Last week, had the opportunity to check out a small slice of the art scene in the expansive and sunny areas of Los Angeles and San Diego.  According to the Urban Dictionary, the term SoCal: “It is used in place of  ‘Southern California’ and probably originated because Californians like to make everything as short as possible.”   Have to politely disagree because the state has an extensive list of opportunities and possibilities.

From San Diego drove to Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station that contains 48 various art venues including galleries, art services/firms, a museum, and a café.  According to the Bergamot Station’s website: “Located on eight acres in the heart of Santa Monica, Bergamot Station is southern California’s largest art gallery complex and cultural center.”  It took over 3 hours to drive there due to the nightmare traffic and a few raindrops but it was well worth the effort.

Highlights at Bergamot Station included artists Cheryl Ann Thomas, Adonna Khare, and Jennifer Wolf.  Frank Lloyd Gallery featured the amazing thinly folded lines of porcelain pieces by Cheryl Ann Thomas.  A graduate from the Art Center College of Design, her resume includes numerous exhibits from New York to Los Angeles.

Cheryl Ann Thomas's lovely lines...
Cheryl Ann Thomas’s lovely lines…
One of the best exhibits at  Bergamont Station currently on view at Frank Lloyd Gallery.
One of the best exhibits at Bergamot Station currently on view at Frank Lloyd Gallery.

Adonna Khare’s drawings at the Lora Schlesinger Gallery are magical and mysterious while showcasing nature as sweet and sad.  She has obtained national acclaim with the 2012 ArtPrize which included a $200,000 pay day.

Adonna Khare's In The Clouds exhibit at Lora Schlesinger Gallery.
Adonna Khare’s In The Clouds exhibit at Lora Schlesinger Gallery.

Walking into William Turner Gallery, it was hard to miss the impressive talent of artist Jennifer Wolf.  Her paintings are luminous with intricate patterns of color that mimic the Earth’s surfaces.

Jennifer Wolf's Landscape exhibit at William Turner Gallery.
Jennifer Wolf’s Landscape exhibit at William Turner Gallery.

In San Diego, visited the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art’s exhibit titled: The Very Large Array: San Diego/Tijuana Artists in the MCA Collection.  Artists on display included Acamonchi, Amy Adler, Wick Alexander, Felipe Almada, Aaron Anish, David Antin, Eleanor Antin, Mónica Arreola, David Avalos, John Baldessari, and Russell W.  The exhibit tried to mix up the permanent collection by displaying works salon-style.  It was a little scattered for my taste but the quality of the art made up for its presentation.

Overall, the trip was productive and inspiring.  Some Northern Californians have a huge distain for Southern California (vice versa) but I’m indifferent.  This artist is just happy to call California home.  Love the state’s nature, ocean, culture, opportunities, and creativity.  If I don’t see snow again, it’s fine with me.  Here’s to many more years of “Cal” exploration…

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