PUBLIC INVITED TO ARTISTS’ RECEPTION AT BISTANGO
SATURDAY, JUNE 9 – 3 to 5 pm
Working with the community and exhibiting local artists, Bistango is collaborating with Forest & Ocean Gallery, devoted to the Photographic Arts as well as other forms of artistic expression and media, representing award-winning artists. “We allow the artists the opportunity to present, promote, market and share their bodies of work. We further encourage and promote the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and inspiration. We are also the resident host to Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, presenting monthly exhibitions,” says Ludo Leideritz, founder, and owner of Forest & Ocean Gallery in Laguna Beach, California. Ludo is also participating in this exhibit with his landscape photography. He has been dedicated to expressing himself through photography since he was an eighteen-year-old growing up in the Netherlands, working with large format cameras.
The Ghoukassian family; has been celebrating Bistango contemporary art exhibits for over thirty years, with shows curated by Antoinette Sullivan; welcoming art, artists and food lovers.
Artists represented by Forest & Ocean Gallery:
LUDO LEIDERITZ, ROBERT HANSEN, GREG LA ROCK, DAVID DOWNES, JASON HAYGOOD, CYDETTE VIKANDER, MICHAEL JACQUES, WILLIAM HAVLICEK, TOM LAMB, and SCOTT STREADBECK
Also on exhibit:
DIANA GHOUKASSIAN, JEFF SCHWALM, and STEVEN LUSTIG
Click on an artist’s name below to view more about them.
Michael L. Jacques
Born and raised in Vermont, MICHAEL JACQUES began his formal art education at Boston University’s School of Fine Arts. In 1967. From Cambridge to Miami, and from Washington, D.C. to Santa Barbara, Michael Jacques’ paintings, etchings, and serigraphs have been widely praised. While teaching drawing and painting as an Associate Professor of Fine Art at Boston’s Emmanuel College, Michael appeared in more than 40 one-man exhibitions. He has been represented in more than 125 national art shows, and his work appears in important permanent collections in museums such as the Museum of American Art and The Smithsonian’s National Collection in Washington, DC, Virginia’s Chrysler Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
“Being an artist requires more than merely being a committed observer. It requires an ability to record the feelings that image awakens. My publisher and I have partnered in the production of the First Edition of my book “The Blue Rabbit & Other Dog Affairs” specifically to raise funds for homeless and otherwise endangered children through The Endangered Child Foundation.
William J. Havlicek, Ph.D.
WILLIAM J. HAVLICEK has over 40 years of experience in fine art/studio production and exhibition, publishing, museum administration, and college teaching. He holds a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University and is a graduate of the University of Iowa with both Masters of Arts and Masters of Fine Arts Degrees. He currently teaches at the Laguna College of Art and Design, in Laguna Beach, California. My artistic influences are diverse yet rooted in evergreen and moss-softened limestone. The ochres, sap greens, teals, and powder blues that haunt my palette are scoured from the dampness and light of the forest. Thus my artistic heroes each reveal painterly paths to natural vision: Courbet, Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh, Wyeth, De Kooning, Gorky, Guston, and Diebenkorn. My desire is to emulate, extend, and transcend their rich artistic legacies. Havlicek is also the author of the beautifully-produced and acclaimed book Van Gogh’s Untold Journey, now considered by many to be a seminal work on the genius that was Vincent van Gogh. With combined strengths in art history, studio art, aesthetics, philosophy, psychology, art therapy, museum education, and publishing, he is recognized in his field as an innovative instructor, practicing artist, lecturer, and writer. He has merited important commissions and exhibitions of his work in galleries and museums in the United States and abroad.
CYDETTE VIKANDER’s interest in art began through the influence of her grandmother’s tutelage in painting and her father’s expansive collection of fine art books. Her formal education began at the Paris American Academy of Art. Following Paris, she attended Otis Parsons School of Art in Los Angeles. Her studies as a painter continued as she won a full grant to the Peoples’ Republic of China to be the guest artist in a Western/Eastern art exchange program. She has led numerous art and photography educational programs internationally. Renowned in art for her American landscapes, she now pursues her passion in Laguna Beach, California. Cydette has received numerous awards, exhibited her artwork nationally, and is part of corporate and private art collections around the world.
TOM LAMB is an aerial, architectural, landscape and ethnographic, panoramic, and interpretive photographer, based in Laguna Beach, California. He uses photography, as his primary tool, along with pioneering trends in new media. Tom has dedicated his life to not only creating, through the art of storytelling, memorable photographs but also championing environmental awareness. His images examine how we interact with the planet’s most valuable but increasingly threatened resources. Tom is interested in the balance between the natural world and man’s mark on the land. He travels extensively. His work is published, exhibited, and collected internationally. Apprenticed with master photographer, Aaron Siskind, Providence, Rhode Island. Studied photography at the Center of the Eye, Aspen, Colorado. Lives and maintains a studio in Laguna Beach, California. Board Member, Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach, CA.
