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The best exhibit in Los Angeles. Hands Down.

If there is only one exhibit you see in Los Angeles this year, this is IT:

J. Michael Walker walks where Angelenos fear to tread

All the Saints of the City of the Angels

The City of the Angels is a commuter city. We spend time enclosed in cars, in serpentine lines of traffic crawling around our city’s landmarks. Freeways form boundaries- the 110, 405, 134, 101, 10- a plethora of numbers dividing East from West, Suburb from Metropolis, Have from Have-Not.

What if we could just get out? Out of our cars. Out of our enclosures. Remove our armor of road rage and glide through out city like Angels.

With J. Michael Walker as our guide, we certainly can.

His exhibit, All the Saints of the City Of the Angels, holds court at the Gene Autry Museum until September 7th.  The gold-tinged book, with a portrait of Saint Moritz on the cover, serves as our city’s Illuminated Manuscript, on many different levels.

“Illuminare” from the Latin means to spiritually enlighten, and Mr. Walker’s exhibit and book nourish the soul. Moreover, “Illuminare” means to “Cast Light. “ The paintings and stories shed light on Los Angeles like a luminous burning torch, majestically revealing the jewels behind our city’s history, spirit, and most of all, people. Never before has Los Angeles looked so beautiful.

Who are the angels that we meet? The gentle candle casts radiance on the faces that may pass unnoticed on harried commutes.  San Julian Street and Place downtown allude to the story of San Julian, a once homeless saint who welcomed the weary into his abode as his guests.  Coincidentally, San Julian’s Street downtown is home to LAMP, which provides housing and services for persons diagnosed with mental illness. Like San Julian, the Staff of LAMP calls those who enter “guests.” In the powerfully vivid paintings, those without homes look us straight in the eye.  The paintings remind us that we are in this together. The City of Angeles belongs to us all.

What about San Ysidro Drive in Bel Air? San Ysidro Labrador, a saint from the Twelfth Century, toiled on other men’s lands to support his family. On this street today, on the well-manicured estates one can observe modern day San Ysidros bringing life to the gardens, making them lush with a careful touch. Hours of labor produce a moveable feast for our eyes.

These are but two illustrations of a much larger exhibit, a glorious and seamless tapestry that weaves California history, the stories of the saints, and the triumph of the human spirit. How fortunate we Angelenos are to have an artist who captures our city’s cultural icons, enriches us with history, and makes visible the unseen souls who inhabit our City of Angels. True humanity is divinity. J. Michael Walker portrays the dignity of all our city’s inhabitants- mothers, children, homeless, fathers- and helps us to see the face of God.


For more information please visit:

Autry National Center of the American West. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027. 323.667.2000. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays.

The BookAll the Saints of the City of Angeles; Seeking the Soul of L.A on its Streets. Paintings and Stories by J. Michael Walker. Gold Foil Cover, 230 pages. 

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Weekend Cultural Events Los Angeles; June 21

Verdi’s Rigoletto: Center Stage Opera

Saturday June 21: 7:30 P.M

Sunday June 22: 3:00 P.M

The Madrid Theater. 21622 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA.

To purchase tickets over the phone call: 818. 347. 9938

Kalil Wilson and the Berkeley Everett Trio

 Sunday June 2, 8:00 and 9:30 shows

The Jazz Bakery.3233 Helms Avenue, LA. Reservations: 310.271.9039


3rd Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition and Festival

June 21st, 7:00 PM

 Walt Disney Concert Hall. 111 S. Grand Avenue

 For tickets, please visit: 

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Wise Man of the Day: Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

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Mingei East and West at the Pacific Asia Museum

East Meets West: The Mingei Exhibit at the Pacific Asia Museum

The East and West have often been at conflict on the political stage. Even today, geo-political grandstanding mars the 2008 Summer Olympics in China as titans prove unwilling to give up an inch of their superpower. During the first half of the 20th century, the Pacific Rim was also a chessboard where the East and West fought for dominance. The exhibit Mingei East and West, however, evinces the power of art to transcend political borders.

In a century when Japanese Americans lived in internment camps, and Americans lost their lives at the hands of Kamikaze pilots, the exhibit illustrates a unity of spirit and respect between artists on opposite ends of the Pacific. Mingei East and West shows the positive impact of Mingei on the California Arts and Crafts movement as well as the American influence on Japanese Art. 

