CA 101, the beach cities’ annual pop-up art exhibition, electrifies the South Bay Galleria mall this year, featuring 141 artists and 240 artworks. Running through July 31, the stellar mix of local and regional California artists includes works in oil, watercolor, mixed media and photography, as well as a variety of major installation art.
Produced by the Friends of Redondo Beach Arts (FRBA), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the arts in Redondo Beach, opening night last Friday was packed with more than 1,000 visitors taking in the exciting exhibition, which is divided into two spaces: the CA 101 Gallery and the CA 101 Affordable Art Store, featuring original works for sale at $200 or less.
The exhibition changes locations every year, and with the last four years featuring South Redondo Beach locations, including the Palos Verdes Inn, the AES Power Plant, and spaces on the Redondo Beach pier. Exhibition Director Sandra Dyer Liljenwall, and curator Nina Zak Laddon looked for a unique space in North Redondo—and found it.
“The moment we saw this space in the Galleria we knew it was perfect: a 5,000-square-foot store with 16 dressing rooms offering installation artists a space of their own,” said Laddon. “The wonderful large half circle of windows facing the center of the mall were a great natural display for art.”
Laddon notes that the process of walking through a bustling mall definitely influenced the work submitted, which included more than 900 entries.
“We are trying to show that any building can be recycled into an art gallery,” said Laddon. “Our goal is to have a permanent venue to show art in Redondo Beach.”
This time around, the Galleria more than fit the bill, and mall marketing director Tricia Granger said that hosting the exhibition is an honor.
“Bringing this exhibition to the community has provided an opportunity for shoppers to experience the arts. The transformation of the space is incredible and a great reminder of the power of creativity,” Granger said.
Beyond the crowd at the opening reception, the exhibition continues to draw visitors—and mall shoppers—daily.
According to Laddon: “This is a South Bay exhibition in general and a Redondo Beach one in particular. It is put on solely by community efforts and participation. We have the support of Mayor Steve Aspel and all city officials, we have the support of our business community, individual residents, local newspapers and of course the art community. FRBA is a non-profit organization supporting all Arts, and many of our members serve on the Public Arts Commission. CA 101 is a gift to our community.”
The free exhibition includes a wide variety of work.
“As I was looking at the entries, I found myself drawn to works displaying urban life, self image, cloths, mannequins, and the unbelievable new materials artists use today,” Laddon said.
Here is a small sampling of the works displayed:
Redondo Beach-based artist Cie Gumucio exhibited two installations, “Melting Point” and “Open Windows.” Of the latter, which includes video footage, fabric, and broken mirrors, Gumucio notes “The mirrors shadow and reflect the chaos, brokeness and unexpected beauty in all our lives.”
Malka Nedivi’s stunning work “Home Nest” takes up installation space in one of the former dressing room spaces in the gallery. Using painted cardboard, she mounts and floats a vision of home that is as unique as it is welcoming, featuring intense floral images as well as dream-like white houses.
Neon artist Linda Sue Price presents an homage to her father in “Jesse,” whose animated neon represents a pattern of conversation between herself and her dad, washers symbolize the equipment he repaired, and Chinese writing-like shapes represent the cuisine he loved. Beautifully evocative and colorful, the piece is as playful as it is elegiac.
From Susan Melly’s exquisite representations of female identity and patterns to Kristine Schomaker’s riveting rainbow-hued mannequins that take on concepts of body image, and the riveting impressionistic paintings of Hermosa Beach-based Scott Trimble, there’s something for everyone at this exhibition—even a “Peeping Tom.” Los Angeles artists Bibi Davidson and Dwora Fried collaborated on an installation that focuses on sexual orientation with an amusingly fresh perspective more than appropriate for its former dressing room location.
It’s definitely time to head on over to the mall, and become a consumer—of art.
South Bay Galleria
1815 Hawthorne Blvd #115 - near Macy’s
Thursday - Friday 10am-9pm