It’s P.S. ARTS’ 25th anniversary and to celebrate we are launching “the pARTy!,” a new fundraiser that embodies one of our core organizational values — to inspire creativity and confidence in the students we serve. This event will offer guests an evening of innovation, imagination, and play for adults — all to support our public school arts education programs.
We are so grateful for the support of the following artists, galleries, and collectors who have donated silent auction pieces to our Gallery Wall at the pARTy! They are firm believers that every child should have the chance to experience art, regardless of circumstance. As a thank you, we wanted to include a special feature about the artists who are a part of this year’s event.
Amabelle Aguiluz is a Los Angeles based artist and designer. Her work incorporates one of a kind handmade knitwear clothing, wearable art, accessories and housewares including textiles and installations. She also creates commissioned work for clients.
“I have known about P.S. ARTS for some time but was introduced to this opportunity by a friend, Laura Riley.
I believe that arts education encourages imagination, collaboration and a new way of thinking. It is important to provide support and opportunities for creative learning and that is what makes P.S. ARTS so great!”
Tonia Calderon is a Mexican-Dutch-Indonesian painter and designer. She is best known for her music inspired “Black&Gold” series; paintings of icons with lyrics written through the hand painted images. She is well known and respected by the top musicians and producers in the music industry today. Her work is featured at the Tupac Afeni Shakur Museum in Atlanta, Georgia and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in San Francisco, California. Her work is on display in some of the top music recording studios in the country including Interscope, Epic, and Def Jam.
“I always felt like art was a missing component of my early education. Ever since I found my passion in art I’ve always encouraged the education and exposure of art in schools. I truly believe one of the most important things we can do for our future generations is to promote creativity and awareness of creative career opportunities.”
Claire Beitcher is an illustrator and fine artist whose work includes romantic greeting cards, wedding suites, and commissioned personalized gifts. Prints of her work as well as her hand-painted hats and Donut series have been featured at Co-LAb Gallery in Highland Park. Her Snack Hats were quite a hit during the LA Municipal Women’s Basketball League’s 2015 Fall season. Her work is warm, whimsical, and funny and hopefully connects with a child-like joy inside us all.
“I was introduced to P.S. ARTS by Naomi Scott, whose passion and involvement in so many important causes continues to inspire and wow me.
As someone who grew up in Los Angeles and attended public schools, P.S. ARTS’ mission especially hits home. My fondest memories of my public school education in LA were making pop-up books, pinch pots, and coloring along to Beethoven with the lights turned out (thank you, Mrs. Gipstein). My mother actively brought the arts into all of my classrooms as a volunteer and it was a space for us to explore, play, and create from our pure imaginations. Being able to access that same place of freedom and joy as an adult keeps me sane. Simply put, kids need art in order to become whole and to thrive in the world as their truest selves.”
If you were to ask Dabs or Myla to reveal the secret of their success, they might say they live by the old adage, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Their art is inspired by their life as a married couple, their travel around the world, and the beautiful pandemonium of everyday experience. Few relationships could bear the pressure of such intensity and proximity, but Dabs and Myla have developed a collaborative rapport that elevates their individual contributions into something greater than the sum of its parts. Myla thrives in the realm of precision, painting photorealistic representations of the cityscapes they encounter while traveling, and laying out playful patterns with mathematical exactitude. Dabs brings life to their buoyant, rambunctious characters, inspired by graffiti, mid-century illustration and theatrical cartoons from the Golden Age of animation. As Dabs Myla have grown together as a creative team, their individual aesthetics have converged to complement each other. Stimulating each other’s creative growth provides the driving force of their partnership, and since they joined forces, their aesthetic has evolved constantly. What they’re doing is much more than a collaboration of art—it’s a collaboration of two people’s lives, full of love and play and the genesis of fantastic things.
Shana Frase studied Fine Art and Interior Design in New York, London, and Rome, but it wasn’t until moving back to her home state of California in 2010 that she returned to creating work on paper using watercolor, one of her favorite childhood mediums.
Shana creates pieces with playful intention. Her ability to cull the extraordinary from the ordinary allows her to add a witty twist to her work that transforms everyday objects into charming nostalgia.
