2021. It was a very good year for art. Gallery events and festivals returned in a big way. And the public was hungry for them. Not only was I invited/juried into a few themed exhibits and gallery shows this past year, 2021 was the first year I ventured into selling art merchandise. A wholly new adventure in the ongoing growth of The Sketchie Beast.
Kicking the doldrums of 2020 to the curb, I was truly inspired in 2021 and created some of my best works SO FAR (I can only get better, right?). Please enjoy the highlights here in this slide presentation and check out a chronology of my events below.
Pomona Artwalk / Artist in the Alley
At various times, in both 2020 and 2021, I participated in Pomona Artwalk at the Artist in the Alley studio gallery. A high traffic and coveted venue for this 2nd Saturday of the month event. I've been truly grateful to be included in this fine company of emerging artists and Artist in the Alley has been a gracious host, charging no hanging fees and collecting no commissions from the artists; a rarity in the art world. This artist can't thank you enough, Artist in the Alley!
The World in Our Backyard
In May, my piece, Deliverance was invited into The World in Our Backyard community art exhibit featuring the works of local Southern California artists highlighting the diversity of the land we live in. I was thrilled to be part of the City of Stanton's first ever art show along with a very fine community of emerging and seasoned artists of wide age range and influence.
Sway Forth Exhibit
Also in May, my Origarmy: West Above the Storm was invited to show in the Sway Forth themed exhibit hosted by Mom and Pop Art Gallery in lovely Point Richmond, Northern California. The exhibit, which ran from May through August, featured themes of movement, positivity and navigating our way out of the treacherous waters of 2020. Origarmy debuted at this show (and sold there) and has become one of my more popular pieces of artwork.
Operation Art Strings / Guitars for Vets
In August, I applied and was accepted as a participating artist in the Operation Art Strings/Guitars for Vets program.
According to their research, 800,000 U.S. veterans struggle with physical injuries, PTSD and other emotional issues. The organization believes guitars can help the healing process. Music helps decrease anxiety, increase self-esteem, and reduce episodes of panic attacks, nightmares and flashbacks. Being a digital, the biggest challenge will be getting my artwork on the guitar, but I have print vendors in my arsenal that can print my artwork on just about anything. Or I may go full analog. Whatever my method, I will post the results of my handiwork when finished. Stay tuned! For more info on this organization visit: https://guitars4vets.org/why-guitars/
Artsy Shark Social Platform
In September I was chosen to be a featured artist on the Artsy Shark social platform and found myself in lofty company. It's always an honor to be featured on ANY platform and this artist likes any kind of publicity, especially gratis, and I make no bones about it. Check out the Artsy Shark page on Instagram and find me there, along with other engaging artists and their works of art instagram.com/artsy_shark/
Off the Easel Art Show
Also in September my City of Fallen Angels was invited into the Off the Easel art show, a physical gallery showing hosted by Ashton Gallery in San Diego, California. My City of Fallen Angels gets a lot of attention wherever it shows and I've recently sold a large print to a very enthusiastic collector. City of Fallen Angels is a limited print so you might want to purchase it for yourself or as a gift before it's available no longer.
Pets 2021 International
Also in September; I was accepted into the Pets 2021 International online exhibit organized by Exibizone, Biafarin and Artistonish artist platforms. Featuring artworks of...you guessed it...pets in traditional, abstract and whimsical representations. I submitted my Portrait of Laila: Glam Grrrl and she was quite proud to be a part of this engaging, international showing.
Fall Family Fun Festival
On September 18, I participated in The Fall Family Fun Festival in Northridge, California, hosted by the Museum of the San Fernando Valley through their Public Art Initiative. My first public art show since my debut, in 2019, at Art-a-Fair in Laguna Beach.
This small event was big on fun. The event organizers were friendly and helpful, the grounds lovely and the visitors enthusiastic to engage with the artists.
I was honored to share a booth with author, Jaklen Alkyan. Being illustrator of her three children's books (A Lovebird Named Lucy, Audrey and Lucy's Backyard Adventure and Audrey's Christmas Wish), Jaklen graciously invited me to showcase my own artworks alongside her books and enthusiastically introduced me, as illustrator, to her fans. It was the perfect pairing of two creative spirits.
Art in the Time of Corona / Vol 2
My Modern Love was invited into DabArt Los Angeles' themed online exhibit, Art in the Time of Corona Vol 2. My piece in this ongoing exhibit can be seen on DabArt's online platform dabart.me/atc-exhibit-page-2021 and on the Artsy sales platform artsy.net/artwork/victoria-johnson-modern-love. Check me out and all the other great artists in this very relevant-themed exhibit.
Fair on Richmond
In October, the Fair on Richmond was my first foray into art merchandise sales. It was a lovely day in El Segundo, California, with heavy foot traffic thanks to the many artists, artisans, crafters and other vendors selling unique wares to a crowd ready for holiday shopping. I was paid many compliments on my booth display, some calling it the best on the street. I liked hearing that...all day long. And fairgoers just loved my chandelier. Hey, whatever snags their attention and reels them in, I'm all for rit.
Ontario Festival of the Arts
A week after the Fair on Richmond, I set up booth once again to showcase my artworks at one of the Inland Empire's premier art festivals in the heart of the Ontario Arts District. This was a well-executed event with amazing volunteers and festival-goers very interested in talking about, and purchasing, art. A satisfactory show where many of my pieces sold to art enthusiasts of all ages. There were many talented artists featured in this festival and I was honored to show right alongside them.
Through the Looking Glass Gallery Community Show
In November my Misses Medusa was invited into the 3rd Community Art Show hosted by The Looking Glass Gallery in El Paso, Texas. This fairly new gallery was very accommodating to this Southern California artist and I was happy to be invited into their budding art community. While I couldn't attend the gallery showing in person, they have encouraged future submissions and hope to be physically present at a showing in the future.
Pop Culture and Trashy Exhibit
Last but certainly not least, in November, my Monday Noir was invited into the Pop Culture and Trashy Exhibit hosted by ShockBoxx Gallery in lovely Hermosa Beach, California. I was jazzed to be a part of this eclectic collection of artworks reflecting the quirkiness of pop culture and ode to excess as it's a theme right up my artistic alley. Check out some of the artworks on their Instagram page instagram.com/shockboxxproject/
As part of the exhibit my Monday Noir is also on the Artsy sales platform. Check it out here artsy.net/artwork/victoria-johnson-monday-noir
Needless to say, 2021 brought out the best of my sketchpad sessions and kept me hopping. Having only been a fine artist for three years, gauging my growth, day by day, has been encouraging, exhilarating and inspirational. There's plenty of steam in this engine and I'll keep shoveling in the coal! I'm optimistic about 2022 and whatever the year holds in store. I hope to see you at an exhibit or event soon. In the meantime, visit my website regularly to check out new artworks and merchandise. www.thesketchiebeast.art