FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Black Maria Gallery presents
First Year Anniversary Group Exhibition
and
Launch of the “Under the Table” Alternative Space
June 17 – September 15, 2006
Opening reception:  Saturday, June 17, 7pm


Black Maria Gallery
3137 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village, CA 90039
Contact, Zara Zeitountsian
(818) 613-9090, (323) 660-9393
Web site, http://www.blackmariagallery.com
E-mail, blackmaria_gallery@sbcglobal.net
Hours, Tuesday – Saturday, 1-6pm; and by appointment



Black Maria Gallery to Celebrate First Year
With Anniversary Exhibition and Launch of Alternative Space
 
Los Angeles – Black Maria Gallery announced that it will mark its first anniversary with a group exhibition which will open on Saturday, June 17, at 7 PM. The show will feature works by Andy Kehoe, Ron Velasco, P. Williams, Scot Nobles, Sophia Gasparian, Jenny Alcantara, Ronald Llanos, Plain Jane, Tiffany Liu, Jeff McMillan, Jason Houchen, Samuel Saga and Gin Stevens. The opening night will also see the launch of an alternative space, called “Under the Table,” within the gallery.

During the last year, Black Maria exhibitions have carried a variety of social, aesthetic, and psychological themes. With titles like “Six Degrees of Separation,” “PMS Revolution,” “Under a Freeway,” and “The Coffin Show,” among others, the exhibitions have featured mostly new works that were commissioned for these themes. The gallery continues to work with artists to explore and develop new concepts, such as an upcoming show devoted to prison art.

“In May 2005 we opened Black Maria Gallery with the aim of presenting art that marched to the beat of a different drummer, minus the pretension and hype,” owner Zara Zeitountsian said. “The response to this basic idea, from artists and patrons alike, has been overwhelmingly positive. We have also had the good fortune to develop relationships with and show works by some of the most visually interesting and thought-provoking artists currently working in Los Angeles as well as a considerable number of artists from other states and even overseas.”

According to Zeitountsian, Black Maria Gallery specializes in art that, despite being of undeniable technical and substantive merit, push at the boundaries of what can be and is shown at big-name galleries and museums. “We’ve striven to become an organic bridge between artists and the public, by presenting art that’s approachable and, as importantly, affordable,” she explained. “I think much of the art scene as we know it, in Los Angeles and elsewhere, has become too insular, too prohibitive, even arrogant. Our take is to help make the gallery-going experience fun and accessible – for casual visitors and collectors alike.”

“Unorthodox art – whether it’s termed low-brow, avant-garde, underground or subversive – has a hugely important place in civic and social discourse,” Saga said. “This is why exhibitions at Black Maria, irrespective of theme or style, share a dynamic sense of social consciousness. To this end, we’d like to continue presenting works that deliver the shock of the new – not in a gratuitous sense, but in a way that initiates wonderment, self-reflection, and, ideally, a measure of enlightenment.”   

Curator Samuel Saga said that the “Under the Table” space will function as an alternative conduit for featuring artworks that don’t fall within a specific category, or necessarily follow the set themes of the gallery. “The idea was inspired by the good old bad days of the Soviet Union, when every store imaginable operated something of a shadow economy, a black market within its walls,” Saga explained. “If you were rich, or connected, or simply could come up with a few extra rubles, the store clerk reached ‘under the table’ to give you the best product available. With the launch of our own ‘under the table’ at Black Maria, we’re parodying all that, having fun with the idea, by presenting stuff that goes against the grain, even by our own iconoclastic standards.”

Black Maria Gallery’s First Anniversary exhibition will remain open until September 15, 2006.

Black Maria is located at 3137 Glendale Boulevard in Atwater Village. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 12 to 6 PM. Opening night Saturday, 7 to 11 PM. For more information, call 323. 660 9393.




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