January 30, 2012
On January 26th, 2012, Brooklyn artist Dennis McNett quietly arrived in Laguna Beach, CA. Since then he has been working in the shadow of secrecy to change the landscape of AR4T Gallery and the town of Laguna. Dennis continues his work up to February 4, 2012, when mythical creatures of ancient folklore take shape to live among us…
January 28, 2012
Day One Install.
January 27, 2012
We want to say a HUGE thank you to Vans for helping us bring Dennis McNett to California. Last week Dennis packed a large crate and sent it in the mail attn Vans/AR4T – today the Cooks went to pick it up. Dennis arrived at 6pm and it’s on. Stay tuned for more installation photos in the days to come.
Wandering the Vans HQ in search of the crate
McNett Found in the Vans HQ Gallery...
Found the crate.
Didn't quite fit in the box truck...
unpacked and taking everything home....
January 18, 2012
Made it! More photos on instagram... #ar4t
January 17, 2012
Coming soon! Very excited for this!
Wolfbat Shamans and the Whale of Gratitude, Art by Dennis McNett: SAT. FEB. 4, 2012
1. Please introduce us to the Whale of Gratitude. What is it’s story?
Dennis McNett: The Wolfbat tribe has made its way west across North America to Laguna Beach where shamans from the tribe have gathered to invoke the Whale of Gratitude. Each year the tribe stops to reflect on fallen tribesman, opportunities they have had, new members they have connected with, pay respect to those who have paved the path before them, and express gratitude for the energy and breath of the Wolfbat spirit. We have much to be grateful for this year.
2. Share with us a little of what you have planned for kids’ art day and what gave you the idea to have a kids day.
DM: Youth are more connected with the energy and spirit of the Wolfbat. They are less connected to material things, their hearts and minds are not cluttered with paying bills, a career, and other worries. They are more free. I will show them how to make Wolfbat tribes masks from paper mache and woodcut prints and extend an invitation to be honorary Wolfbats.
3. Very excited that you’re bringing your art to the Orange County audience for the first time. As someone who has traveled your art all over the U.S., with a handful of art shows in California, how do west coast art audiences compare to where you live and work in Brooklyn?
DM: Brooklyn is a really great home base because it has a lot of creative energy which is encouraging and motivating. However, Wolfbats can not stay stationary for too long and need to connect with a broader spectrum of souls. California has been really responsive, calming, and kind anytime the Wolfbats have flown through in the past. We are looking forward to coming out to Orange County to share some gratitude.
4. We find that metal and punk rock bands go well with art at our gallery… how has punk rock helped define your style as an artist?
DM: The graphics coming from the early 80′s skateboard and punk rock seen grabbed hold of my guts at an early age. The raw, contrasty, energetic marks and imagery were a huge influence then and I’m still inspired by it’s vitality now.
Wolfbat Shamans and the Whale of Gratitude is presented by Vans.
January 15, 2012
Recently AR4T was featured in Laguna Beach magazine’s A&G section – asked about tips for artists seeking representation. In the article, Gallery Director Dana Nichols referenced the AR4T mystery artist. Someone who we blogged about back on 11.11.11 when the artist first dropped off the “Govt Lies” satellite dish on our doorstep. The dish has now become part of the family, serving faithfully as the gallery welcoming committee.
But the story did not end with the dish. It turned a new chapter on the annual Laguna Beach Hospitality Night.
This past December Hospitality night, AR4T Gallery was hosting a kids social night to go with the Storytellers show – art supplies, pizza, warming beverages for the adults. The turnout was amazing and the gallery was packed with kids big and small. In fact it was so crowded in the gallery with little people, many parents were posted up outside on the sidewalk. Perfect time for the mystery artist to strike.
Out of the blue, resident AR4T artist Ben Brough (standing outside on the curb) turned around holding a large rectangular object wrapped in a thick blue shipping blanket strapped with packing tape. He held it up to gallery owner Torrey Cook and said “I don’t know what just happened…. This guy wearing a mask and combat boots just walked up and handed this to me… and then he ran away…weird….”
The entire group, made up of artists and professional adults quickly turned into a giddy group as Torrey quickly recounted the story of the AR4T “mystery artist” who first dropped off satellite dish the previous month: http://ar4t.com/2011/11/11-11-11-nov-11th-is-officially-a-new-holiday/
Together, the group quickly unwrapped the gift…. Mystery artist strikes again.
The painting is currently hanging at the gallery… bids accepted.
January 11, 2012
From The Editors at Boardistan: “On Saturday, January 7, 2012 Laguna Beach, California’s AR4T Gallery will host the opening party of a photography exhibit titled Still Life With Wood. The exhibit features a collection of work from some of the best men to ever point highly polished glass at a rolling slab of maple:”
The artists reception to welcome in STILL LIFE with wood and the new year at AR4T Gallery did not disappoint. Grant Brittain, Miki Vuckovich and their families were some of the first people to walk through the door, and Grant and Laura Brittain were the last to leave – the party was just that good.
Artist Jay Croft flew in for the evening, and it was awesome to get to hang with Dave Swift and James & Tracy Cassimus. A sea of smiling faces that have been part of skateboarding for decades came out to celebrate: Ben Schroeder, Jeff Grosso, Jim Gray, Lee Crane, Paul Schmitt, Ryan Kingman, Jon Foster, Ewan Morrison, Don Brown, Chris & Pam Zam, Lee Crane, Danny Zapalac, Brian Ridgeway… the list goes on and on. A few artists with upcoming shows in 2012 helped kick off the new year as well….Russ Pope & his wife Jennifer, Sticky Shaw, & Brennan Coyle. As requested by Grant and Swift, IPA from O’Shea Brewing Co. was served, and for the occasion of the music of el mysterioso – so was a little Tecate. Thanks to Pete Stow for taking photos of the evening. You can see more of Pete’s photos at Spire1.com, and photos from Lee Crane on Boardistan.