LUDO LEIDERITZ was born in the Netherlands, and as part of his Dutch upbringing, was introduced to the arts at an early age. Music, drawing, and painting were hobbies; these formed the basis of his expressions. His love of nature and historic places came as a result of his many travels around the world. He took up photography when we was eighteen. The first camera was a Canon FT, which went everywhere with him. His main method of image capture is still film, using a large-format camera. This enables him to resolve image quality that allows many possibilities, from platinum prints to large murals. To him, it’s all about the print; the final expression of the photographic artist. The ability to make the print resonate to the viewer is the objective.
STEVEN M. LUSTIG
STEVEN M. LUSTIG’s sculptures are born out of a love of the human form and its natural motion. It is powerful, passionate, and embraces both human and natural forms. He was born and raised near the North Shore of Chicago where he began drawing at age 5. In high school, he met a regionally known sculptor and began his fine arts education. His early work combining computers, art, and human motion became the genesis of Steven’s fine art. Steven moved to Southern California in the 80’s to work at an Olympic research center focused on Sports Medicine and Biomechanical Engineering. He has illustrated four books and completed a series of life science illustrations for the Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He currently teaches a stone sculpting class at the Laguna College of Art & Design, and Digital Media and Photoshop classes at Golden West College.
ROBERT HANSEN “My art continues to evolve in new and exciting directions as opportunity and technology unfold new ways to express myself. Working with some of California’s premier architects, I’ve been encouraged to bring a unique perspective to images of iconic Southern California architecture both historic and modern. Ten years of twice-yearly visits to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula have given me both a great appreciation of the Mayan culture and many wonderful images— culminating in my critically acclaimed book Yucatán Passages.” Robert Hansen was born in 1952 in Des Moines, Iowa and graduated from Drake University. Since 1991 Robert has taught photographic workshops throughout the Southwest and in Mexico. His work with Wallace Neff Jr. was first published in 1987 and recently his large-format portfolio on the architecture of Wallace Neff was presented at The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.
Robert’s fine art photography is part of numerous private, commercial, and museum collections throughout the United States, Germany, and Mexico. In 2004, Laguna Wilderness Press published his 10-year Mexican photography project as Yucatán Passages; a portfolio from that book is a part of the collections of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Yucatán and The Huntington Library. Every year since 1978, the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts has included Robert Hansen’s photography in this juried venue voted “one of the top ten art festivals in America” by American Style magazine.
GREG LaROCK “My goal is to bridge the gap between representation and painterly expression. Having my work ‘feel real’ without being a photographic copy of the subject.”
A signature member of LPAPA, AIS, and ASMA, Greg LaRock has won numerous awards for his painting excellence including Artist Choice at Sonoma Plein Air, the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational and Florida’s Forgotten Coast Invitational, first place at Door County Plein Air Invitational, the grand prize at Easton, Maryland and Best of Show at Los Gatos Plein Air Competition. He was also awarded the Callaway Gardens Plein Air Purchase Prize in Georgia. Greg has been juried into four Oil Painters of America national shows, an 11-year exhibitor at the Festival of Arts in Laguna and invited 11 times to LPAPA’s annual Plein Air Invitational. He has also been profiled in Plein Air Magazine with an article on “Ideas for Better Paintings”, featured in Southwest Art’s “Artist to Watch” – column and included in a Jack Richeson Fine Art Series book “Plein Air New Mexico.” A sought-after instructor for workshops, he resides with his wife in Orange, California.
DAVID DOWNES completed an MA at the Royal College of Art in communication design in 1996 and has since worked on a range of projects, from landscapes and drawings to a major commission for the BBC. In September 1999 he set out to record the BBC’s most important architecture at the turn of the century. In June 2000 he became artist-in-residence to BBC Heritage. In 2000 David’s life and career were the subjects of a book written by Shelia Paine titled ‘Artists Emerging’ which explores the mysteries of drawing fluency through the work of seven artists. David lives and works in London and is available for architectural drawings and paintings and landscapes. “My work focuses on the juxtaposition of history and modernity in London, graveyards lie next to modern offices, aging churches stand in built-up areas. I often paint my scenes of London from an aerial position, imagining the way the landscape would look when viewed from that angle. In this way, my work is a meeting of realism and imagination. I am very focused and can capture architecture and urban-scapes in vivid detail”
“I gave David the near-impossible task to record for posterity a sense of the scale and majesty of some of the BBC’s finest buildings. David is adding a new dimension to the BBC’s heritage and building up our collection for the future.” The late Justin Philips, Head of Heritage for the BBC: “The full extent of David Downes’ achievement as a mature professional remains to be seen. He has studied alongside the ablest of art students and in the footsteps of the eminent: Henry Moore, David Hockney and other who achieved international status during their lifetimes. Whatever his ultimate achievement, it cannot now be insignificant and in the light of his history, it is already remarkable.”
JASON HAYGOOD, I currently serve as a minister for the Yorba Linda church of Christ in Orange County, California. Along with my wife and daughter, I am blessed to call California “home”. Since moving to Southern California I have fallen in love with the dramatic landscape of the West Coast, and spend as much time as possible trying to capture its character and drama through the lens of my camera.
