Frustration… That was the thought that Gina Quaranto had in her mind with the representatives at “NV Energy” and “South West Gas”. After contacting several officials, the lack of response and mindless banter was what she got as her hard work was left in shambles. In mid July a transformer explosion ripped through the downtown art district destroying many store fronts. “Place Gallery” being one of them was one of the worst felt by the destruction.
Windows were blown out and the buildings structure was severely compromised. Having no responses from anyone to take responsibility for the damages, Gina was forced to make one of the most difficult decisions ever as she had to close her gallery doors for good. Like Gina, many small business owners and shop keepers in the downtown area of Las Vegas were already feeling the effects of the economic down turn. They struggled to keep afloat and relied on each other for support.
During the past year Gina successfully built a reputation and art following for “Place Gallery”. It was a place where artists called home. Many local artists would showcase their artwork and build names for themselves as “Place Gallery” became one of the well known galleries, aside from the “Art Factory” that was a staple for the art community.
Every First Friday was a treat for the city of Las Vegas. People from around the valley would come to the art district to view artwork and talent that the art community offered, like many of the small businesses. The artist thrived from the revenue First Friday generated. It’s what keeps First Friday alive; the creativity that the artist built was what the people of Las Vegas wanted. What they needed…
When news of what happened to Gina and “Place Gallery” surfaced, the outreach and love from the community started pouring in, by the following First Friday, “Place Gallery” moved from its dilapidated building to the temporary location at another gallery for their LV Sk8 Show. By mid August Gina secured a location for the new gallery and went to work relentlessly and by early September Gina’s new gallery had a name, “Blackbird Studios”.
With October closing in, Gina had a mission. To create a gallery that not only had the open arms and warmth that “Place Gallery” did, but show that in essence, “Place Gallery” never left. With it being the month of Halloween, Gina decided to dedicate the theme of Zombies to the gallery for its grand opening and notified all artists to create zombie inspired artwork, The name of the exhibit, ‘28DAYS2A, Zombie Apocalypse’.
It was fitting. What died at the previous location of where “Place Gallery” called home, rose from the dead in the new location of where ‘Blackbird Studios’ was, and more alive than ever. But I personally didn’t think of “Blackbird Studios” as a zombie that rose from its grave, but as another fantasy creature, the Phoenix, rising from the ashes. But like Phoenixes and Blackbirds one thing they did have in common is that they fly and with that, all I saw was ‘Blackbird Studios’ taking off with their grand opening Friday and soaring high as it always was meant to be…
For more information please visit “Blackbird Studios” located at the Commerce Street Studios, 1551 South Commerce Street, Las Vegas Nevada 89102.
Article by Jasper Gonzales
I for one, can’t believe that “Comic-Con” is over. What was once an anticipated waiting period for one of the largest entertainment conventions is just a memory. My 10 hour experience there was well worth the wait. The art community was buzzing, with more than hundreds of vendors ranging from illustration, animation, literature and multi-media, It was an art enthusiasts 4 day reality.
Illustration lovers were treated with the opportunity to meet iconic illustrators and get a glimpse of upcoming storylines of their favorite comics. There were several panels where mass audiences had a special one on one time with people from the comic book and Hollywood industry. With many things going on, it was hard to figure out what to do and where to go.
The massive “San Diego Convention Center” has more than 1,000,000 square feet of different floor space, from the main floor to halls and banquette areas to its outdoor patios. With areas sectioned off for the type of interest you took a fancy for, it was a challenge to conquer all of the functions that took residency here.
I first went to artist alley and met with different illustrators from around the country who were showcasing their different styles and art. None of them were similar to the other and each had their unique superhero or heroine highlight their hard work and light a fire under the big companies like “DC” and “Marvel” comics so they could take notice that they arrive to Comic-Con armed be the next big thing.
I then started to walk down to the opposite side of the convention hall to take a gander at all the collectibles. And boy were there allot of collectibles. From vintage comic books to one of a kind limited illustrated prints. From literature vendors showcasing their clientele’s upcoming work, to statues and figurines with precise artistic details that took likeness and could compare to the works of renowned artists like Joseph Bernar and Gustav Vigeland.
From there I walked to Hall H and took in a few panels, one of them was the announcement and sneak preview of the “Walking Dead” television adaptation of the acclaimed graphic novels of the same name by Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore that will debut on the “AMC” channel in October.