“I was introduced to P.S. ARTS by Adam & Connie Derry shortly after I moved to Los Angeles. They encouraged me to participate in the P.S. ARTS’ annual “Express Yourself” event and I was all in! I hosted a watercolor themed booth and we had a blast. It was the least I could do for the Derrys, who have always been hugely supportive of my work; I am fortunate to call them friends.
The art teachers in my public California schools shaped my entire future. It is only because of their support & guidance, along with that of my family, that I am a working artist today. No public education experience is truly complete without exposure to the visual arts. I am honored to donate my work in support of this effort.”
Adonna Khare is an American master carbon-pencil artist. Her style has been compared to the photo-realistic illustrations of Audubon, but the surreal worlds and strange inhabitants she creates can only spring from her imagination. Khare’s life-size works, which she is focusing on more and more, possess the scope of a painting, but with enough detail and realism to give viewers the impression they can step through the paper and into Adonna’s worlds. Though she stays steadfast to her chosen mediums, pencil and paper, her work spans from 8” x 11” to massive murals covering entire walls. She says of her process, “I draw how one might sculpt,” and the final artworks contain far more layers of pencil than the surface belies. A review of her in-progress pieces reveal hints of skeleton, almost as if she is drawing her fictional subjects from the inside out. To learn more, visit adonnak.com.
“Arts education is extremely important to me. After getting my MFA, I worked for 6 years as an Art teacher for Kindergarten – 7th grade students. Their ability to blossom and grow through creativity allowed them to not only succeed in the arts but apply that same creative thinking process to other subjects and parts of their lives. As a teacher it was vital to me to help open my students minds to appreciate all aspects of the arts. Over the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to become a full time artist, and with that I’ve been able to help spread the message of the importance of the arts.
All too often the arts are overlooked and under appreciated in education. It’s programs like P.S. ARTS that help bring focus back to these important educational elements. I’m grateful to Lee and Hadley Rierson for introducing me to this fantastic organization.”
Using felt and thread, Billy Kheel builds soft sculptures and wall hangings. His approach plays with the concepts of masculine vs. feminine and folk vs. academic in relation to artistic process and intent. Kheel has exhibited nationally and internationally and his work has been featured in Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, KCRW’s Design and Architecture, and KCET’s Artbound.
“I was introduced to P.S. ARTS by my friend, Event Committee Member Jon Layne.
I believe that arts education is absolutely crucial to our existence as human beings. The most important commodity in the future is going to be creativity. If we don’t teach students to be innovative and creative we are doomed.”
Ludmila was born in 1965 in the Ukraine. She graduated from Kiev State Academy of Fine Art in 1989. From 1992 to 1996 Ludmila lived and worked as an artist in Prague. In 1996, she moved to Ireland.
Manfred H. Kuhnert
Manfred H. Kuhnert is a consummate artist, whose knowledge is solidly grounded in both craft and theory. His complex and intricate sense of color, together with his mastery of line, shape and form unite to create works that arrest the eye. He is an artist who is intimately connected with the world he paints. His work vividly captures languid days on the California Coast and the serene beauty of the Pacific Ocean which is the inspiration for many of his masterful paintings. For 34 years, beginning in 1980, he maintained his studio in South Laguna Beach, California. Inspired by the chiseled light of Laguna Beach, his explorations have evolved from traditional “veduta” paintings, charmingly documenting local scenes around him, to paintings that seek to release the dynamic energy of this sublime landscape. SInce 1994 he has given full voice to expressionistic, and ultimately symbolistic works, seeking “harmony in extremis” through complementary color paintings, negative space and pure forms liberated from a narrative context. Manfred H. Kuhnert currently resides in Laguna Beach, California with his wife, Anna and their loyal shih-tzu, Barclay.
Born in Detroit and living in California for the past decade, Lizzy Layne is an artist working to pursue her dreams while indulging in the game of feast or famine. Creating amongst various media, her art falls within the realms of illustration, painting, printmaking & graphic design. Her melding of techniques, materials and content spawns a visual experience that is whimsical, innovative and unique.
Lizzy was introduced to P.S. ARTS through her brother, Jon Layne, who has been heavily involved in supporting P.S. ARTS via their events. Art enthusiasm runs in the family and Jon thought Lizzy would be a great fit to help fulfill P.S. ARTS’ mission.
“I am a supporter of P.S. ARTS for a variety of reasons but mostly, as a former arts educator, I understand the importance of art in childhood development for assisting in cognitive growth and creative expression. I want to help inspire and leave lasting impressions on the younger generations that will be crafting our future.”
