The Whittier Art Gallery Presents: ‘The Legends Invitational’

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On Sept. 6, Whittier Art Gallery held a public reception for its current exhibition, “The Legends Invitational”.

The reception took place from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and featured artwork for sale, a few of the living artists in attendance, and a variety of refreshments for attendants as they observed and strolled through the elegant, nostalgic, vintage gallery.

The exhibition displayed the artworks of legendary local community artists, in honor of the gallery’s 75th birthday.

Among the artists featured were; Janet Church, Pat Combs, Madi Comfort, Mabel Enkoji, Beth Farmer, Linda Hall, Helen Hamm, Ernest Lacy, Dennis McGonagle, Yosh Nakamura, Leroy Schmaltz, Stan Sinnet, Larry Thompson, and Tom Walker. Only five among the fourteen artists are living (Lacy, McGonagle, Schmaltz, Thompson, and Nakamura).

Both Thompson and McGonagle were art graduates at Rio Hondo; while Comfort, Enkoji, Lacy, and Walker took art classes at Rio.

All 14 artists have played a huge role of importance to the Whittier Art Gallery as they have all been appreciated locally and some have also been recognized on a national level.

The group of artists featured four past gallery presidents, as well as past board and committee members.

It is only fitting that they are recognized during the 75th year of the gallery’s operation, as they have not only been supportive of the gallery, but also have donated materials and funds to keep the gallery in operation for the many years that it has, preserving its nostalgic factor in historic Uptown Whittier.

The exhibition itself featured a variety of artwork by each artist such as watercolor, ceramics, acrylic painting, sculpture, and oil painting.

Most of the art ranged from contemporary pieces, to handcrafted sculptures and dishes, all portraying the majestic talent of the “legends”.

Each art piece was up for sale via the Whittier Art Gallery store. Prices ranged between $500 to $40,000.

“The Legends Invitational” began showcasing Aug. 27 and ended Sept. 13.

The next exhibition at Whittier Art Gallery is “The Pursuit of Art” featuring the artwork of Mabel Enkoji’s daughters, Nancy Enkoji and Peggy Nishio.

Rio Hondo art professor, Ron Reeder, will also be one of the three additional guest artists.

The exhibition kicks off Sept. 17, and will run until Sept. 27.

A public reception for the artists will be held on Sept. 20, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. If interested, visit http://www.whittierartgallery.org/ for more information.