Another panel I went to was for the comic book adaptations that are being turned into big screen heroes “Thor” and “Captain America” from comic book giants “Marvel Inc.”, what was an unexpected treat was the arrival of actors and actresses that comprised the comic book group “The Avengers” which is probably THE most anticipated comic book adaptation movie that will arrive in 2012.
But the highlight for me wasn’t at “Comic-Con” but at a “Comic-Con” after party hosted by William Shatner and his website http://myouterspace.com, it was there that “Star Trek” actor Lavar Burton announced that his 1980’s TV show “Reading Rainbow” was making a comeback, not as a syndicated show but as an internet/web series. “Reading Rainbow” was critically acclaimed for its motivation for childhood literacy and interviews with authors of kid friendly books.
But with all the excitement and joy I had. It came to a close as fireworks lit up the sky to announce that the festivities were over. The one thing I learned from all this is there is always something being created. Whether from artists and authors, to movie and TV directors. When “Comic-Con” comes around next year there will be something new and exciting to experience.
And it was all done from creativity…
For more information about the 2010 “Comic-Con” and future con’s please visit: http://www.comic-con.org/
Article by Jasper Gonzales
That is the question I told myself while watching “Toy Story 3”. Don’t get me wrong, it was a wonderful movie, visually stunning and also a tear jerker. But with movies like “Toy Story 3” and “Up”, I think about what’s transpired in the past 15 years and I thought what has happened with animation?
What has been a multibillion dollar revenue in America has flat lined the very style of hand drawn animated films. It all started back when the first “Toy Story” was released, a revolutionary film that was completely done by C.G.I. (computer generated imagery) a critically acclaimed feature which spawned many movies to come.
The last time I even saw an actual animated cell film was probably “Spirited Away” by Hayao Miyazaki. In fact the front runners now a days for animated films are mostly from Japan. There was a time when American animation was in that position, and so it seems hand drawn films are a dying breed in America.
What has happened to animators, illustrators, and cartoonist? Art colleges and institutions across the country now plaster commercials all over TV about learning how to become an animator. A 3D animator! What happened to kids wanting to become a animator when they grow up? Yes animation exists but only on syndicated TV shows.
Would Walter Disney have approved this? He had a vision when he painstakingly created “The Walt Disney Company”, characters like “Mickey Mouse” and “Dumbo” was the staple of every day Americana, It spawned companies like “Amblimation” and “Fox Animation Studios” that had the same ambitions to create wonderful animated features like “An American Tail” and “The Land before Time”.
But when I think of companies like these, I think of how corporate juggernauts have ruined the fabric of hand drawn animation. Corporate douche bags like “Apple” co founder Steve Jobs have taken their mega conglomerates to change everything that people like “Walt Disney” achieved. The computer era has out sourced what real animation was.
For instance, Steve Jobs acquired “Pixar”, which was a graphics group/computer division of “Lucasfilm” back in 1986, they created movies like “Toy Story” and “A Bug’s Life” in 1995 and 1998 and made millions thus resulting in “Disney’s” acquisition in 2006 and solidifying hand drawn films to vanish.
In fact since were on the subject of Steve Jobs and “Pixar”, I bet you don’t realize that because of the acquisition of “Pixar”, Steve Jobs is the majority stock holder of “Disney” which now owns “Marvel Entertainment, LLC” aka “Marvel” comics, where do you think illustration will go? I bet the “iPad” and digital comics can answer that question… But that is an entirely different subject.
Yes you may think this article was a huge rant or you may agree with what I’ve said. But in 20 years when you’re in a museum and you see your favorite hand drawn animated film as a main exhibit or feature, don’t ask yourself what happened.
Article by Jasper Gonzales
Every year the spectacle known as “Comic-Con” engulfs the southern region of California, what started as a small comic book convention in San Diego during the early 70’s has become the biggest convention for everything pop culture. It is an illustrators dream to wind up on probably the grandest stage of their field.
“Comic-Con”, then known as the “Golden State Comic Book Convention” was created by Shel Dorf, a freelanced artist who created the convention as a gathering for what was then a mediocre love for comics. Back then Dorf was a huge fan of the “Dick Tracy” comic strips; he later on was a consultant for the movie adaptation of the same name staring Warren Beatty.