My sincere desire is to illustrate the handiwork of the Creator by capturing the beauty of creation through the medium of photography. Thank you for taking the time to view my work.
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” (Romans 1:20).
SCOTT STREADBECK Exposure to sculpture and bronze casting came early in my life when my father and two uncles opened a bronze casting foundry. My Uncle Steve was a sculptor, and I loved visiting the foundry to watch him work. My father was Steve’s art agent, and it became a family tradition to go along with them to art shows where I was fascinated to see the artists and the great variety of work. The bronze foundry itself has had a tremendous influence on me. My first glimpse of the glowing furnace and its overwhelming heat are still vivid in my mind. I still remember the exhilaration of watching the molten bronze being poured into ceramic shells. I loved watching all parts of the casting process, but most appreciated the privilege of entering the large room set aside for artists to work on monumental clay sculptures. It was always a joy to see their work at different stages of progression. I remember watching one sculptor, Dennis Smith, as he was working on a large monument to be placed in Japan. He took time to answer my questions and, even as a young boy, I knew he felt strongly about his work. There was nothing else he would rather do than be an artist — a feeling that I would gradually know for myself.
Growing up, my favorite subjects were all art-related. Drawing, painting, ceramics, photography, and
woodshop all brought a great sense of fulfillment for me. I enjoyed creating with my hands — giving
things form and spirit.
It was after my very first sculpture class that I knew I had discovered my future career. I went on to complete my BA in Visual Arts at Brigham Young University. I continue to participate in life drawing and sculpting sessions held at the foundry. These sessions are a valuable asset in advancing my craft and give me the chance to work from life and learn from many other talented artists who also attend the sessions. I am privileged to work with such great Utah artists as Blair Buswell, Kraig Varner, Jack Morford, Leroy Transfield, and the same Dennis Smith who answered my questions as a young boy so many years ago. Working as a freelance sculptor, I enjoy every day.
JEFF SCHWALM’s earliest stone carving influences date back to his old world Italian Grandfather. For the past thirty-five years Jeff has worked as a master craftsmen creating and executing beautiful stone and tile designs in private homes. Jeff has always known he would pursue a lifestyle where he would use his hands and follow some form of art. From the first stone sculpting class that was offered to Jeff in 2004 at Laguna College of Art and Design, he knew he had found his passion. Jeff’s artistic vision became taking those raw uncut stones, and being the master craftsman, to discover and uncover the beauty that is hiding within each piece. Sometimes that journey takes him to a place where he tests the stones boundaries and sometimes the stone test his boundaries. There is no greater pleasure than shaping raw stone boulders, whether it’s marble, alabaster, onyx, or any other stone, into finished sculptures of art. Now after twelve years, this is his heart and soul. This is the path he plans to follow for the rest of his life.
DIANA GHOUKASSIAN’S journey into the realm of photography is a fairly recent one. Though she received her first camera at age 9 she had not pursued photography, except for the typical photographs of travels and of her children. It was not until she decided to show one of her photographs at the Orange County Fair in 2009 and got accepted that Diana’s interest in exploring her artistic side became ignited. That was the turning point and there was no going back.
Steven McHale, an art blogger, wrote an article in 2017 describing both Diana’s photographic art and her gallery in the following excerpts below: Diana G. creates. ‘I paint with my lens’ is her motto. Her approach to photography is similar to her approach to art. She looks for what moves her. She says all her shots are impulsive. ‘I find the extraordinary in ordinary things’. She does not stage her shots and does little in terms of retouching. Many of her shots are snapped from a moving vehicle. As she puts it, ‘imperfections are very much part of my art’. Steven McHale’s article can be read in its entirety on artsandcultureoc.com.
Diana’s daughter describes her mother’s art below: “Diana’s aptitude lies in finding beauty in the least expected places. Her ability to transform the everyday mundane acts and objects into extraordinary photographs is what makes Diana’s photography so unique. She possesses this innate sense that allows her to see what others overlook. Being able to capture fleeting moments and then immortalizing them into beautiful pieces of art is a talent that Diana has exquisitely mastered. Her photographs somehow speak to the observer. While the technique is not Diana’s forte, and she will be the first to admit it, her discerning eye and her love of photography are what makes her an unrivaled photographer”. Despite her unconventional start at photography, Diana has blossomed into this fine photographer whose skill of capturing the ephemeral I have yet to see anyone match.”
In addition to capturing unique photographs, Diana decided to open her own gallery “Diana’s Finds” in 2012 adjacent to Bistango. There one can find a myriad of artworks from artists, both past, and present. Diana’s Finds’ collection can be seen on artprice.com/store/dianas-finds as well as on Instagram.com/dianaghoukassiangallery. Diana has displayed her own photography at Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA), Newport Beach Cultural Center where she won second place in 2016, UCI, Orange County Fair and Bistango Restaurant.
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