A fundraising gala supporting the South Bay Contemporary arts collective is set for Saturday, April 23, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the historic Italian villa courtyard of the Shriver Family estate in Rancho Palos Verdes.

The FRESH 2016 event supports continued arts programming, education and events at SBC. Featuring a live auction of art works by collectible area artists, sculptural installations, performance and interactive art, the evening is designed to not just support, but to reflect the cutting edge contemporary art programming at SBC.

Artists exhibiting in South Bay Contemporary’s upcoming May exhibition “Skyline” made unique centerpieces available for a silent auction. The evening includes live music, hat and brooch making, and signature cocktails, with dinner provided by Redondo Beach caterer Grandma’s House. The menu includes mini crab cakes, Cajun chicken Alfredo and Southwestern quinoa salad.

Many of the participating artists are also South Bay residents. Artists Cie Gumucio, Cansu Bulgu, and Patty Grau live in Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach artist Margaret Lazzari, Torrance resident and artist Seth Kaufman, and Hawthorne resident and fine art photographic artist Gloria Plascencia will also be contributing. An SBC board member instrumental in planning the event, Plascencia will also be documenting it.

According to South Bay Contemporary director Peggy Sivert Zask, the true purpose of the evening is “to sustain SBC and future contemporary art in the South Bay. We need a support system to develop programming and support the structure of our young nonprofit.”

Zask encourages artists and supporters of all ages to help with the everyday work of the organization as well as with arts programming.

SBC shows both established and emerging artists, and has new exhibitions monthly, held in conjunction with the San Pedro First Thursdays art walk. Events such as artists’ talks and workshops are scheduled during the exhibition month. “Our exhibitions reflect current spiritual, economic, environmental, or humanitarian issues,” Zask said.

In 2017, the collective will begin an artist residency program; other community-wide programs are planned, including ceramics programs for all ages, and a critique group program for artists to receive feedback on and develop their work.

“We’ve applied for and received grants working with art, and for school children dealing with ecology and other issues and ideas concerning the Port of Los Angeles,” Zask said.

Zask began SBC in Torrance in 1990, stepping away from her administration and curatorship to raise her family and teach art and ceramics at Mira Costa High School. She started the Zask Gallery in 2006, but in 2013 returned to her roots, establishing nonprofit status for South Bay Contemporary.

“I’m learning as I go that the most important thing for an art organization is to have great art. My goal now is to pull together supporters who love art to continue developing SBC.”

Zask expresses her gratitude for support she’s received planning this event, including the donation of the gala’s location by SBC board member Steve Shriver. Shriver was recently seriously injured in a biking accident, and a group work of art is planned as an expression of understanding for the family.

Tickets for the gala will be available until 4 p.m. Saturday, and at the gate starting at 4 p.m. Ticket prices are $50 each, table $400/8 people. For more information, call (310) 429-0973.

The event is located at 21 Pomegranate Road in Rancho Palos Verdes.

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