Mambo has established his own visual vocabulary : he is a polyglot artist, capable to pick what he needs on his languages palette to express his feelings in the moment. His different artworks series go from abstract graphic interplays of lines and spontaneous designs, to action painting as well as minimal and caricatural portraits using his signature red-orange color, thus creating an expressive graphic universe, full of underlying meanings, combining observation, ambiguity and humour.
The core theme is humanity, the inspiration is our brain, our mental processes, sensations, emotions, memories, inner feelings and mechanical reactions. Human behaviors become colorful ideograms, our environment becomes a dictionary, where he picks symbols to write his own prose : visual enigmas.
Mambo’s discourse is not imposed upon us, it intrigues us and leads us to memorize our own reflections.
“I was introduced to P.S. ARTS through my friend and sculptor Kathy Taslitz.
I remember when I started to paint, when I was 15, how important was to be inspired by others, to be able to experiment, share and meet people who showed me the way. I think it is essential for kids and teenagers, with any kind of dreams, to be inspired and empowered.”
Marisa Acocella Marchetto
Marisa Acocella Marchetto is author of the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Ann Tenna, the graphic memoir Cancer Vixen, and Just Who the Hell Is She, Anyway? Marchetto is also a cartoonist for The New Yorker, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, Glamour, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
“I support P.S. ARTS because creativity keeps the world in motion. Not only does arts education help children become better artists, but also better thinkers, scientists, and innovators. By encouraging young people to crack open their ideas and get their hands dirty, arts education builds individuals ready to solve problems in their communities and the world.”
Based in Los Angeles, Josh Mayhem’s lifelong habit of collecting children’s playthings fueled his passion to transform said toys into objects d’art. Embracing both order and chaos as separate inspiration points, Mayhem’s mixed media ‘art toys’ tend to be created in two contrasting styles, from his intricate and detailed assemblages, using parts from the likes of Japanese model kits, to his more free flowing and expressionist sculptures. Mayhem’s works have been commissioned by private collectors and have been exhibited in a variety of contemporary art galleries as well as pop culture events.
Pop Artist Burton Morris, whose vibrant artworks of various modern icons, have been showcased in galleries and museums internationally, is best known for creating signature artwork for The 76th Annual Academy Awards, The United States Olympic Team, The 38th Montreux Jazz Festival, The Andre Agassi Foundation, FIFA World Cup Soccer, The United Nations, The 2006 MLB All-Star Game to name a few. Original artworks have been commissioned for corporations and Institutions such as Coca-Cola, H.J. Heinz, Absolut Vodka, Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Chanel Corporation, Warner Brothers, Perrier, AT&T, Kellogg’s Corporation and the U.S. State Department. In addition, his artwork has helped to raise millions of dollars for charities worldwide.
“I was introduced to P.S. ARTS through Amanda Schuon.
Arts Education is a topic that I am extremely passionate about. Having grown up to become an artist through the public school system, I was lucky enough to have teachers that supported my talent and passion. I have worked with many children in the classroom and love being at a point in my career, where I can help inspire kids to pursue a career in the arts and prove that it is possible.”
Olympio was born into a large family of six children in Lome, Togo, West Africa. As far as he can remember, he has always been creating. He began his work by using building scraps to make sculptures. By the time he was in high school, he started to experiment with mixed media and collage.
Olympio’s work has been shown in many places in Togo and neighboring countries. A few places include the city art center in Lome and the largest hotel in the country, Hotel Sarakawa. He then went on to show and sell his work in Paris, France. Olympio moved to the US in 2003 and has continued to paint and show his work in many galleries.
Painting, for Olympio, is following a feeling. It is discovering the internal balance of a piece and recognizing beauty when it is unveiled, a happy accident. He starts with the blank canvas, a splash of blue, red or whatever color speaks to him and goes from there. He uses paint straight from the tube. For him, there is no hidden story or elusive meaning behind each painting. It’s just a piece: it is everything and nothing. It is as simple as a heartbeat, as complex as a hurricane.
Interdisciplinary artist Linda Pagani constructs abstracted realities that transform the real into the imagined. Interested in the architecture of familiar spaces, Pagani reinterprets place through photography, paper and ceramic installations.
