VPAM opening ceremony produces strong debut

by Sergio Berrueta

The Vincent Price Art Museum filled its three floors with visitors thrilled to interact with the three artists in attendance for the opening reception of their exhibits last Saturday night.

“I am thrilled with the turnout. The exciting part is the range of age from children to adult,” VPAM Director Karen Rapp said.

“Santa Ana Condition: John Valadez,” an exhibit by ELAC alum John Valadez, focusing on the Chicano lifestyles in East Los Angeles, past and present.

“When You Sleep: A Study of Shizu Saldamando” and “La Luz de Germs” by Jaime ‘Germs’ Zacarias had opening receptions as well, despite having opened on Sept. 10.

Valadez was ecstatic about his exhibit opening up for a new generation of East LA residents.

“I think it is still the way it was back then. People change with different styles, but the same drama is in the culture,” Valadez said.

The three artists walked around their exhibits talking with those who had questions regarding their artwork.

“It was an awesome turn-out and I’m so glad I got to be a part of such an amazing line-up of artists,” Saldamando said.

Zacarias was enthusiastic about his exhibit being a part of such a group of artists as he did not only stay at his gallery as he wandered around to mingle among the crowd.

“It’s amazing. I get to be with a lot of my peers. Each of them inspire me and my art every day,” Zacarias said.

Saldamando’s realistic influence, her friends, and unique use of materials, create art, which provides balance to Valadez’s broad sense of influence and traditional style.

“Shizu has influences of Valadez, but she has her own perspective,” Rapp said, “Shizu uses her friends as the majority of her subjects, where most of John’s subjects are complete strangers. Shizu narrows it down while John has it broad.”

With these three artists on display, it delivers a wonderous look at the culture of today and the culture of the past.

“It is impressive with Valadez’s years of experience next to two 30-something artists that show their own style and influence,” Rapp said, “To have Valadez’s exhibit, with art from his 30 years of work, to art produced this summer is quite thrilling.”

All three exhibits close on Dec. 7.

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