As part of the multi-faceted promotional campaign for the Amazon Prime Video Documentary, “ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY”, ICU Art – In Creative Unity, along with Chuck Agency, produced a series of murals encouraging everyone to vote. “These murals, designed by Andrea Pippins, were rendered by our artists, and painted in key cities across the United States, by our artist teams. We stand in solidarity with Stacey Abrams and all working to end voter suppression” Stash Maleski and Jeanna Penn, ICU Art.
Also included as part of the effort to encourage people to vote, Amazon sponsored a 50-city voter registration effort by bus. “ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY" examines the issue of voter suppression in the US. The film interweaves personal experiences with activism and historical insight to expose a problem that has corrupted our country from the beginning. With the expertise of Stacey Abrams, the film offers an insider’s look into the barriers to voting.”
The Artists and Cities:
Lalo Cota, @lalocota, Phoenix, Arizona
Jeff Huntington, @jahru, Baltimore, Maryland
Ceaux, @ceauxartwork, New Orleans, Louisiana
Brandon Sadler, @risingredlotus, Mike Jaso @jasosignco, Atlanta, Georgia
Peyton Scott Russell, @houseofdaskarone, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The OneLee @leetheonelee and @mezdata, Houston, Texas
Ottoman Ghazi, @adeptswim_cst and crew, Cleveland, Ohio
Critical Massive, @CriticalMassive Miami, Florida
ABOUT IN CREATIVE UNITY ART
ICU Art is a media and production company specializing in hand painted murals and custom design. Based in Oakland, & Los Angeles, CA, ICU Art services markets across the country with a national network of walls and highly skilled artists. We deliver an exciting interactive experience that sets our media apart by impacting the viewer in a way they will never forget. Our team is ready to serve you. ICUART.com
Filmmakers Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes examine the history of voter suppression and the activists who fight for the rights of U.S. citizens. Initial release: September 9, 2020
Liz Garbus, Lisa Cortés
Music composed by:
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
“Renee Howard remembers the feeling of awe the first time she saw Watts Towers, the colossal spires Simon Rodia built and covered with broken tile, glass, seashells and pottery. ‘When I was in grade school, I went there on a field trip. And it blew my mind,’ Howard said. ‘I didn’t know how I could do that someday. … And then I did.’ (Los Angeles Daily News) I consider that moment my deepest exposure to art, knowing in the future I would express myself through unusual, captivating works, sharing my individual “big picture” visions, and perspectives of social awareness, by incorporating materials that matter to me.
This new unusual artwork, “Jeremy’s Magical Mystery Car” is the 9th project by mixed media artist, Renee Howard, utilizing only upcycled, recycled, and discarded objects. Start to finish the 1998 Toyota Corolla took 52 weekends of creative time spent meticulously placing Disney characters, hand-made button stacks, dozens of compact discs, hand-broken bottle glass from bottles others donated, many angels, a mix of plastic items and hardware supplies, even a vintage typewriter.
She is now completing the final overall varnish using an antibacterial, antimicrobial, clear coat paint to permanently seal each object into place, all done by brush.
This is the Arleta artists’ first departure into working with an automobile as a canvas, adding “Cartist” to her portfolio. These artists represent a very unique artform and culture while emphasizing the now necessary alternative to dismantling cars for parts, and then discarding the rest to sit in landfills. She selected this make and model as it continues to be one of the best-selling cars on earth, “beginning in 1974 with an estimated 44 million sold over 12 generations” (source, Wikipedia.com, “Toyota Corolla”).
The grade school field trip left her with a deep knowing, making “that kind of art” was somewhere in her future. She began this very colorful piece, originally titled “Jeremy’s Ghost Car”, because it lacks title, registration or VIN, on March 9, 2019 and glued the last piece to the surface on March 29, 2020. In addition to Rodia, other inspirations have been Isaiah Zagar of Philadelphia, who has blocks of buildings exhibiting his multi-media work; and in the fall of last year, I spent six glorious days in Barcelona visiting Antoni Gaudi, and all his works. A truly moving experience. I take a cue from the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright; whose structures are from and a part of the environment. That was his defining attribute, taking the time to study the area, its origins, complete history, and how to make what he did fit. To make it belong. That lesson is not lost on me.