During the first year of the convention a science fiction writer by the name of Forrest J Ackerman was the main attraction and slowly brought in fans of that genre, but it was during that time when Dorf befriended artist Jack Kirby, the popular comic illustrator who created well known characters like “Captain America” and co created “The Fantastic Four”.
Kirby would later headline “Comic-Con” the following year that brought the small promotion into the spotlight. What originally were 300 science fiction fan attendees at the the “U.S. Grant Hotel” by the late 70’s grew into 5,000 comic book enthusiasts at the “San Diego Convention Center” during the mid 80’s.
After that many legendary artist and comic publishers from “Bugs Bunny” creator Bob Clampett, Jerry Siegel co creator of “Superman”, and Stan Lee former president of “Marvel Comics” would come to the convention to discuss and showcase their works. By the mid 90’s the “San Diego Comic-Con” became the premier place to be for all comic artists, whether up and coming or fully established artists.
The convention was a stepping stone for new artists and a pedestal for mainstream artist. Illustrators were dying at a chance to bring their creations to the “Con”. If you can show your work here, you could be the next big star. By the end of the 90’s into the early 2000’s “Comic-Con” has exploded in to something that can’t be described, you need to be here to understand it. The media attention has brought everyone here, from movie studios to various collectors and hobbyists; it has grown into its own entity.
TV and movie studio execs come to the “Con” to create a buzz to future TV shows and movie releases, while everything imaginable is at the “Con” that collectors of all types flock to get their hands on. Now in 2010 more than 100,000 people is expected to come to “Comic-Con” and it continues to grow every year. “Comic-Con” has even spawned smaller venues like “Wonder-Con” and “Ape-Con” for people who can’t attend the convention during the end of July.
What started as a love and passion for comics has grown into a culture, what was an illustrators dream is now a mainstream phenomenon, almost every art field has crossed paths and is now at the center stage of “Comic-Con”, you can’t be an illustrator, an animator, a cartoonist without stepping foot here. “Comic-Con” is here to stay for many generations, and will continue to bring smiles and happiness to the masses.
For more information about the 2010 “Comic-Con” and future con’s please visit: http://www.comic-con.org/
Article by Jasper Gonzales
War; It’s been around since an estimated 2700 BCE when the first recorded war between the Sumer and the Elam was placed into history. From the Trojan War, to the Crusades; World War 1 and 2, to Operation Desert Storm in the 90’s, and even the current war In Afghanistan. Young men and women have always been in the front lines serving in our armed forces, subjugating themselves to protect their cause. But this isn’t a history lesson or a justification on why they do what they do; this is a story on what keeps them at ease during times like this, and how the power of art can tell a thousand words.
I recently came back from a military graduation a couple of weeks ago , and during the time spend with the graduate I noticed several thing about not just him but many of the men and women that are serving our country. Whether they are in basic training, deployment training, currently overseas in combat or returning home, they all had something in common.
Art was the leading thing that was spoken out of the soldiers, during their recoup time from vigorous training or the small alone time they had at night. Most of the soldiers would tell me that the power of art would help them, make them smile; make them cry tears of joy. Bring them closer to love ones who are in other states or countries and who aren’t near them.
These are their stories…
I spoke with a private stationed here; he tells me that he graduated from a specialized art school in Chicago not too long ago. He joined the armed forces to study mechanical engineering, just a step forward from what he was studying in Chicago. But in between his wake up calls at 3 in the morning and the training he endures during the day, the time he gets’s right before bed is what he loves the most.
He said: “I’m an artist at heart; no matter what you call me, soldier, Pvt., son, brother, or boyfriend. I’ve always been an artist”. At night I sit in my bunk bed, drawing, creating visuals to keep me at bay. I draw cartoons of members of my battalion, pictures of what I did during a long day in the field. It fills my heart with this passion, that one day I can take with me to whatever I do in life, whether it is mechanical engineering, or creating animation for companies like ‘Pixar’ or ‘Lucas Arts’.
As I listen to him I realized that his passion brought him to here, not because he wanted to be in the ‘Army’ but because he needed something to fall back on. With the way the economy is, it was a choice that secured him with something steady. He can learn abilities that give him a push to be noticed in the work force when he returns. It brought a tear to my eye; someone so passionate, someone with so much talent is left with a decision that could potentially put him at harms way. But he did it because he loves what he does, what he is; an artist.
