallery hall for a special show.

We were heading downstairs, when I bumped into an old friend I haven’t seen in years who had been in the film, One Hour Photo, with Robin Williams. She’s not credited, but she was the nude picture girl in one of the scenes, remember? Very nice Russian woman.

In any case, as we turned around to leave after finishing our conversation, there was Robert Graham posing with what looked like the beautiful model for his work. At least I think so. The nudes are very soft and surreal drawings that imply a human body more than anything.

We left that area and hurried to see what was going on in the main hall. All of sudden music was playing and there was a palpable feeling of excitement in the air. As we neared the entrance, all of a sudden I realized why.

There, standing in line to go on the center stage, were five of the body building models from the pictures showcased tonight! Amazingly petite, but wide as they are short in certain ways. I’ve never seen such built legs and backs and pectoral muscles on any female before. If I were a guy I couldn’t imagine feeling safe sleeping with any of them because they could crush you in a leg hold!

I took some pix on my cell phone, but I don’t know how to download them, however I’ll try to learn because you really must see these pix. I really must begin taking my regular camera with me everywhere. In any case, it was very entertaining.

People were whooping and hollering just like at a boxing match or sporting event as each woman strutted her stuff. I was so surprised because, again, this gallery is in the heart of Beverly Hills, but at Ace, I guess – Expect the Unexpected!

There was an announcer on the center stage telling us where each woman was from and how many body building titles they’d won. Then with music pulsing, each woman would daintily walk out to showcase her body for our review. Some of the guys nearest the stage were just eating it up!

Apparently the last woman had won the title Miss International in a competition Aahnold had started. I asked the announcer where he was, and we both laughed.

One guy who was standing near me told me he could never imagine even kissing someone like that though because they were too masculine. I felt bad for the women because I’m sure they feel they’re beautiful this bulked up. I never want to get like that ever myself!

I don’t think I have to worry about that though. As my friend John says, I’m not big, I’m ample. At least my breasts are real! He did compliment my look tonight though which was nice. I had a great evening and will make the trip every time to enjoy such an eclectic art experience.

My friend told me later an actor from the film Crash had been standing near me the entire show. Bummer. I would have liked to have told him how much I enjoyed the film! That’s what I mean. All kinds of people come out for these events and it’s a blast.

I bumped into a psychic friend of mine and she gleefully told me she has her own TV show now. Very happy for her and any of my friends who find success. We clinked water bottles and then I left to find my bud.

And with that, I’ll bid you adieu.

LA’s exploding art scene and clever Valentine’s Day promotion

img_0756.jpgBy Joy A. Kennelly

Last night I was invited to attend a Valentine’s party downtown which looked like fun and seeing as my other single girlfriend didn’t have plans either, we decided to see what it was all about.

The invite promised a chance to win 2 nights at the Standard Hotel & more! Wine, chocolates, roses, raffles, art exhibit and a smart car on site – sounded interesting. Besides, who can turn down chocolates and roses on Valentine’s Day?

On the hour-long, traffic-ridden drive down there I was beginning to question my decision, but as I got closer and saw all the people walking around, heard music, saw the red carpet, and the gallery openings I began to realize we were actually going to be attending something bigger than even expected.

The organizers of our private event had very cleverly wrapped their event around the regularly scheduled Downtown LA Art Walk which takes place the Second Thursday of every month in Downtown Los Angeles.

What a brilliant idea! We were thrilled to have more to do than just one party, which was fun, but small. There were tons of sponsors all perched on little cocktail tables selling their wares, condos and offering goodies to go.

I picked up some candy cigarettes (why? I don’t know…), a bottle of excellent Honest Tea which tastes light and refreshing, some lovely chocolates from Valrhona, some healthy dog treats from the Polka Dog bakery (again why? I don’t even own a dog! Mainly I liked the woman’s sales pitch – it was for my sexy beast. Too funny.), an introduction to Pussy Pooch, the ultimate pet destination from Boston, and numerous other sponsors.

Leaving there we decided to hit some of the other art openings in the surrounding area and were happily surprised to see some really great art. I kept telling my friend that the art scene is exploding in LA.

Then, this morning, my client sent me a link to the New York Times article which states when referring to the predominance of white male artists at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s spanking new Broad Contemporary Art Museum, “It should also be embarrassed by the dominance of New York artists (21 out of 30) at a point when Los Angeles has one of the liveliest art scenes on the planet.”

Now if the New York Times says it, will you believe me? Here’s a link to the whole article. Very cool. If last night was any indication of how hot the LA scene is getting I’m very excited!

What I loved about last night was there was so much raw, creative energy in the air. All kinds of people milling around on the streets, laughing, popping in all the various galleries and engaging in conversation inside. All kinds of amazing, interesting, not usually seen art from a wide spectrum of artists.

Here’s some pix to show you what I mean – highlights of the evening then I have to run. More later. This was the first gallery in a wide open area at the bottom of the building – very raw and eclectic. There was even a 50 person marching band accompanying us part of the way- wild! Sorry some of the pix are blurry, I was taking on the fly since I didn’t know if the gallery owners would allow me. But I am press so… Enjoy!

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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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