‘Tarfest’ celebrates local art community

Beverly Press, September 3, 2020

LAUNCH LA is currently hosting the group exhibit “Transition,” featuring works by 44 artists. (photo courtesy of James Panozzo)


LAUNCH LA presents the 18th annual “Tarfest” arts festival with support from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Councilman David Ryu, the Original Farmers Market, Beverly Connection, CBS Television City and the Miracle Mile arts and business community.


This year’s community celebration includes virtual and live programming. LAUNCH LA recently opened the exhibit “Transition,” an open call exhibition featuring 45 works by 44 Southern California artists juried by Holly Jerger, exhibition curator at Craft Contemporary. The exhibition, which had an opening featured on Facebook Live, brings together artists whose practices engage with core concepts of change through process, thought culture, chance and more during unprecedented times. The exhibition is located at the ART170 building, 170 S. La Brea Ave. Free public viewing is available by appointment through Saturday, Sept. 5. To schedule an appointment, email info@launchla.org.


LAUNCH LA has also launched its first outdoor presentation with three neon light art pieces by Donna Gough, which can be viewed through Oct. 5 on La Brea Avenue near Second Street.


“’Tarfest’ has been part of the L.A. community for over 18 years, remaining an important annual event through important changes that have transformed the city,” LAUNCH LA founder James Panozzo said. “This year’s challenges of a global pandemic forced artists and producers to really impose their creative will. I think we have accomplished something special.” 


Another group exhibition, “Have To Hold,” will be part of LAUNCH Gallery programming. Curated by Elizabeth Tinglof and Ashley Hagen, the exhibit will run from Saturday, Sept. 5 through the end of the month at 170 S. La Brea Ave.


“Have to Hold” is an exhibition in which six contemporary artists reflect on the rich yet charged history and psychology of collecting. Through the use of objects and materials, the artists construct stories of experiences and conceptual perspectives, addressing the past and future. Participating artists include Vida Liu, Constance Mall-inson, Kristen Morgin, Kimberly Morris, Ephraim Puusemp and George Stoll. 


The gallery will be open by appointment, Thursday through Saturday. Programming related to the exhibition will be announced on the LAUNCH LA website and social media. For information, email info@launchla.org.


On Friday, Oct. 2, the Original Farmers Market and CBS Television City present “Breathe: A Drive In Dance Event,” created, choreographed and directed by Laurie Sefton, with original music by Bryan Curt Kostors. The event was inspired by venues like the Gilmore Drive-In theater, which was formerly located on the Farmers Market property from 1948-79. Guests can enjoy the live outdoor interactive show from the comfort of their cars in the north parking lot of the Original Farmers Market. Advance reservations are required. Ticket information will be available by visiting farmersmarketla.com.


For information about “Tarfest” and other LAUNCH LA programming, visit launchla.org and tarfest.com.