During the graduation dinner, I spoke with a sergeant, he is currently preparing himself to be deployed for a second tour, unlike the last person I spoke with he explains that he choose to be in the ‘Army’, but never thought that they would be in a war spanning 7 years and going. One of the things he tells me is how hard it is to leave his family. Like most soldiers leaving their loved ones IS the most difficult thing about their jobs. Serving a deployment tour can be as long as a year or more depending on how long the job last.
But while soldiers like the sergeant, serve their tour, one key thing that help them get through their deployment, is the care packages their families send them. Yes the snacks and letters bring them closer to home, but for sergeant Johnson nothing make him happier then receiving the pictures that his children send him. His daughter’s age, 10 and 19, bring him the most joy when they draw pictures to show how and what they’re doing back in the states.
The sergeant’s eldest is in college studying illustration. Her dream is to make it big in the comic industry, and she sends her father copies of her portfolio to show her progress and achievements. “The hardest thing for me” explains the sergeant is the fact that I might miss my daughters graduations, seeing her talents develop over the years has made me so proud.
In these times we are in, soldiers keep fighting for the freedom that we hold dear; people tend to over look the smaller things in life, the things that matter. Who would have thought that something like art can help the men and women of our armed forces, whether they are just out of school, trying to make names of themselves, or proud parents trying to get home to their families. Art drives them one way or another.
Article by Jasper Gonzales
What isn’t there to say about New York City, it’s one of the most famous cities in the world, renowned for many things; it is one of most influential cities for its arts, history, diversity and many cultural backgrounds, NYC has so many sections within its 5 boroughs that each holds many different museums and establishments of arts.
It hard to say that when you’re in New York City that you are going to visit the museum because there isn’t one specific museum, there are dozens and dozens in the city, unlike other cities that have one or two museums. Within the borough of Manhattan you have the lower part and the upper part, they both have multiple museums within in blocks from each other.
In the lower half you have the village, which houses majority of NYU (‘New York University’) students and allot of independent artists, the vibe there is bursting with creativity, it also home to the ‘Guggenheim Museum Soho’, which has a permanent collection of Andy Warhol paintings. In the upper half, you have areas like Harlem one of the oldest areas in Manhattan that has had its fair share in creative history it is also where the ‘Hispanic Society of America’ is located. Whether it is arts or music, Harlem is synonymous for its culture.
Right down the middle of Manhattan is Central Park and the ‘American Museum of Natural History’, one of the largest museums in New York, it houses thousands of art pieces and spans blocks across Fifth Avenue, the museums carries art from the dawn of earth to present day. Just further down is the ‘New York Museum of Modern Art‘, which showcases one of the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in the world.
In the borough of Queens you have the ‘Queens Museum of Art’ where the famous model Panorama of the City of New York is. The model is 9335 sq. ft. with 800,000 buildings representing the 320 square miles of New York City. In the borough of Brooklyn is the ‘Brooklyn Museum’, what’s unique about the ‘Brooklyn Museum’ is that it has one of the best collections of Egyptian Art in the world.
The home of the ‘Yankees’, the Bronx borough is also the home of the ‘Bronx Museum of the Arts’, The Museum’s collection consists of over 800 twentieth-century and contemporary works of art in all media. And the borough of Staten Island has a collection of historical and contemporary art that reflect the history, people and culture of Staten Island.
But that’s not all, with all the city’s famous landmarks like the ‘Empire State Building’, ‘Chrysler Building’ and ‘Statue of Liberty’ there is one landmark that is its own museum. ‘Ellis Island’, known around the world as the “gate way to the new world” is one of the only museums that chronicle the history of immigrants and their struggles and travels to come to the land of the free. When you come to the ‘Ellis Island’ museum, you relish how many people have stepped through those doors and how they shaped America to what it is today. It’s truly astonishing.
