The work of more than 100 artists, including many from the South Bay, are featured in the eighth annual CA 101 art exhibit, which opens at the old Gold's Gym in Redondo Beach Friday, Oct. 4, with a reception from 5 to 10 p.m.
According to curator Nina Zak Laddon, CA 101, which is hosted by Friends of Redondo Beach Arts, received 866 artworks from 233 artists from five countries, eight states, as well as 51 cities in California. They ended up accepting the work of 101 artists and 111 artworks, including eight that are site specific installations, 25 3D works, 29 works in photography and 49 2D artworks.
Laddon said “art is alive in Redondo Beach.”
“We have received entries from 45 Redondo Beach artists and have accepted 20 artists from our city,” Laddon said.
“CA 101 creates excitement each year by attracting unique artwork from all over the world,” added exhibition director Sandra Dyer Liljenwall. “It serves to enhance the love of arts in our community and allows us to continue to give Redondo Beach our gift of art.”
CA 101 exhibits in a different space each year.
It was originally slated for the former Maison Riz Restaurant on the Redondo Beach Pier. According to Laddon, the exhibition was curated for that space of 5,000 square feet. But due to unforeseen events, CA 101 moved back to the more spacious Gold's Gym, a 17,000 square-foot space.
“(It) gave us a rare opportunity to redesign the gallery and create spacious galleries where each artwork stands on its own,” Laddon said. “Our site-specific installation artists were challenged and inspired by the extra space.”
“This space is inspiring and it is great to help with the transformation from a gym to a museum gallery,” said gallery manager Debbie Collette.
Following are some of the artists exhibiting at CA 101.
“There's Something Happening Here. What it is, Ain't Exactly Clear” is the opening lyrics for the Buffalo Springfield protest song “For What It's Worth.” But it's also the name of the work by Elizabeth Decker that is featured in CA 101. The work is also the cover art for the exhibit's catalog.
Decker, who drove her two pieces out from Austin, said she was listening to Buffalo Springfield, the super group including Neil Young and Stephen Stills, when she was creating her piece.
“The piece represents my mood and my discomfort and anxiety what was happening at the border,” Decker said. “When all that news started to hit... .. it's really interesting that Buffalo Springfield happened to be playing. I was thinking to myself, 'my goodness, how has nothing changed.”
Luciana Abait, a native of Argentina who lives in Los Angeles, has two photography pieces in CA 101 inspired by the architecture of swimming pools.
“My work is filled with the relationship between the architecture that is found under swimming pools and the water that is contained inside those walls,” Abait said. “I'm very interested in those architectural landscapes that are created underwater in swimming pools.”
Symbolism is also important in these pieces, from ladders to the numbers on the walls of the pools.
“A ladder can be something that can mean salvation, can be ascension, going to somewhere else,” Abait said.
Abait said she has never shown her work in the South Bay before.
“It's a fantastic opportunity to create new networks, more opportunities, new friendships,” Abait said.
Mike Collins, co-founder of ShockBoxx gallery in Hermosa Beach, has been sober for nearly 23 years, but around eight to ten years ago he started creating a small piece, a painting featuring a girl, a bird and a cage. They were only for his personal collection.
“The bird represented the addiction, the girl represented the addicted and then the cage... this was a point in my recovery where I'm not going to drink, I don't have this daily fight.”
But he also realized that the “addiction lives inside of me.”
“I realized that those characteristics and qualities and personality traits that go into getting to the point where you're addicted to something, if you use them for good things instead of bad things, it becomes very powerful,” Collins said.
“The Funeral Party” features a continuation of the original painting in an ongoing series. The first painting was laying on the floor of ShockBoxx and being walked on when artist Amber Goldhammer said, “What's up with this thing?” She told Collins it was her favorite thing of his that he had ever done.
Collins hung it on the wall and felt “It had a different power.”
That led to the current series, which now includes more than a girl and a bird to “make it a bigger story everyone can relate to.”
“So I started trying to come up with characters and putting them into different situations,” Collins said. “So it's not just necessarily about this girl and a bird, but about everything that's inside of a person's head, inside a person's personality.”
Artist Kuniko Ruch was in her Tarzana home last winter when she noticed a beautiful pink sky. She ran outside and took a photo and the “soft yet tense” reflection on her home that was also eerie. “I felt it was our emotional state reflected in my own house.”
“After Trump has been in the White House, we've been feeling very much of the anxiety,” Ruch said. “You don't know what's going on next and we have our problem with immigration, a lot of hate problems. His administration has been dismantling what I believe what America used to be.”
The painting viewed from the outside her house, has her husband, seen through the window, reading the newspaper, “anxiously, not smiling,” and their dog is looking at her. There is “tension in my house,” Ruch said.
“Usually the house is the safest place, you're relaxed,” Ruch said.
She added, “I usually don't do the political but there has been... this American anxiety that I've been feeling and it shows in my paintings.”
On Thursday, Oct. 10, beginning at 6 p.m., CA 101 will host a TEDx Redondo Beach event in its Main Gallery. “Create Change” is curated by artists Peggy Sivert and Ben Task and moderated by artist Bernard Fallon.
The event is limited to 100 people and features wine, food, video and a performance piece, “Dimensionalizing Narcissus,” from Jason Jenn.
“I think it's pretty relevant in this time because narcissism is coming up as a disorder that we need to understand,” Jenn said.
Tickets for TEDx are available at Eventbrite https://bit.ly/2mYpHXn.
The CA 101 exhibit will run through Sunday, Oct. 13, at 200 N. Harbor Drive.
The hours are Saturday, Oct. 5, noon to 8 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 6, noon to 6 p.m.; Tuesday, Oct. 8, noon to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, Oct. 9, noon to 7 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 10, noon to 6 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 11, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 12, noon to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 13, noon to 6 p.m.
CA 101 also features a gift gallery headed by Kristina Kelly and Sue Wood.
For more information, visit friendsredondobeacharts.org.