Best places to shop for your art geek

With Pasadena City College and Art Center in our area as well as ArtNight, how can Pasadenans not be thinking about art. So art gifts should be perfect for someone you know.

Finding a gift for your artist is pretty easy.

  1. Gift certificates from Michael’s, Dick Blick or Jo-Ann Fabrics.
  2. For metalsmith’s or jewelry makers, try a gift certificate from Rio Grande or Otto Frei.
  3. For enamelists, try a gift certificate for a class in Sierra Madre, Schlaifer’s Enameling Supplies LLC (closed for Winter break), Rio Grande.
  4. Your ceramicist, might enjoy a gift certificate from Aardvark Clay and Supplies.
  5. If your artist into stained glass? Try the Eagle Rock Stained Glass and Fused Supplies of Los Angeles.
  6. Into leather? Turn to Tandy Leathercraft and Leather Craft Supplies.
  7. Books from our favorite local museums. I love limited edition exhibition books, even if I wasn’t able to see the exhibit, many of the exhibition books give you great photos and information that isn’t readily available anywhere unless you search several different sites. Try the Huntington Library or the Norton Simon. If you know someone with an interest in Asia, you can’t miss with the Pacific Asia Museum.
  8. Locally made jewelry  can also be found at the Pasadena Museum of History and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. PMCA is almost right next to the Pacific Asia Museum and you can shop without actually going into the museum.
  9. Buy a membership to any of the museums or the three local botanic gardens (Los Angeles Arboretum, Huntington Library and Descanso).
  10. A trip to or membership in The Gamble House. The bookstore has the wonderful “Gamble House: Greene and Greene” ($22.95).

Notable books from the Huntington Library include “One Hundred Years in the Huntington’s Japanese Garden: Harmony with Nature” ($45), the exhibition catalogue for “Face to Face: Flanders, Florence, and Renaissance Painting” ($29.95) and “The Art of Wealth: The Huntingtons in the Gilded Age” ($40).

Press release: Member appreciation days

Member Appreciation Days

Friday, Saturday, & Sunday; November 29 through December 1*


PMH is pleased to join with cultural venues throughout Southern California for this exclusive holiday shopping opportunity for Museum Members over the Thanksgiving weekend. If you are a member of any one of the 17 participating institutions, you will receive reciprocal free admission at each venue (excluding entry to special ticketed events) plus 20% off store purchases when you show your membership card. What better way to enjoy holiday shopping and treat yourself to a cultural outing? The Museum Store at PMH will offer samples of locally made jams while you shop. Three other Pasadena museums are part of this extraordinary offer: Kidspace Children’s Museum, Pasadena Museum of California Art, and Pacific Asia Museum. View a complete list of participating M.A.D.ness institutions.

Not a PMH member? Join today to receive your membership card in time to enjoy the M.A.D.ness!


*Please note that some institutions, including PMH, are participating on Saturday & Sunday only.

ArtNight in Pasadena

I love ArtNight in Pasadena. It’s a time to eat and meet and see what makes Pasadena so great–its community and its art. You don’t have to worry about parking, but you do have to worry about time–do you have enough time to see it all?! ArtNight starts at 6 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m.

Alliance Française de Pasadena
Enter a breathing world of colors; where stillness and movement beat to the same tempo. Valerie Daval is an established French artist based in Pasadena.
Minigrant recipient: Dean Vivirito
Armory Center for the Arts
Home Away is a group exhibition that features nine contemporary artists who live and work in the Los Angeles area as well as in locations throughout Asia and Latin America.
Minigrant recipient: Buddy Zapata 
Art Center College of Design
Williamson Gallery: Lynn Aldrich gathers materials from hardware stores and construction yards. Experience their beguiling transformation in the exhibition Un/Common Objects. Student Gallery: just amazing stuff! 