But with all the museums I mentioned just now, that is only a fraction of museums that reside in New York City, you wouldn’t be able to visit all of them in one trip. This is even better because now you have a reason to visit again…
For more information on New York City’s museums please visit: http://www.nycgo.com/
Article by Jasper Gonzales
I received an email this afternoon; from a user whom had a real genuine concern about the usability of BridgeArts.Com.. After replying, I felt it would be best if I also posted my reply for all to read. I would like to thank the users for expressing concern, as it is something that was thought of; but not publicly addressed.“How can your site be useful as publicity for artists if anyone who wants to see the art has to log in? Sorry, potential clients/patrons aren’t gonna go to the trouble…”
We want creative’s to come to Bridge Arts to view and admire work, but also feel confident in uploading their own creations. Our service is geared toward the Creative Professional and the last thing we want is for our Professional Users to be potentially “ripped off” by a non user whom is just looking for a good piece of art.
During the initial development phase Of BridgeArts.com the concern of thievery of Art and Works by our users was presented to us as a very high issue on lists. So during that time we created the guest account, users whom had a genuine interest in art were required to sign up to help prevent this possible thievery, and also help facilitate the sell of Art in the Market Place.
Since then we have greatly improved security on our site and are now in the process of opening the site up to all visitors without the necessary sign-up, all while limiting the ability for potential copy write issues. We hope to have these and other new features up and running within the next couple months.
As stated Bridge Arts is for Creative Professionals, as one myself I know the long hours it takes to create the work I’m so very proud of, and the last thing I want is someone to claim it as their own.
I think that is where we differ from other websites. All of us here have a genuine love for Art, and that translates into the security of those works. I mean; checks out the Copy write Report feature and such that we’ve built into the site.
There are allot of “Sophomoric” sites out there that while they do help some artists gain exposure, their mostly filled with the childish antics of others, and really do nothing to help the Artist become better, while also protecting what is precious to them.
Article by Nolan Miller
Forget about what you think you know about Seattle… That it’s a grunge music, hippie infested place that rain’s all the time… Open your mind, make it go blank and let me paint you a picture of what I experience and maybe you’ll think different about this wonderful town.
As I headed up north I too had that same misconceptions you all had, but that all changed once I got into Seattle. Ok yes it was partially raining, but it is a place that is swimming in art (no pun intended). The art district of Seattle stretches several blocks long with dozens and dozens of art galleries, and street art.
While I walk down Fremont Street, I notice the difference from all the other art cities, that there is a more youth presence with the community, a lot of young artists art painting freely in random spots like the one park I walked by or on the corner of a street, I spoke to an artist that is just sitting on a crate painting away as she has a vision of the scenery just ahead of her, she’s just painting just for the fun of it, she say’s that she comes to the exact same spot every Saturday and paints the people that are walking by.
“There is always something new to paint” say’s the artist; she uses watercolor and paints pedestrians walking by. The hustle and bustle this city has inspires her to paint a rustic blur that resembles people moving fast like as if a photographer took a photograph and left the shutter open.
I ask her what makes Seattle art scene so unique. She goes on about how the arts impacts Seattle so much, how much it has grown as an art community in the past decade and how artist in this town thrive on inspiration here; that the creativity is astonishing, that so many artist have their different styles and use their surroundings to make their artwork.
We continue to talk for about 30 minutes and she goes on how she’s been painting on this corner for about 7 months, how painting brings this clam tranquility to her. Seattle is surrounded by so many things that get not just her but other artist’s creative juices flowing. You have the water near them, like Seattle’s famous Fisherman’s Wharf, the trees that surrounds the city and the mountains just an hour or so drive from here. “To each his own” she said.
I understood at this point that so many people in Seattle use something so simple like nature, and the things around them to create beautiful works of art. It’s amazing that what I thought before I got here, was so the complete opposite. As much as I can explain it, you won’t get the full understanding; you have to be here yourself.
With that said, when you do come here, get yourself a cup of coffee, walk around town and embrace what this city has to offer, and trust me, you won’t be disappointed…
For more information about Seattle visit: http://www.seattle.gov/html/visitor/points.htm
Article by Jasper Gonzales
San Francisco, one of the largest art cities in the country, if not the world. As I travel across the northern west coast, I think of all the wonderful cities with all their different backgrounds and cultures. I’ve been to New York, I’ve been to Chicago I’ve been to LA, etc. but none quite compare to how unique the art community is in San Francisco, as I started my journey I realized how much of a massive scale it is, yes there is an art district but San Francisco’s art community stretches out across every end of the city.
