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    "First Friday" June 1 In Bixby Knolls Readies Multiple Arts-Oriented Events

    (May 31, 2007) -- On the heels of a large turnout for May's "First Friday" arts-oriented events, businesses along Bixby Knolls' Atlantic Ave. corridor are expecting an even larger turnout on Friday, June 1.

    It's the latest in the growing series of locally-created monthly arts events that have drawn visitors from the neighborhood, citywide and beyond.

    "First Fridays" was launched by a group of creative LB neighborhood businesses and residents with the goal of "building community through the arts." The events (described below) don't rely on City Hall's taxpayer-subsidized "arts" sources; they're grassroots and locally-organized.

    Some events (listed below) start as early as 3:00 p.m. and most extend into the night. Nearly a dozen Bixby Knolls businesses now host First Friday events. Quoted text below is via event organizers:

    • Chroma Glass Designs
      4242 Atlantic Ave.
      (562) 424-6052

      Six local photographers will present their works in the Oasis Gallery in "A Photographic Journey of Long Beach" For a preview, click here:

      Keith Lewis ("loves to explore the urban decay of the world around him and capture it on film. Some of his favorite subjects include rail yards, dilapidated factory buildings, and urban landscapes...prefers to work in black and white where his subject matter often appears stark and intimidating, without the distraction of color")

      Barbara Holbrook ("Signal Hill resident whose photography ranges from complex digital cameras and computer creations to the deceptively simple “toy” cameras known as Holgas...manages to combine great technical knowledge of the media, and yet the playful joy of life still lives in her photos")

      Bill Wilson ("shooting photos for over 20 years and is currently a photographer for a local newspaper...This latest series, I call Life Reversals. These images were made by shooting slide film (a positive) and printing it like a negative. It completely changes the image. Black is white, Yellow is blue, green is purple. It makes for some striking images")

      Tom Leventhal ("I acquired a digital camera and learned to manipulate images with a computer and software... For me, the process of creating the final image is just as important as the image itself. Recent work reflects my interest in discovering linkages and connections between people and their environment, color and emotions, and my private and public life")

      Susan Sabo ("I like to shoot Long Beach most when she's alone: pre-dawn on the beach, or standing by myself on the deck of the Queen Mary in the pouring rain...I like to be there when Long Beach shows her secret self. Her beautiful, dark horizon; her aged but elegant structures, the stillness of her spirit that comes through the offshore breeze when nobody is there to block it. Long Beach is an enigma when nobody's paying attention, and that's when I like to go looking for her")

      Chris Branan ("a New Orleans native who has recently taken root in Long Beach. Working primarily in black and white film, he is discovering this vibrant and visually rich town and recording its life with his camera")

      In addition, sculptor Peter Dopulos will display three new sculptures in his "Series of Masks."

    • Four Olives Cafe
      4276 Atlantic Ave.
      (562) 595-1131

      10% off dinner (only on request when going to the theater after dinner) plus $2.00 off theater price if purchased through the restaurant.

      Art on display will be from Suzanne DeCuir ("gravitates toward the geometric shapes found in urban landscapes as well as simple, uncluttered coastal images including a single figure or two") She has studied art in Rome and more recently at L.A.'s Otis Art Institute and is a member of Oil Painters of America.

    • Jammin Music
      3972 Atlantic Ave.
      (562) 490-0222

      Live music from one of Jammin' Music’s Rock School groups featuring three boys ages 12-13 on guitar, bass and drums.

    • Mirage Coffee House
      539 E Bixby Rd.
      (562) 424-4774

      Live Music

    • New Orleans Grille
      3819 Atlantic Ave
      Long Beach, CA 90807
      (562) 997-1221

      Live Music

    • Nino’s Italian Restaurant
      3853 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach

      Acclaimed singer-songwriter Michelle Mangione will perform (no cover charge for the 21 and over show). ("Nominated for Best Female Artist for the 2007 Orange County Music Awards, Mangione kicked her career into high gear with the release of her solo debut album Life Beneath the Sun last year. Since then, she has been performing with her band, box drum and acoustic guitar, playing her signature blend of percussion-infused acoustic music.")

      Along with Ms. Mangione, visitors will see the works of local artist Michele Vavonese, known for her paintings of whimsical and colorful interiors. (At left, "Five Chairs") The event will be held in Nino's Banquet Room, featuring Carina and Nikki’s Martini Bar specializing in flavored martinis. ("Our Bellatini and Mafia Mango are hits as well and the soothing Pompei Pomegranate and Blue Grotto.") Cristiano Leoni and her friend Nikki Esposito have created a widely varied martini menu with 3 Olives Vodka. A light dinner menu will also be available with dinner served 4:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. with late night dining options.

    • The Richard Goad Theatre
      Home of the Long Beach Shakespeare Company.
      4250 Atlantic Ave
      (562) 997-1494

      Activities begin at 5:30 p.m. and last until 7:30 p.m. with live Renaissance music and an art display in the lobby. Plus, "Sonneteers" will provide a dramatic reading of a Shakespeare sonnet upon request.

      The Friday evening performance of Shakespeare's Richard III will begin at 8 p.m. (runs through June 16, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and at 2 pm on Sundays. Tickets are $15, students $10. For tickets call (562) 997-1494 and for further info visit

      There'll also be an an "opportunity drawing" ($5.00 to put your name in a fishbowl for a chance to win prizes including four Aquarium of the Pacific passes, a copy of each of the plays to be performed there this summer (Romeo and Juliet and The Comedy of Errors) at the Theater's Ninth Annual Free Long Beach Shakespeare Festival, two sea-creature squirters, a guide-to-Shakespeare book, and more.) The drawing will take place on the closing night of Richard III. One needn't be present to win.

    • Shore Books
      4270 Atlantic Ave.
      Long Beach, CA 90807

      Shore Books will hold its grand opening reception on Friday, June 1st from 3:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. (" important resource for the Bixby Knolls residents stocking a wonderful selection of children books, fiction and non-fiction titles, general interest, book readings, special screenings and progressive books. The featured artist is nationally renowned artist Reginald Webster. Influenced by his heritage, his art embodies creations rooted in African-American history and projects strong sense of pride for humanity. Also, Russ Parsons, National Bestselling author, Award-winning food columnist for the Los Angeles Times and local Bixby resident. "How to Pick a Peach" has the taste of a national bestseller...")

    • Tuttle Camera
      4019 Atlantic Avenue
      Long Beach, CA 90807
      (562) 424-8633

      From 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., featured photographer will be Ron Hause. ("His photography takes him to places where most people can't even get to. Ron shoots after midnight and before sunrise deep in the Utah and Arizona mountains known as the Colorado Plateau. His exposures are sometimes three to five hours long.")

    • THOR Antiques
      4122 Atlantic Avenue
      Long Beach, California 90807
      (562) 981.3223

      Six paintings just added to their collection by prominent artists Regis de Bouvier de Cachard, Alvaro Guillot and James Twitty. ("This will be your first opportunity to see these wonderful paintings. They will not be on the web site until after Friday, June 1st. You will also be able it see art from the rest of the collection. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served.")

    For First Friday's information on event details, call Chroma Glass Designs at (562)424-6052 or visit

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