Portraits of Hope

For four  weeks this summer, MacArthur Park in central Los Angeles will be enjoying a spectacular visual transformation, as thousands of large, colorful spheres can be seen floating on the vast lake. These vibrantly-hued spheres, as large as 4, 5, and 6 ft., are spread throughout the lake as part of a major public revitalization project.

Part of the program Portraits of Hope(POH) founded by brothers Ed Massey and Bernie Massey in 1995, it seeks to enrich the lives of children and adults who may be coping with serious illness, disabilities, adversity, or socioeconomic challenges thru creative therapy. Traditionally, POH selects iconic public settings and symbols for its visual makeovers that people take for granted and gives kids a chance to transform them into major public artworks. Collaborating with schools, hospitals, senior centers, and various programs throughout the nation, they have already transformed NYC taxi fleets, airships, planes, buildings, lifeguard towers, NASCAR race cars, and rescue vehicles among many others.

Between 2—3000 spheres (painted by children and adults themselves!) will float on the lake on a rotating basis—continually changing the look of the park and lake. Traditional to POH, most of the art is floral themed—as flower is the universal symbol of beauty, joy, life, nature, and renewal.  Saturated with vibrant, eye-popping hues, the spheres will spread throughout the lake, creating a majestic view of spheres interacting with water with optimal spatial dynamics and reflections.Apart from the fact this provides a fun, educational opportunity for participants to express themselves, it duals as creative therapy instilling pride and self-confidence in children.

“The fact that POH projects are high-profile, ambitious, and one-of-a-kind makes the participation and enthusiasm even more special for the children. It provides them with an opportunity to say “I did that!” often on the national and world stage,  and feel that they were part of creating something very special,” said Bernie Massey, in a Q&A session.

POH seeks to include children and adults from all kinds of backgrounds and circumstances. Over 7000 participants from more than 1,000 hospitals, schools, and social service agencies across the country have directly participated in these projects. Special brushes and methodologies have been developed for children and adults with illnesses and physical disabilities, including telescope brushes for those in wheelchairs, shoe brushes for people unable to use their hands, and fruit-flavored mouth brushes for kids and adults with limited or no movement in their limbs.

– By Joanne K

(Full article available in print)

ArtShop LA

In Los Angeles, there is a place where you can find custom living art, created by Ulrik Neumann. In 2013, Neumann exposed to the world that he believes good health for the mind & body begin with a beautiful home, thus the debut of ARTSHOPLA and it’s wonderfully creative and beautiful pieces of living art. Nuemann describes himself by stating “ I care about the well being of my customers, and simply would like to share beautiful things.” He says his creative product design and simple decorative approach are meant to change the perception of how we look at things, how we implement nature’s elements into our daily environmentdesigns. Nuemann’s designs are based on simplicity, efficiency and especially safety. Beautiful things inspire these designs. Ranging from a beautiful person, beautiful environment and beautiful acts of kindness.

Gravitating to simple and clean shapes, Nuemann creates these living art masterpieces and you can view a small selection at the Dream Garden, his workshop in Hollywood. Most of the pieces are custom made, and installed in private residence therefore impossible to showcase. Nuemanns’s future goal is to exhibit in galleries in Los Angeles, Brisbane, Australia and Germany. He has been working with plants and a nature enthusiast all of his life an decently discovered the therapeutic effects of creating something beautiful and it’s rewardingresidual effects on the mind and soul. He suggests that garden work can be inspiring, and can teach patience to anyone.

(Full article available in print.)


James Georgopoulos

Originally from the east coast, James Georgopoulos is a product of the Baby Boomer generation and was inspired by the experiences he had growing up in New Hampshire. He was engaged with the sights he saw from the window of his retail family business, remembering his fascination with large displays on New York’s Fifth Avenue, he realized he could bring the same degree of high quality to his small New England town.


Georgopoulos’s attraction to larger than life scales and his artistry continued to take shape when he arrived here in Hollywood to create active sets for films, music videos, and commercials for the studios. During this time, he discovered his need for a sense of permanence, as his work in the industry was by nature temporary as disposable.

Today, work has a permanent home in his studio. Here he explores grand ideologies and plays with three dimensional, sculptural works that are erotically charged and deals with material desires and the notion of needs versus wants. Georgopoulos explores ideas about infinity and the meaningfulness of being present. His concentration on scale and size are present in the content of his work today. The idea that life would be better with a big new television, a gorgeous wife, seat warmers, and the winning lottery ticket pays homage to the fascination that began developing within his childhood.

Georgopoulos’, In There Is No End, does not make any specific side more appealing, nor is he interested in creating political controversy, simply he is exploring his life long interest that has captivated him on such a grand scale!


Eduardo Sanchez

Eduardo Sanchez, at the ripe age of 40, debuted his premier in the curation world at The Charles White Gallery, in Los Angeles with the exhibition from Bari Kumar: Remembering The Future and a selection of ancient works from LACMA’s South and Southeast Asian Art Collections.