To view more images of this rare work of upcycled mosaic art please visit the gallery below. For more information on Renee, please visit: www.PasticheGardens.com, and be sure to follow her at: @PasticheGardens on Instagram. For media, please email: GrovesShawni (at) gmail (dot) com.
“Jeremy’s Magical Mystery Car” is the 9th project by Urban Mosaic Muralist, Renee Howard.
Written by, Shawni Groves
My managerial integrity and curatorial style come from learning from the best, beginning with my grandfather. For decades he was involved in civic, educational, philanthropic and cultural endeavors in Los Angeles and beyond. His elephant memory and love of this city and state continue to inspire me and because of my early experiences, helped form my creative interests and developed my sensory imagination. I intuitively began to respect and appreciate it all, beginning at age 3.
We moved from Hawai’i; billboards are still illegal there. To my eyes, ears, nose and vivid imagination, my city instantly became a HUGE public multi-sensory art experience for me. Happy to say, that has not changed.
This includes all forms of original art, especially music and the early scenes of my generation. This began with Soul Train, followed by the Chicanos and Lowriders and culture of Atwood, which reminded me of the early tags and murals I would see in East Los Angeles when we would drive to my grandparents’ house, followed by the explosion of friends involved in OC LA West Coast punk, glam, mod, avant-garde, experimental, rap and hip-hop, college radio and zine culture, underground club and house music scene, murals, hand-drawn, hand-made illustrations, billboards, flyers and advertisements, graffiti, street art, stencils, wheat pastes, neon’s, and more.
Those came after and were also influenced by the original WPA sculptural works, celebrity/studio fashion, etiquette and style, mosaics, architecture, nature and habitats, the early days of radio, and recording studios, REAL billboards, the follies and glitz of true Hollywood, flanked by historical landmarks, theatres, halls, lodges, roller rinks, nightclubs, swanky restaurants, diners, roadside music venues and honky-tonks. I have a special place in my heart for the original Angelenos, the culturally rich and diverse melting pot of people, native or not, places, and flow of international travelers that makes So. Cal one of the most favored destinations on earth.
I lived the pop, underdog, sometimes rebellious and alternative culture of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Orange County and Southern California with my lifelong friends. In my own refined and quirky way I always will. These influences are part of my cultural DNA. My musical soundtrack in particular is something I cherish and draw from when creating. Today we have influencers, presenting their version of another generation that happened long before they were born, they fascinate me – I love seeing what they do when it is 100% authentic.
It happened in real-time for us, during the decades that really put LA on the map in a hugely edgy and popular way, and we were influenced by prior generations. This culture has since become mainstream and morphed into something almost unrecognizable, yet familiar in wonderfully odd ways.
I also believe pioneers such as Judy Baca, Siqueiros, the uncredited Orange and Fruit Crate label artists, Paul Revere Williams, John Baldessari, Chaz Boroquez, and others, such as Tobey Moss, Kent Twitchell, Jack Rutberg and those involved in Ferus Gallery ought to be given stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and have special days commemorated in their honor.
They are as important to the success of the diverse cultural and economic success of this city and highly sought-after creative lifestyle, as the entertainment industry. They are contemporaries, family members, parents, spouses, neighbors and friends of one another. Needless to say, growing up here immersed in the diversity of Southern California culture has heavily influenced me, as has the ever-changing style and physical landscape.
These influences continue to shape my way of doing business, allowing me to stay up on cycles and trends that help guide and inspire current and future generations, especially with the ever-increasing technological galaxies and social media phenomena.
Since 2009 I have been immersed professionally both publicly and privately, in cultural events, art news and many different facets of art within the City of Angels. By chance my art path began that year in my first California neighborhood. My “native-ness” and unique background and understanding of artists, the artworld, and people who collect art, is from having worked with dozens of prominent Los Angeles gallerists at once, for years, in addition to artists who are internationally known and collected, and now considered trendsetters. I’ve also worked with, consulted and assisted those who are, or were considered 20th & 21st century artistic legends.
I do not have a formal education, I am self-taught. Before working for myself, I worked with creatives and business leaders in Orange and Los Angeles County primarily in the world of nonprofit event management and specialty dining and high-end functions.
It’s different for those of us who have grown up here. This city, her people, our people and places represent our cultural past, present, and future and we consider our cities real treasure chests. We respect the entirety of our Lady of Angels, from the mountains, to the ocean and every place in between.
