MOPLA Event: INSTAGRAM JAM – Saturday April 11- DTLA Arts District. Free

Instagram Jam

2015 marks the third iteration of the Lucie Foundation‘s Instagram Jam, originally conceived by Shaughn Crawford. This year will feature 20+ Instagram sensations including Tasya van Ree ARTIST, Downtown Muse and many more. A portion of the print sales will benefit SNAPSHOP!, Lucie Foundation’s at-risk youth workshop program. This event is produced in partnership with Edgar Varela and Melissa Richardson Banks of We Are DTLA.

Admission is FREE, but RSVP on Eventbrite ( is recommended (plus your name gets entered for a drawing to win a FREE Arts District print!).

Cash bar and food for sale during event. Photo by Tasya van Ree.

Featuring an all-star ladies line-up of DJs from The Real Roxanne featuring Suzie Asmar Strong (Legends DJ’s, Sparkletrot), Dot (Team Supreme, Unspeakable Records), DJ Syrena (Mastro’s Penthouse) and more…!

PPSST! Want to go on a FREE guided tour of the DTLA Arts District BEFORE the opening of Instagram Jam? First 30 people can sign up for the Downtown Muse Photo Walk. Meet at LOT 613. The guided walking tour starts promptly at 6:00 PM and ends at 7:30 PM. RSVP for FREE tickets onEventbriteLA here =>

Exhibition and Book Launch, Jan.18th – “MUSE-ings: Snapshots of the Arts District”

“MUSE-ings: Snapshots of the Arts District”

Book Launch Event  – Jan. 18th – 7-11pm

MUSEings FB Event Image 714x264-title-01
Photos & Artwork
Inspired by the Images

Jan. 18 – Feb. 8
 Art Share LA, 801 E. 4th Pl
Downtown LA, 90013

Richardson Banks, Melissa-Rooftop Sunset Blaze of Glory pg 96 (3in)Rodriguez, Sandy-Downtown Muse I-Rooftop Sunset pg 96 (3in)

One of Los Angeles’ most popular neighborhoods, the Downtown Arts District, is revealed and celebrated in a new book of photographs by Melissa Richardson Banks, “MUSE-ings:  Snapshots of the Arts District,” and in an exhibition featuring the photographs with artworks by over 40 artists inspired by the images.

A book launch event and exhibit opening will be held Saturday, January 18 @ 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., at the Warehouse Gallery of Art Share L.A., 801 E. 4th Place, Los Angeles. The exhibit will be on view through February 8. A closing reception and book signing will be held Saturday, February 8 @ 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Admission is free. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Proceeds from artwork and book sales benefit Art Share L.A., a nonprofit community center (

Captured and shared daily through her “Downtown Muse” blog and social media postings, the photographs by Richardson Banks reveal an insider’s view of the Arts District, which was transformed in the 1980s by artists who created studios in former industrial warehouses and is now in the midst of yet another major renaissance.
As characterized by, “Color spills from every surface among one of the city’s favorite neighborhood canvases, Los Angeles’ Arts District. Insatiable creative energy and unstoppable trendiness emanate from the walls of its swiftly repurposing warehouse spaces and industrial-inspired artists’ lofts. Galleries, studios, and connoisseurs of coffee, cocktails, and challenging concepts crowd into this unmistakably painted bastion for incoming artists and fresh-faced visionaries.”
Richardson Banks’ point of view in her photos chronicling this extraordinary community is more like someone admiring a loved one, rather than documenting a neighborhood. Images include a pile of colorfully painted bricks covered in graffiti from a demolished industrial building, luscious blossoms against stark concrete, bold skies crisscrossed by power lines, serpentine wire caressing iron fences, and sunlight washing over historic bridges. These are among the many images that evoke the sense of a place more pastoral or exotic than what one expects to find in the center of the nation’s second largest metropolis.

“I’m not longing for the past as much as I am appreciating the present and hoping for the future,” says Richardson Banks. “Since rapid changes are in the making, I feel compelled to capture what moments I can so I don’t forget a thing.”

Together with 50 photographs from the book, the MUSE-ings exhibition features over 45 works of art inspired by Richardson Banks’ images and created by artists, many of who follow the photographer’s blog online. “I’m especially inspired by art and artists because of my surroundings,” she says, “so it was natural for me to involve people whose work I love and admire by sharing their creativity through this exhibition.”