All photos of STILL LIFE with wood are available for purchase – please see the show page for pricing and info.
(photos by Peter Stow)
January 6, 2012
We have six Jon Humphries images as part of Still Life with Wood. Opens Saturday Jan. 7 and showing through Jan. 22.
// Jon Humphries has found success in both commercial and editorial photography, contributing to The Skateboard Mag and many others, capturing memorable shots of the most recognizable names in skateboarding, sports and culture. He lives in Portland, Ore.
Above: Justin Brock by Jon Humphries
1. Have you shared wall space with Grant, Miki, Dave, Atiba and James before?
Jon: Yes, I’ve been in a couple shows with this crew. These guys are my heros, it’s cool to be on a wall with them. Grant helped launch my photo career and I will always give him praise for that. Thanks Grant!
2. Your portraits are amazing. What about people and their faces that grabs your interest?
Jon: I’ve always loved portraits, I wish I was even better at them. I don’t really like photos without people in them. People age, photos age, that makes them look even better. I wish I could make a living just shooting creative portraits.
3. Can you tell us a little bit about the photos you selected for this show?
Jon: These photos for the show are all shots of my past. As a photographer I tend to like photos that have aged a bit. Not sure why, but it adds something to them. And I like black and white fiber prints, which these photos are.
4. How are these photos a reflection of you and your style?
January 5, 2012
Jon: I’m drawn to black and white, my favorites images are black and white. Not sure why, it’s just how I see things. But I’m not color blind. Maybe black and white is cheating because it makes everything look better.
January 2012 Blisss Magazine has an article written by AR4T founder Torrey Cook about one of her favorite new places. Thanks to Liz!! for setting that up. It also has one of the best covers yet thanks to C.R. Stecyk III and some great photos from the last COMUNE art show. Pick up a copy!
The Tenderloin National Forest is one of life’s great surprises – the kind of surprise that only comes around a handful of times over the span of a lifetime. It’s like a “waiting to find out if your baby is a boy or a girl until you meet them” type of surprise – You can try to describe it all you want, but until the person on the other end actually experiences that moment… they won’t know exactly what you mean. But still… you just can’t help yourself from trying.
Tenderloin National Forest is located in San Francisco, CA. One of the key things to know about the Forest is that it’s named for the section of town where it lives. Google the Tenderloin to explore it’s sordid past, and know that along with it being a magnet for creative types, it’s also one of the rougher areas for humanity.
A large part of the Forest’s magic is the path you take to get there. Everyone comes from a different place. Find it on a map next to the Tenderloin Children’s Playground in an alley labeled Cohen Place, but please don’t be misguided – The Children’s Playground is not the shiny happy place the name implies, and Cohen Place was once one of the scariest places in all of SF. Now living as The Forest, the hours to visit are Wed-Sat 11-3pm.
My suggestion is to start out on a Saturday morning by taking BART to the Embarcadero with a leisurely breakfast at the Farmers Market. Find foodies with cute babies, vibrant music and colors, beautiful water views below the Bay Bridge, etc. Grab a five dollar Blue Bottle coffee and start walking toward Union Square. ZigZag on Sutter, Post, Geary Streets in the downtown designer shopping district. Find Ellis and walk in the direction of Civic Center. The landscape starts to change, the people start to change, your conversation will change. On this one walk, no matter how many times you do it, there are things you will see and hear that will change you. Stay alert on this walk and have your wits about you.
Once you pass Leavenworth Street, start looking for that little alley on your left. Take a breath and walk through the gates. You will see art in many forms – large scale murals, pottery, paintings. The giant loving arms of a 40 foot tall redwood tree, tiny succulents, goldfish in a pond. Possibly a sighting of a hummingbird – an exotic creature for the heart of a large city. There is a strange quiet from the city noises living around the corner.
Take as much or as little time as you want. What you see and hear will change you.
Many thanks to Luggage Store Co-Artistic Directors/Artists Darryl Smith and Laurie Lazer who have been working to transform Cohen Alley since 1989 from a place emblazed in a health-hazardous cesspool of bodily fluids and other dumped items, non-supervised open-air chemical experiments and illicit – criminal activities — to a vibrant ommunity commons where people of all ages can gather for public art, performance, experimental art projects. and classes and activities.
January 3, 2012
In life there are rare times when you meet people who have so much soul for what they’re doing, you can’t help but stop, listen, and believe.
Here’s the back story on why curator/owner Torrey called forth this particular group of photographers (“the monsters of skate”) into AR4T gallery for our first show of 2012 (Still Life with Wood Jan. 5-22): She originally met them – Grant Brittain, Dave Swift, Miki Vuckovich, Atiba Jefferson, James Cassimus and Jon Humprhies – in 1996 when she worked in the Transworld offices for a magazine called Warp. They were all part of the Transworld team in the office next door. “These guys have an integrity and a love for skateboarding and the skateboarding community that has not drifted off course one inch in the time from then until now.” At The Skateboard Mag their fearless operation to maintain the independent nature of skateboarding is the kind of thing that inspires us. To say the least.