The 19th LA Art Show kicked-off with a high-profile Opening Night Premiere Party on Wednesday, January 15 at the Los Angeles Convention Center benefiting the Sister Cities of Los Angeles, and their program Bordeaux-Los Angeles A 50 Year Partnership. The event marked the beginning of a yearlong collaboration, Bordeaux-LA 2014, in celebration of the enduring French-American friendship and provided an exceptional opportunity to shine a spotlight on Los Angeles as a center for arts and culture in the 21st Century. At the same time, by hosting Bordeaux based artists and scholars in Los Angeles, Sister Cities highlighted the creative vitality of Bordeaux, strengthening their bond for many years to come. The 50th Anniversary celebration put a spotlight on Los Angeles’ diverse arts institutions and promoted cultural tourism through the many tent pole events that took place throughout the year.
The evening’s host committee included: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Tom Labonge, Councilmember Curren D. Price, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, French Ambassador Francois Delattre, Bordeaux Mayor Alain Juppe, French Consul General to Los Angeles Axel Cruau, 2014 Golden Globe Nominee Julie Delpy, Molly Barnes, Suzanne Deal Booth, Vicangelo Bulluck, Jonathan and Annie Burrows, Tony and Cindy Canzoneri, Harry Chandler, George Chakiris, Jill Tavelman Collins, Lily Collins, Dr. James Cuno, Gabrielle, Dutchess of Shoeneberg, Olga Garay-English, Sukey and Gil Garcetti, Jay Geller, Tom Gilmore, Barbara and Glenn Golenberg, Michael Govan, Janice and Charles Holland, Elliott and Adrienne Horwitch, Jennifer Howell, Beatriz Hyp, Annie Kelly, Nancy Kwan, Helen Lewis, Kai Loebach, Natasha and Cheech Marin, Thomas Morgan, Mona Lee Nesseth, Tim Street-Porter, Esthella Provas, Mima and Dale Ransom, Wayne Ratkovich, Tim Robbins, Eugene Sadovy, Dr. Bruce and Susan Samuels, Boyd S. Smith, Michael and Terri Smooke, Lauren and Steve Spilman, Elinor and Rubin Turner, Valaree and Robert Wahler, Billie Milam Weisman, Zheng Wen, Ruth and Hutton Wilkinson, Sue Wang, Ernest Wooden, and Adele Yoshioka, among others.
Launching this yearlong cultural exchange, the LA Art Show’s exclusive patron reception honored the dynamic international relationship between Los Angeles and Bordeaux and featured an exclusive tasting of world-renowned Grand Crus wines from Bordeaux, alongside California-Latino inspired samplers by Chef of Note, John Sedlar of Rivera Restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles. Djs Mia Dangerfield, Lush Bunny, and Marques Wyatt – Deep-LA were spinning throughout the evening.
Patron reception guests also had the chance to view an exhibition of limited edition fine art prints from The Chicano Collection, the photographs of acclaimed art photographer Gil Garcetti, and works by participating artists in the France Los Angeles Residency Exchange program known as (FLARE).
In order to raise funds for the 2014 celebration of the 50 year partnership between Los Angeles and Bordeaux, Cheech Marin had donated a limited-edition portfolio, printed by Richard Duardo, from The Chicano Collection to be sold during the LA Art Show. Proceeds from this sale went to Sister Cities of Los Angeles, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, to support this yearlong cultural exchange.
In 2010, the LA Art Show was the first art show to feature an exhibition of graffiti and street art; in 2011, the show featured Nick Cave’s “Soundsuit Invasion”; in 2012, the LA Art Show celebrated artist Suzanne Lacy’s recreation performance piece of The Myths of Rape and Chinese artist Tong Hongsheng’s exhibit alongside master brush painter Xia Jingshan; in 2013, the LA Art Show debuted “Letters from Los Angeles”, a blockbuster exhibit that featured works by Ed Ruscha, Ed Moses, Dennis Hopper and debuted Shepard Fairey’s “Diamond Dust” series. The 2013 LA Art Show was also featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times and attracted a record-breaking attendance of more than 50,000 visitors.
The 2014 LA Art Show presented curated exhibits by established and well-known artists, to the latest art trends and movements and emerging talent names to watch. The exhibitions included Sister Cities Los Angeles, Paris: Women and Bicycles, The Chicano Collection, FLARE, ADC Contemporary and Building Bridges International Art Exchange Presents Award Winning Artists Mohammed Abou El Naga and Beijing Biennale Winner Andrea Juan, Cairo 11, Organic, Korea Connection Program, The Present of the Century, Lee Yong Baek, Angel Soldier, Celebrated Chinese Artists Zhang Yu, Hues of China, Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles, Littletopia, The Van Gogh Museum of Amsterdam, Breathing and Additional Exhibits Curated by Designer James Magni.
According to Sister Cities of Los Angeles vision statement, their primary goal is to achieve a smaller planet through better relationships, closer communications and stronger collaborations between the international Sister City partners and the people of Los Angeles. Having a non-political approach means people to people diplomatic tradition established by Los Angeles city government with a high degree of quality civic involvement in the disciplines of culture, education, communication, trade, travel, tourism, sports and recreation as well as an innovative program of public service at home and abroad. It is these types of relationships that often survive when governments fail. They keep the conversation alive. Los Angeles city government envisions a more vibrant and prosperous city of LA that benefits from a variety of visitors from around the world, especially residents from Los Angeles Sister Cities.
Kim Martindale, producer and general manager of the LA Art Show believes that the most rewarding aspect of working in Downtown LA are the changes that take place in it, which are evident in the number of visitors attracted to Los Angeles Convention Center every year to participate in this massive art fair. The LA Art Show is a celebration of the ability of great art to create a common language that communicates the artist’s unique message across borders and beyond politics. As a result, every year the LA Art Show has grown in both stature and attendance to accommodate the quality and quantity of exhibitors from across the nation and throughout the world. Featuring over 140 international and domestic galleries hailing from 22 countries and 18 states, this year’s LA Art Show was the broadest sampling of art to date.
Along with great galleries and spectacular installations, the most interesting part of the 2014 LA Art Show were the fascinating discussions that were developed for the visitors, entitled Dialogs LA. The Dialogs LA programs, with subjects from Van Gogh to Warhol and speakers such as Anthony Haden Guest, James Magni, and Zhang Yu delved into topics that explored the contentious and universally intriguing intersections between art and architecture, technology and tradition, regionalism and globalism, and public art and private space.
Growing up Kim’s parents never cared much for the arts. Born with the passion for the arts, Kim was only 16 years old when he helped coordinate and implement the ground breaking and influential Santa Fe Antique American Indian Art Show. In subsequent years, he co=produced a number of outstanding antique shows including the Winter Antiquities Show, the Summer Antiquities Show, the Ethnographic Art Show, and the Old West Show. Not suprisingly, it is the love and dedication for the arts that keeps Kim putting long hours.
Finally, when asked about the future of the LA Art Show, Kim Martindale replied, “Having more participants when it comes to Jewelry and Design Show that started this year. United States will aslo be launching more art galleries. For 2015 LA Art Show, United Arab Emirates will be the featured guest country, where a special exhibition of contemporary Emirati artworks will be presented.”