Eduardo Sanchez, has been an educator, teaching artist and dedicated member of the staff at LACMA for many years. LACMA has an encyclopedic collection and Sanchez has had the privilege of working with most of its ancient art, with his area of focus being on the Ancient Americas, and specifically Mesoamerica. He has also created educational content for LACMA based off of their ancient Islamic Art.

Growing up here in Los Angeles he recalls even as young as adolescence having a fascination and natural draw to Art and archeology. Stating that his time at LACMA is an extended privileged education, by researching and learning about artist, artist movements, and cultures. Sanchez studied Latin American History at California State University Los Angeles, where he earned his BA, and had the value of mentoring relationships that have encouraged him to explore and expand his academic interest further. Mentor Dr. John Pohl, Art History Professor and Archeologist worked with Sanchez on a documentary archiving the conquest of Mexico for the history Chanel. And has facilitated and supported his career throughout the years. Also, Ms. Patricia Ancona has been a valuable mentor, introducing Sanchez to his first Maya Meetings in Austin, TX that included weeks of careful study and new discovery on Ancient Maya Hieroglyphics.

Sanchez is living his dream, and allows himself the pleasure of self taught artistry with print making, ceramic and illustration when he is not at the museum or at extension galleries working on educational projects. The past few years have culminated for him in the pivotal development of his curation career. Thus, we invite you to join Sanchez in with his experience in curation by stopping by Bari Kumar: Remembering The Future (Jan 30th 2015 thru June 13th 2015). It is important to note that the Charles White Gallery serves the community and this special relationship that the school has with LACMA allows for students of the school, artists, and the museum’s collections to come together. Thus is the 7th year LACMA has occupied the space and a very unique partnership has developed with the LAUSD. Through the run of the show, special art classes for the students are conducted in the back if the gallery, and there are Family Day’s with open hours for the public one Saturday per month during the show’s time at the gallery, on campus.


Kumar’s canvases feature desolate landscapes with fragmented imagery, words, and symbols and is inspired as much by Los Angeles, where he has lived for 30 years, as from childhood memories of growing up in rural southern India. Working with students from the school, Kumar also has included work inspired by the Indian rangoli tradition. The school’s rangoli piece will be created in colored powder, erased, and re-created by students throughout the duration of the exhibition in classes held in the back of the gallery. Born in India in 1966, Kumar is currently based in Los Angeles and the exhibition encompasses values of life, death and the after life. The mixture of Kumar’s work and ancient pieces of art gathered from South and Southeast Asia tell the tale of the past, reemerging in the future.


“Chasing Neon”

Chasing Neon

Four months, three vehicles, my sister, her dog Buster and I, that was the Chasing Neon project. Together, with the support of 179 Kickstarter backers, we zigzagged across the United States for nearly 28,000 miles in search of vintage neon signs. The goal was simple: document more signs than I could count in various stages of restoration or disrepair, in hopes of promoting awareness, appreciation and preservation.

We started in a Winnebago I’d affectionately named Mini Winnie. By the time we’d traversed Nevada and driven into Utah, it became clear Winnie wasn’t fast enough to trek the mountainous terrain of the Pacific Northwest. We rented a car, and proceeded to put more than 5,000 miles on it over the next ten days. Let’s just say Wyoming is big, Montana is even bigger, and then there was Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

After returning the car rental… and spending more than an hour and $30 in quarters furiously vacuuming blonde dog hair from its black fabric interior… we drove Winnie home to California for her television debut with Good Day Sacramento. . When Cody walked out sporting a bow tie, I knew we were in good hands. After our TV spot the three of us set out again, this time in my sister’s car. Traveling in Winnie was a wonderfully romantic idea, but we needed speed, so we adapted. Our travels took us south, to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. More signs to love and ogle, and skies that photographers dream about.

Texas was our first experience with adverse weather, and we were tied up in Dallas longer than expected waiting for the rain to pass. Thank heavens for gracious friends who don’t mind you staying a few days more. To avoid an incoming hurricane we went north to Maryland, and traveled the Northeast before heading south, and  through parts of the Midwest. We spent a day in a hotel in North Bend, Indiana waiting again for rains and flash flooding to pass, before heading back south. The American Sign Museum in Cincinnati was a must, and after we arrived my sister joked she had to clean my drool off the floor. Charming, isn’t it. Somewhere in there was Florida and Georgia and Alabama, then Tennessee and Kentucky.. We finished with Route 66, a road I’ve dreamt about traveling in its entirety for years.

Four months wasn’t enough time to cover the country, but we certainly tried; my external hard drives bear the 15,000 photographs as proof. Months later, I’m still working my way through the images and finishing a book for my Kickstarter backers. Every photo I find is a memory, to share. People often ask me what is my favorite sign, or what was my favorite place to visit. It’s an impossible question, you can’t see 28,000 miles of our countryside and choose just one place.