COMPELLING WORK: Artist Farrah Karapetian's work 'Stacking Your Door.' (Copyright Farrah Karapetian; courtesy L.A. Louver)
COMPELLING WORK: Artist Farrah Karapetian’s work ‘Stacking Your Door.’ (Copyright Farrah Karapetian; courtesy L.A. Louver)

Just when you think there’s nothing left for art to tell us, LA Louver Gallery in Venice proves that it’s chock full of new ideas, especially as practiced by emerging artists living and working in L.A.

Friday is the last day of the fifth “Rogue Wave” exhibition, curated by founding director Peter Goulds and chief preparator Christopher Pate showcasing these young L.A. artists.

A highlight of the show has been a series of conversations with the artists on Thursday nights. Tonight is the final conversation, with Farrah Karapetian, Matthew Brandt and Sarah Awad.

These are deeply thoughtful and creative young artists, doing new and distinguished work. It would be worth your time to see the show and talk to this trio about their thinking and process, and to keep tabs on their futures.

For example, ask Farrah Karapetian what she means when she describes her work as cameraless photography in a sculptural field. These “unique chromogenic photograms” manifest as reverse image silhouettes on room sized walls.

In his landscape photography, Matthew Brandt uses water from his subjects as part of his process. In “Rainbow Lake, WY 1” his photo of the lake was soaked in water from the lake, enhancing the fluidity of the colors and shapes of the original.

And Sarah Awad’s beautifully composed nudes appear both abstract and figurative and are awash in moody colors. They exhibit maturity beyond her years.

All three are recent UCLA graduates. Looks like art schools have gotten past the academic emphasis on conceptualism and theory, and are returning to giving students the grounding they need to pursue their own visions. This is fresh and original work, and it’s good news for the future of art.

LA Louver is located at 46 N. Venice Blvd. in Venice. The conversation starts at 6:30 p.m. and RSVPs are strongly encouraged. Call (310) 822-4955 or e-mail


Fun summer Sunday


This Sunday, Aug. 25, there are two free, family-friendly activities available to you.

The final concert of the City Hall-sponsored Jazz on the Lawn series takes place at Stewart Park from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with free admission, parking and bike valet.

The Overstreet New Orleans Jazz Band is a 10-piece traditional NOLA jazz band with echoes of Preservation Hall and The Andrews Sisters. Bring a picnic or get up and dance! You’ll find the entrance to the park on Stewart Street just north of Olympic Boulevard.

And at UCLA’s ongoing celebration Fowler at 50 at the Fowler Museum, “Kids in the Courtyard: Kori and Alo, A Puppetry Performance” will offer your youngsters a hands-on experience in puppet making.

View the puppets in the ongoing display “Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives,” then meet Luis Tentindo, a puppeteer who will enchant you with his bunraku-inspired performance. Learn how he creates characters and brings them to life to share beautiful stories, and then join the children and make your own puppet to play along. For more info visit or call (310) 825-4361.


More family fare


As the long-standing Santa Monica Playhouse celebrates its 53rd year of continuous theatrical and educational service to the community, here’s a play that will tickle the funny bone of kids and grownups alike.

“Adults, Keep Out!” is a musical that pays homage to the fantasy world. Tests and quests, dragons and flagons, distressed damsels and brave heroes abound in this amalgamation of “Indiana Jones,” “Lord of the Rings” and “Little Rascals.”

Liberally dosed with intrigue, adventure, romance, political satire and humor, “Adults, Keep Out!” tells a timeless tale about keeping the child within alive and will delight everyone between the age of 10 and 100, provided they are young at heart.

Santa Monica Playhouse is located at 1211 Fourth St. Reserve your seats by calling (310) 394-9779 and find out more here:


Topanga nights


And in the realm of longevity, Will Rogers’ Theatricum Botanicum, the enchanted and beloved family-run amphitheater built into a wooded glen in Topanga Canyon, is wrapping up its 40th anniversary season with “Tone Clusters,” by renowned novelist Joyce Carol Oates. The author travels to L.A. for opening night to moderate a post-show panel discussion.

Real-life married couple Alan Blumenfeld and Katherine James portray Frank and Emily Gulick, an ordinary American husband and wife who find themselves trapped in the media spotlight when their son is arrested as the alleged killer of a neighborhood girl.

Six performances, on Sept. 5, 12, 19, 26 and Oct. 4 and 12, will each be followed by an audience talk-back, the first one moderated by Oates.

“‘Tone Clusters’ is about the ‘spectacularization’ of tragedy in our culture,” says director Mike Peebler. “It’s about the way we take horrible events and turn them into a product to be consumed, passing instantaneous judgment and dehumanizing those involved in the process.”

Written in 1990, with our 24/7 news cycle and viral social media, it’s more relevant than ever today. Call (310) 455-3723 or visit

Theatricum Botanicum is also offering free admission this Sunday and Sept. 1 at 11 a.m. for their Botanicum Seedlings play development program.

Seedlings offers readings of two new plays, entertainment from musician and environmental advocate Skylar Funk and visual artist Zach Brown, and farm-to-table refreshments from Topanga Canyon Certified Farmers’ Market.

On Aug. 25, “The Three E’s” by Jason Aaron Goldberg explores the Dunn family’s struggle to come to terms with their son’s Iraq war injuries.

“The Ansel Intimacy” on Sept. 1, is set in a possible future, where Tate receives Ansel, a factory-made being with a set of spare organs and parts, for his 16th birthday. We follow their developing relationship over a lifetime of love and loss.



Sarah A. Spitz is a former freelance arts producer for NPR and former staff producer at public radio station KCRW-Santa Monica. She has also reviewed theatre for

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