A DLBA Storefront Activation Project 

received a grant to do art in a storefront window in Downtown Long Beach. This is part of the  Downtown Long Beach Business Associates - Downtown Long Beach Storefront Activation Program to help fill vacant stores in the City.  Luckily the first project location at 737 Pine Avenue has a new tenant.  After a two month hiedus, I have found space at 241 East 7th Street to complete this project. So roll on by, ends May 31.  If you would like to join my email list for the latest information please sign up here.

Artist Statement

The built environment has always fascinated me. This compels me to whimsically draw city-scapes and brightly color them.  I also like tinkering with the idea of urban-ism through computer renderings and visioning possible futures. My goal with this storefront project is to showcase the process of how I create art and investigate Long Beach’s downtown core through a series of artistic experiments. I know they will deal with the International City’s past, present, and future. 


Current Experiment:  Photo Xpression: A LB Creative Study Space #PhotoXpression

I am occupying a space at 241 East 7th Street for a bit, perhaps longer if everything works out. Each week with help of my bestie and local photographer Rowena Copon, will share micro artistic studies that explore this pocket of Long Beach via the “storefront”.  This space previously was Photo Xpression, a photography store that closed after 11 years. This study is named after them. 

Since the previous tenants exit, its been sitting empty. What always excited me most about this block is the Thom Mayne / Morphisis Architects, Inc. designed International Elementary School. It's so "futuristic" compared to the 1933 building the storefront is a part of. You can go "Back to the Future" in a single block, blows my mind really. Constructed in 1999, I think it's one of the more successful "redevelopment" projects in the Downtown core aesthetically. With such high-design energy coming from my neighbor, I'm inspired to explore small ideas that affect Long Beach's future.

With the Millworks development one block over and nearing completion, there's lots of good things happening at this end of 7th Street right now. I'm grateful to continue to participate in it's renaissance in a tiny way. We all sit along a heavily trafficked corridor with many pedestrians and hundreds more cars that zoom through daily on their way to the 710 freeway. Perhaps we can all entice everyone to slow down and explore this pocket of Long Beach with us today.

Experiment 6: Nagahama Opening Reception

Experiment 5: Pacific Avenue, the axis of Long Beach
This is an ongoing study that started with a panorama of Pacific Avenue from Ocean Boulevard to Anaheim Avenue. The original City Hall sat in the middle of Pacific Avenue near Broadway. 

Experiment 4: West LB Pentagraph, colored by the people
Approximately 8x8 black and with print on bond paper. Then left out for a month for residents and visitors to color with magic markers, crayons, and color pencils.

Experiment 3: Black Friday Flyer
I like making event flyers. Here's one I created for an event that was happening at #737 Pine Avenue. What made it even better was that I got to spend the day with my sister Aki. View the flyer here.

Experiment 2:  Día de Los Muertos
On October 31, 2013 my 92 year-old Great Aunt Helen crossed over.  I was fortunate to spend the last year of her life living with her at her home and going on adventures together.  Our outings have been tracked via Instagram with the tag #GoBachanGo.  In Helen's honor I erected a Día de Los Muertos shrine in the storefront.

Experiment 1:  Back to the Future - Long Beach City Hall.

There have been four Long Beach City Hall Buildings to date.  I used the dated images to create hand illustrated versions of the buildings. These reference images are from Long Beach Public Library’s Digital Archive. I rendered them in Photoshop and printed them on bond paper so the passersby could view them clearly too.  Click on each image to be taken to their LBPL Digital Archive photo page and the associated descriptions. By clicking on the illustration, you can view my further investigations on Long Beach City Hall:
1923 City Hall BuildingThe 1899 City Hall Building    1930's City Hall Building  1970s City Hall Building Back to the Future Write Up

Project Sponsors

I’m lucky to be one of several recipients of the Downtown Long Beach Business Associates - Downtown Long Beach Storefront Activation Program grant.  Due to the generosity of the building owner FAMCO, I was given permission to stage my artwork  at 737 Pine Avenue until the space is rented. As mentioned above this location now has a permanent tenant. I appreciate Cultural Alliance of Long Beach's support. Their artist coaching and mentoring has been vital in bringing a project like this to reality. Thank you to all three organizations for believing in me and this project.  My agreement with the DLBA is to share the work until the end of April, however because I took a two month hiedus to find a new space I will ask for an extension until May.

#Nagahama #737Pine #241East7 #PhotoXpression

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