Walking down Mission Street I’m greeted by Artist Ally, the space covers more than 4000 sq. feet, one of the largest galleries in San Francisco and houses over 50 artists that, just further down the road is the ‘Cartoon Art Museum’, a place where illustration is dominate. The museum has over 6,000 pieces of original, cartoon, animation art, displays an array of editorial cartoons, comic books, graphic novels, anime, Sunday funnies to Saturday morning cartoons. It is one of the only museums in the west coast that is dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of cartoon art in all its forms.
The ‘Museum of Modern Art’ is another art institution that resides in San Francisco, with over 26,000 pieces it is also the only museum in the west coast to showcase a large collection of modern and contemporary art. From MOMA I head over to the John Berggruen Gallery in Union Square, stepping into the gallery I’m in awe of all the 20th century art by American and European artists, such exquisite art that make you think what inspired the artist to create such masterpieces.
But it isn’t just the galleries that make up San Francisco’s art community, it is also all the street vendors and events that bring art directly to the enthusiast. In the heart of the Union Square shopping district I just so happen to run into an art sale, artists cover the grounds displaying their artwork and selling their passion, I spoke with a few of the artists and they explain that this is a monthly event and that the San Francisco locals and tourists make it possible for the art sale to continue business.
Art is everywhere, it line up and down the streets all over San Francisco, from Fisherman’s Wharf to Market Street. Artists create huge wall murals, and mosaic sculpture are scattered all over town, they bring the museum outside. You can’t walk a block without seeing art; from the ground up you’ll see it all over. From recycled material turned sculptures of interesting proportions, to the billboard size paintings that cover sides of buildings, for the art enthusiasts, locals, or visiting tourists, it’s one of the reasons why you’ll love this city.
For more information about San Francisco visit: http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/
Article by Jasper Gonzales
Nevada is a robust state with cities and towns rich with culture, one of those towns being Henderson in between Las Vegas and Boulder City. Henderson is a town emerged with arts and every year hundreds of locals and out of towners come to visit for the 13th annual ‘ArtFest of Henderson’.
The art festival stretches over a mile long and houses an array of artists showcasing and selling their art. This year they have different venues happening at the festival to quench everyone’s pallet. For example, a chalk art contest where artist draw huge murals depicting many of the artists visions, two stages where musicians and live bands entertain the spectators, authors meet and greet as well as a live reading of their books, the ‘National Guard’s’ obstacle courses to keep the kids physically active, and about a dozen different food and beverage vendors to supply festival goers with local restaurants cuisines.
As I walk the festival grounds, I see the art scene is flourishing; so many artists with different backgrounds of art fill the space, presenting fantastic artwork that could fill up a museum ten times over by captivating your senses as you stop and gaze at some of the pieces. There are more artists here than last year which brings a unique take to what you normally see, especially with the many Las Vegas hotel/casino museums. It is such a great thing because it takes you from the clandestine settings that many Vegas tourists are use to; you only think that such beautiful art is only at the Bellagio, Wynn, or Venetian but when you get to the ‘ArtFest of Henderson’ your perspective of fine art is opened to a dynamic scope of everything in between. It’s a stunning and refreshing feeling that you just take in and appreciate.
I noticed many of the artists I’ve met also have this appreciation for the ‘ArFest‘ for it is one of the biggest art festivals in Nevada. They explain that with the amount of people that come to the two day event it boosts their profits by a large significance, especially with the way the economy is right now. It seems like the love of art that the spectators have is making them buy art as if it was water.
However, no matter whether the economy is stable or not that wouldn’t stop the artists or spectators from being out there. The ‘ArtFest’ is such a fun event that artists are happy and proud to show off their artwork, enthused to interact with spectators, and the fact that it’s a terrific atmosphere to be in. The live music playing as you watch the creative chalk artists create larger than life size art, checking out one of a kind metal work creations that resemble your favorite animals while dining on great food; thinking to yourself how they designed such interesting work fashioned from metal is nothing less than intriguing. Is acrylic more your liking? If so, you could watch painters do an open air paint demonstration, meanwhile sipping a cocktail from one of the many drink booths.
No matter what your interests are in art, the ‘ArtFest of Henderson’ has it in one form or another. You just have to bare the one mile walk to find it… = )
For more information about the ‘ArtFest of Henderson’ visit:
Article by Jasper Gonzales