The term Mingei, coined in 1927 by Art Critic Yanagi Soetsu, refers to ”folk art,” a subtle revolt against the mechanization of the Industrial Revolution. The humble Mingei elevates the beauty of the practical and extols anonymous handcrafted objects. Yanagi classified the virtue of Mingei as its naturalness, plurality, selflessness, and functionality.

Mingei East and West depicts a lively interplay between Japanese and American artists. California artists incorporated Japanese design motifs including trees and fish. Utagawa Hiroshige’s Swaying Pine Trees from mid-ninteenth century Japan echoes through Frederick H.W Leuders Lantern with Pine Tree Motif from the University of Southern California’s Gamble House. Three Carp, a stained glass window from the 1920’s by Judson Studios mirrors Ohara Koson’s Catfish and Bee, a Japanese woodblock print on paper from the early 20th century. The California artists integrated key elements of the Japanese style: simple composition, organic line, and strong dark-light contrast.

A collection of Mingei and Post-War American ceramics further demonstrates the connection between cultures, the dynamic and fluid nature of cultural identity, and the reflection between Asia and the West. As noted by Pacific Asia Museum’s Executive Director Joan Marshall, the exhibit “is a testament to what you can do in a small space.” Through key pieces in a small setting, one can see the cohesive kinship between the artists of two great empires.

While in the space, do not forget to look up.

Fifteenth-century wood panels from a Buddhist temple float suspended from the ceiling. These panels feature Kannon, a compassionate bodhisattva, an enlightened being who helps others achieve awareness. The peaceful courtyard garden, the rhythmic murmuring pond, and Kannon, our lucid guide, all make the Pacific Asia Museum an ideal spot for an artistic pilgrimage. 

June 6, 2008 through January 6, 2009

Pacific Asia Museum 46 North Los Robles Avenue Pasadena, CA, 91101. 626.449.2742.

Hours: Wed – Sun: 10:00am-6:00pm

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This Weekend in LA: Cultural Events June 14-17

Mingei East and West

Art Critic Yanagi Soetsu invented the term “Mingei” which means “folk art” to advocate art which is natural, traditional, functional, simple, and selfless. The beauty of this new exhibit is that it explores the connection and mutual influence of Japanese art and the California Arts and Crafts movement.

June 6, 2008 through January 6, 2009

Pacific Asia Museum 46 North Los Robles Avenue Pasadena, CA, 91101. 626.449.2742.

Hours: Wed – Sun: 10:00am-6:00pm

Sake bottle (tokurri), motif by Shoji Hamada,

Japan, early 20th century, Photo By Julian Bermudez

 For more information, please visit:

The Poetry of Paper by Yoshio Ikezaki

Ikezaki’s work is indeed poetic, evocative, and ethereal. His sculptures, paper collages, and Sumi Ink Paintings conjure literal landscapes as well as the more metaphysical landscape of the human mind and imagination. Like the poet John Keats, you may ask yourself, “Do I wake, or do I sleep?” Once you feast your eyes on Ikezaki’s creations, you will step into the realm of gathered dreams.

Curated by Homeira Goldstein

Exhibition Dates: June 11, 2008- July 24, 2008

Manhattan Beach Art Center. 1560 Manhattan Beach Boulevard. Manhattan Beach,CA, (310) 802-5440

Gallery hours: Tuesday: 2-6PM; Wed: 4-8 PM Thu: 2-6 PM Sat: 1-5 PM; Closed Sun, Mon, & Fri


Sculpture:The Earth Breathes; Paper Collage: Gathered Dreams
Sumi Ink Painting:Timeless Auras





Schoenberg Hall, UCLA – Free Admission

The foundation gives away the largest cash prizes in the world to first place winners for solo piano and voice.

Mon/Tues. June 16/17 10-5 piano; 7-10:30 voice
Wed. June 18 10-5 piano; 6-10:30 voice Semi-F
Thur. June 19 10-5 piano Semi-Final
Fri. June 20 7-11 Voice Final
Sat. June 21 1:30-5 & 7-10:30 Piano Final

For more information, visit:


True vs. Colored Sculpture:

A Nineteenth-Century Debate about the Renaissance 

Sat. June 14: 3:00 p.m.

Art historian Bruce Boucher explores the 19th century debate about the use of color on sculpture, a technique widely practiced from Antiquity through the Renaissance.