artWORKS Teen Center
Experience teens’ art, music, new media and digital stories, while touring the recording studio and participating in free family art-making workshops. artWORKS is a collaboration of Learning Works, the Armory Center for the Arts and Flintridge Center. 
Boston Court Performing Arts Center
Boston Court presents its 6th Annual Art Show featuring Southern California visual artists.
Minigrant recipient: John O’Brien
Kidspace Children’s Museum
The Imagination Workshop collaborates with creativity and tinkering through a knitted participatory installation, spinning topper art, drawbots, doodle races and performances beyond the imagination. 
Lineage Performing Art Center
Join Lineage Dance Company and guest artists for an inspiring evening of live music and dance.
Minigrant recipient: Ecos de Espaῆa
MUSE/IQUE performs a counter-conventional concert that will blend orchestra and hip-hop for a fun dance party on the Plaza of our Civic Center.
Norton Simon Museum
Enjoy Beyond Brancusi: The Space of Sculpture and Breaking Ground: 20th-Century Latin American Art at the Norton Simon Museum, as well as centuries of masterpieces.
Offramp Gallery
The Fifth Anniversary Group Exhibition features work by twelve contemporary California artists with a performance in the garden by Michael Lewis Miller titled Bucket List. Also, live Jazz by the Julie Miwa Quintet. 
One Colorado
One Colorado will offer live music and performance in its beautiful courtyard set amongst historical architecture that dates back to the 1800s. 
Pacific Asia Museum
Enjoy exhibitions including Constructed Visions: New Media From Korea and The Garden in Asia as well as the newly reopened Chinese Gallery. 
Pasadena City College
Spanning both the new Boone Family Gallery and the quad gallery, PCC inaugurates its new Center for the Arts with an exhibition by faculty artists. 
Pasadena City Hall
City Hall is the hub for all the ArtNight shuttles, as well as a site of lively musical entertainment. Freewaves and the public collaborate on an interactive work, Pares, Pairs. Performers with handheld projectors roam the hub while projecting micro poems on all who cross their paths.
Minigrant recipient: My Hawaii
Pasadena Library Central Branch
A STORY OVER TIME: Enjoy family fun activities! Meet your favorite storybook characters. Enjoy musical performances, live theatre, art, craft making, comics creators, ukulele music.
Minigrant recipients: Reiyukai America, Crown City Symphony, Theatre Americana
Pasadena Museum of California Art
Come see Sam Francis: Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism from California Collections, Ignite! The Art of Sustainability, and the installation Somewhere in Between: Los Angeles
Pasadena Museum of History
Alexander McQueen, Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang – I Do! I Do! Part IIfeatures stunning wedding gowns and captivating personal stories from 1950-present.
Minigrant recipient: Jason Sulkin
Pennington Dance Group @ ARC
The Pennington Dance Group (PDG) presents a kinetic evening of dance works and dialogues with artists, in PDG’s creative home/theater, A ROOM TO CREATE (ARC) Pasadena.
Side Street Projects
Psychic Barber is a new public artwork by artist collective Finishing School with Jean Robison and Yucef Merhi, which includes a participatory sculpture.
Minigrant recipient: Jean Robison

Food Trucks:

Armory Center for the Arts | Coolhaus
Armory Center for the Arts | Heirloom LA
artWORKS | Tito’s Tacos
Pasadena Museum of History | Pie ‘n Burger
Pacific Asia Museum | India Jones
Pacific Asia Museum | Mandoline Grill
Pacific Asia Museum | Mighty Boba
Pacific Asia Museum | Paradise Cookies
Pacific Asia Museum | Waffles deLiege
Pasadena Museum of California Art | Paradise Cookies
Pennington Dance Group @ ARC | Slammin Sliders
Side Street Projects | Don Chow

ArtNight returns on March 8

Enjoy a free evening of art, music and entertainment as Pasadena’s most prominent arts and cultural institutions swing open their doors. Last fall, 14,000 people experienced the excitement of ArtNight

Alliance Française de Pasadena
Christophe Deluy was born and learned the colors in Provence. He traded the French hills for the summit of the San Gabriel mountain, eyes in the sky.

Armory Center for the Arts
Connie Samaras: Tales of Tomorrow, a photographic survey, features the social and economic construction of “future imaginaries” and the variable membrane between fiction and real world.

