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A New Place to Enjoy Art in Highland Park

The Haggus Society and Julie Montenegro Insurance have teamed up to provide unexpected art in an unexpected place.

Anyone who knows me knows that one of the things I really love about Highland Park is the art.

And I don’t mean just the art hanging on the walls in the various galleries, but the murals, the sculptures in people’s front yards, some of the graffiti and even some of the people walking around.

But of course I also like the galleries and shops that feature art for our appreciation.

Now there's a new place, not necessarily a gallery, to enjoy art in Highland Park.

You’ve probably seen one of the fliers advertising Julie Montenegro and her State Farm Insurance office, across from El Arco Iris and Galco’s.

There, for anyone to see during business hours, will be works by a variety of area artists.

“I really love this community,” Montenegro said. "While providing the community with financial and insurance services is important, I also want to provide a location for the community to enjoy art, and a place for under represented artists to show their work.”

Working with the fabulous Haggus Society, this project is a one-year commitment to art, exhibitions and programming at Julie's office at 5683 York Blvd.

Haggus Society’s Terri Lloyd tells Patch, “our vision is to support and bring awareness to under-appreciated and under-served artists with preference given to NELA area creatives.”

The first show, featuring the work of Altadena "outsider artist" Patrick Gothard premiered during Second Saturday Gallery Night on Oct. 13.

A self-taught, self-styled painter, Gothard is a prolific artist. With an almost Seuss-by-way-of-Tim-Burton approach in philosophy, Gothard shows us a colorful sense of wonder and whimsy making some difficult topics easily accessible.

Also on display are the sculptures of Ray Cirino and his Dragon Pizza Oven.

Ray's Dragon, who’s goes by the name of Sparky, includes glass work by local glass artist Leigh Adams and ceramic tiles by Toro's Pottery in Eagle Rock.

“Selfishly, not only do I want to provide a place for these artists to show their work, but I know I will enjoy seeing this art every day," Montenegro adds.

Meet "the Hags"

Do you know the Haggus Society?

It is a collaborative effort by North East Los Angeles artists Terri Lloyd and Monica Marsh who cater to creative feminists over the age of 40  “who share a vision of empowering Woman’s position in the arts and society via the support of cultural acts and practices as well as direct action.” 

If that sounds like you, visit their site, take their quiz, and get out there and make some art.  They tell us, “The Haggus Society is more than a collective. It is a movement and a way of life.”

And, if you are a local artist and want the opportunity to exhibit at Julie Montenegro’s office, or if you want to propose an exhibit, contact Terri Lloyd for details at info@thehaggussociety.org.

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