Bistango was especially designed to showcase artwork, and has been a platform for local, regional and international artists since it’s opening in 1987. Antoinette Sullivan-StudioGallery has curated the exhibits from the beginning in a style that differs from traditional galleries: we work with emerging, mid-career, established and master artists in every style and medium imaginable. Over the past 28 years, we have given exposure in 136 exhibits to more than 2,200 artists, local and from innumerable countries. Antoinette Sullivan’s and Bistango’s objective role between artists, collectors and art lovers creates a set of dynamics beneficial to all, in a unique and relaxed setting.

Exhibiting Hugo Rivera and artists from Hugo Rivera’s Gallery, Laguna Beach: Manuel Nunez, Marcel Schreur, Joni Cresci, Melineh Martin, Becca Fox, Vladimir Cora, Nancy Villere, Deborah Gardner, Holly Buffum, and Debra Dolley.

Also on exhibit sculptors: Steven Lustig, Jane Reich and Jeff Schwalm.

Click on an artist’s name below to view more about them


HUGO RIVERA is a talented artist from Mexico, already recognized as an established artist with many collectors acquiring his work. While studying civil engineering in Guadalajara, Mexico and not having too much time and space to paint, he would paint on the walls of his bedroom. That’s where he painted his first big mural which was the cover of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. Since then he has a passion to paint on big surfaces. His childhood was shaped by the fact that he was born into a creative family full of singers, musicians, craftsmen and painters. His father was a topographer and he always allowed Hugo use of his working materials.


MANUEL NUNEZ was surrounded by the arts and influenced by his singer-songwriter father’s music and the Mexican-American culture while growing up. He realized as he graduated from high school that his path was as an artist and he headed straight for the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and the Otis Parsons Institute in LA. He began his career as a fashion illustrator but kept heading towards the world of fine art. His work uses rich symbolism such as his signature hand-applied 23-karat gold leaf to represent purity and righteousness, themes of spiritual virtue rarely seen today. In supplying his work with ample allegories, no piece lacks the means for a viewer to contemplate the hidden treasures beneath every stroke. He sees his ability to create art is a gift rather than a product of study. He believes his energy, initiative and drive to accomplish anything good comes from above. Therefore, he holds that the artists’ gift is an awesome responsibility. Philanthropists, rock stars and even former politicians collect his works internationally.


Born to a family of successful fishermen and entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area, JONI CRESCI was given the opportunity to express her creativity at a very early age. She studied the arts at San Francisco State University and following graduation established a career as an award-winning printmaker while winning recognition for her humanitarian efforts through the support of children’s art programs. In 2012 she relocated to Laguna Beach and studied with abstract figurative artist Hugo Rivera and then exhibited in his gallery. Joni presently lives and paints in Sonoma, constantly discovering new and challenging realms in art.


As a young girl MELINEH MARTIN attended private art courses with the famous Persian master Javadipoor in Tehran Iran, and there Javadipoor discovered her unique ability to create. She attended one of Tehran’s finest universities, The Azad University of Art and Architecture. Melineh’s art is part of a larger movement toward traditionalism and spiritualism. She believes art has the power to transform and uplift the human spirit. Her work has been exhibited at The Brand Library and Harvest Gallery, Los Angeles, fundraisers and private art shows. Melineh was also the recipient of the Professional Artist Award for her recent participation at the International Art Business Symposium, in Grand Rapids, MI


BECCA FOX is a British born artist currently residing in Orange County and specializing in expressive portraits and figurative work. “My figures don’t have titles or names or stories behind them in a traditional sense, because to me, they’re more like feelings. Those very human moments of complex, layered emotions, that are difficult to describe in words. The paintings themselves are layered in texture, from fluid washes up to thick impasto paint. Vibrant color suggests a look deeper than the surface layer to represent our inner turbulence in a dramatic, visually beautiful way.” She draws inspiration from yoga and dance, the study of which, influence both her subject matter and her process


A student of master painter Rufino Tamayo, VLADIMIR CORA has risen to the heights of his teacher. On December 2000, five hundred of his paintings were among 1,800 works displayed permanently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles as part of the Bernard and Edith Lewin Latin American Art Galleries. The artists in the collection also include Tamayo, Jose Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. The permanent collection is the country’s largest of 20th-century Mexican art and worth $25 million. Cora spent part of 1981 in Palm Springs where he met the Lewins through Tamayo, who was his mentor from 1979 until his passing in 1991. Cora is self-taught, honing his skill in his hometown of Tecuala in the state of Nayarit, Mexico, near Puerto Vallarta. He spends most of the year in Mexico where he has his studio.


NANCY VILLERE, compelled by art most of her life, has taken her prowess in professional photography to a place of transcendence with her most recent collection of figurative nude paintings. Over the past five years her works have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibits. “These figures come out of me very organically. I feel like I’ve become a conduit for painting the female form. It is one of the most beautiful shapes to render, and there are so many ways to express it”.


DEBORAH GARDNER was born in Long Beach into a family rich in art. Deborah’s parents owned a picture frame business that thrived and served the Laguna Beach artists. Deborah remembers sweeping sawdust, gluing velvet liner by hand, delivering frames to the Sawdust festival, and homes of the artists. Starting with a career in graphic design that inevitably moved her to computer graphics, she has for the last nine years worked with watercolors and acrylics as both a healing artist and teacher. Deborah’s paintings are alive and are uniquely painted. May you be powerfully touched by her art.


“Human behavior, relationships, and scripture inspire the inward significance throughout the body of my work,” explains HOLLY BUFFUM about her mixed media artwork. She finds that combining photography, paper sculptures, ink, pastels, watercolor and acrylics allow her endless possibilities of creation. “My subject matter represents qualities of love, support, strength, and compassion. The intention is to inspire personal growth in the viewers by challenging their thoughts and perspectives.”


MARCEL SCHREUR is a pure expressionist, as his extensive life experience never fails to play out on whatever canvas he chooses and heavily affect the viewer. A self-taught artist, he has won numerous international prizes as well as being represented by a successful London based gallery. All of this is somewhat inconsequential to a painter who creates largely to affect positive societal, if not humanitarian, change underpinned by his mantra: “Life Is Beautiful, always. I wish for my art to create a universe from a viewpoint of peace and tranquility. I intend for my works to be expressive and passionate while delicate in shape and composition. I very much like to work with colours and spend quality time on the execution but also on the concepts that I am trying to communicate eloquently. I believe that my work can be defined as Art of the Mind.”


DEBRA DOLLEY’s art is inspired by a life of world travel since primary school, living abroad and absorbing other cultures. Following high school in Orange County she moved to France to pursue her art studies, later returning to Southern California to study at the Otis Parson School of Design. Her large canvas figurative pieces are full of emotion and executed with her very own vibrant palette. She has also worked on commissions for murals and faux finished in commercial and residential properties.


STEVEN M. LUSTIG’s sculptures are born out of a love of the human form and its natural motion. They are powerful, passionate, and embrace 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.


JAYNE REICH’s kiln-fired ceramic sculptures are one-of-a-kind figures, female and male nudes. They have a painted, stone-like surface. Her sculptures have been in important national and international exhibits. She has been juried in for the 2017 International Florence Bienalle. A retrospective of her works is exhibiting currently at Chapman University, installed into the Alcove Of the World Renown Scientist,Yakir Aharonov, winner of the National Medal of Science presented at the White House by President Barak Obama.


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 people 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 Jeff took 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 its 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.

For all art inquires, please contact Bistango’s front desk or:

Antoinette Sullivan
(949) 697-4838

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