Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ginger & Luke Van Hook Exhibition at the Inglewood Library

"Bird of Paradise" Photography by Ginger Van Hook





"Green Horse Bar" Oil on Panel Plein Air Painting by Luke Van Hook

Anne Cheek La Rose * Guest Blogger * Artist Reviewer

I am Anne Cheek La Rose, and it is my pleasure to be your “guest blogger as we couldn’t have Ginger Van Hook review her own work and that of her husband, Luke.  Their joint exhibit will be on view at the main Inglewood Public Library for the month of July.  

Ladies first, and this is also how one sees the exhibit entering the Library.  The focus of this exhibit is Inglewood, specifically the north end; the gardens of the quaint bungalows that sit on the streets north of Centinela and east of La Brea.  This is the heart of the Inglewood Art Colony.

 Ginger Van Hook chose flora for her subject, but looking at her work, I see her as a portraitist.  Now, Ginger may not think of herself in this way, but it occurred to me, as I viewed the series and the names of each work, that she has, indeed, portrayed her artist-friends as flowers from their respective gardens.  All are glorious in their color, but the one that touched me most is the singular sweet pea blossom from the garden of recently deceased Dustin Shuler.  Dustin was as singular an artist and person as this sweet pea.  It’s a lovely homage to a fallen friend.

The Bird of Paradise is exactly the flower for the bold, out-spoken artist/owner of that garden.  The bright and frilly red stalk from Renee’s yard perfectly captures her feminine side.  The one photograph that doesn’t seem to be a perfect fit is the purple sage.  It is marvelously angular in composition and hints at a jungle-esque retreat in which the other flowers could get lost in meditation.  So, it is actually the anchor for these floral portraits.

Ginger is a Photographer/Writer/Artist covering a myriad of subjects in addition to this blog about fellow resident artist’s work.  She was born in Argentina and has a wide knowledge of art, thanks to both parents and grandparents.  She has worked as a photographer for 20 years, but embraced the digital medium about 10 years ago and earned her MFA in writing/photography
 at Otis College of Art and Design right here in Los Angeles where Inglewood neighbors 
with the LAX Airport.

Fine Art Trekking is her umbrella blog spot name.  As a Fine Arts Journalist, Ginger covers the fine arts in a variety of communities.  She is also on the Otis Art Institute’s faculty for Continuing Education Department where she instructs in Color Photography.   

Now, to the other half of this husband-and-wife artist team . . .

Luke Van Hook’s work is visually like a big, comfortable easy chair.  His subjects seem familiar, even if one has never seen them before. 

Every good art colony has a watering hole, and Luke found the Green Horse Bar in Inglewood.  There’s a texture, with lumps and bumps, to Luke’s work that gives this image all the well-wornness of the block on which the bar sits.  This texture also imparts - using very few cars - the hustle and bustle of this main thoroughfare; for Centinela Avenue never sleeps.

The other work Luke has on view is an LA landscape.  It is of downtown LA and Chavez Ravine and is classic in it’s depiction of freeways, bridges, power poles, and houses in the distance.  This has a dream-like quality and takes one back to the LA of yesteryear, it is a ‘forever LA’ kind of work.

Both paintings are not recent and both are plein air, which makes them even more wonderful.  I’ll put Luke on notice here, I’d like to have Downtown & Chavez Ravine, but I’m afraid to ask the price.  Artists can seldom afford one another’s work.

Luke, too, has an exotic birthplace – Turen, Indonesia.  Though he has been an artist much longer, Luke was encouraged by his mother-in-law to attend art school.  He did so, and took an BFA at Otis in 2004.  He’s been part of several group exhibits around Los Angeles since graduating.  His works can also be found in several private collections in LA.

The Van Hook’s work together periodically and it’s so nice to see disciplines that compliment rather than compete.  On the human side, one would be hard-pressed to find two more giving and fun folks.

Downtown & Chavez Ravine  Oil on Panel
Plein Air Painting Luke Van Hook   72” x 48”

Inglewood Public Library Exhibition of works 
by  Luke Van Hook on display through July 31st. 2010

Inglewood Public Library Exhibition of works 
by Ginger Van Hook on display through July 31st. 2010

Ginger Van Hook promotes art exhibition 
at the Inglewood Public Library through July 2010.
Photo by Luke Van Hook
Ginger and Luke Van Hook Exhibition 
Inglewood Library 2010 

The Inglewood Public Library can be accessed from 
La Brea Blvd. by turning onto Regent Street.

"Blooming Inglewood" Digital Photograph by Ginger Van Hook

The Inglewood Public Library on Manchester Blvd.  is under the flight path of airplanes flying into and out of Los Angeles International Airport. On clear days such as this, one may witness the beauty of the airplanes against the blue skies sprinkled with white clouds and the sun brilliantly mirrored against the dark tinted transparent window walls of the Inglewood Library. Inglewood, California. 
Photographs 2010 copyright by Ginger Van Hook

Inglewood Public Library, Los Angeles County, California. 
Photo by Ginger Van Hook. copyright 2010

Inglewood City Hall, Inglewood, California. 
Photo by Ginger Van Hook Copyright 2010
The Gladys Waddingham Lecture Hall in the Plaza 
of the Inglewood Public Library, Inglewood, California. 
Photo by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2010
Sculpture Relief Artwork in the plaza of the Inglewood Public Library.
 Inglewood, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2010

Administration buildings facing Regent Street. Inglewood, California 
Photo by Ginger Van Hook. copyright 2010

A block over and to the right from Regent Street one will find the Market Street Plaza in Inglewood, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook. copyright 2010

Inglewood Plaza facing Market Street on the corner of Florence Blvd., 
Inglewood, California.
Photo by Ginger Van Hook. copyright 2010

Field of flowers in an open lot on the four corners of 
La Brea Blvd., Market Street, Florence Blvd., Regent Street.
Inglewood, California "Blooming Inglewood" Photo series by Ginger Van Hook
copyright. 2010

"Blooming Inglewood" photo series by Ginger Van Hook, 2010

Inglewood Landscape. "Blooming Inglewood" 
Photography Series by Ginger Van Hook. 2010 copyright

Ginger Van Hook. Artist. Photographer.    “BLOOMING INGLEWOOD”   
Flower Series From Inglewood, California.

