By Kathy Leonardo
The Rose Café has been a Venice fixture for over thirty years. Known for its relaxed vibe and fabulous brunch, the café has sported art on its walls and in its famed gift shop since it opened. Over two hundred exhibitions have been featured since 1979.
“Rose Retrospectives” is currently on view at the Rose Cafe. Curated by Karen Black, the series of group shows in 2013 was created to celebrate the rich history of art in the Café. The current group exhibition includes artists Dora De Larios, Meg Davenport, Melvin Detroit, Jodi Fuchs, Fred Kaplan, Michael Temple, and Cassandra Tondro.
Black talks about how it all started, “In 1978-79, with a group of very creative people, I helped to design, open, and operate the Rose Café and Market. I had a degree in art history from UCLA and was already dabbling with the idea of exhibiting art in alternative public venues like the Clothing Gallery on Main Street in Santa Monica, where I mounted my first public exhibition by Kathy Walter in 1971.”
She continues, “Soon after the Rose opened in 1979, I began organizing shows of local artists and that has continued ever since. It has been a privilege to show work by hundreds of emerging and mid-career artists as well as exceptional young artists (Los Angeles High School for the Arts) and special needs artists in various art programs such as mentally ill artists and underserved youth.”
One of the featured artists, Michael Temple is probably best known for being the creator and percussionist of the world beat band, the Bonedaddys. For years, Temple has split his time between the music world and the art world. Painting almost everyday, his art continues to evolve. He most recently showed his work at Trunk Gallery in Venice and as part of the well-known Santa Monica Airport Art Walk.
Black first met Temple in 1984 through his work as an artist and has been a fan of the Bonedaddys for years. “I remember many summer evenings on the Santa Monica Pier with the Bonedaddys,“ recalls Black. “Comparing Mike’s work to his music is a temptation I cannot resist,” says Black. “There are layers of notes and tones in his paintings with recurring rhythmic ‘tempos’ that give way to wild and unexpected excursions into percussion and emotion. Like his ‘World Beat’ music, they are vibrant and gestural and colorful.” Black continues, “They are as much about the act of painting as they are about the product. Crafted chaos like music you can dance to with abandon but with a haunting and clear melody that lingers in your head when the music stops.”
Michael Temple is featured in the second part of the series “Rose Retrospectives” which is currently on view at the Rose Café (220 Rose Ave., Venice) through July 7. Temple’s work will also be part of a group show at hale ARTS P A C E on Friday, July 12 in Santa Monica.