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Cleared for Takeoff! Destination: Art has arrived in Torrance

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Artists Susan Lilly and Tasha Garfield toast the grand opening of Destination: Art last Saturday in Torrance GLORIA PLASCENCIA, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Artists Susan Lilly and Tasha Garfield toast the grand opening of Destination: Art last Saturday in Torrance
GLORIA PLASCENCIA, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Earlier this year they were like travelers with tickets in their hands but with no place to go. Nonetheless, they were pooling their resources and eventually wishful thinking became reality. And so they’ve arrived – at Destination: Art.

Opening to the public this past Saturday, Destination: Art is a fine art gallery co-op, built around a core group of South Bay artists who were dissatisfied with the lack of area venues in which they could exhibit their work. The Torrance Art Museum leans towards emerging artists, many of them still experimenting with unconventional styles or formats, and the Palos Verdes Art Center has focused on somewhat quirky, specialized exhibitions that appear to exclude most of the local artists who in the past had more opportunities to show their work there.

“I think people were just feeling like they needed another place,” says Margaret Lindsey, one of the driving forces behind the new venue. “The other thing that’s unique is that we have these studios here, and that’s not really offered at the other locations.”

Destination: Art is situated in Old Torrance, one block east of the Depot restaurant or, more generally, between Cabrillo and Western avenues, Carson St., and Torrance Blvd. It occupies the west end of a brand new business center, and Lindsey says that the landlord, Capellino & Associates, have been very accommodating to non-profit groups like hers.

The gallery, as one enters, is modest in size, but currently well-stocked with plein air landscapes and other mostly representational painting. At the moment, 12 artists in all. One could size up the work as being fairly conservative, and pleasing to the eye.

Destination: Art’s grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 15. L-r, Councilman Griffiths’ wife holding the ribbon, Councilman Mike Griffiths, Destination: Art President Margaret Lindsay, Torrance Mayor Pat Furey, Councilwoman Heidi Ashcroft, Councilman Kurt Weideman, Councilman Jeff Rizzo, and Torrance Economic Manager Fran Fulton GLORIA PLASCENCIA, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Destination: Art’s grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 15. L-r, Councilman Griffiths’ wife holding the ribbon, Councilman Mike Griffiths, Destination: Art President Margaret Lindsay, Torrance Mayor Pat Furey, Councilwoman Heidi Ashcroft, Councilman Kurt Weideman, Councilman Jeff Rizzo, and Torrance Economic Manager Fran Fulton
GLORIA PLASCENCIA, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Behind the gallery, however, are neatly partitioned work spaces, or studios, most of them shared by two or more artists. The space is airy, clean and crisp right now, but if these are true creative types then in a few months there will be paint splattered on the walls and piles of crumpled, discarded work across the floor.

Or, perhaps not, except for maybe Richard Stephens, and he’s got his own space at the rear of the building and so can be safely kept out of sight.

“Abstract,” by Rosemary Bandes COURTESY DESTINATION: ART

“Abstract,” by Rosemary Bandes
COURTESY DESTINATION: ART

Although the gallery and studios may seem off the beaten path to those living the high life on the Esplanade in Redondo Beach, it’s actually a decent location, a bit secluded and yet in an area with some nightlife (restaurants, the Torrance Theatre Company, etc.) and poised to have even more:

“We’re really happy to be a part of the downtown Torrance community, and [intend] to bring some life to the community,” Lindsey says. “Because we belong to all the different art groups, we’re pretty well connected with a lot of the artists in the South Bay. Hopefully this is going to be another venue for them.”

Destination: Art plans to have classes, workshops, and to host various arts-related events. Maybe some rock concerts in the parking lot, who knows? At any rate, there’s plenty of potential. So go for it!

“Pineapple,” by Sue Kuuskmae COURTESY DESTINATION: ART

“Pineapple,” by Sue Kuuskmae
COURTESY DESTINATION: ART

Artists currently showing in the gallery: Laura Black, Jean Comings, Dolores Garren, Emily Goldfield, Joy Gonzales, Mike Ishikawa, Larry Manning, Christine McNerney, Ann Rode, Linda Thompson, Julia Ward, and Anna Yu. All troublemakers, I know, but what can we do? Their work beckons.

Destination: Art is located at 1815 W. 213th St., #135, one block east of Cabrillo Avenue in Old Torrance (look for the car wash). Call (310) 540-0724 or (310) 947-1838.

 

Opening Saturday night in Redondo Beach

Ego Fine Art presents “Bon Voyage Emiko,” a group show dedicated to Emiko Wake, who leaves for London after six years in Los Angeles. She’ll have to learn a whole new language since they don’t speak American over there. Wake has been involved with the local art scene since her arrival here, and in 2013 co-established Ego Fine Art with John Cantu. The gallery remains under Cantu’s gloved hand, and both Cantu and Wake intend to work together to bring additional artists to the gallery, presumably a few Brits as well (and not just the ubiquitous Bernard Fallon).

“Blue Skies,” by Margaret Lindsey COURTESY DESTINATION: ART

“Blue Skies,” by Margaret Lindsey
COURTESY DESTINATION: ART

The reception is from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., and Ego is located at 604 N. Francisca Ave., Redondo Beach. (310) 947-4549 or email egofineart2013@gmail.com.

Right next door, at 608 North, a solo show opens on the same night: “The Art & Photography of Robi Hutas.” Hardly needing an introduction, Hutas has documented local beach culture for over 40 years. His life’s journey began in Budapest, Hungary, in 1936. He left the country in the aftermath of the Hungarian revolution in 1956, and we’ve been happy to have him ever since. He began painting in earnest in 1985. If there was a Nobel Prize for Beach Volleyball Photography it would be hanging in the home of Robi Hutas.

“Around the Bend,” by David Wolfram COURTESY DESTINATION: ART

“Around the Bend,” by David Wolfram
COURTESY DESTINATION: ART

The reception is from 5 to 9 p.m., and 608 North is located at 608 N. Francisca Ave., Redondo Beach. Hours, 11 to 7 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and from 11 to 4 on Sunday. Through Nov. 22. (310) 376-5777 or go to 608north.com.

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