If you are familiar with the Normal Heights area you probably have been to Lestat's Coffee Shop. Besides serving great coffee and being open 24 hours a day, they have a music stage with live entertainment nightly. It's a unique place, with a comfortable atmosphere. Old Victorian furniture reupholstered in bright colors. Statues and columns inside and out. The clientele is very diverse, depending on what time of the day or night you go there you can see many different types of people.
Art by David Russell Talbott
I have been displaying art there by local artists for the past few years. It's a great opportunity for the artists and I, because we can reach such a wide audience.
One thing that sets Lestat's apart from the rest, Is that when the owners first approached me to start hanging art in his space, I told him that I wanted to show underground, or outsider art, not the mainstream type of art you see day to day. I have shown some controversial work in the past and even had complaints about what was being shown.The management has always stood behind me and supported the artists' work. It's a rare occurrence when I had to take art down because of the subject matter. There have been times when people took it upon themselves to take down art because it offended them. One customer would repeatedly come in and take down a piece of art and place it against the wall backwards, so he didn't have to look at it.He was offended by the homosexual theme of the artwork. One of the owners finally caught him in the act and told him not to do it anymore. I was prepared to take the art down but the management stood behind me, saying that more people liked the art than disliked it.
Lestat's now has two locations, the original Lestat's is located at 3343 Adams Avenue in Normal Heights. They have a stage next door to the coffee shop that hosts music and comedy events. The new location is at 4496 Park Boulevard in University Heights. This Saturday we will be having a show opening there called, "The World Through the Lens" A collection of photography by six local artists. Photographers capturing life and beauty through the camera eye. Work ranging from nature, culture, architecture, and daily life. Photos by Gibran Barrack, Josh Bulriss, Julie Grace, Thomas Kelly, Lee Sie and Chris Swabb.
The show opening is Saturday, September 24th, from 6-9pm at Lestat's on Park. 4496 Park Boulevard in University Heights 92116. The art will be on display until November 1st.
_ Thumbprint Gallery is a joint venture between co-curators Paul Ecdao and Johnny Tran. Founded in 2007, they began showing urban contemporary art in different venues around San Diego. In 2009 Ecdao and Tran opened a gallery space in North Park and held numerous shows featuring local artists. The gallery is relocating to a new space in La Jolla in an effort to further the urban art movement.
Thumbprint gallery is famous for cutting edge street art and alternatively themed shows. It almost seems out of place for them to move from "Bohemian" North Park to an upscale area like La Jolla. I think it's more a sign of the times that Low brow / Outsider art is becoming a more collected genre, and finally getting some recognition in the "art world".
Their first show at the new location is appropriately called,"Hood Etiquette". It includes work by Neko, Bekm, Walker, and Baby Boy. The reception is Saturday, September 10th from 5-10 pm at their new location 920 Kline St. #104, La Jolla 92037. It is a free, all ages event.