Today, you should… support the arts at Wilson High School


Long Beach-based clothing brand Polymer_ and pro skateboarder-turned-entrepreneur Mikey Taylor and his company Commune Capital are throwing a group art show and fundraiser for Wilson High School’s arts program (Mr. Szeto, are you still there?!)

Expect a raffle, refreshments, sounds by vinyl junkie Telegram Sam of The Slop Stomp and works by five artists, including Rose Park local Cody Lusby, whose portraiture was recently released as part of Metro Art’s “More People Than You Know” digital installation series along the refurbished A Line.

VIDEO: Local artists talk about their new portraits for Metro Art’s ‘More People Than You Know’ series

Don’t know if it gets much cooler than this: skaters, entrepreneurs, artists, all in one place, supporting youth and creativity and how it’s not just the physical making of the art that matters, but learning to apply a creative mindset to life in general.

Entrepreneurship is creative, skating is creative, painting and designing is creative and all the more possible when a public school’s arts program is bolstered with that belief. We know this very well, as one of us here at the Hi-lo is a product of that very art program (cough, Asia).

A bit more on the artists showing on Saturday. Nicole Monk’s minimal lines, shapes and figures remind us a lot of our very own illustrator Jonny Bummers’ work, but perhaps a bit more conceptual, maybe even spiritual. Abstract artist, brand collaborator and children’s book author Steve Fawley’s work is bright and bold. Port City Tattoo artist Daniel Albrigo’s paintings are realistic, with subtle, fine-tuned shading to be appreciated. Ryan Russell Ward’s gorgeous, scribbly flower drawings are a sight to behold, while his more illustrative character work is also worth a gaze.

Much of the merchandise for sale will be limited-edition and inspired by Wilson High colors (so we’re assuming there will be a lot of maroon, yellow and khaki), some pieces are even uniform compliant so, if you’re a student, have at it!

The art, of course, will also be for sale with a “significant percentage” of sales to be donated to Wilson’s art program.

Another great thing: If you have a few free hours to spend before the Polymer group show, may we suggest stopping by bookstore Page Against the Machine. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.? You can be audience to an introduction and history of the Peace Corps from Natalie Smerkanich, an active Peace Corps recruiter in the South Bay/Long Beach region. Hear Smerkanich’s retelling of her days in Palau from 2012-2014 as well as stories from other former volunteers of the do-good organization John F. Kennedy signed into existence nearly 60 years ago.

Giving us a moment’s pause: Before you go and look up what Palau is on Google, we got you. It’s this tiny island planted in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that is kind of but also, not kind of, neighbors with the Philippines and Indonesia. Cool fact: Palauan society follows a strict matrilineal system, which means the tracing of kinship (i.e. family lines, inheritance and passing of traditional titles), is through the female line.

The art opening runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Polymer_ headquarters; 1565 Magnolia Ave. For more info, check out the event page here or on Instagram @thepolymer_program.

Peace Corps Story Slam is Saturday, Nov. 9 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Page Against the Machine, located at 2714 E 4th St. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, check out their Facebook page, here.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.