Art Center College of Design
Williamson Gallery: From graphics studio M/M Paris, over 100 large-scale posters capture the rapid pulse and dynamic rhythms of 21st-century culture. Student Gallery: design rocks!

artWORKS Teen Center
Experience teens’ art, design, music and new media. artWORKS is a collaboration of Learning Works, the Armory Center for the Arts and Flintridge Center. Enjoy, free family art-making workshops, as well.

Lineage Performing Art Center
Lineage Dance joins Chris Pierce to bring the healing power of dance and music together in an exciting, soul-stirring live performance.

Norton Simon Museum
Enjoy the opening night of “monument” on the survival of Mrs. Reppin: An Artwork by Dan Flavin, as well as centuries of masterpieces on permanent view.

Pacific Asia Museum
Enjoy exhibitions The Garden in Asia, The Art of Continuity: Revering our Ancestors, Marking Transitions: Ceremonial Art in Indonesia and the final weekend of Kimono in the 20th Century.

Pasadena City Hall
City hall is the hub for all the ArtNight shuttles, as well as a site of lively musical entertainment

Pasadena Museum of California Art
Join us for California Scene Paintings from the 1930s-1960s, Christopher Miles’ painting-sculpture hybrids, and John O’Brien’s installation inspired by “meandering” along the Arroyo Seco Parkway.

Pasadena Museum of History
I Do! I Do! Pasadena Ties the Knot, spotlights the wedding dress as icon of social customs, featuring 35+ vintage gowns from 1860 to 1950.

Shumei Arts Council
The dynamic drumming performances (half-hour each) by Makoto Taiko starting at 6:15, 7:15, 8:15, and 9:15 pm. Also, Bill Ellzey’s stunning sunrise photographs.

What to do for New Year’s in Pasadena

When New Year’s Eve approaches, Pasadena both grinds to a halt and spins into a frenzy. People working on the Tournament of Roses Parade floats are usually feverishly putting on fresh flowers until the early hours of the morning. The parade horse people are camping out and pulling an all-nighter on the freeway braiding the manes and tails of their horses and trying to keep warm.

Yet for those who aren’t involved in the actual parade or football game, things slow down. Offices close because no one can get into Old Pas or other areas on the parade route. And many streets are blocked off. Some people just leave Pasadena. I used to take the Gold Line to Downtown Los Angeles and then the Amtrak to San Diego  or drive up and off to Orange County’s South Coast Plaza.

Because many employees can’t get to their place of work, many attractions are closed on New Year’s Day including the Huntington Library, Pacific Asia Museum, the Pasadena Museum of California Art and the Norton Simon. If you can (or plan ahead and see these attractions on Monday, 31 December 2012), stick around and see these beautiful institutions that make Pasadena unique.

If you’re new to the area or just visiting, you’ll want to be sure to see other sights in Pasadena. Want to get away from the madding crowd? Try the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanic Gardens. This might not be spring, but there’s plenty blooming there. Some of the trails (such as the Australian Garden or the Desert Garden) are rarely traveled and you can get some solitude. The Rose Garden isn’t in its prime, but there are still flowers blooming. In the Desert Garden, the succulents are blooming, especially the aloes.

There are also the Chinese Garden and the nearby Japanese Garden. When I was there last week, the gingko trees had turned yellow and the leaves were just beginning to fall. The camellia bushes are close to blooming. Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesdays) from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. you can get something to eat at the Chinese Garden Tea House.  We tried the garlic shrimp spring roll for $6.95 and the Cantonese short ribs soup with rice noodles for $11.95.

If you can think ahead, make reservations for the Tea Room. For $27.99 per person (plus tax) you get unlimited tea and visits to the buffet of savory finger sandwiches, cheeses, fresh fruit, seasonal salads, deserts and scones.

Highlights of the Art Collections are “The Blue Boy” by Thomas Gainsborough (circa 1770), but the Huntington also has one of the major Lincoln collections in the nation and two exhibits explore that time era: “A Strange and Fearful Interest: Death, Mourning, Memories and the American Civil War” which ends 14 January 2013 and “A Just Cause: Voices of the American Civil War” which ends 7 January 2013.