Using one or more photographs as inspiration, the artists created their own interpretation and incorporated their artistic license to create unique works of art.  The exhibit features narrative and representational art utilizing a variety of styles including impressionism, surrealism, abstract and outsider.  The work represents a wide range of media including paintings using oil, spray paint, watercolor and/or acrylic, mixed-media prints and drawings, as well as sculptural installations, neon, and more.

Artists include Jari “Werc” Alvarez, A.S. Ashley, Qathryn Brehm, Jesse Burgos, Gary Callahan, Diego Cardoso, Susie Chang, Jaime Colindres, Kikki Eder, Margaret Garcia, Clemente Garcia Lassaulx, Tom Garner, Kristopher Gee, Yolanda Gonzalez, Jacinto Guevara, Christian Hernandez, Javi Herrera, Miriam Jackson, Jeremy Thomas Kunkel, George Labrada, Bonnie Lambert, Lauren Langford, Leba, Lili Lakich, Tod Lychkoff, Ted Meyer, Colette Miller, Patricia R. Mitchell, Alberto Miyares, J.W. Pippen, Wenceslao Quiroz, Patti Lou Richardson, Rick Robinson, Sandy Rodriguez, Alex Schaefer, SEK, ShadowMonsterBear, Roderick Smith, Anna Stump, Bob Ujszaszi, and Jaime “Germs” Zacarias.

For more information about “MUSE-ings,” Art Share L.A. is a community art center that is a sanctuary for the arts and their creators, providing 30 live/work units and 14,000 sq. ft of creative space in Downtown Los Angeles. Stay tuned on Facebook/ArtShareLA.  For questions, please email

Richardson Banks, Melissa-Lavender tree and street art near Challenge Creamery

BOOK: Signed copies of “MUSE-ings” are locally available at The Pie Hole, 714 Traction Ave., Los Angeles. The book is also available nationally through at Signed copies of the book and photographic prints can also be purchased through the photographer’s website

EXHIBIT: “MUSE-ings:  Snapshots of the Arts District,” featuring 50 photographs from the book, as well as work by 41 L.A. artists inspired by the images, is on view January 18 through February 8 at the Warehouse Gallery of Art Share L.A., 801 E. 4th Place, Los Angeles. Free. Info at
Saturday, January 18 @ 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.  Launch party for the book and opening reception for the exhibit. Free.
Saturday, February 8 @ 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.  Closing reception and book signing. Free.

EVENTS: Thursday, February 13, Melissa Richardson Banks is the featured artist in the Downtown Art Walk’s Art Walk Lounge at 634 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles.  Books and prints will be available for sale.

Praise for “MUSE-ings: Snapshots of the Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles” by Melissa Richardson Banks:

Melissa Richardson Banks is our secret eyes, finding the secret light that illuminates the secrets of an ever-changing neighborhood and bringing them out into plain sight so that they are secrets no more. ~ Cheech Marin, collector, art advocate and entertainer

Melissa Richardson Banks offers a poignant long-form photo-essay chronicling the changing contours of a singular place and time. Her taste for saturated color is met by the neighborhood’s organic proliferation of street art and industrial palimpsests. Her instinct for painterly detail appreciates the way rail tracks or light posts recede just so, the way the sun paints the sky and myriad reflections paint each other, and the peculiar architectural romance of the moribund manufacturing sector. In the tradition of classic street-photographers like Eugène Atget and Henri Cartier-Bresson, her images capture a specific sense of place that looks like poetry, but does the job of documentary. Her unerring eye for the rhythms of her environment approaches the power of, if not nature exactly, then the thing that people like us chooses instead of nature. ~ Shana Nys Dambrot – art critic, Whitehot Magazine

Great artists have flocked to Tumblr to share their work for the digital world to see. Unfortunately, those creative minds usually forget about Tumblr within a few weeks after creating it. That’s why Melissa Richardson Banks’ online anthology of downtown Los Angeles’ Art District, Downtown Muse, is such a treat. Richardson Banks shares her “fly-on-the-wall” view of street scenes and local stories a couple times a day. Every day. And if you want to get the offline experience of her Tumblr, she offers free neighborhood tours weekly. ~ Judge, 2013 LA Weekly Web Award.

