August 8th, 2015 | 5p-9p
Having a Creative Gallery space in the Downtown Pomona Arts Colony is sometimes surreal. To the naked eye, the neighborhood is remembered more for it’s history than it’s present. But beneath the surface lies a vibrant community of artists that’s influence reaches far beyond even Los Angeles. Here are few of the people we call neighbors.
Reco Price, better known by his stage name Supernatural (aka Super Nat or MC Supernatural) is a gifted lyrical artist, best known for his “on-the-spot” freestyle and battle rap abilities. He has been a regular performer and host of the Rock the Bells Music Festival since its beginning in 2004. He recently began painting and we have been talks for an upcoming art show in the LOFT.
Pro, a talented renaissance man, is the manager at IE Photo Rentals. But when he’s not at the shop, he is also a Real Estate Investor, producer, web designer, and a talented writer/musician. Watch his music video.
Thomas Pathé is an artist. His paintings strike an electric balance between the technological and the sublime. He is known for his color work and is intended to be both strong and seductive, communicating on a gut level with the observer. Layers of paint and varnish unite with their sculpted surfaces to present color as a physical experience.
Ken Barrientos aka KenBts. is a producer/engineer/sound-designer who’s local loft/recording studio is nothing short of astounding. Full of analog synthesizers, an organ, upright piano, a vintage Moog, and obscure recording devices. He’s a gifted musician who’s known for creating a landscape of mood heightening beats.
For over two decades, Gabe Real has prevailed as one of Southern California’s top DJ’s. Gabe has rocked countless dance floors with every kind of music possible, focusing on Reggae, Funk, Old School, and Hip Hop. With the experience of DJing at big concerts like Coachella, to small Dinner parties, he knows how to keep the vibe right, and the party going. Gabe also spent several years on College Radio, owned a Record Store, and now operates a Recording Studio in his loft.
Paul Nguyen is an amazing tattoo artist who also paints, sketches and and does wood burning. Working at the infamous Shamrock Social Club for years, his cliental began sending him world-wide to create everything from full body tattoos to small intricate pieces. He is also owner of the gallery, 11th Door Studio, hidden away in a Downtown Pomona alley.
Joseph Todorovitch is a contemporary painter who looks to the past for clues about the future of painting. His work is primarily figural and aims to create a visual field of atmosphere, space, and light, occasionally evoking subtle narratives within the viewers. He’s working to create paintings that draw viewers in and hold them by providing technical interest that makes it difficult to stop investigating. His studio is located in the Downtown Pomona’s Progress Building and he holds small Figurative Painting Workshops throughout the year.
Raised and bred in Detroit, Michigan, Ta’Raach, takes his music seriously. Never compromising and always innovating, this veteran (a decade and some change in the game) is a triple threat with lyrics, beats and vocals. Ta’Raach has worked with a host of notables inside and out of Motor City between Dwele to J Dilla, Carl Craig to Elzhi (of Slum Village), Waajeed to Amp Fiddler. Nowadays, in between showcasing his talent behind the decks, making beats and dropping lyrics for the likes of Platinum Pied Pipers, Dabrye, As One (Kirk Degiorgio), and Exile. He lives and creates in the Progress building in Downtown Pomona.
Trellis Evans (AKA Travis), is a fashion photographer and owner of EvansEyePhotography. Working with agency models, he is quickly becoming an emerging light in the fashion and editorial photography scene. Complete with a cyclorama seamless cove wall, his studio, located across the street from the LOFT, is always full of models, eager to be shot by Trellis.
Andrew Manley, photographer and owner of IE Photo Rentals and Wanderwall (across the street form the LOFT), is a extraordinary entrepreneur. You’ll see him buffing out one of his cars (Honda s2000, Acura NSX, Porsche 964) on sunny days in front of the shop. He’s the guy to ask if you want to want to get the down low on new photography hardware or learn new shooting techniques.
Maria Ongpauco is the owner of Vintage Renewals shop and gallery. Coming from FIDM, she has a unique sense of style and design. She crafts her unique clothing and accessories from reclaimed fabrics and blends them with vintage fashion from the 80s and 90s. Check out her loft during the next Art Walk.
Antonio Mejia is the owner of Smoking Mirrors gallery (next door to the LOFT), resident tattoo artist at famed Good Time Charlie’s Tattooland and gifted painter. Featured in Eric Schwartz’s recent film Tattoo Nation, Antonio has played a major part in tattoo culture. Known for his hand drawn Chicano-style tattooing, Antonio’s flow of work has sparked interest in many artists and collectors worldwide.
Mia Karter is a conquering real estate agent and an amazing vocalist. Known recently for her Amy Winehouse tribute show, her and her band (Mia Karter and the Hits) takes charge of the stage. She is a multifaceted entertainer artist with extensive film, television and voiceover credits. Returning to the studio, she has collaborated with an array of incredible producers and musicians for a new project, “Poison”. It’s a hip-hop/pop/jazz hybrid, with the debut single “Sweet Poison” dropping this year.
There are so many more amazing creatives in our neighborhood. We thought we would share just a few. Take the time to look past the old buildings, vacant lots, and nightclubs and you will find an active Arts Colony that is sure to leave you breathless.
LOFTon2nd is proud to host Stigma One. World renown graffiti, tattoo and traditional artist known for his unique style of script writing and portrait. Stigma One opens up his BlackBook to show a series of sketches and drawings.
