You know, this week’s “The 7” is all about going your own way. It’s about Pagans Who Care and UnGalas, low on formality but high in dairy and wig volume. You want to do art all by your lonesome? We got stuff, like actual thingys for you to do that. Maybe you’ve been thinking that what you need to get you through these days of cooler temperatures and higher gas prices is seeing someone dressed as a giant taco, that’s here also.
So go ahead; do you.
1. DIVALICIOUS DRAG-OFF (Sunday)
Strong drinks, drag queens and… opera? Not what you’d expect of a typical fundraising gala from one of the five major performing arts institutions in Long Beach. This year, instead of the formalized speeches, polite rounds of applause and having to ask the person next to you to pass the butter balls for the stale roll you just plucked from the basket making its way around Table #6, full of well-dressed aristocrats over 50, Long Beach Opera will have an “UnGala.”
The first is a Divalicious Drag-Off on Sunday at Hamburger Mary’s, to be hosted by Long Beach’s own celebrity drag queen, Jewels, and LBO staffer and singer, Derrell Acon. Opera singers will be paired with drag queens to perform as teams: the Opera Diva will first perform an aria, followed by a lip-synced number by the Drag Queen (think “Un Bel Di” followed by “I Will Survive”) to be judged on originality and fabulosity by a panel including the first drag politician, Maebe A. Girl, opera diva Yolanda West, Long Beach Museum of Art executive director Ron Nelson, Arts Council for Long Beach executive director Griselda Suarez among other leaders of the arts community. (Asia Morris)
Another great thing: Instead of polite applause, Hamburger Mary’s famous buffet, strong drinks, a chance to win a cruise to the Mexican Riviera, will make it hard to party politely.
Giving us a moment’s pause: Balls of butter.
Divalicious Drag-Off is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Hamburger Mary’s; 330 Pine Ave. A limited number of tickets will be available for $40 for those under the age of 40 (use code UNDER40 at checkout). Additionally, a batch of $50-tickets are reserved for those brand new to LBO (use code NEW50 at checkout). General admission tickets are $150; to purchase visit the website here.
2. ART REALM: THE WORLD IS YOURS (Saturday)
Long Beach native Brandie Davison created Art Realm in 2017 when she couldn’t find a space she felt comfortable hanging out in as a young creative person. Stuck between traditional gallery openings and “extremely unfiltered” house parties, she wanted to create events for herself and her community that bridged the two, coming from a need for more inclusivity and to highlight underrepresented artists.
Every one of Art Realm’s quarterly shows has a different theme based on Davison’s personal life, based on what she’s reading, watching, feeling and experiencing. Cartoons were a huge part of her upbringing, specifically how their creators came up with entire worlds of their own, so she and artists associated with Art Realm Collective have filled a floor of the Ice House Art Complex with their original characters and concepts.
“The title came while listening to music on shuffle when ‘The World is Yours’ by Nas started playing. I love how he describes the good, but also the bad in his hood from an observational point of view. He looks at his worldview as a whole, while also understanding, although he comes from this world, he has options as to what he will become.”
Expect 12 murals, by artists Mara Bubblegum, Alepsis Hernandez and 14-year-old Silverstreetz, to name a few; three installations (including a vertical garden by Andrea Shillingburg with a seed bank that you can place seeds in), live art, interactive activities and a pop-up replica, of PLAY NICE LBC’s vintage sports retail storefront on Fourth Street.
“It is the responsibility of artists to reflect the times we live in,” said light installation artist Carlos Gacharna. “I feel like Art Realm is an honest reflection of what can happen when young, intersectional artists come together and create a cohesive message to move the culture forward.” (AM)
Another great thing: There will also be a book swap! So bring a book to receive a book (yes, people still read and you should, too).
Giving us a moment’s pause: Seeds and plants from the vertical garden will be donated to the Long Beach Veteran’s Hospital, its Patient Garden, as well as other regional nonprofits. Lovely.
Art Realm is an all ages event and takes place at the Ice House Art Complex from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.; 625 W. Anaheim St. Follow @art.realm.collective on Instagram for more info.
3. HI-LO PLACE (October)
Sometimes, staying at home for the weekend is a much-needed way to spend the only two, glorious days most of us have off. If this sounds like you, one way we think you should pass your time hiding from society and social interaction is by adding your art, pixel by pixel, to this collaborative pixel art mural we made in celebration of National Arts Month. It’s honestly quite meditative, and no, you don’t have to be an artist to participate. (AM)
Another great thing: If you do decide to leave your home, you can do this on your phone or a tablet. Yay!
Giving us a moment’s pause: Thanks, Val.
4. PAGAN PRIDE DAY (Sunday)
There’s so much people don’t know about pagans, including us, which is why we’re not even going to attempt to educate you on the subject. Just know that the term pagan refers to a huge umbrella under which are the likes of Wicca and Neo-druidism and Celtic, Germanic, Slavic and so many other traditions.
Now, if you’re gonna try and throw the Evil label on these folks, just know that part of Pagan Pride Day at Rainbow Lagoon Park, is a food drive with collected items donated to families and individuals. And if you’re going to try and put the Freaky label on these folks, just know that at the front booth of the event will be Mystery Bags stuffed full of stuff especially just for kids.
