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Arena 1 To Present Santa Monica Originals

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA.- ARENA 1, A project of Santa Monica Art Studios, presents Santa Monica Originals, through February 5th, 2005. Santa Monica Art Studios is pleased to announce the inaugural exhibition at ARENA 1, a non-profit exhibition space in this recently converted hangar at the center of the Santa Monica Airport. The exhibition “Santa Monica Originals” is organized by Bruria Finkel and features the works of artists who have either a historical or a contemporary connection to Santa Monica, having worked in studios in this city or, in some cases, at the Santa Monica Airport itself.

Artists in the exhibition made major contributions to contemporary art, including John Baldessari, an originator of conceptual art; Frank Gehry, one of the most profound and brilliant architects of our time; Sam Francis, a great innovator of Abstract Expressionism; Rachel Lachowicz who makes radical incursions into the canon of art history; Maxwell Hendler who practices “painting in close observation”; Lee Mullican, an originator of Dynaton paintings; Luchita Hurtado an early feminist who painted from her personal experience; Larry Albright, one of the first to use Gas technology, and William Tunberg who has elevated the ancient art form of marquetry. Other artists closely associated with Santa Monica are conceptual artist Charles Gaines whose works proactively navigate the relationship between systems and nature, Astrid Preston whose landscapes probe our assumptions about nature and Lita Albuquerque who seeks the fusion between the intuitive, physics/mathematics and the reality of the cosmos.

With some irony, the exhibition includes architect Frank Gehry's Model of his 1987 proposal for the airport Commons, a 37 acre renovation proposal for the Santa Monica Airport which, had it been approved, would have eliminated the many artist studios scattered around the airport, including the studios at the recently opened Santa Monica Art Studios in this 22,000 square foot hangar that also houses ARENA 1.

Where possible, the exhibit will feature an early work and a later work by each participating artist. Groups of Santa Monica schoolchildren will invited to view the exhibition and create projects with the help of Santa Monica Art Studios artists.

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