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Montebello art walk adds diversity

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Flora Wong
Staff Writer

The universal language of art connected over 300 people for Montebello’s monthly art walk Saturday night.

“The Luck of the Artists,” which was the name and theme for March’s walk.

Since 2014, Montebello has hosted community art gatherings on the third Saturday of every month.

Keeping the Culture Alive, an organization dedicated to empowering artists, puts together the event.

From illustrative paintings to homemade crafts, the event featured approximately 45 artists and vendors. “The Luck of the Artists” exhibited a variety of art techniques, mediums and crafts.

Founder of Keeping the Culture Alive, Randy Beas, moved through the arts as a self-taught artist to the founder of Montebello’s art walk in 2014. His accomplishments earned him a job as the Commissioner of the Arts and Recreation Board for the City of Montebello.

As an award-winning arts school teacher, Beas said he constantly seeks improvement and noticed the city’s need for artistic expression.

“I was tired of going to different art shows so I went to the City Council of Montebello and I told them ‘I have an idea. I want to do an art show in the city of Montebello,’ a city where no one expected art to flourish,” Beas said.

Over the past three years, Beas has watched the numbers grow from 40 to over 200 vendors, and attendees from hundreds to thousands.

From ages 6 to 11, Beas’ passion for art transpired into his own artistic style by melding street art with pop art.

“I loved the color pop in street art, but I made my own concept as I started fusing pop art with graffiti style street art, which eventually took off my career,” Beas said.

“It is about finding your own unique style.”

Montebello’s Councilmen Mayor Pro-Tem Bill Nomori, known to Beas as his first supporter, encouraged Beas’ event as an arts activist himself.

“A city has more about its economic issues, it is about its residents, community, the quality of life,” Nomori said.

“When you don’t have things like this, it limits individuals’ opportunities to enjoy the quality of life.”

Owner of SBVart Studios, Boyle Heights resident Stephanie B. Varela is a consistent vendor at the Montebello art walk.

“I’ve been coming here for two years for the art, being that the event is art-based, I come for the exposure and the likeliness to meet more people from the art community,” Varela said.

Beas said that in the future he wants to put a gallery in the city of Montebello to represent art as a diverse culture, unique to each city.

“I know for a fact that what the gallery will bring is more open doors for diversity and expression, which is what every city should strive for,” Beas said.

Flora Wong can be reached at yuenyuen.wong@laverne.edu.

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