If you like variety, you can hit the Pacific Asia Museum and the Pasadena Museum of California Art which are just one-building away from each other off of Union. That’s just north of Colorado and East of Los Robles.  Garden lovers stop by and see “The Garden in Asia” exhibit which looks at objects that illustrates the importance of the garden in Asia. Asian cultures revere their elders and this is explored in “The Art of Continuity: Revering our Elders.”  There’s also an exhibit on ceremonial art in Indonesia and the “Kimono in the 20th Century.”

The Pasadena Museum of California Art has exhibit on various artists such as Greta Magnusson Grossman (“A Car and Some Shorts”), Paul Landacre (“White on Black: The Modernist Prints of Paul Landacre”), and textile artist Guillermo Bert.

The Norton Simon Museum is at the very beginning of the Tournament of Roses Parade  and is open New Year’s Eve from 12 noon until 4 p.m., but close on New Year’s Day. The museum is deceptively small and has a lovely little garden. What you’ll really want to see if Van Gogh’s 1889 “Self-Portrait” which is on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Other current exhibits include the still lifes (“Significant Objects: The Spell of Still Life”) and Connor Evert lithographs (“Studies in Desperation: A Suite by Connor Evert”).

In nearby Arcadia, the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is open on New Year’s Day. You’ve probably seen the Queen Anne Cottage on TV. Built in 1885 and now considered on the National Register of Historic Places, the building was used for the opening sequence of the TV show “Fantasy Island” and the lagoon near it was used for a sequence in one of the Tarzan movies.

The Descanso Gardens in Flintridge La Cañada, is just down the 210 from Pasadena and is open every day except Christmas Day. The camellia forest should be about ready to bloom.  If you’re lucky the Boddy House, home of E. Manchester Boddy, the founder of Descanso Gardens, will be open. Call ahead to check.

Other things to do include a visit to one of the area Chinatowns–Downtown Los Angeles, Alhambra, Monterey Park and Arcadia. Check on Yelp for recommendations. The San Gabriel Valley has excellent Chinese food available.

January 1, is just the beginning of New Year’s celebrations because there’s still the Chinese New Year’s (in February) and the Persian New Year’s (in March).  Happy New Year!

For information about the parade route, street closures or the football game, visit the Tournament of Roses website.

Free museum weekend in January


Free Admission Days January 26th and 27th 2013

In a joint effort to present the arts and culture to the diverse and myriad communities in Southern California, the Museum Marketing Roundtable announces the eighth annual ‘Museums Free-For-All’ Saturday January 26th and Sunday January 27th. The museums—presenting art, cultural heritage, natural history, and science—will open their doors and invite visitors free of charge.*

Annenberg Space for Photography: Both Days

The Autry: Both Days

California African American Museum: Both Days

California Science Center**: Both Days

Craft and Folk Art Museum: Sunday, January 27th ONLY

Fowler Museum at UCLA: Both Days

Hammer Museum: Both Days

The Getty Center: Both Days

The Getty Villa***: Both Days

Los Angeles County Museum of Art****: Sunday, January 27th ONLY

The Museum of Contemporary Art: Both Days

Museum of Latin American Art: Both Days

The Museum of Tolerance*****: Sunday, January 27th ONLY

Pacific Asia Museum: Sunday, January 27th ONLY

The Paley Center for Media: Both Days

Pasadena Museum of California Art: Sunday, January 27th ONLY

Santa Monica Museum of Art: Saturday, January 26th ONLY

Skirball Cultural Center******: Both Days

University Art Museum, CSULB: Both Days*******

*Regular parking fees apply. General museum admission only. May not apply to ticketed exhibitions.

**Timed tickets are required to see the Endeavour exhibition. Please visit

***Timed tickets are required. Visit

****Offer valid for general admission only. Does not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions Caravaggio and His Legacy and Stanley Kubrick.

***** Advance reservations are recommended as capacity is limited. Please see for hours and ticket information.

******Timed-entry tickets to the Noah’s Ark at the Skirball™ galleries will be on a walk-up, first-come, first-served basis on these dates, subject to availability.