. Getty Villa. 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades, California

Admission: Free; a ticket is required

Call (310) 440-7300 or use the “Get Tickets” button below.


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This Weekend in LA: Cultural Events June 7-8

La RondineLA Opera







Saturday June 7, 7:30 P.M.

Puccini’s lesser- known La Rondine contains beautiful pieces including: “Chi il bel sogno di Doretto,” and “Ma come puoi lasciarmi.”

“La Rondine,” the swallow, revolves around the love between a free-spirited courtesan, Magda, and her beloved Ruggero. Can she escape the chains of her past, or like a swallow, will she be forced to return to her life as a kept woman?  Go see the opera and find out!

Patricia Racette as Magda and Marcus Haddock as Ruggero.

Keri-Lynn Wilson conducts.

Marta Domingo directs.

 Huntington Art Gallery

Summer hours:  10:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.

 Walk through the home of Henry Huntington and his wife Arabella. The Huntington Art Gallery opened this month after a $20 million facelift.  The collection of European art includes objects from the 15th to 20th centuries. The Huntington. 1151 Oxford Road. San Marino, CA, 91108. 626.405.2100



The Diary of Anne Frank: Long Beach Opera

Sunday June 8, 4:00 P.M. The LA Times calls soprano Ani Maldjian a “technical and emotional Tour de Force.” Russian composer Grigori Frid translated Anne Frank’s story into an opera-monodrama in four scenes for soprano and chamber orchestra, consisting of 21 episodes.

 If you are wondering how the tragedy of Anne Frank’s life could be made into an opera, consider this quotation from her diary:“I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.” 

Long Beach Opera. 507 Pacific Ave. Long Beach CA 90802 . Tickets are selling out quickly, so call 562.432.5934 ASAP to see if any have become available. For more information please visit:


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A bright candle for Peace



Picasso, Dove of Peace, 1949



Pippa Bacca, an Italian performance artist on a mission to promote peace and cultural understanding was murdered during her journey last spring.

Peace is one of the highest goals of art. May Pippa’s idealistic spirit always be remembered as well as her desire to bridge cultures. She did not see geographic boundaries as limiting; she saw the whole world as her home. As Roman author Gaius noted almost two thousand years ago, “Home is where the heart is.” Home is not simply our residence, our state, nor even our country.

Home is a place where we can all live together in peace.

For the full story read:,0,6381255.story

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Step Away from the Lamb: Guards mean business at BCAM

 Step away from the Lamb and no one gets hurt!”

“There will be no Hirst Heist today, buddy.”

The LA Times reports that pistol-carrying guards protect Damien Hirst’s Away from the Flock at BCAM.

Realistic preventative measure?

Or disruption to the artistic experience?

It’s up to you to decide.

For the full story read:,0,5511934.story

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This Weekend in LA: Cultural Events May 30- June 1

Fridays Off The 405

Friday, May 30, 6:00–9:00 p.m. Free admission; no reservations required. Free live music, gallery tours, California video screenings, cash bar, and more.

Getty Center Museum Courtyard 

1200 Getty Center Drive, LA, CA 90049. 310. 440.7300.



Salonen’s Piano Concerto

Fri. May 30 8:00 P.M

Sat May 31 8:00 P.M 

Sunday June 1, 2:00 P.M. 

LA Philharmonic: Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor; Yefim Bronfam, piano

 Debussy: Selected Preludes; Salonen: Piano Concerto (West Coast premiere)

 Walt Disney Concert Hall. 111 S. Grand Ave. LA 323.850.2000

Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring

Fri. May 30 8:00 P.M

Sat May 31: 8:00 P.M

Schnittke: Not a Midsummer Night’s Dream;

Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; Stravinsky: Rite of Spring

Orange County Performing Arts Center

600 Town Center Dr.

Costa Mesa, CA 92626 714.556.ARTS.


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Memorial Day Free at LACMA!


LACMA is hosting Monumental Monday replete with live music, entertainment, and hands-on art workshops.

Free admission from 12-8p.m.

Swing to the sounds of Art Deco and His Society Orchestra. Create your own art with artists Ismael de Anda and Eszter Delgado.

Performance and art workshops from 12:30-4:00 p.m

Forget the beach- take the whole family LACMA this Memorial Day!

For more information visit,


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