Sanrio 50th Anniversary – Small Gift Los Angeles

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

small gift
SANRIO Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary with Popular Artists from Around the World

Small Gift Los Angeles
November 12 – 21, 2010
Barker Hangar, Santa Monica, CA

It’s Sanrio’s 50th Anniversary, and to celebrate, the iconic company has invited popular artists from around the world to collaborate in two standout art exhibitions: Small Gift Los Angeles and Small Gift Miami, during Art Basel.

Inspired by their “small gift, big smile” philosophy, Sanrio’s Small Gift events offer a multi-dimensional experience for fans of all ages. For both Small Gift exhibitions, artists will transform their favorite Sanrio characters such asHello Kitty®, Little Twin Stars®, My Melody®, Patty & Jimmy™, Tuxedosam™, Keroppi®, Badtz-Maru®, Chococat® and many more into stunning original works that will be available for sale to the public. Small Gift Los Angeles and Small Gift Miami exhibitions will feature different artists as well as incorporate charitable components specific to each city.

Small Gift Los Angeles will open on November 12th, 2010 at Barker Hangar as part of Sanrio’s 50th Anniversary celebration events, featuring a character product retrospective, pop-up shop, interactive activities and special event programming, in a carnival style theme. Curated by Jamie Rivadeneira, owner of JapanLA, Small Gift Los Angeles will showcase works by 50 artists as well as eleven unique installation rooms designed by 64 Colors, Anna Chambers, Buff Monster, Crowded Teeth, Dan Goodsell, Joe Ledbetter, Neivz, Peekaboo Monster, Plasticgod, Sharktoof, and Tim Diet.

In December, Small Gift travels to Miami as part of its national mobile pop-up tour. Curated by Roger Gastman,Small Gift Miami will inhabit an 8,000-square foot space in the Wynwood Arts District during Art Basel. Artists, exhibition highlights and special surprises will be announced soon.

Featured artists in Small Gift Los Angeles include:

Audrey Kawasaki is a Japanese-American artist, born and raised in Los Angeles, where she currently lives and works. Kawasaki’s creative influences include eastern as well as western traditions such as Art Nouveau and Japanese Manga comics. She is known for her ethereal female subjects whose grace and mystery populate her delicate tableaus. Kawasaki’s highly sought-after works have been featured in numerous publications, including theLos Angeles Times, Juxtapoz, NotCot, and Vogue Australia. And the artist has collaborated on a number of products from jewelry and apparel to album art and laptop skins.

Brandi Milne grew up in Southern California surrounded by a wealth of inspiration as a child, taking pleasure in classic cartoons, crayons and coloring books, toys, candies and the kitschy fabrics and notions of the times. Self-taught and emotionally driven, Milne’s work speaks of love, loss, pain and heartbreak in the first person. She decorates it oddly with a wink of humor and a delicious candied-coat finish – a combination that can be considered highly addictive to viewers around the world. In 2008, she published her first book So Good For Little Bunnies with Baby Tattoo Books, and 944 Magazine recently spotlighted Milne as one of Orange County’s rising art stars.

Buff Monster cites heavy metal music, ice cream and Japanese culture as his major influences. His signature Pepto pink palette is a symbol of confidence, individuality and happiness and can be found in all of his works, including fine art paintings, design projects and toy collaborations. Buff Monster’s painting Happy Pink Explosionhangs in the permanent collection of Bristol’s City Museum and Art Gallery in the UK, and he is featured in Banksy’s film Exit Through the Gift Shop. The artist has been showcased in numerous publications from Juxtapozto The New York Times and most recently, he appeared on Last Call with Carson Daly. Buff Monster works tirelessly day and night to spread happiness, joy and a love of pink.

Crowded Teeth founder Michelle Romo is a self-taught illustrator and designer who is fueled by cookies and naps. Her influences include Mid-Century, Japanese, and Scandinavian design and all things cute. Based in Los Angeles, Michelle created her line, Crowded Teeth, in 2004 and continues to produce characters and products under that name as well as for popular apparel brand Loungefly. Romo is the creatively crafty author of Paper Wonderland: 32 Terribly Cute Toys Ready to Cut, Fold & Build and she is also featured in Print & Pattern by Bowie Style.

