FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

“Faces in Time…”
Kent Twitchell’s Odyssey with the Freeway Lady
Wednesday, January 5th, through Saturday, January 22nd, 2005
Opening Reception:  Sunday, January 9th, 2005, 2pm-5pm
Fundraising Event:  “An evening with Kent Twitchell”, Thursday, January 20th, 2005, 6pm-9:30pm



Valley institute of Visual Art (VIVA)
13261 Moorpark St., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
818.385.0080
Web site, <http://www.vivaartgallery.com>
E-mail, <sukimonstercat@aol.com>
Hours, Wednesday thru Friday, 11am-4pm; Saturday, 12noon-4pm


Artist Kent Twitchell at work

VIVA is thrilled to present the first in a schedule of exclusive exhibitions of Kent Twichell’s work pertaining to his definitive piece, the Freeway Lady. Pieces never viewed before will be showcased such as the original cartoons, drawings and paintings for not only the Freeway Lady but for his 7th Street Alter Piece.  This exhibit also includes original photographs of Kent at work on his latest pieces as well as written & video history of the artist’s journey with his work. In conjunction with this show, students from  the LAVC photography and journalism departments have been juried by Kent into a photo essay exhibit entitled “A Day in the Valley”. Fifty pieces are on display with an opening reception and award ceremony on January 9th.  

The reception is open to the public and press.  For further information re’ the fundraiser on January 20th, please contact me at the above number or at sukimonstercat@aol.com.

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The Kent Twitchell Project

VIVA is proud to announce an exciting project that will evolve over the next two years.  Kent Twitchell will be installing his definitive mural, The Freeway Lady, on our outside wall. Kent Twitchell is one of America’s foremost muralists and a Los Angeles artistic treasure.  His work graces the walls and freeways of our city as well as other locations around the country.

Of all of Kent’s work, The Freeway Lady is his personal favorite.  He saw her as the embodiment of the “deep wisdom and mystery found in older women”.  The model for the image was the actress Lillian Bronson (1902-1995) who reminded Kent of his two great-grandmothers. The Freeway Lady is recognized as the first freeway painting in the United States.  In 1974, after her completion, she became everyone’s grandmother, a welcome feast for the eyes of commuters driving north on the Hollywood Freeway.  But her life was a troubled one.  She was partially obscured by a new building and then painted over in 1987.  Before the last attempts at restoration could be completed with a protective coating, the mural was badly damaged by graffiti and no further effort was made to restore our lovely grandmother. . .until now.

Kent Twitchell was invited to visit the Valley Institute of Visual Art (VIVA) in Sherman Oaks after a presentation to one of our founding organizations.  Not only did Kent fall in love with VIVA and agree to a retrospective of his work in the future, he had a clear vision of what to do with VIVA’s 90 foot blank outside wall…the perfect spot for not just any mural but a total resurrection of his beloved Freeway Lady.  We have been working together towards this goal since April 2004.

This is not a project that affects just VIVA.  This work of art in Sherman Oaks will clearly make our area the artistic and cultural center of the Valley.  As VIVA is a nonprofit organization, we rely on donations from community minded individuals, businesses and corporations to assist with our many exhibitions and programs. The Kent Twitchell Project will cost an estimated $100,00.00 and we are planning a number of fund raisers in the future to help us reach that goal. To learn more about Kent Twitchell, log onto the following websites:  <http://www.kentsart.8m.com> / <http://www.vivaartgallery.com>.




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