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Monday, March 16, 2009

Julius Shulman: Still Going Strong at 98!

This past week (March 9-15, 2009), I had the joy of seeing Julius Shulman on two occasions; visiting him at his home in the Hollywood Hills, and on Sunday, March 15th attending an "Ides of March Scotch-Tasting Bacchanal" at the home of (L.A. Magazine Executive Editor) Mary Melton and her husband Ed Leibowitz in Eagle Rock.
Apparently Julius has been wanting to do this for years, according to our hosts. For the occasion, they brought in one of the city's top Scotch experts from the Seven Grand bar in downtown Los Angeles. Guests mingled around the pool, sampling Middle Eastern delicacies before adjourning to the family room for the Scotch-tasting. I had no idea there was such a variety of unique single malt Scotch whiskeys! Afterwards, we were invited to stay for dessert, a medley of three cakes, spelling out the words, "All Hail Julius".
Among the guests were many old friends we originally met through Julius, including Designer Ron Fields, Woodbury University's Rose Nielsen, L.A. Magazine's Chris Nichols and his lovely wife, Charlene, Chris Alexander from the Getty Research Institute, Linda Dishman, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Conservancy, Jim Heimann, Executive Editor of Taschen America (Julius' publisher) and his wife Rolleen, Neutra Scholar Barbara Lamprecht, our neighbor Guy Vidal (DesignVidal) and of course, Julius' daughter, Judy McKee. Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge dropped in for a "Hail Julius" salute.

Besides our hosts, we were introduced to Michael Stern from Palm Springs (Michael hosted last year's Palm Springs Modernism event) and Craig Krull, owner of the gallery in Santa Monica that exhibits Julius' work.

Friday, March 6, 2009

On the Town with DesignVidal

During the six years Donna Jean and I lived in Silver Lake, we became friends with many of our neighbors, including Guy & Karen Vidal (DesignVidal) and their two beautiful children, Ginger and Levi. The Vidals invited us to attend a reception for Glass Artist Andrew Thompson held at Blackman Cruz in Hollywood on May 5, 2009. We had the privelege of meeting the artist and many of his friends. Thompson has masterfully "altered the perception of glass designed as fine art. His exploration of complex technique incorporated with organic design creates the ultimate synergy", according to Adam Cruz, the gallery's owner.

Located in the old PROBE Night Club (836 N. Highland Avenue in Hollywood, L.A.s equivelant of Studio 54), the Blackman Cruz showrooms are on many levels, and something special to experience. Besides Andrew Thompson's beautiful art glass (on nearly every conceivable surface), there are many fascinating one-of-a-kind collectable objects to enjoy.