Walking around Bergamot Station the other day I was struck by what a magnificent jewel we have right in our midst.
Reading Seven Days every week, there were some exhibits I wanted to see before they closed. The Santa Monica Museum of Art had one such exhibit, Mariella Bettineschi’s “Voyager.” Though the colorful exhibit was interesting, it was Ken Brecher’s “The Little Room of Epiphanies” that completely wowed me. Here was a man after my own heart, someone who understands the worth of saving everything you’ve ever had. He’s someone who knows the importance of what some may consider useless junk. Brecher is willing to schlep water from the Himalayas, and other items from around the globe, for his art. His collection was perfectly lined up in what appeared to be Starbucks Frappuccino bottles – hundreds of Frappuccino bottles – each one with its own meticulous label describing its contents. Elsewhere in the exhibit, his red velvet bust of Mao is not to be missed; a tacky tourist knickknack at its finest.
Perhaps the most touching was the “Rosie’s Girls” exhibit. The girls are part of a camp run by the City of Santa Monica, and teaches the girls a wide range of skills including welding. The artwork created by these young girls was cheerful and incredibly well-made. Their bios had a theme in that most were very optimistic and positive about life. Many of these girls received scholarships to attend the camp.
On to the Lois Lambert Gallery, where the featured artist was Phil Rasori. The Mirror recently ran a colorful picture from the exhibit; seeing it and the others in person was something else. The colors and images of natives in Papua New Guinea were so powerful, so vivid, so compelling. At the Patricia Correia Gallery, it was a delight to stand in front of Isis Rodriguez’s large “Learning to Fly,” also featured in the Mirror. Leigh Wiener’s “Johnny Cash” photographs at the Craig Krull Gallery takes the viewer back many decades to when the Man in Black was certainly one of the shining stars in country music.
Heading back to my car, in Bergamot’s most generous parking lot, I thought how lucky we are to have a world-class art center only minutes from Downtown Santa Monica.