EYE ON ART: Collaborating At The Long Beach Playhouse

Painting Long Beach showcases the work of 10 Long Beach artists, including five LBCG (Long Beach Creative Group) members at a new exhibit in the Long Beach Playhouse lobby.

Working with oil, photography, watercolor, collage and batik, ephemera and nostalgia are employed to capture the obvious and the hidden in Long Beach. The artists have captured the beauty of Long Beach parks, neighborhoods and their contents, the Colorado Lagoon, the ocean and historical sites. Themes include natural and urban environments and city places, as well as Long Beach’s past. Support for the show was provided by a Port of Long Beach sponsorship.

The Long Beach Creative Group is a collaboration of artists and art enthusiasts calling attention to the limited exhibition space available to Long Beach artists.

“One of our group’s missions is to support artistic expression via art exhibits, events and unique experiences,” Marka Burns, a Long Beach-based artist and LBCG co-founder explained. “Councilman Darryl Supernaw and Councilwoman Suzie Price have been very supportive of our group, as has the Port of Long Beach with their sponsorship.”

LBCG recently exhibited at the Greenly Art Space in Signal Hill, with past exhibits at Portfolio and the Long Beach Playhouse. Upcoming events include curating exhibits at The Center/Art Gallery on Fourth Street, with four planned shows in 2019.

The featured artists here use a variety of styles and media. Greg Fristsche, a LBCG member, is a set designer and the current curator for the Playhouse Gallery. A California Impressionist, Fristsche’s selected works for this show have a dusky blue palette. Inspiration is taken from Monet’s early cityscapes and applied to the appearance of mist and moonlight on the French Gothic Villa Riviera and the Colorado Lagoon and Bluff Park areas.

Gail Werner specializes in a monotype printmaking process; her art features Southern California plant and animal life. Her works for the show include “Bird Dream,” with Long Beach’s very apparent parrot population, and several selections from her Leaves and Branches series.

Porte Christjanesen, retired from the California State University, Fullerton, Department of Art Education, lists her grandfather, Rasmus Christjansen, a well-known Danish artist, as her inspiration. Christjanesen has selected several water colors and one silk batik of the Colorado Lagoon area for the show.

Michael Daniel, originally from Texas, moved to the Long Beach area and fell in love with the ocean. An avid surfer, Daniel’s works are a combination of realism and geometric patterns, with a broad range of influences, including Pop Art, California finish fetish and surrealism. His works for the show include coverage of the Colorado Lagoon, the Long Beach Bluff and the Long Beach sky.

Marka Burns, LBCG co-founder, is a Wilson High School alum. Her art education took her from Chouinard Art Institute (now a part of CalArts) to Europe to the Cal State Long Beach MFA program. Burns’s digital, mixed-media collage works display the uniqueness of Long Beach, past and present. Selections for the show include “Past Times,” “Post Card Collection” and “Out and About.”

“Painting Long Beach,” at the Long Beach Playhouse, is on view now through Dec. 29 on show nights; 7-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 1-3 p.m. Sundays, and by appointment, (562) 494-1014. The Playhouse is at 5021 E Anaheim St.