“Arts education nurtures imagination. When we allow our minds to create, we make, we build, we innovate. We make a better world.”
Los Angeles native Don Paglia has pursued simultaneous careers in academic medicine and fine arts and is currently an Emeritus Professor and Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the UCLA School of Medicine. Initially self taught as an artist, he received formal training under the singular influence of UCLA’s Professor of Art, Jan Stussy. His mixed media paintings and bricolage sculptures reflect his primary motivation in both art and science, “to explore that ineffable interface between the known and unknown, between disciplined order and random chaos, between entropy and enlightenment.”
“I was introduced to P.S. ARTS by my lovely daughter-in-law, Chief Executive Officer, Kristen Greer-Paglia.
Arts education is essential because it provides balance: the opportunity to see differently and explore beyond the rigid confinements of academic disciplines and social conformities.”
Based in Los Angeles, Miles Regis is a Trinidadian-born artist whose work taps into the emotion and experiences of exotic cultures around the world and presents them in ways that are relevant to today’s modernized societies. Over the years, the USC graduate has honed a technique that incorporates drip painting and collage work that is both unique and striking. With a style reminiscent of many of history’s great master painters, Miles’ imagination is saturated with notions, ideas, and images reflective of a world filled with conflicting interests.
His cultural duality and diverse perspectives play a large role in the humanistic consciousness he manages to present in his work. With broad enthusiast appeal, his work is in the permanent collection of institutes such as The Intel Corporation, California African American Museum, Senegal’s La Musee Borindar and has been featured on CNN, as well as at Art Basel Miami, The Coachella Music and Art Festival, and in association with Million Dollar Listing, American Rag Cie, Manifest Justice, Adobe, Fashion mogul Tonny Sorenson and several art communities around the country and throughout the world.
Recent press coverage has included CNN, The Huffington Post, and Extra TV, to name a few.
Liza Ryan’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Ryan has been included in museum exhibitions at The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Miami Art Museum. She was also selected to participate in the 2006 Biennale of Sydney.
Ryan’s work is held in the permanent collections such as the J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Maison Europen de la Photographie, Paris, among others. Her work is currently represented by Kayne Griffin Corcoran in Los Angeles and can be seen on her website: www.lizaryan.com. Ryan lives and works in Los Angeles.
Kathy Taslitz is an internationally collected artist working out of her downtown LA studio. Her monumental sculptures have been commissioned for Universities, a new Los Angeles County Public Library and for private collectors. Her work reflects the symbiosis between nature, humanity and technology contemplating how they coexist.
“We need arts education in all schools to foster the creative spirit within every child. I decided to get involved with P.S. ARTS when I relocated to Los Angeles and saw how they were helping to fulfill this need.”
The Most Famous Artist
Matty Mo is an LA based young American artist and entrepreneur widely known as The Most Famous Artist. His work explores the Internet’s impact on modern humanity and its disruptive relationship with the traditional art market.
“I learned about P.S. ARTS via my friend and colleague, Natalya Hudis.
I support P.S. ARTS because empowering the youth to be creative means a more vibrant and interesting social fabric for generations to come.”
WRDSMTH is a published author, screenwriter, former advertising copywriter, and an emerging LA-based street artist. Active in the street art community since December 2013, he’s made his mark in Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, New Orleans, Philadelphia, London, Paris, Edinburgh, and Melbourne.
Given his ongoing desire to pay it forward and donate time and funds to charitable and creative endeavors, he met the folks at P.S. ARTS and the rest is history.
“Arts education means the future will be as creative and inspiring as the past — if not more so. And that is a very good thing.”
Born in L.A., Elyse Wyman earned her BA in Fine Arts from UCLA where she studied with Richard Diebenkorn, Jan Stussy and Llyn Foulkes. She pursued dual careers in graphic design and fine art.
As a graphic artist she worked at A&M Records, and later designed for American Ballet Theatre, American Film Institute and Women In Film among others. Her work has appeared at TAG Gallery, Los Angeles Art Association Gallery 825, ArtSpace Gallery, the Mendocino Art Center and Contemporary Art of the Ruhr, Germany.
“I was introduced to P.S. ARTS by its extraordinary CEO, Dr. Kristen Greer-Paglia.
Arts education should be considered indispensable to every child’s schooling. A grounding in the arts opens not only our eyes to the greater world around us, but stimulates understanding and learning on every level.”