Under the high ceiling of their newest gallery location artists students and creators mixed and mingled, taking in the unique brand of the San Fernando Valley art.
The Sudden Impact exhibit, put on by the 11:11 Creative Collective, showcased artists from the local area and San Fernando art institutions including Pierce College, California State University Northridge, The Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art, and others.
“We couldn’t have gotten any luckier with moving into this empty retail space,” Erin Stone, one of the coordinators of the event and a former Pierce College student said. “It screamed ‘turn me into a gallery.’ We definitely put a lot of work into it,. And of course, you can’t get any better than being on Ventura Boulevard.”
The event is part of a travelling gallery project that works with the city and property owners to turn unused retail spaces into temporary art galleries. This location will be open through the month of March, rotating through various works and arrangements.
“The opening night is really for the artists,” Stone said.
One of her main goals is to create an art scene in the Valley, giving artists a place to network and be inspired by one another.
“She [Stone] actually contacted me and I was like I totally want to participate,” Kim Morris said, “When you’re an emerging artist, every opportunity is a good opportunity.”
Morris also said the availability of the art to the general public and the use of such local spaces brings the art to new markets.
“Being an artist or in the art community is sometimes an elitist or standoffish thing to the rest of the world, and I think that this space and the way that they utilized the window display will pull people off the streets,” Morris said.
It is also a good opportunity for artists to brand themselves, sell prints and work with the Creative Collective group.
One of the largest pieces was interactive, enabling the audience to take part and even take a piece home.
“Lend You an Ear,” was composed of two large heads, front and center in the room, missing their ears. Participants were encouraged to write about particularly emotional experiences and insert them into the piece, later to be published anonymously, in exchange for a plaster ear of their own.
“I always like my work to be interactive because it’s not about me, it’s about we,” said Michelle Kim, the creator of the piece. Her use of primary colors was intended to represent mixing of races and the heads themselves had no gender.
“It’s not about male or female. It’s about all of us,” said Kim. “It’s important that the audience can take a part of me, a part of my work. It’s how I’m giving back.”
The Getty Architecture Independant Study group from Pierce college is on it’s fourth leg of touring since it’s inception at the Getty Museum. Their photographs show the San Fernando Valley at an artist’s perspective.
“I love to come out and meet people and see the artwork,” Candance McKay said.
Stone recruited her after seeing her work with the Bad Apple Artist Collective, an international online group.
“She said I can do whatever, so I just searched the Internet and came up with the underwater theme,” said McKay, whose piece was created specifically for Sudden Impact.
The Sudden Impact event will be open through March and is one of the 11:11 Creative Collective’s many projects. Many of their art walks, murals and festivals can be found all over the Northridge, Tarzana and Canoga Park areas.
“Our mission is specifically to promote and expose art in the San Fernando Valley,” said Stone.
Find 11:11 Creative Collective, visit www.11ACC.org.