Posts Tagged ‘art’
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
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
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
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
“Changing the way people buy art and artists sell their work. That is the goal of Bridge Arts, located in Las Vegas.
Bridge Arts is a website devoted to helping creative talent get noticed. “We knew there were other sites out there, but nothing that really focused on our work, gave us positive feedback to better it, or gave us an outlet to sell it without paying ridiculous commission charges,” says digital artist and Bridge Arts co- founder Nolan Miller.
Miller, along with co-founder and animator Jasper Gonzales, spent years researching and developing their site. Finally, in January 2010, their site launched. “At this point most sites usually just sit around and wait for an increase in traffic, but we wanted to continue offering an ever expanding array of tools. On March 14th, we launched our market place where artists can sell their work free from commission and listing charges.”
Graphic designer, Pride Smith, is one of those artists. He says he enjoys showing his art in galleries, but the online platform is better for getting his work out to the masses. “The fact is most people may never have the chance to get into a gallery. This online platform allows them to generate visibility as well as get the critiques you often hear in a gallery setting.”
While BridgeArts.com has users from all over the world, 30% of their user base is made up of the Las Vegas and Henderson community. “On average we’ll get around 75-150 visits a day. We know that’s low but we keep reminding ourselves that we just launched,” says Miller. He keeps track of their overall ratings on Alexa.com. He says their ranking jumped up 1,847,553 places in just one month!
Now, Miller believes it is time to put the phrase “starving artist” to rest. “Our website is merely a stepping-stone to what we have planned for Bridge Arts as a company. Our hope is that Bridge Arts becomes the standard in finding great talent and great works of art.”
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