Bergamot Station Arts Complex in Santa Monica is home to a variety of art galleries. This Saturday, December 12, will be a busy day for the Arts Complex...in addition to its holiday event (12-4pm), BUILDING BRIDGES ART EXCHANGE debuts two solo exhibitions from 5-8:30pm.
BBX is a nonprofit organization guided by an international board of directors which partners with other international foundations, museums, and cultural centers. In the past ten years, BBX has collaborated with over twenty-five countries via traveling exhibitions and artist exchanges. It presents nine to twelve international exhibitions a year.
A solo exhibition entitled "Franco Marrocco-The Red Studio & Other Works," curated by Marisa Caichiolo and Giovanni Iovane will open in the main gallery. In the project room another solo exhibition debuts titled "J.J. L'Heureux: Etichette," curated by Marisa Caichiolo.
"Marrocco is a master and a role model for young generations of artists," said Caichiolo, founder and executive director of BUILDING BRIDGES ART EXCHANGE. Marrocco is a respected teacher and director of the Academy Brera in Milano (a well known academy in Europe). Originally born in Rocca d'Evandro, (1956) he has been featured in solo exhibitions at OCDE, Paris; Palazzo dei Priori, Perugia; CEARTE, Mexico; etc. He also participated in the 54th Biennale di Venezia (2011) as well as being a featured artist in the exhibition "The Modernity of Lyricism," presented by the Institute Italiano di Cultura in Stockholm and Joensouu's Art Museum in Finland.
J.J. L'Heureux's Etichette series (on view in the project room), received its namesake from the Italian translation of 'cheese wrapper.' While visiting friends in Italy, she couldn't help notice the decorative packaging of local cheeses that her Italian friends offered her. She decided to create thank you gifts for her hosts and her Etichette series was born.
A talented artist, L'Heureux works in a variety of media. Well known for her photography, she has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions, along with group shows in museums both nationally and internationally. L'Heureux also creates "Bergy Bits"...paintings inspired by her many photography expeditions to the Antarctic and environs.
Upon meeting, L'Heureux and Caichiolo immediately hit it off. Caichiolo was drawn to her collage and said she thought L'Heureux's Etichette series would be a perfect compliment to Marrocco's paintings. In turn, L'Heureux said she is looking forward to exhibiting at the international gallery.
See image: J.J. L’Heureux, Etichette # 90, collage with thread, 39 x 39
I had the chance to interview some of the team of BBX, along with several board members.
Evelyn Pener has been on the Board of Directors since 2010 and said, "BUILDING BRIDGES represents an instiution that provides the opportunity for artists from all over the world to show their work."
Another BBX board member and artist Petra Eiko added, "The quality and variety of work shown at Building Bridges Gallery offers visitors the rare opportunity to truly enjoy and experience international art without commercial afterthought." She went on to point out that the students exchange program "Unity through Art" includes cooperative works and exchange visits from Los Angeles students with students from Qatar.
And finally Daniel Schuster (part of the board of advisors) said, "Building Bridge adds to the richness, diversity, and international flavor of the cultural landscape of Santa Monica and the Los Angeles art scene by creating partnerships with governments and arts organizations throughout the world."
Caichiolo will be curating an upcoming exhibition at Museum MUSA in Guadalajara, "Arts Politics and Environment," featuring five international artists. Caichiolo went on to say how fortunate she feels to have created BBX. "I have a big love, passion and respect for art...I respect the people who genuinely respect, love and support the arts and artists."