Artist Ryan Callanan, aka RYCA, has been selected by a jury of creative industry leaders from the United Kingdom and Los Angeles to receive BritWeek’s first Visual Artist of the Year award.

An evening reception for RYCA’s BritWeek exhibition, “Rough With The Smooth,” will be held Saturday, April 25, at the Copro Gallery in Santa Monica from 7 to 8 p.m. for VIP guests. The exhibition will then be open to the general public from 8 to 11:30 p.m., with an artist discussion moderated by Greg Escalante, from 9 to 10 p.m. The gallery is located at Bergamot Station – 2525 Michigan Ave.

Callanan’s work was chosen by a jury of Experts and the BritWeek Art Committee. British born Callanan draws upon a broad spectrum of Contemporary popular culture in his works; referencing film, music and art history that is often seen as refreshingly comic and accessible. With early influences including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, Ryan would take classic Warhol imagery and replace its subject with Star Wars and other movie references in his art. Over the last few years Ryan has moved towards a new practice that draws upon his in depth knowledge of materials and craftsmanship acquired through his training in industrial model making and 3-D design.

BritWeek, founded in 2007 by Television’s Nigel Lythgoe and then-Consul General Bob Peirce, celebrates and highlights the creative relationship between the UK and the U.S. across art, music, fashion, business, film, and more. Visit www.britweek.org for more information.

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