This is how I connect my roots and generational schooling or “formal education” to the present moment, by revisiting the originators, art, counter and pop-culture I lived of the 60’s, 70’s and the groundbreaking 80’s, including long ago places.
I share my background and influences because they have shaped who I am today. Times have changed since then, and quality vs. quantity still matters to me. I thank my influences, mentors and inspirations.
I am from here. I LOVE Los Angeles, and I am excited to get back to work.
Hi Los Angeles,
January 23, 2020 (123-day)
Thru, Saturday, November 23, 2019
Mr. Musichead Gallery
7420 W. Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90046
(Between N. Gardner and N. Vista)
For appointments, inquiries, and price list,
please call: (323) 876-0042
THE IMPORTANCE OF GRACE SLICK THROUGH MY TEN-YEAR-OLD SELF
During the afternoon of Friday, November 1, 2019, I visited my friend Sam Milgrom at his out of this world, Mr. Musichead Gallery to see original works by Grace Slick.
*Disclaimer: The 10-year-old me wants to end that sentence not with a period, but with a series of endless exclamation points.*
I love Grace Slick. I’ve loved her music since before I was in 5th grade, after falling in love at some point with both, “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love”. This was around the same time I read Sybil, by Flora Rheta Schreiber, and was in my Jethro Tull, “Bungle in the Jungle”, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Rufus and Chaka Khan, “Tell Me Something Good”, +, +, +, phase. We lived 6 houses down from MUSIC PLUS RECORDS & TAPES, which became the jukebox for my hard-earned babysitting money.
It was the tumultuous 1970’s, Nixon was impeached, Ford was sworn in and then pardoned Nixon. They were airing “Drug Prevention” 30-minute PSA films, by Vaughn Obern in my Elementary School, which I am sure is how grade school kids began, or, became interested in smoking pot. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was at the top of the charts, and among my top favorite songs were, “Bennie and The Jets” and “All the Young Girls Love Alice”. I thought the song was about Grace Slick because of White Rabbit. I was 10.
Her music defines a distinct place in time for me, more so than any other artist I can recall at that age, with the exception of Jackson Browne a few years earlier, age 8.
We lived in a very conservative, affluent, very anglo (at that time) town in Orange County, CA and “Behind the Orange Curtain” was in full force. Punk was just starting to happen with a few friends forming bands that are still touring the globe today. Our country was still in Vietnam, yet no mention that I can remember was ever made of it at home - I'm sure for obvious reasons. My mother is a beautiful fair skin, blue eyed woman and my handsome dad has always lived in Hawai’i where I was born. I was adopted by my stepfather when I was 7, they married when I was 5.
I am hapa and was the only one in my OC family who has both brown skin and slightly Asian eyes. I remember thinking I looked like those little girls and boys that I would get glimpses of on the news. It was very surreal, and I felt scared for them and I never mentioned it because no one in my family would have understood. Like many kids, I wanted to be invisible at home a lot and when I felt I was, I would safely climb inside my vividly imaginative world that I lived in through music, books, writing in my diary, and dancing. Their music fit the times, perfectly.
Back to the here and now. When reading her biography at the gallery I immediately knew why I always loved her. All of I sudden I remembered that Grace Slick was like a beacon of light to me then. My stepfather idolized Machiavelli and I was not allowed to ever speak back or speak my mind.
Even though I was forbidden to verbalize it, in the days of my pre-teen years I silently identified with her rebelliousness and felt empowered by her powerful voice and lyrics. Whenever possible I would escape through the music of the times at my best neighborhood friend’s house, with the “cool older sister, who smoked cigarettes and owned all the records”, they were magical friends then and still are. Or I'd wait to hear them on 94.7 KMET and hope I could start my cassette recorder fast enough to get the whole song.
In my memory I created a connection between those related elements that turned into a 10-year old’s version of Grace Slick as Alice In Wonderland. I realize now, I saw her as a real-life, bad-ass Alice, defender of the underdogs like me. She was a secret superhero to me; she is even more now, but it's no longer secret. If Stan Lee were still with us, he’d create a character just for her, I am sure of this.
To spend time looking at her paintings up close was a moment I won’t ever forget. So much honesty and courage and impeccable detail, beautiful colors; the fine, one bristle, repetitive, perfectly aligned brush strokes and detail, that make up her “White Rabbits” are mind-blowing. I was fascinated hearing a little about her process from Sam, while watching his face light up in awe as he was telling me. So much appreciation.
