Signal Hill has long been a communications point on the Southern California landscape. In an earlier era, Native Americans signaled their brethren with fire and smoke, from Santa Catalina Island to the foothills of the Coastal Range bordering what is now L.A.

Today the signals are electronic, connecting us--at the click of a mouse--to vast, new worldwide networks.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Signal Hill Art Scene

"Aggregate" photo by Lisa Connell
The tiny City of Signal Hill has become a mecca for art.  The newest addition to the art scene in the city is Greenly Art Space where the good folks at this non-profit gallery are mounting an exciting new exhibition of two local artists--photographer Lisa Connell and mixed-media artist Kurt Hantzch.

And we are all invited to the opening reception this coming Saturday:

Saturday, May 19th, 7-9 pm

The Greenly Art Space
2698 Junipero Ave., Suite 113
Signal Hill, CA 90755 

"Eclexia" mixed-media by Kurt Hantzch 

Lisa Connel, an award-winning photographer, finds inspiration going back to the 1890s photographic work of her great grandfather.  In today's digital age, she artistically views and interprets her world through the lens and by "Massaging the pixels in a way that could compare to dark room developing."

The mixed-media artist Kurt Hantzch finds inspiration in the work of the renowned--some would say infamous--author and artist Henry Miller, who said "Paint as you like and die happy."

We'll be reporting more on the  Signal Hill art scene in coming posts; there's so much going on in our little town of 11,000 residents, on the outskirts of L.A. 

To whet your appetite, let me give you a brief preview of what's in  the works here:  

   --  Beginning in the early 90s, the City has been steadily installing public art in connection with parks and other public and private spaces.  We want to take a closer look at those installations, perhaps interview a few people who can tell us how this came about, and something more about the artists, themselves.

   --  In addition to the Greenly Art Space mentioned above, there are other organizations in the city devoted to the promotion of art.  We want to get to know these organizations better: how they were organized, what are their missions, what are they accomplishing, who are their leaders, what is their art.  Among them are the Friends of Signal Hill Cultural Arts, led by Denise Damrow and Dramatic Results, led by Board of Directors President, Julie Mendell.

  --  Further, as libraries struggle to remain relevant in this digital age, many are re-defining themselves as "cultural centers."  We heard this during recent discussions to build a new library in Signal Hill.  The Signal Hill Library already promotes many cultural events.  We'd like to learn more.    

  --  Our interests do not stop at the city boundaries, nor are they limited to the visual arts. Not too far from our city limits--in the Los Altos district of Long Beach--can be found a used bookstore that has become a cultural and community center.  We want to get to know more about Gatsby Books, and its proprietors, Sean and Alisha Moor.

  --  And we will continue to share our interest in Active Arts of the Los Angeles Music Center, and in the arts, culture and heritage being promoted at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine.

  --  Finally, we are very interested in all the things we, as individuals, do to express our creativity--the jewelry we wear, the flowers we plant; and the little things we do to brighten up our lives--perhaps the plastic pink flamingo in the front yard, that weekly bouquet of flowers from Trader Joe's, or the wind chime that brings back pleasant memories of a distant summer vacation.

So stay tuned for more.  In the meantime, let's meet up at the Greenly Art Space on Saturday, the 19th.

           --  RCH

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