Stripped of his Garments - Painting by Gwyneth Leech
Stripped of his Garments - Painting by
Gwyneth Leech

This Press Release was updated on Wednesday, Feb. 1st, 2006

Don't Talk About Religion Or Politics:
Artists explore the sacred and profane
Avenue 50 Studio, Los Angeles.
January 7th., through February 6th., 2006.

Avenue 50 Studio invites the public to a special art exhibition that focuses on questions of religion and politics. Curated by Mark Vallen, the exhibit features the works of artists:
Sergio Hernandez, Gwyneth Leech, Poli Marichal,
John Paul Thornton, and Mark Vallen.

Closing Party
Sunday, February 5th., 3 to 5 pm

The last opportunity to view this well received and thought-provoking exhibit! The artists will be on hand to answer questions concerning their works. Refreshments and hor d' oeuvres provided.

Artist's Forum on Art & Politics
Thursday, January 12th., 7 to 9 pm

As part of the exhibition, Avenue 50 Studio presented an artist's forum where all of the exhibiting artists and the public discussed the meanings and motivations behind the works on display. This exciting event, attended by some 70 people, included a slide presentation of artworks by participating artists.

Someone famous once said "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions." Those words certainly ring true in our own time, as countless individuals turn towards spiritualism for answers to lifeís great mysteries - their faith sheltering them from a pitilessly indifferent world. Yet at the same time societies everywhere are also being fractured by religious zealotry, bigotry and persecution - with religion itself seemingly a driving force behind war.

A People Under Command - Detail of painting by Mark Vallen A People Under Command - Detail of painting by Mark Vallen
A People Under Command - Painting by
Mark Vallen [ detail ]
John Paul Thornton at work on a painting to be unveiled at the exhibition. John Paul Thornton at work on a painting to be unveiled at the exhibition.
John Paul Thornton at work on a painting to be unveiled at the exhibition. John Paul Thornton at work on a painting to be unveiled at the exhibition.
John Paul Thornton at work on a painting to be
unveiled at the exhibition

The exhibition, Donít Talk About Religion or Politics, attempts a meaningful exploration of these contradictions and their political ramifications.

Donít Talk About Religion or Politics is also an age-old American axiom, an adage the participating artists of this exhibit clearly intend to ignore as they carefully examine the blurring between the sacred and profane. To celebrate the importance of spirituality in our lives and collective consciousness, the participating artists of this exhibition have come together to offer genuine visions of piety and devotion.

But they are also unafraid to offer honest critiques of religionís darker side. It is to this duality of purpose that we dedicate the exhibition, Donít Talk About Religion or Politics.

Interview on Pacifica Radio
90.7 FM - KPFK
Friday, Jan. 13th., 2006.

Long time PACIFICA Radio producer, Jay Kugelman, interviewed the artists behind the Don't Talk About Religion or Politics exhibit. His interview with Mark Vallen, Sergio Hernandez, Gwyneth Leech, John Paul Thornton, Poli Marichal, and Ave 50 Studio Director Kathy Mas-Gallegos, was conducted at Vallen's studio on the eve of the exhibition's opening.

Left to right: Sergio Hernandez, John Paul Thornton, Jay Kugelman, Gwyneth Leech, and Mark Vallen
"The Last Slap" Painting by Sergio Hernandez  "The Last Slap" Painting by Sergio Hernandez
"The Last Slap" Painting by Sergio Hernandez "The Last Slap" Painting by Sergio Hernandez
The Last Slap - Painting by
Sergio Hernandez

Further insights into the making of this extraordinary show were provided in Kugelman's lively discussion with the artists, which aired on his Sound Exchange broadcast, an exploration of "the creative imagination in its social and political context.

Listeners to 90.7 FM KPFK Los Angeles or 98.7 FM in Santa Barbara, heard the broadcast on Friday, January 13th., from 12 Noon to 12:30. Those interested also listened in from anywhere in the world by webcast on the official KPFK website, at: www.kpfk.org

 

The full color postcard used to announce the show is available here. You are invited to print-out your own copy of this high resolution, 200 dpi graphic (pdf format.)

The January 7th opening night Artist's Reception was well attended by hundreds of people from all across L.A.
"Our Lady of the Fallen Angels" Painting by Poli Marichal "Our Lady of the Fallen Angels" Painting by Poli Marichal
"Our Lady of the Fallen Angels" Painting by Poli Marichal "Our Lady of the Fallen Angels" Painting by Poli Marichal
Our Lady of the Fallen Angels - Painting by
Poli Marichal

For more information on the exhibiting artists,
visit these websites:

Sergio Hernandez - www.chicanarteyque.com
Poli Marichal -
www.lamanopress.com/poli.html
John Paul Thornton - www.johnpaulthornton.com
Mark Vallen - www.markvallen.com
Gwyneth Leech - www.gwynethleech.com

For more information on Ms. Leech's Stations of the Cross series of paintings exhibited at this show, please visit the following websites:

Overview and main Press Release
Statement published by CounterPunch Magazine

Ave 50 Studio is located at:
131 No. Avenue 50, Los Angeles, CA. 90042.
Click here for a MapQuest map.

Business hours:Tuesday through Sunday, from 12:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
For more info, contact Kathy Mas-Gallegos, gallery director, at:
Phone: 323-258-1435. Web: www.avenue50studio.com
E-mail: ave50studio@msn.com

High resolution images available upon request.
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