I am thrilled the exhibition has been extended to November 23, and greatly encourage people who love her to go see these works. There are also reasonably priced museum quality, signed, limited edition Giclées – the best multiples I have ever seen. You cannot tell they are not originals.
Mr. Musichead is located on Sunset Blvd., across from Guitar Center. Parking is available in front on Sunset, or nearby on N. Gardner, or N. Vista – *please read parking signs first*
Thank you, Sam for spending time with me last Friday, I look forward to our next visit!
Photos by Shawni Groves, with permission.
Sunday, October 6th, 2019 marked the one-year installation anniversary of Colette Miller's 'GRAMMY WINGS' located at the GRAMMY Museum @ LA Live, a hub for social and cultural events, and world class entertainment. The Los Angeles based artist was commissioned by the Foundation and I was project liaison between Colette and the staff of the Museum. These wings are now part of the permanent collection of the GRAMMY Museum/Recording Academy of America. For more information or to commission Colette, please visit: ColetteMiller.com, or follow her on Instagram at: @ColetteMillerWings.
"On Monday, Oct. 29th, 2018, the GRAMMY Museum (located in the South Park neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles), publicly announced the 18’x20’ 12 panel painting of the 'Angel Wings' they commissioned Los Angeles based artist Colette Miller to paint, incorporating specific elements of the purpose of the Museum, had been installed. The 'GRAMMY Wings' are located at the entrance of the museum, at 800 W. Olympic Blvd. The Museum is located at L.A. Live and adjacent to the Staples Center and the wings are there for all to enjoy and be uplifted by"!
“GlobalAngelWingsProject®” Colette Miller created the “GlobalAngelWingsProject®” in 2012, in the streets of Los Angeles, the “City of Angels”. They were painted to remind humanity that we are the angels of this earth. They are human-sized, interactive public art ‘wings’, that people take photos with and thus become part of the artwork. The first pair was just street art, but the response was natural, immediate and spontaneous – from people of all sorts and backgrounds. Colette has painted wings globally – Kenya, Australia, England, Japan, Taiwan, France, Cuba, Juarez, Mexico and more, and many in the USA. Though some are commissioned, and others gifted, the wings themselves are free to the world. Never owned by anyone not even Colette, though they are of her provenance and her work.
Be sure to tag #GRAMMYWings on #Instagram next time you visit or are on your way to the #StaplesCenter or #LALive! #colettemillerwings #globalangelwings #angelwings #wings #humanity #ArtofColetteMiller, #GRAMMYMuseum, #NARAS #NationalAcademyofRecordingArtsandSciences #SteinerBrothersConstruction
Colette Miller's 12 pc. 'GRAMMY Wings' painting being placed in front of where it will be installed.
Hello and welcome! My name is Shawni Groves and I am a long time resident of the "City of Angels". Throughout my life I have been blessed with many interesting experiences and am fortunate to be surrounded by and connected with like-minded friends and mentors, who I admire greatly.
I am in a frequent state of awe when seeing or hearing about what they and others are doing, which I see as an energetic fusing of many paths destined to uplift humanity. I know others are also inspired by similar thoughts so I decided to create a place to honor and share these moments and visual inspirations.
This is my new project, Hi Los Angeles, a lifestyle magazine of sorts and will feature an assortment of selections for introverts, extroverts, underdogs, and empaths alike.
Since I can remember, my personal and professional interests have always been centered in the realms of creativity, nature and that which can not be explained.
Hi Los Angeles will feature not only recommendations of things to do within the world of Arts and Entertainment & Social and Cultural Events, but will also include a nice chunk of worldwide inspiration, holistic body, mind, soul wisdom and remedies, and divine esoteric stories and knowledge. This is a work in progress, so please check back often. If you'd like to contribute an idea, please follow me at @ShawniGroves
My professional background includes producing and managing private charitable functions - grass roots to five-star, large scale art walks, city-wide progressive dinners, providing curatorial, mural commission and art and photography publicity services, facilitating private art sales, providing as a publicist, consult and assistance to some of the world’s most sought-after visual artists, photographers and urban contemporary artists, and all aspects of private client studio management. I am well-versed in working on behalf of nonprofit organizations, as a liaison between nonprofits and artists, and with small business owners and for-profit businesses. 25 years experience. Please email me at: GrovesShawni@gmail.com, for more information.