Usually, the public only gets to see his finished work on large walls, bodies, and canvas. During this one night only show, we get a glimpse into the mind of Stigma One. See finished and unfinished sketches and drawings, many of which have evolved into large murals throughout the world. Continue reading
Seasoned Artist, Robert Morgan, passed away this week and will be dearly missed. We are grateful for the opportunity to have been part of his story. Our condolences go out to his family.
Today we take a moment to pause and remember him. In March of 2013, LOFTon2nd was honored to host seasoned artist, Robert Morgan, 83 year old at the time, Australian painter and graphic artist, for a retrospective art show titled, “The Works of Robert Morgan”. This exhibition represented the culmination of over 60 years worth of amazing stories encountered by Morgan.
“It was a splendid place and time! I’m sure we didn’t realize it then – doesn’t every young boy have four miles of water frontage to play about and run all over, a great expanse of water over which to adventure on, a rowing club and sailing club and our own fleet of tin canoes?”
The artist grew up by the shores of Iron Cove Bay in the western suburbs of Sydney NSW, Australia. The bay is part of the estuary system that feeds into the Parramatta River and on towards and under the harbor bridge into Port Jackson, Sydney’s Harbor. Someone was always building a watercraft on one block or another in the area – sailing dinghies and canoes – but usually something more ambitious, 30ft to 40ft ocean-going yachts, which took years to complete. Some of his earliest attempts at self motivated drawing and painting involved subjects from there.
The artist continues, “My formal art education was pursued spasmodically during the between stints on newspapers, magazines, art studios, advertising agencies etc. I attended the Julian Ashton School of Fine Art under Henry Gibbons and Sydney School of Commercial Art with William Holman.”
“The arrival in Canada had been planned with my wife, initially as the first stage of a grand tour working trip around the world. I was able to continue development through several opportune job situations in the Vancouver BC and Toronto Ont. Areas. One of these last had enabled the development of skills in design and presentation. That in turn led to taking time out to study at the Instituto Allende and to paint full time for another semester in San Miguel de Allende Gto. Mexico.”
“When we came out of Mexico to the Los Angeles area – My wife, children and myself, the painting continued anyway, through to a series of large abstract works in synthetic media. Then it became apparent that it was time to move back into regular remunerative work. There followed several years of work on architectural graphics programs, mostly of the more pragmatic kind – until, I found myself assigned to design for a project utilizing more wall space than most artists would dream of handling in a whole lifetime.”
Rob’s years of painting must have been preparation for something. As a Designer within a large professional Architectural Office, he designed the graphic walls of the secure below plaza level spaces and other large walls of a large national bank. Total wall areas were in excess of 35,000 square feet!
It seemed he was on his way, but circumstances changed again and there followed several difficult but still interesting years. During that time, outside of some unforgettable projects which included directional graphics in the Los Angeles Zoo, he designed and coordinated an ambitious extension of the exhibits for the public tour of Lawry’s California Center. On a personal level, he also developed a modular panel system for large graphic walls. Conceptual Designs for exhibits at George C. Page Museum, La Brea Tar Finds, were produced, while consulting with the Architects of that project.
Across the road was Museum Square where he was also heavily involved in the revamp form Prudential Building that it once had been. He had also picked up on his association with Electrical Advertising – Park Plaza near Palos Verdes, Alamedas Bay Harbor at Long Beach, Studio City Plaza on Ventura Blvd., and Arbor Faire in Fresno area, are some of the new or ambitious makeovers which utilized his design skills as an employee or independent consultant.
On more recent painting efforts: The artist is quoted, “Since becoming even more aware of the strong painting themes manifest along Pacific Rim coasts, the focus of my painting activity has been the development of suitable techniques to exploit that material. That and the potential interchange between developed hand skills and refined technology is what excites me!”
Bio by Robert Morgan 2013
Brooklyn is 9 years old and has captured an array of smiles from throughout the Downtown Pomona Arts Colony for this show.
Perception is everything. Downtown Pomona is beautiful. View the Arts Colony from the perspective of a 9 year resident. See the beauty she sees every day in the smiles of her neighbors, in the community she calls home.
Life Adjacent is a documentary short web series that tells first-person stories that paint the larger picture of our LA neighborhood: community.
Episode 11 features Brooklyn Joy (daughter of LOFTon2nd owners Josh & Chara). Check it out.
Following up, after a successful debut of his show “On Display”, SGV raised artist Hairface, is looking to spread the message of love through a play on words with clever & witty quotes.
Current works to be displayed are guided by Love and all her crazy beautiful moments. Which are as familiar to you and I as the excitement of a first kiss. Medium of choice? Hand drawn in water color pencils, painted with the artist’s very own saliva. He’s about his craft but most importantly bringing people together, as that is where he is truly inspired.
The ambitious artist actively uses his P.R. & promotional skills from his nightlife as a DJ, to fuse arts, food, and music at his monthly event known as Taco Disco. Lucky for you, Hairface is hosting an interactive solo show on:
Saturday, March 14th
6pm – 11pm at LOFTon2nd
543 West 2nd Street, Downtown Pomona
Los Angeles resident artist, Shamala Bennu Auset, was catapulted into art, color, forms, and ancestral reverence. Exploring a unique narrative, her three-dimensional, textured use of acrylic, called scultpaint, honors the strength of African peoples, both in Africa and in the Diaspora, sharing not merely a common history, but a common journey.
Join us and about 30 other galleries for 2nd Saturday Art Walk. Art for sale, food, craft vendors, music and even a pretty cool late night buzz. Whether you’re with your special Valentine or just hanging with your anti-Valentine friends…it’s a great night out. Check out http://downtownpomona.org/