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Whole Lotta’ Love On Display

KGartopen 185Whole Lotta Love – Love Potion #9 Art Exhibit at Gallery 525

By Demitri Corbin

Photo Credit: Mary M. Long

On Saturday evening, Feb. 8,  Gallery 525 hosted an artists’ reception for it latest exhibit, Love Potion #9.

The exhibit of small works measuring 9 X 9 inches boasts the work of 30 artists!  The artists took the Valentine-themed show to heart (truly no pun intended), producing vibrant and eclectic show highlighting artists from in and outside the Bubble.  The show’s curators are Gallery 525 owners Kelly Luscombe-Bea and Sooz Glazebrook.

The opening reception began at 5 and when I arrived after a great meal at Papa Lennon’s (they do such a great job!) a crowd was already gathering.   Within no time the crowd swelled and a spectacular event was underway.  I found Kelly and we stole away to the backstage area and had a quick chat.

DC:  I’ve been to Gallery 102 and Porch Gallery but I’ve not had a chance to get here before.  When did you open?

KLB:  2 years ago.  We started with a couple of artists and kept rolling.  There are a lot of deserving artists who are great but no one knows about them.  There are lot of Ojai artists that don’t feel comfortable in the art world here, so the purpose is to show the talent that Ojai has and give them exposure.  And we are selective …

DC:  We?

KLB:  Myself and Sooz Glazebrook.

DC:  Tell me about the beginning.

KLB:  The space opened in 2011 with different people who pulled out of the gallery 3 months in, so Sooz and I took over and began recognizing both emerging and established artists…we want to celebrate the fun and joy of creation, so Love Potion #9, the song inspired this show.  We wanted to do something fun for Valentine with the small works of 9X9 …

DC:  Give me an example of one of the emerging artists.

KLB:  Khalil Lennon, we found her working next door at Papa Lennon’s, she’s 21 or so.  She’s a wonderful new artist…we’ve did this same show one year ago.  Every year we have an open call for artists, everyone can submit.  This gives everyone in town a chance to submit once a year.

DC:  Give me some highlights in the show.

KLB:  Oh, there are so many … Carmen (Abelleira) always … Dianne Bennett, Bruce Samia – he’s up from Hollywood, and Nikki Sims, Ahde Lahti, Roberto Rodriguez … it’s about celebrating creativity, the genius in art. The gallery is also a music venue and small performance space.  It’s all about highlighting the talent that’s right amongst us.

The sound of applause alerted us to a performance starting onstage.

DC:  Thanks Kelly, I think we’d better get back to the party.

KLB:  Thank you, Demitri!

Love Potion #9, the 2nd Annual Small Works show features the work of over 30 artists, is on display at Gallery 525 through March 8.  Gallery 525 is located at 525 W.  El Roblar Ave., Ojai, CA.  For more information visitwww.gallery525.com