There was a time when professional artists would never even consider putting their art on display in a restaurant. Galleries were the only viable venues. However, times have changed. These days, both renowned and emerging artists are more than willing to reach out to patrons of established restaurants. Taking multi-tasking to the next level, art collecting during one’s dining experience has become a growing trend. One can shop for a fabulous work of art while enjoying dinner with friends.
A Santa Monica restaurant, Upper West, has been showcasing artists since it opened in March 2010. This Sunday, Nov. 18, Los Angeles-based artist Anyes Galleani will be honored with an opening reception from 4-7 p.m.
Galleani visited Upper West during an opening for a friend and fellow artist.
She loved the space and atmosphere, so she reached out to the restaurant to showcase her own works.
“I will be showing a collection of mixed media paintings created using my photo montages, printed on silk, then collaged to wood panels with acrylic paint and paper,” Galleani said.
Originally from Italy, Galleani is now a resident of downtown LA.
“I love the vivid colors of murals and street art…the worn-out paint and weathered posters on the walls,” she said. “I strive to recreate these elements in my paintings using mixed media.”
Her exhibition “Beautifully Broken” will be on display at Upper West through February 2013. Upper West is located at 3321 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica (theupperwest.com, galleani.com).
Another restaurant known for supporting the arts is Hama Sushi (hamasushi.com), which has been actively showcasing artists since becoming involved with the Venice Art Crawl two years ago.
Located at 213 Windward Avenue in Venice, the work of John C. Ransom and Barbara Mastej is currently on view through January 2013 (johnransomla.com, barbaraofvenice.com).
Both artists have exhibited their art in restaurants before and enjoy the diversity it brings.
“Although galleries generate more sales, I like the idea of showing in public venues because viewers can see how the work stands up in a natural setting,” Ransom said. “The clientele sees how the pieces accentuate the atmosphere and get a better idea of how they might look in their home or business.”
Mastej said she exhibits at other local hangouts too.
“I had a solo show at The Figtree Café a couple of years ago,” she said. “As an artist, the challenge in showing at a non-gallery is to hang one’s work as an integral part of the space, while letting patrons know it’s for sale.”
Mastej said she successfully conquered that challenge and sold a significant piece at Figtree Café.
Figtree Café at 429 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, is currently showing the work of abstract painter Mike Temple (figtreecafe.com, miketemple.com).