Paris Photo Los Angeles

Paris Photo

Paris Photo was created in 1996 and is the most prestigious art fair dedicated  to historical and contemporary photography. This fair takes place annually at the Grand Palais in Paris mid-November and at theParamount Pictures Studios in Los Angeles at the end of April.

Over the past 16 years, Paris Photo has become a significant event for collectors of contemporary and modern art, photography professionals, artists,  as well as for an ever-growing audience of art appreciators. Each edition is unique and brings together a distinguished selection of exhibitors with diverse collections focused on the photographic medium. A public program is also an important component of the fairs which is built around cultural events involving artists, art world professionals, collectors, and cultural institutions.

Enriched by the unique cultural environment of these two cities, Paris Photo  offers its visitors an unsurpassed experience in two historic locations which bring together all the different trends in photography.

Paramount Pictures Studios
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038
United States


Download fair map (pdf, 568 KB)


Friday, April 26 – 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Saturday April 27 – 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Sunday April 28 – 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm


Full rate Entry: $28
Student Entry: $20
Catalog: $20
Bundle 1 entry + catalog: $40
Children under 12 = Free Admission with Adult.

“We Were In Sicily” (Revisited), Photographs by Rachel Roze

“We Were In Sicily” (Revisited)

Photographs by Rachel Roze

Opening Reception
Saturday Oct. 20th (7-10pm)

October 20th – November 11th

Edgar Varela Fine Arts (EVFA)
727 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014

EVFA is pleased to present a revisiting of Rachel Roze’s solo show, We Were In Sicily, a selection of work from Il Pesce Pazzo. Here are a couple statements about this collection of works.

+The collection of photographs taken in the summer of 2011 and shot entirely in film showcases her 40-day trip in Sicily, Italy. An enticing invitation to her Italian peregrination, her works offer stills flooded with sexuality, nationality, and the naked truth of seductive youth. Voluntarily, the viewer joins Roze in exploring the female body, men, and a culture of lust and the content. Playfully pushing the boundaries between personal and shared, Il Pesce Pazzo infiltrates the viewer into a sea of curiosity while the heat of the city, the men, and the markets, shower the voyeuristic onlooker. Layers of affection and admiration meet a hot and sticky meat-market, and with religion on every wall and the nude on every floor, Roze beautifully appropriates the rediscovery and documentation of the illicit. The onlooker can’t help but join Roze in her escapades into the grainy crevices of sex, and Sicily.
– Elena Parasco

+Photographer Rachel Roze’s “We Were in Sicily” is not subtle at first glance, but take a longer look, because you are going to want to, and you will find layers upon layers in a singular composition. The work was all done on film, not Instagram, and has a quality that feels vintage, although it was made during a 40-day trip to Sicily, Italy, in the summer of 2011. The work has sexually charged overtones, while the muted tones give an old-world romance quality. However, I urge you to not only focus on the obvious ones. Roze views the city and her perspective offers a sense of familiarity and complete immersion that is unlike anything a tourist could accomplish.
– Kathy M.Y. Pyon, LA Times

About Rachel Roze:
“I have a lot of chameleon qualities, I get very absorbed in my surroundings”
River Phoenix

I grew up in an untraditional family in a traditional suburb outside of New York City; a place where artists were not appreciated and the norm was. Craving change, I packed my bags at nineteen and decided to move myself to California; I wanted to live “over the rainbow,” something about California was calling me. I arrived in California for the first time and quickly realized I had accidentally rented a room in a trailer park, not in an apartment, in a strange area known as Ojai. Living in that trailer park for almost a year, before later moving to LA, flipped my whole world around. I needed to capture everything, the vividness, the chaos; I needed to capture my surroundings. This is where I picked up photography. It was my way of holding on to the newness of this strange place, like keeping a visual journal. I spent the following years in LA developing my hobby into a profession, working with a handful of well-known photographers and artists, who helped guide my craft, and along the way graduated from Brooks Institute Of Photography with a Bachelors degree in Visual Communication. My work is a look into my life, capturing moments, people, and myself on a daily basis; I capture my surroundings.

Edgar Varela Fine Arts is dedicated to exhibiting compelling work from exciting emerging and mid-career artists as well as providing a platform for interaction and conversation about the contemporary art world. EVFA also curates and produces relevant cultural happenings that impact the perception on traditional art roles in society. The gallery space is open from Wednesday to Saturday from 12pm to 6pm and by appointment. For more information call Edgar Varela at 213-604-3634, e-mail at or visit