A Change of Scenery / New Landscapes: Holly Elander, Todd Carpenter & Shawn Waco

A Change of Scenery

New paintings by Holly Elander


New Landscapes

Oil Paintings by Todd Carpenter 



Mixed Media Relief Art by Shawn Waco


May 20 – June 17, 2023

Opening reception, Saturday May 20th, 5 – 8pm

LAUNCH Gallery
170 S. La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

LAUNCH Gallery is proud to present two exciting exhibitions featuring unique perspectives on contemporary landscape presented by local artists Todd Carpenter, Holly Elander and Shawn Waco.


Holly Elander explores new locations that offer solitude and inspiration in their quiet calm for her solo exhibition, A Change of Scenery.  This collection of small, intimate acrylic paintings are different from her usual contemplations on modern architecture bathed in light in suburban Southern California locales.  These quiet renderings of rural, natural settings comprised of sweeping, open spaces and personal hideaways are creations that Holly finds comforting and hopeful as she continues her trek toward the new normal. 

Much of my body of work has been influenced by my life growing up in Los Angeles in a mid-century modern house, curated with meticulously stylish furniture and books. Over the years of being surrounded by this "California cool" aesthetic, I learned to draw inspiration for my own work from it.  My eventual love of the Los Angeles modern style came only after years of my own resistance to it.  For much of my life I wanted to live in a traditional house with a white picket fence where I would have to shovel snow from the drive and everyday after school I climb the stairs to my own imagined room of traditional "normalcy". Now when I wish to see the colors change with the season, feel the cool breeze of a cape side town, or listen to the silence of a sprawling desert plane.  I paint the scene to transport me there.

Todd Carpenter continues his monochromatic exploration of contemporary natural and urban landscapes with expertly applied oil paint using only a pallet knife, a retired credit card and his fingers.  The paintings in this new collection are personal recollections of the recent pandemic sourced from travels through California and more recent adventures in the Caucus region of Eastern Europe.  Todd’s manipulation of light and his detailed visual interpretations of place were honed over several decades in Southern California and recently employed to record these new locales, both real and imagined. 

Shawn Waco’s first exhibition at LAUNCH presents mixed media 3-D relief urban-scape and landscape paintings.  These intricate wall sculptures are comprised of layered laser cut and etched wood panels thoughtfully brought to life using acrylics, spray paint and resin.  Shawn also draws inspiration from years of living and art-making in Los Angeles while occasionally seeking refuge and inspiration in his worldly travels.

About the artists

Todd Carpenter is a Los Angeles based artist who uses black and white paint to explore the perception of space and beauty. Carpenter's formal education is in science - he holds a MS in Neuroscience from UCSD and a BS in Psychobiology from UCLA - and he brings this background into service when making art. His paintings explore the mechanisms of perception and aesthetics, examining among other things how the depiction of light can impart realism and convey emotion. Like his paintings bridging art and science, Carpenter's career has similarly straddled the two fields, and he has taught subjects ranging from neuroscience and environmental science to photography and painting.

Holly Elander is a born and raised Angeleno whose inspiration comes from the architecture, people, animals, and mood that make up Los Angeles. She uses several thin, flat layers of acrylic paint to mold realistic spaces of her own creation and from real life. Through her work, Holly gives a platform to quiet and often forgotten scenes. She is influenced by the artists Edward Hopper, David Hockney and Michael McMillen. Holly is a Pratt Institute graduate and is currently working and residing in Echo Park. This is her second showing at Launch LA gallery. 


Shawn Waco was born and raised in Los Angeles and he began his art career with printmaking, painting, welding sculpture, and graphic design in 1990 while living in Santa Monica. For 25 years, Shawn has worked with multiple mediums and techniques and he mastered the printmaking technique of viscosity etching. With his most recent work, he has combined his hand labored art skills and developed his own

unique process for creating mixed media 3D paintings. His work is partially inspired by Los Angeles where he recreates a modern interpretation of the vast city while at the same time he combines a 70s and 80s Los Angeles influence. As a world traveler, he has spent time exploring Europe, South America, Asia, as well as going on many road trips across the US. From dense overpopulated smog cities to old

crumbling beautiful cities like Porto and Naples, his art captures what is happening in the world today.



LAUNCH LA believes exposure to the arts enhances quality of life and strengthens community for all through the shared appreciation of creative expression in all its forms and hybrids. LAUNCH LA is passionate about providing all artists regardless of race, color, creed or sexual orientation with quality opportunities to present themselves and their creations that reflect our times to a curious and enthusiastic audience at important happenings throughout Los Angeles.

Media Contact:
James Panozzo