Art showcase highlights hand-crafted talent

Stephen Gilson Jr.
Calendar Editor

The city of Ontario invited artists to showcase their hand-crafted work and its residents to support their work Saturday by Holt x Palm vintage home decor store and gallery in downtown Ontario.

In the back of the exhibit, a small market was available for those who wanted to sit and have thoughtful conversation on the pieces they studied, or buy some homemade beef jerky and other paintings.  

As the smell of freshly smoked brisket filled the air, a DJ dropped some house music in the mix and got about 70 guests enjoying the vibe. 

“I was just driving down the street and we saw this, so me and my girlfriends decided to check it out,” guest SpoIvonne Gonzalez said. “I like independent artists. I feel like these people are the best types of painters and sculptors. That’s where the real talent is at.”

Inside the exhibit, the walls were littered with different sizes of paintings and other items, like electric guitars.

For those needing an emotional break from some of the pieces, a small theater for about 20 people was available, which played episodes of Spongebob Squarepants.

One of the most powerful pieces was titled “The Resurrection,” by artist Giorgio Tuscani. On the canvas was a depiction of Jesus Christ on the third day, which in Christianity and other similar branches signifies the day that Christ rose from the dead. This piece was showcased a couple weeks before Easter Sunday, signifying the end of Lent and the resurrection of Christ is celebrated.

The eyes of Christ are soul-piercing, yet eerily calm, as his arm folds over his crossed legs. Random splotches of yellow and red paint run rampant on the canvas, which could be seen as the sunlight from the crown of thorns that was placed on his head before his crucifixion, and the red could possibly signify the blood that leaked from his hands from when he was nailed onto the cross.

While this exhibit was thought-provoking, other pieces were more lighthearted and fun. One piece depicted a scene in the movie “Pulp Fiction” (1994), where Jules, played by Samuel L. Jackson, and Vincent, played by John Travolta banter about the intimacy or lack thereof of foot massages. 

Outside, one vendor sold hand painted canvases, prints, stickers and other neat items to those who want to support his artists. 

“I linked up with one of the artists I used to do graffiti work with in Mexico and we started working together again,” vendor Pablo Nunez said. “I also work with another artist who does work called ‘Amazonian Ancestral Art’ straight from Putumayo, Colombia.”

Although Nunez is responsible for all of the logistics and selling of the art, he does share the profits of his work.

“The artists do receive royalties for what they do,” Nunez said. “We respect the work highly. He gave me the rights to print and sell his work, so I give him royalties in return.” 

Other artists just wanted the ability to share their work with the public without worrying about the financials of it all. 

“It’s a good place to show off something you’re trying to express through your artwork,” exhibit artist Joe Ded said. “You can introduce other people to your work and show off your emotions in a therapeutic way.” 

Although guests were able to have a good time with their friends and family and enjoy some good food and drinks, some felt that supporting the artists was the most important part of art festivals and art walks.

“When people acknowledge your artwork and creations in person, it feels really good,” guest Brian DeAlba said.” When people buy a button or a sticker off of you, it inspires you to stick to your work.”

Stephen Gilson Jr. can be reached at stephen.gilson@laverne.edu.  

Stephen Gilson Jr. is a sophomore journalism major with a concentration in broadcast journalism. He played baseball and football in high school and is an avid sports enthusiast.

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