Eric Joyner is known worldwide for his signature paintings that reveal the secret life of robots and donuts. Filled with a delicious assortment of glazed imagery and android culture, his work has been featured in numerous media from Wired to KCRW’s Good Food radio program, and he has shown in galleries and cultural institutions worldwide, including the National Museum of American Illustration and San Jose Museum of Art’s exhibition “Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon”. Joyner has been an instructor and speaker at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University and California College of the Arts, and he is the author of Robots and Donuts.

Gary Baseman personifies Pervasive Art. As an internationally-known artist, Baseman has blown away vast audiences and their diverse tastes with his exceptional forays into toy culture, fashion design, magazine illustration, whimsical performance art and experiential gallery exhibitions. Among his most recent projects are “La Noche de la Fusión,” a mythical festival that brought various favorite Baseman characters to life, and the musically vibrant performance piece, “Giggle and Pop!” which debuted at LACMA in June 2010. Baseman is the three-time Emmy award-winning creator of the animated series and film Teacher’s Pet, designer of the best-selling game Cranium, as well as a fine artist with gallery and museum shows the world over.

Joe Ledbetter graduated from Humboldt State University with a BA in Sociology. However, art was his secret passion. Ledbetter immersed himself in Los Angeles’ underground art scene and by the summer of 2004, he had honed his trademark visual style into a fulltime career. With international appeal, he has had numerous solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, Paris, Rome, Toronto, Taipei, Istanbul, and Amsterdam, including his Amalgamation European Tour in 2009, consisting of five cities and five unique solo art exhibitions. Ledbetter’s incredible cast of creatures has been emblazoned on over 100 designer vinyl toys, as well as apparel and lifestyle brands, and he has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose, Playtimes Magazine, DPI magazine, Techmag, and XL Magazine.

Junko Mizuno is a painter, illustrator and comic artist who is recognized for her unique style of powerful and erotic female imagery. A Tokyo native, Junko’s work is highly-influenced by Japanese cute culture such as Manga, animation and toys. She was featured on the BBC’s acclaimed documentary series Japanorama, and her work has been exhibited in galleries worldwide. She is also the author of art book Hell Babies and has created several graphic novels, in addition to collaborating on numerous toy and clothing projects.

Natalia Fabia is known for her signature glitter veneer oil paintings of sultry seductive women and modern day Belle de Jours. The Los Angeles artist cites Toulouse-Lautrec, ornate interiors, wild animals, punk rock music and sparkles among her inspirations, and she is renowned for masterfully creating thematic environments for her shows. Her custom jewelry line, HookerFeathers, adorns celebrities and fans alike. A media darling, Fabia is featured in LA Weekly’s 2010 People Issue and her work has been published in Italian Vogue, Riviera Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Juxtapoz, Inked, and New York Arts. Fabia has also appeared on television series Miami Ink as well as on NBC News and Fox 11.

Paul Frank is a world famous graphic and fashion designer. Renowned for his funky designs, which have been adored by smiling fans for over a decade, Frank’s characters include Julius The Monkey, Worry Bear, Clancy (a small Giraffe) and Ellie (an Elephant). Defining a generation of pop culture, his iconic graphics have been featured on a variety of products from apparel and accessories to bicycles and eyewear. Inspired by everyday objects such as desks, school buildings, office furniture and various other industrial design, Frank’s creations are as vibrant as the Southern California skies where he is from.

Plasticgod is an internationally recognized Los Angeles artist who has been dubbed the “The 21st Century Warhol”. Plasticgod’s iconic “Heads” collection features over 900 pop and political icons sporting his signature caricature twist, and the series has caught the eye of celebrities, musicians and politicians who collect his work. The artist has collaborated with numerous brands to create limited-edition products and vinyl toys that have been featured in the media worldwide from Italian Vogue and Elle to Entertainment Weekly, MTV and the New York Times.

Simone Legno is the Italian artist behind the highly popular tokidoki brand. Growing up in the punk scene in Rome, Simone likes to mix the edginess of girls with tattoos and brightly colored hair with his Japanese inspired illustrations. Legno’s iconic imagery has been featured on numerous apparel and product collaborations, and most recently, the tokidoki creative director teamed up with leading beauty retailer Sephora to launch a brand new line of custom tokidoki cosmetics and accessories. Recognized worldwide, tokidoki has been featured in publications fromW, Paper and Vogue to The New York Times, Variety, and Vanity Fair.

