PICO BLVD — When Upper West Restaurant first opened, creating a warm and comfortable atmosphere for customers was one of its top priorities. Many restaurants sport art on their walls, but Upper West took it a step further.
Working in conjunction with The Beach Vault art gallery, the restaurant spotlights two to three artists per year. Upper West has long been a supporter of the arts and has showcased emerging artists since it opened. Each time the work of a new artist is introduced at Upper West, an opening reception is held to commemorate the occasion.
On Sunday, Sept. 29, artist Carol Surface (carolsurfacestudio.com) will debut a new exhibition entitled “Endless Layers of Life.”
A Californian since 1988, Surface maintained a studio in Venice Beach from 1997 to 2010 and was included on the annual Venice Art Walk tour. Her studio is now in her home in Beverly Hills.
As an artist, Surface starts with an idea of what she wants to say, but has no concrete idea of what the piece will look like. She begins with canvas, paper, metal, fabric, or panel and then adds paper, paint, acrylic, bits of photographs and more.
“I choose my materials and just start making marks and putting paint on the surface, whatever it may be,” she said. “All the while I am guiding and coaxing whatever images are emerging. This can be a short process or a very long one, but I will not stop until the piece feels whole.”
When asked what inspires her, Surface said, “The search for growth, identity and expression … and the need to have beauty around me.”
Surface has exhibited at museums and galleries including the Palm Springs Desert Museum, Lankershim Arts Center, Hammer Museum group show, Brand Library and 626 Gallery.
“The goal of my work is to raise consciousness in a beautiful way while it heals and entertains,” Surface said. “Its content is fixed, but organic and will reveal itself in layers — just as our behaviors do. My work asks people to feel, to truly connect with being human … , something that is in short supply in this digitally dominated age. My registered trademark is ‘Art is for people who aren’t afraid to be human.’ That says it all.”
The Upper West and Art Vault reception will be open to the public from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The art will remain on display through Jan. 26.
If you go
Upper West Restaurant
3321 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, Calif.