Brewery Art Walk April 2018- Recycled Art & Modern Take on an Ancient Medium
This is not going to be the only article I write about this event, but it is a start. The Brewery Art walk claims to be the largest art commune in the United States. It takes up several buildings and two warehouses just north of Union Station and downtown Los Angeles. Twice a year they open up the complex for one big public party, and many of the artists open their homes and galleries to show the public their workmanship. They even have their own app on Google Play. Sadly I did not use it this time as I only had a half day and just wanted to see as much as I could.
I have decided to start with the very first person I talked in depth at the Walk this past weekend because her story and situation hit home. Though I like to write about art giving back and free, artists need to work and do generate an income, but they also often have a need to make a difference while doing that. Alexandra Underhill is the artist behind Xanadu Designs located for now at what is called “Abundant Sugar” at 618A Moultan Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90031. This is an image of the artist and two of her outfits, one she is wearing and one on the mannequin.
As you can see her style is very “Steam punk” but what you may not be able to tell is that her outfit is not made from ordinary material. It is made from ties. What she does is often take the ties of someone who has passed and makes items for the family and also takes ties to make into wearable and useful items to sell for other people. She makes everything from table mats, to purses, accessories and complete outfits. On her website you can find her history and the fact that she has been a costume designer, and has worked for organizations like Cirque Du Soleil, and written books on how to use old clothes to make new fashion. Going to open art events is not just an opportunity for a community to see and experience art. It is also an opportunity to perhaps for a brief moment connect with a creative person and understand the source of their passion and their talent.
Art is a product of people and reflects on life. Here we have someone who has found a way to give clothes a second chance on life, and in this day and age when we waste so much, it is good to discover their may be a second life in things that otherwise would add to humanities growing refuge. I think I have shared before that we have a problem in the fashion world. I suspect that second to plastic, clothes are one of our largest waste products. To make the world better we need to find a way to still have a sense of style while not creating such a large carbon footprint. There are artists out there trying to do something to not just make wearable items, but let people know there are alternatives. There are books written by Underhill and others on how to transform your wardrobe into new fashion. Try it, you might like it.
Alexandra also shared her space with a ceramic artist and painter. Unfortunately I can not locate his card but this is one of his images.
I also met another artist on the walk, Nicole Fournier. Nicole was located at 642 Moultan Ave., #E28 in the Brewery. Like Alexandra, her fashion sense reminded me of “Steam Punk.” In fact I suggested she talk to Xanadu and consider a joint show. Just take a look at this image and see if you agree.
What is interesting about Fournier’s work is that she combines photography with what is called “encaustic” painting. She transfers the images into beeswax and creates colored wax mediums from oils and powders to embellish the work. I am a vegan but I respect this process. Apparently it creates archival images that can last for generations and is a technique that has been used to create art for over 2500 years. I would be interested to discover if there are alternatives to beeswax to create this same process. Perhaps someone reading this will discover that process or be inspired to create one. I am not here to judge the means. I however try not to support artists who are blatantly against veganism or promoting violence or the over use of animal life.
I have lots of different artists to talk about, but for this piece the final artist I will add are The Klines, Debby and Larry. Both are prolific artists who work with different mediums. They have been artists in residence and won many grants. I add them here because of the works of recycled art, they had one of the largest and most memory as it was a giant composed of Perrier cans.
I am standing below this monolithic figure looking up at it. My head comes to about its crotch. Yes it is that big. I am five feet nine inches tall. In addition to this statute a painting on the way into the space, that I assume is also by one of the Klines, caught my eye. Art reflects often what is on the minds of the culture of the moment. I noticed a theme with some artists, though not as prevalent as my last Brewery Walk. Politics. Our current Potus and the Obama and Hillary Clinton made at least one appearance together at the Brewery this year, as can be seen in this image. I did not get the chance to ask its meaning, but the audience can make its own subjective decision.
Stay tuned as I have many other artists to talk about from this walk. Enjoy.by Laura Ann Tull (Business names Artistic Hope & Women Love Peace)
SAG AFTRA Film/TV Actress, film maker, digital media editor, digital artist, Poet, first amendment arts advocate and resigned Lawyer #metoo SU2C Vegan Buddhist and for sustainability and the planet