Wednesday, August 8, 2012


We started Arts Camp last week and these photos show what a great time our students had using their natural environment to inspire art activities. There is still space in the 3rd week of camp August 13 - 17. And our Fashion Lab starts next Monday, too, showing children and teens ages 11 and up how to design unique fashion statements from their own upcycled clothing and other materials. Go here for more info on camp and the Fashion Lab.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Arts Crawl July 14

We are so excited about the upcoming South Pas Arts Crawl on July 14. The Chamber of Commerce, along with arts organizations and merchants are producing these events four times a year now and we love them. There's always lots of art, activities, live music, and food, plus stories are open late and all of Mission Street downtown puts on a party. And we have some fun things planned:

ngeneIn the SPACE Gallery we are very excited about a new artist we just met, Ngene Mwaura who is a talented and soulful young artist, originally from Kenya. He will be painting live in the SPACE storefront and some of his completed paintings will be on view (and for sale!). His work is bold and colorful, and blends African artistic traditions with European influences and contemporary street art.

Out front, henna artist Ellen Stavash will adorn adults and children alike with custom, hand-drawn henna designs.  

In the SPACE Studio at 1504 Mission Street - Our first summer Handmade Arts trunk show features art prints and jewelry by Courtney Oquist, handbags by Jeanie Joe, glass art by Andy Gersh, and jewelry designs by Anita Finnegan. The trunk show sale continues Fridays - Sundays, July 14 - July 29. We are trying this out for the first time, so let us know what you think. The items in this pop-up boutique make wonderfully unique gift items. 

More information about the Arts Crawl event can be found here

Thursday, May 17, 2012

AIR Program at SPUSD

The SPACE Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Program has served nearly 1800 elementary school students each year for the past two years in the South Pasadena Unified School District.

The SPACE teaching artists (Sarah Dugan, Dianna Freas, and Sarit Swanborn) have provided a vigorous visual arts curriculum that developed foundational art skills designed to build on each other from year to year. The program used the elements of art as a springboard for investigation into other subject areas such as language arts, geometry, the sciences and social studies.  Additional goals were to inspire critical thinking and provide a creative vehicle for students with diverse learning styles and capabilities.

Here is quick glimpse of the AIR program in action this past year (on Youtube).  Students and parents, please feel free to give us feedback and comments about your experiences.

Friday, October 14, 2011

AIR - Visual Arts for South Pas schools

Here are some stories from our AIR Program teachers who currently teach arts education at Marengo Elementary School. 

Teaching Artist Grades 3 - 5: Sarit Swanborn 
Wow! What a week!  My third, fourth, and fifth graders truly seemed to relish this interactive drawing session utilizing blind contour and gesture drawing techniques.  The pace seemed rhythmic and highly engaging as students explored drawing with different line weights, close observation of their fingers and hands, and theatrical gesture posing for one another.  The most pleasant surprise of all, however, was to watch students, teachers, and even many parent volunteers focus with intensity…accessing page after page in their quest to capture the spirit and line of their hands or a student model in an action pose—using ink pens, then soft charcoal pencils to record the essence of their subject over and over again. This studio-like atmosphere was nothing short of exhilarating, and yet offered an appropriate challenge for our introductory dip into the corridors of the moving body as an art form.  I cannot wait for week two, as we explore classical proportions of the body through wire sculpture!
Teaching Artist  K - 2: Sarah Dugan
The classroom teacher was reading a poem about leaves when I arrived so I instantly started with their poem and all the art within it. The word "hue" was in the poem and I took out my leaf samples. The poem couldn't have been a better transition for my point/line lesson as we looked at all the lines within the leaves. We then read the book and did work in our art journals, then did gesture drawings. I didn't want to suggest the gesture drawing models stand on the teacher's desk in her class, but after two, the teacher suggested it and rearranged the entire room to do it. She was so thrilled to see them learning "useful skills." We then did the scavenger hunt outside and the teacher said the students will definitely write stories in the end with her.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Karen Green's Tiny Stampede this Saturday

We are so excited to have Karen Green back at SPACE on Saturday, Sept. 24. This is her third show and we feel so honored to have an artist with her talent and depth share her work with us. We do plan to have a preview of her 57 artworks on Friday before the opening so that fans and friends of SPACE will have a chance to nab one of her pieces early. Hope to see you at the opening on Saturday, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. More info about Tiny Stampede here

Saturday, May 21, 2011


New Show
Paintings by Jordan Daines.
Opening reception May 21
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

SPACE presents Tame, a new series of oil paintings by South Pasadena artist Jordan Daines. She has exhibited her work in several group shows at SPACE, and has won over many fans with her painterly style and vivid palette.

With this new series Daines brings her eye from the landscapes of her earlier work indoors to the material trappings of domestic life. She renders commonplace objects with bold abstracted strokes, reminding us of the excess of material goods around us, but also celebrating their simple beauty with each tonal variation. The paintings will be on view at SPACE through Saturday, July 2nd.

Featured in the SPACE storefront window are life-sized sculptures created by Cynthia Minet from a series of domestic animals made from recycled and re-purposed plastics, and LEDs. The work is part of an ongoing project which addresses the topic of genetic modification of animals, the prevalence of plastics in our environment and the food chain, and the dependence our culture has on electricity. More info on Cynthia Minet.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Still/LIFE continues through March 12

shanon red hair

If you missed the opening of Still/LIFE, you still have a chance to see the work of photographers Shannon Leith and Pete Starman.

A graduate of The Art Center College of Design, Starman has focused his talents on editorial work, creating images that are dynamic, tense, and charged with the relationships of its players. They are stills from a larger scene, bursting out of the confines of their frame and highlighting the less tangible nuances.

"I'm interested in relationships and how people relate to each other but also how people relate to inanimate objects and their environments, in a word - context." The strength of many of his images lies in his very deliberate cropping, making us question the larger story beyond the still.

Shannon Leith's work is a meditation on the beauty and sanctity of the mundane. A recent Biola University graduate with a BFA in photography, Leith documents her home environment daily and is genuinely absorbed in celebrating life's smallest beautiful moments, and is able to capture them, so that we can too. She makes us all slow down to appreciate the beauty of a kitchen sponge, or colander. Or the pinkness of a straw, or a friend's red hair in the sun on a road trip.

"I am fascinated by the most ordinary things. For me, the everyday stuff of life has the potential to be full of meaning and mystery. These photographs are my way to practice being present. I'd rather rush, but this is how I slow down and actually see what I'm seeing."

Still/LIFE is on view through March 12.

At top, Untitled, Shannon Leith, Below, Untitled, Pete Starman

boy with gun