            I picked these flowers for you, Inglewood, and no flowers were harmed in the picking during this nature walk. Flowers mean a great deal of many things to many people. To me, the kindly people in my life are the flowers residing in my soul. I walk our dogs in the city of Inglewood every day and I pass gorgeous blossoms, which remind me of the artists who live and work in my community.  For the Inglewood Library Exhibition, I decided to take a small ‘Coolpix Nikon’ digital camera with me on one of our dog walks to demonstrate the aesthetics of our LIVE-WORK community of Inglewood. I started the walk along Hargrave Street and captured the purple sage along the fence of my neighbor and artist friend Jill Lundin, whose collage and artistic shoes (full of glitter, flowers and miniature birds) were recently exhibited in a fancy gallery in Santa Monica.   I continued along Hargrave St., passed the little park, and went along Marlborough St. rounding the corner at Hyde Park, and was reminded of my friend and artist Renee Fox. Her images of seeds, leaves and petals drawn in color pencil leave me in awe at the intensity of her details. You may be familiar with Renee Fox because about 3-4 years ago she initiated the Inglewood Open Studios Tour with her husband, artist and abstract painter Kenneth Ober. Since then, Inglewood has witnessed a metamorphosis of the art community. I walked back along Marlborough St. and the little park, avoiding a beautiful white Akida dog next to Renee’s studio because my dogs, Sasha and Pyro get all riled up around other dogs.
            I wound around to Ellis St. where I was reminded of the artist and Community Vice Chair of the Inglewood Arts Commission, Ms. Anne Cheek La Rose. She is the artist who is responsible for initiating the Inglewood Library Exhibitions by putting the word into the ear of the Director of the Inglewood Library, Bruce Johnson, thus making a unique difference in the art community as well. Anne has the most beautiful ‘birds of paradise’ in her garden!   Continuing our walk, took us near La Brea Boulevard when I discovered the cluster of ‘sweetpeas’ on the vine and where from I could see the studio doors of an artist who has recently passed away, Mr. Dustin Schuler. I met our long time resident of Inglewood during the Third Annual Inglewood Open Studios tour last year. I spent some time getting to learn of his artwork, touring his studio and enjoying several art shows with he and his wife. I was dismayed that by the time I had gotten to know and like Dustin, as well as his lovely wife Karen, I was receiving word that he had passed this year. There is no better flower to describe our kindly and talented Inglewood artist, Dustin Schuler than the delicate and fragile sweet pea for the man who was a sweet gentleman and this flower is my memory of him.
            We kept walking around the corner of the Laundromat and made a complete circle to come back to Hargrave Street on our return walk home when I was reminded of my friend and neighbor Tana Rosales who is an artist appreciator that cultivates her flowers as artistically as she cultivates her children.  I’ve often found her here at the Inglewood Library, checking out books with her young sons, Joel Jr. and Kalebh. She also often calls me to come over and photograph one of her emerging blossoms. I am gifted with the pleasant company of beautiful blooms in our community both the people and the flowers. This series of flower friends is too extensive to adequately cover on this particular wall as our community has grown in size and number and I am blessed by simply existing in their midst. If you’d like to see more of these talented artists and blossoming flowers of Inglewood please visit my blogs:

Pyro and Sasha Van Hook on a nature walk in Inglewood, California. 
Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Luke Van Hook. Painter, Draftsman          

Plein-Air Paintings from Los Angeles, California.

These two paintings represent some of my work and focus from a few years back. I enjoy the struggles and rewards of painting from life. They make me feel excited and free still when I look at them. The Green Horse Bar is located on Centinela and I set up my easel right across the street to get the best angle. I just could not resist painting this huge horse on top of this building. Then one day shortly after my wife Ginger decided to take me inside the Green Horse for my birthday, we got to know some of the locals who call the Green Horse their watering hole and learned its history, which dates from the early 60’s. I painted D-Town and Chavez Ravine a few months earlier from Elysian park looking towards Dodger Stadium and the 110 Freeway into downtown. It was windy that day and extremely difficult to keep the easel and painting from blowing away into the Metro Transit Authorities train yard down below. Struggles and rewards like these add character to a work of art and make me proud to now call myself an Angeleno Artist. After ten years, we are now part of this intriguing and complex community called Inglewood. We have a diverse community of artists here and we are thriving and adding to the story of this sophisticated Southern Californian City. I want to additionally thank all those involved in supporting the LIVE-WORK initiative for Inglewood so that us artists can feel at home. THANK YOU. If you’d like to see what I’m painting now, please visit my website at www.lukevanhook.com.

Luke and Ginger Van Hook Art Exhibition 
at the Inglewood Public Library through July 2010. 
Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California
Photo by Luis Ingels. copyright 2009