See, the deal is, you probably don’t know anything about people who follow a path that is centuries old, has helped shape the foundations of western culture—Like Christmas? Thank a pagan—and seem to care a lot about whether people have enough to eat and if kids have some neat stuff to make them happy. Seems like a nice bunch of folks we’d like to hang with. Come meet some of your neighbors who happen to be pagans, learn about their practices and beliefs, and make some new friends. There will be vendors, workshops, rituals and fun stuff. (Steve Lowery)
Another great thing: If you’d like to contribute to the food drive, bring canned foods or non-perishable dry goods.
Giving us a moment’s pause: So, in a roundabout way, are the pagans responsible for “Christmas Shoes?”
Pagan Pride Day runs from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Rainbow Lagoon Park. Admission is free. For more information, click here.
5. CURRENT: LA FOOD (Saturday)
While we usually don’t suggest activities that transport you outside of the city (because, well, that kind of defeats the purpose of this whole thing) our neighboring metropolitan just up the 405/710 is putting on a free massive month-wide art installation all throughout Los Angeles. In varying parks and recreation centers throughout Los Angeles’s 15 municipal council districts, Current: LA—a government-backed arts and culture collaborative—has commissioned local, international and multigenerational artists to create thought-provoking, socially edifying art installations for their second iteration of the LA Public Art Triennial.
This year’s topic: food.
The unique art installations, workshops, live demonstrations and performances, music, culinary events and hands-on interactive experiences aim to celebrate the diverse culture and scientific advancements of food while also examining many of the global issues connected to sustenance such as hunger, malnutrition, food accessibility, distribution, waste and equity.
We won’t attempt to inundate you with descriptions of all 15 of the expected art installations and performances—we know you don’t have time for that—so here’s three of what we think are the ones you shouldn’t miss. (Cheantay Jensen)
Comida A Mano, Reseda Recreation Center (Reseda)—Artist: Eva Aguila
Revere the universal experience of eating with one’s hands at the Reseda Recreation Center with a live demonstration of tortilla cooking on an outdoor earthen oven—based on the Mexican comal (griddle)—with a local tortillero artist. Accompanying the display is a screening of newly commissioned experimental videos by artists depicting the varying traditions of eating by hand.
Food Group: The Body Palms performance, Palms Park (Rancho Park)—Artist Ry Rocklen
Reimagine Palms Park as a digestive system with installations of bronze sculptures and a musical performance by artist Ry Rocklen’s performance troupe, Food Group. The actors will be wearing costumes of popular foods usually eaten by hand (think cupcakes, tacos, hotdogs) and will move around the park, mimicking the digestive cycle of the body. The show is meant to highlight the power and dangers of these foods and our relationships to them.
The free performance runs from 3 to 5 p.m. every Sunday starting Oct. 13 until Nov. 3. Capacity is limited and seating is on a first-come first-serve basis, so best to RSVP, here.
Imperishable, Martin Luther King Jr. Park (Exposition Park)—Artist Jazmin Urrea
Gawk over these 8ft tall clear, container-like sculptures filled to the brim with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos at Martin Luther King Jr. park. The installation is meant to examine the lack of accessibility to fresh food many urban communities face as well the health risks posed by artificial dyes and additives such as FD&C Red No. 40 and Yellow No. 6, often found in cheap junk food.
Another great thing: All the locations of the art installations are strategically set in places that are highly accessible to public transport including bus and Metro train. Make a whole day out of the experience without the headache of driving in traffic and probably (not) finding parking.
Give us a moment’s pause: So. Many. Cheetos.
Current: LA Food premieres around Los Angeles this Saturday Oct. 5 until Nov. 3. Art installations will remain up throughout the month, however, accompanying performances and sites vary, so for more information and times check out their website, here.
6. LONG BEACH OPEN STUDIO TOUR (Saturday-Sunday)
This four-weekend event Oct. 5 – Oct. 27 features artists all over Long Beach opening their art studios to the public; some studios are inside the artists’ homes (so it’s kind of like a home and garden tour!), some are in their garages, some are co-ops with several artists sharing space. It’s really a great way to see, in person, what local artists constantly chirp about, that there are just so many of them that call Long Beach home, and so few spaces (galleries) for them to show. The tour starts this Saturday and Sunday in the Zaferia/Eastside area with eight different destinations for tour-goers to check out. And, support your local artist!
Another great thing: This weekend’s tour has artist Cody Lusby’s studio as #6 on the map. Lusby, his neighbor Eric Copeland, and lots of community members who pitched in to paint, just finished up a gorgeous mural in Lusby’s alley called “Roses for Rose Park.” After a three-year process, this first mural in a historic district was finally approved by the city, and the painted roses now beautifying the alley between the Sixth Street bikeway and Theresa Street are certainly worth enjoying.
Giving us a moment’s pause: There is a lot going on that coincides with the studio tour, including three (three!) different gallery shows you can visit throughout October, also known as Arts Month. Until Oct. 27, check out Long Beach Creative Group’s “Open Studio Tour Exhibit” Thursdays and Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. and on weekends from 1 to 4 p.m. at 2221 E. Broadway; Loiter Gallery’s new location, having moved from the Promenade North, now has work by tour artists up at 180 E. 4th St.; and don’t forget to brunch at Blackbird Cafe at 3405 Orange Ave. where art also hangs on the walls.
The self-guided, at-your-own-pace tour runs from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more info on all four weekends of studio touring, visit longbeachopenstudio.com.