*******The University Art Museum will only be open for an opening reception from 6-8pm on Saturday, January 26.

Tonight is ArtNight in Pasadena

Pasadena’s Spring ArtNight will feature paint-spewing army ducks, Japanese folding screens, satiric and seditious animated video shorts, pop-up galleries and teen- scene music and art workshops.  The event, set for Friday, March 9, is a great opportunity to bring the whole family out on the town in search of artistic inspiration and entertainment – all for free!


From 6 to 10 p.m. a dozen cultural venues will open their doors and the city of Pasadena will provide free shuttle service at each location. Walking is also an option as many of the venues are clustered downtown.  To join a bicycling group visit  For easy treats at modest prices, trendy food trucks will appear at a handful of venues.


While entry to each location is free, many of the host venues will also offer special discounts on merchandise or memberships with proof of Metro ridership, including 10 percent off store merchandise at the Pasadena Museum of California Art or 10 percent off the price of exhibition catalogues at the Armory Center for the Arts. Other venues will offer additional discounts on memberships.


ArtNight is a twice-yearly event made possible through ongoing partnership among many cultural institutions and the Cultural Affairs Division of the city of Pasadena and is sponsored by the Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission. For more information call (626) 744-7887. For accessibility and alternative formats call (626) 744-7062. Para español visite  Venues are:


Alliance Française

Voyages à travers l’Europe

Born in Belgium, Elisabeth Johns is an established artist based in San Marino, California. Her paintings are inspired by the beautiful sceneries encountered during her travels through Europe.


Art Center College of Design

From the earliest to the most recent images of the cosmos, don’t miss The History of Space Photography – the most comprehensive exhibition of its kind ever organized.


Armory Center for the Arts

See Richard Jackson’s Accidents in Abstract Painting, showcasing paint-spewing army ducks and paint-filled airplane wreckage. Plus, solo shows by Jocelyn Foye and Dawn Kasper.

artWORKS Teen Center

See teens’ stunning creations in art, design, music and new media. artWORKS is a collaboration of Learning Works, The Armory, Project Connect and The Flintridge Center.


Lineage Performing Arts Center

Enjoy contemporary dance and live music with Pasadena’s own Lineage Dance and Michelle Bloom. Choreographer Hilary Thomas partners with acclaimed singer-songwriter Bloom, presenting new works.


Norton Simon Museum

Enjoy Hans Memling’s Portrait of a Man, c. 1470-75, now on loan from The Frick Collection in New York, plus centuries of masterpieces on permanent view.


Pasadena City College

Satiric and seditious animated video shorts by multimedia artist Erin Cosgrove, plus live jazz and highlights from the PCC Cinema program.


Pacific Asia Museum

46 N. Los Robles: A History of the Pasadena Art Museum traces the development of the Pasadena Art Museum, focusing on its years in Pacific Asia Museum’s Grace Nicholson Building.


Pasadena Museum of California Art

Three new exhibitions, including L.A. RAW, which places post-war figurative art in historical context and examines the pivotal role played by L.A. artists from 1945-80.


Pasadena Museum of History

Contemporary Masters, Artistic Eden III, a collaboration with the Pasadena Art Gallery Association, features juried paintings of life in the San Gabriel Valley by nationally recognized painters.


Shumei Arts Council

Enjoy Robert Crowder’s special paintings on Byobu folding screens and panels, and dynamic Makoto Taiko drumming at 6:15, 7:15, 8:15 and 9:15 pm.


Side Street Projects

NewTown and Side Street Projects presents Untamed (parking) Spaces:

tents, trucks and trailers transformed into pop-up galleries, theaters and

stages.  Refreshments provided by Whole Foods Market on Arroyo.



