i wish - Copy
April 23, 2014 | See comments »
I Wish, the art of Into the Woods, created by Christina Sweet
and Alisyn Palla.
On April 25, 2013, The Empty Space Gallery will open an exhibition of fine art depicting the twisted staged fairytale of Into the Woods.
Into the Woods, a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, and directed by Brian Sivesind will be performed at The Empty Space during the run of “I Wish.”
The two main characters of this show, the baker and his wife, under a wicked spell of infertility, are sent on a mission by the witch to find four items to break their childless curse: a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, a slipper as pure as gold, and hair as yellow as corn.
I Wish…
Using a cool palette of acrylics and welded metal, artists Christina and Alisyn, together, connect with the dark whimsical mood of the staged production by creating a painted dreamy night sky of stars reading (like some sort of make-believe consolation) “I Wish,” peeking out from a wild forest of black metal trees to coincide with the opening number of the show. The artists felt the importance of this piece for their body because all
of the characters step out to express what they wish for during their life-changing, yet terrifying journey.
Having to choose between Jack, Rapunzel and Little Red, Sweet gives an emotion of concern for our innocent children by painting a young adolescent girl wearing a red cape, ignorantly holding a fierce blood-thirsty axe to protect herself from the
world. This is just a taste of what is to come during this epic story.
Next, Palla decides to take on Rapunzel by giving the audience a tall, dark, doorless tower (made from theatre-style brick) with only a single window. From this small window, the sharpest untouchable metal hair cascades down to the floor, leaving the viewer with the most irresistible
urge to climb the glowing yellow locks. But beware, handling this hair can ruin everything.
The two artists end up telling the entire story with only eleven pieces including: the The Big Bad Wolf; Cinderella’s meddling, lentil-finding, eye-piercing birds; the Witch herself; her final two requests (a cow as white as milk, and a slipper as pure as gold);
and not to forget the temptation of Jack by his accidental beanstalk that brings down the entire show!
The exhibit runs from April 25 to May 17.  The artists reception will be held on Saturday, May 3,  from 2 to 5pm.  The public will be able to meet the artists, chat with actors from The Empty Space production, and enjoy refreshments while
accompanied by recorded music from the original Broadway cast.  Admission is free, but donations are cheerfully accepted. The Empty Space Gallery is located at 706 Oak St. Bakersfield, CA 93304. Esonline.org
Written by Jesus Fidel
Attached image:
-“I Wish” 16×20 acrylic on canvas by Christina Sweet -metal frame and metal trees by Alisyn  Palla
Bak Country Poster 1 copy
June 10, 2013 | See comments »

Postcard painting by Alan Willis; Graphics by Christopher O’Brien.

On First Friday June 7th, 2013 I curated a show called “Bakersfield Country; the Legends of the Bakersfield Sound.” We had 13 artists paint a portrait of a Bakersfield Sound musician from the 40’s and 50’s. I hung the show in a spaced out manner along side bios typed on each musician. At the end of each bio the artist’s statement was included. Each statement explained how the artists felt about their involvement in the show.

The artists were handpicked for participation. We had 12 Bakersfield artists and 1 from Los Angeles. Every single piece in the show was extraordinary. Mediums ranged from pen and ink, acrylic and oil. Along with the paintings we displayed four boards of original photography donated by Ray Urquhart, Wren Tidwell, The Bill Woods Family and William J Saunders. there was live music by Vince Galindo and Therese Muller. Along the wall behind my counter I painted a mural of The Blackboard Café and we mimicked the Blackboard stage wall with head shots of the artists and recreated show posters from the 50’s.

IMG_3956webPhoto provided by Crysco Nabisco Photography







BlackboardOn Friday morning I was on First Look with Scott Cox on KERN radio/podcast. William “Joe” Saunders went with me to discuss the production of a documentary of his grandfather Billy Mize. He is working on raising $53,000 to finish the production of the film. Joe is an Emmy award winning director. Be sure to check out this link and do what you can to help contribute! http://billymizemovie.com/  First Look interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=M-aiMJXemPI





Thursday, the night before, we had a private viewing for the Bill Woods Family. My mother grew up with Tomi, Bill’s daughter. We connected and she provided photography for the show. Her family was so honored he was included in such a big way. “The Godfather” of the Bakersfield sound, Bill played an important role in the structure of that era. He helped and promoted everyone.

Woods FamilyThe night was a colossal success. All but two of the pieces were purchased in reserve for an even larger project to come. Later through the night one of the two left also sold. This has never happened at The Foundry before. The purchases warmed my heart and brought smiles to many artists faces through out the night. I spent the after hours with great friends. Saturday I woke up and had to make sure it hadn’t all been a dream.






Bonnie OwensBonnie Owens, by Christina Sweet











Thank You Poster

I must thank our Sponsor Greenhorn Grill of Alta Sierra. The owner Mike Hill, born and raised in Bakersfield, has been a lifetime fan of the Bakersfield Sound music and musicians. Your generous contribution is so much appreciated.

Thanks also go to the photography contributors Ray Urquhart, Billy Mize, William J. Saunders, The Bill Woods Family and Wren Tidwell. Thank you poster graphic by Christopher O’Brien.

May 24, 2013 | See comments »

{03C693F9-BB73-4449-B8CA-35F09C8EAD51}Months ago I turned in my submission for the Eye Gallery show this summer at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. The artists for this show are hand selected by a committee of organizers between the Bakersfield Californian and BMoA. I was honored to be a selected artist this year.

The assignment? Within a 96 hour period the artists are to write a portion of a story, 50 words or less, and illustrate their entry. You only see the pieces preceding your contribution and build on the stories of the artists before you. I was number five. This was a great challenge. During the exhibit in June, the pieces, both written and visual, will hang in order and tell the complete story. My piece introduced the character of the story. A woman intrigued by a ghostly yet familiar silhouette in her yard.

I’m looking forward to the opening!



May 20, 2013 | See comments »

For the month of May my friend, Jesus Fidel, and I co-curated a show together at his gallery, The Empty Space in Bakersfield, CA. The show was inspired after we had a movie date to see Oz the Great and Powerful. Although I was not totally impressed with the movie, it did bring back a lot of great memories of watching the original movie, Wizard of Oz. During the movie Jesus and I decided we should plan our future group show around the characters. We made a list of the characters Dorothy meets along her journey from Kansas to Emerald City.

Once the list was set we made our list of artists and assigned them a character from the movie. It was a lot of fun pairing the artists with the characters.

All of the normal curator duties were performed and the show artist reception was on the 18th of May, 2013. Before the reception three pieces were sold. Another sold during the reception. We had a viewer’s choice award, which went to artist Josiah Lorsung for his piece based on the tornado.

The artwork featured is my piece titled Horse of a Different Color, which sold to another volunteer of The Empty Space theatre.

This piece was created using Prismacolor pencils. It had been over a decade since I used this medium. It was a lot of work and I am pleased with how it came out.HDC











In the Press: http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/entertainment/art/x480781299/Follow-Yellow-Brick-Road-to-enchanting-art-show

First Look photo
April 4, 2013 | See comments »

I was on the Scott Cox show First Look on am radio KERN 1180 this morning discussing our opening at The Foundry on First Friday 4/5/2013! Good fun! Have a look!


Stay Updated! Subscribe to my blog via email:

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.