Sanrio, Inc. continues their 50th Anniversary celebration with the upcoming Small Gift anchor event in Los Angeles. Small Gift Los Angeles is a 10 day carnival-style event open to the public Friday, November 12 – Sunday, November 21 at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. Small Gift Miami is the East Coast anchor event and will take place December 2 – 5, during Art Basel.

Inspired by the brand’s “small gift, big smile” philosophy, Small Gift Los Angeles will have a nostalgic fair/midway theme and offer fans of all ages a chance to immerse themselves in the whimsical world of Sanrio. Interactive games and rides, art exhibit and installations, product retrospective, pop-up shop, food trucks, dress-up photo booths, character appearances, workshops and special theme days combine to make this event a one-of-a kind experience. Entry to the venue is free of charge and tickets for games and activities will be available for purchase.

Small Gift Los Angeles will include:

Midway Carnival — a game booth area featuring classic characters will include Hello Kitty’s Spilled Milk Bottle Toss, Little Twin Stars Shooting Stars, Tuxedosam Bowtie Bounce, Chocopanda Dough Toss, Hangyodon Ring Fling, Landry Lucky Duckies, and Sanrio Friends Spin ‘n’ Win Wheel, a Japanese activity corner, a retro videogame arcade, photo booths and a ferris wheel with multiple characters represented on the cars. Two 9-hole miniature golf courses celebrating Sanrio’s legacy of characters will round out the midway fun!

Art Exhibition — curated by Jamie Rivadeneira, owner of JapanLA, Small Gift Los Angeles will showcase artist works as well as eleven unique installation rooms that transform favorite Sanrio characters into original works. Fifty top artists will participate including Buff Monster, Gary Baseman, Paul Frank, Crowded Teeth, Natalia Fabia, Simone Legno, and many others. Artwork will be for sale; with a portion of the proceeds going to Los Angeles based L.A. Works. L.A. Works is a non-profit, volunteer action center that creates and implements hands-on community service projects throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Contact us for a more detailed listing of artists on display, works and artist bios.

Food Extravaganza — the “mobile food court” of food trucks will be a centerpiece of Small Gift Los Angeles, with many different trucks visiting over the 10 days, including The Grilled Cheese Truck. In addition, cream puff gurus Beard Papa’s will have a booth for the duration of Small Gift Los Angeles and have developed a special Hello Kitty flavor – a yummy strawberry flavored cream puff with sprinkles. Also on sale, an eco-friendly, co-branded Beard Papa’s/Hello Kitty tote created by Beard Papa’s to commemorate the event. Yogurtland will also staff a booth throughout Small Gift Los Angeles, offering a variety of special yogurt flavors and toppings tied back to Hello Kitty®, My Melody®, Keroppi®, and Chococat®.

Pop Up Shop – in addition to playing, participating and previewing, guests of Sanrio will also have the opportunity to purchase specially created and selected commemorative product in the Small Gift Los Angeles pop-up shop. Sanrio’s 50th Anniversary marks the first time that so many of the characters have appeared together and there are a variety of must-have, collectible pieces including iPhone cases and laptop cases, t-shirts, tin lunch boxes, tote bags, bobbleheads, plush, a commemorative 50th Anniversary book and much, much more.

Events Within the Main Event — special parties and events will abound over the 10 days of Small Gift Los Angeles. The themed “I Heart Nerds” party hosted by Sanrio and Loungefly and “Kitty in Pink – Retro 80s Prom Party” offer fans a chance to dress up, have fun and compete for ‘best-dressed’ prizes. Workshops will include Sushi Bento Box making, Sunae (Japanese sand art), cupcake decorating, jewelry and craft making with participating artists, and an intro to Hello Kitty Beauty by Sephora. Tickets will be available for purchase prior to events and workshops on Sanrio will also host groups of children with L.A. Works throughout Small Gift Los Angeles.

Special Partnerships — many special partners will be on hand throughout Small Gift Los Angeles to participate in this massive celebration. Various models of the newly launched Hello Kitty Smart Cars will be on display, inviting fans to hop inside, explore, and snap pictures. New partner Sephora will give fans a sneak peek of their soon-to-launch “Hello Kitty Beauty” collection featuring a luxurious line of cosmetics and collectible accessories.

Barker Hangar
3021 Airport Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90405

More info:

Artist Contact: Charm School
Angelique Groh (323) 363-9338

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