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Art is blooming at Pomona gallery

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Artist Cindy Moore and dA Center for the Arts board member Joy McAllister Fox view paintings by Jacqueline Knell at the dA Center’s “Art Blooms, Burritos and Brews” benefit fundraiser March 9. The paintings, titled “Coquette” and “Queen of Hearts” are available for purchase. / photo by Sara Flores

Artist Cindy Moore and dA Center for the Arts board member Joy McAllister Fox view paintings by Jacqueline Knell at the dA Center’s “Art Blooms, Burritos and Brews” benefit fundraiser March 9. The paintings, titled “Coquette” and “Queen of Hearts” are available for purchase. / photo by Sara Flores

Remy Hogan
Staff Writer

The dA Center for the Arts in Pomona was bustling with activity as gallery-goers purchased art and chatted over burritos during the Art in Bloom auction March 9.

The charity auction happened simultaneously with the gallery’s current exhibit, Simply Red.

The Simply Red exhibition features art pieces with either the color red in some form or it features an element relating to hearts or love.

The annual Simply Red exhibition got its name for three reasons: first, Simply Red always takes place in February and it begins near Valentine’s Day; second, the show is for art lovers of all kinds; and third, each piece that is sold in the auction gets tagged with a red dot.

Artists featured discussed their art with visitors, and potential patrons, hoping to sell their works.

Mi Lupita Snack Bar provided the essentials visitors needed to build their own burritos.

The Art in Bloom auction’s main objective was to function as a fundraiser to support the visual art, music, literature, dance, and theater programs that are offered to youth in Pomona and surrounding communities.

The gallery offers classes and workshops ranging from art classes, dance lessons, writing clubs and diverse music lessons.

Cher Ofstedahl, the secretary of the Board of Directors for the dA Center, was one of the contributors to the benefit fundraiser.

“I truly believe in the dA and everything it does for the community,” Ofstedahl said.

The gallery’s mission statement states, “The mission of the dA Center for the Arts, a diverse, multi-discipline, non-profit organization is to enhance the quality of life for the greater community by educating and providing opportunities to experience, appreciate and support the arts. The dA believes that providing an avenue for self-expression for all ages and all populations is essential in bridging the distance from alienation to community.”

True to the mission of the dA Center, key installer and curator for the gallery, Jason LaMotte, said that everything they do and host in the creative space is for the greater good of the community and its youth.

The gallery is meant to serve as a safe space for individual’s self expression.

“The different shows we do bring in their own audiences,” LaMotte said.

Vendors present from shops nearby the dA Center contributed to the Art in Bloom auction by arranging their products with a floral theme in mind.

Crystal Basica, owner of Vintage Fairy Finds in Pomona, contributed to the auction as a vendor and had a table spread full of the jewelry she makes and sells.

“In keeping with the theme, I set up a crystal garden using flowers to complement what I do,” Basica said, gesturing to her displays of vintage jewelry set up neatly around her crystal garden.

LaMotte said he put the show together in just a few days.

“It’s a challenge to try to organize but it’s really fulfilling too,” LaMotte said.

The final outcome of LaMotte’s organization and installation was well-received by the artists in attendance.

“Some of the flower arrangements are very obvious. Others are not quite so,” artist Linda Garcia-Dahle said.

“You have to figure out what the floral artist’s interpretation is.”

The Simply Red show has been on display since Feb. 10 and it will end on March 25.

Artists who are interested in showing their art at the dA Center for the Arts can sign up for the newsletter at dacenter.org.

First time artists get free admission to the shows they are contributing their artwork to.

Remy Hogan can be reached at remy.hogan@laverne.edu.

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