LA RAW night at the Pasadena Museum of California Art

L.A. RAW Film Night #1

Robert Cremean, Hans Burkhardt, Ed Kienholz

L.A. RAW Film Night

Sunday, March 11 | 5:30 pm



Join us as we screen the following films in conjunction with L.A. RAW


Robert Cremean

Metaphor and Process: The Work of Robert Cremean


Directed by Patti Day

Production Design by Jim Day

Marguay Productions

25 min


Hans Burkhardt

Hans Burkhardt: The Artists’ World


Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Inc/Estate Films, Inc.

37 min


Ed Kienholz

The Story of an Artist


Written, produced, and directed by William Kronick, David L. Wolper Productions

25 min


RSVP (optional) to or on Facebook




Pasadena Museum of California Art

490 East Union Street

Pasadena, CA 91101



Hours | Wednesday – Sunday, 12-5pm

Admission | $7 adults, $5 students & seniors

Free first Friday of the month

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PMCA’s new exhibits engrossing and sometimes gross adult fare

When you enter an art museum in America, one isn’t shocked to see naked women served up as objects. That’s not what makes the three new exhibits at the Pasadena Museum of California Art adult.

There is nudity–bared female breasts, and in some situations it’s more about gritty realism than painting a pretty picture. What is likely to give some people pause is there is full frontal male nudity. This should shock Los Angeles theater goers, especially if you’ve been to a few plays in the smaller venues of Hollywood and most definitely if you hang out in West Hollywood. Yet this is Pasadena.

Other art pieces that give you pause is the large canvas that incorporates real human skulls. Don’t worry; they’re from Mexico and desecrating Mexican graves are okay, I guess.

In the Project Room, Nancy Baker Cahill’s “Fascinomas” is a multimedia installation with projected paintings (mostly monochromatic red). The hanging screen catches the images, but viewers can go behind the screen as well. A fascinoma is, medically speaking, an unusual case or diagnosis and the paintings are supposed represent bodily invaders, growths, etc. You ca consider your own body or try to get your body into the act by playing with the shadows for the viewers.  We did this when we were alone in the room (just the two of us) with varying success. Try to respect other museum goers though.

For those people on the Pacific Standard Time track, “L.A. Raw: Abject Expressionism in Los Angeles 1945-1980, From Rico Lebrun to Paul McCarthy”  is like a hurried journey through time via art. There are 120 works by 41 artists. If you’ve been around Southern California, you might have heard a few of these names and even taken classes with one of these people. Race, gender and sexual politics are addressed so this might not be the kind of exhibit you take small children to view.

There’s nudity (male and female) as well as the sex act depicted. Then there are those skulls.

Yet if you’re really interested in art and creating while living in California, stop by. I was moved by some beautiful wood sculptural pieces as well as some of the etchings.

On a more focused level, “Richard Bunkall: A Portrait” shows us the paintings, drawings and sculptures of a Pasadena artist. Bunkall died after suffering from ALS in 1999, but his works have such a gentle appreciation for form and subdued colors that suggest a peaceful life.

“L.A. Raw” and “Fascinomas” both continue until 20 May 2012. “Richard Bunkall: A Portrait” continues until 22 April 2012. All three are at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.

Revisiting 9/11 with Alex Kritselis and the LA Times

How do you remember 9/11? Where were you? What were you doing? Do you recall any other event so clearly? In Alex Kritselis’ “Above the Fold” at the Pasadena Museum of California Art we’re invited to remember what the editorial staff at the LA Times thought was important enough to place above the fold of the daily newspaper.This Will Help Them

Originally this installation was at the Armory Center for the Arts in 2001 and now, as part of the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 (2001), we are invited to remember and consider how media shapes our perceptions.

The issues of the Los Angeles Times are preserved by being wrapped in plastic laid out like a grid on the floor while images of water play on the screen. You can’t easily read each of the issues, but perhaps that isn’t the point. Think how murky every day life was and is then, waves of memory colored by emotion and, in many cases, humdrum grayness of apathy. There are accidents and scandals, all long forgotten and yet exciting or important enough to appear above the fold of a broadsheet that was in decline. That’s a good historical lesson for journalists and bloggers everywhere.

Kristselis was the Dean of Visual Arts and Media Studies at Pasadena City College from 2002 until 2011.

This exhibit continues until 8 January 2012 at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.

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