MUSE-ings: Snapshots from the Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles features on-the-fly images captured and shared by Melissa Richardson Banks daily through her award-winning Downtown Muse blog and social media. Richardson Banks says she is a collector of memories more than a photographer. “A real photographer,” she says, “owns a ‘real’ camera. I just take snapshots with my iPhone; mostly of temporary things that I love and don’t want to forget.” Collectively, her images reveal an insider’s glimpse into her urban neighborhood transformed by artists in the early 1980s and now quickly gaining widespread popularity. Seemingly, the point of view for each shot is more of someone who has lost a loved one than a tourist taking photos on vacation. A pile of bricks covered in graffiti from a demolished industrial building, luscious blossoms against stark concrete, blinding rooftop sunsets, skies crisscrossed by power lines, serpentine wire twirled around iron fences, and the promise of a new day as the sun rises over historic bridges are among the many images that evoke the sense of a place more pastoral or even more exotic than what you’d expect to find in the center of the nation’s second largest metropolitan area. The book includes 92 full-color photographs and an introductory essay by Melissa Richardson Banks. It was designed by Christy Addis Gutierrez.
Specifications: 92 color images and writings by Melissa Richardson Banks
Hardcover: 96 pages
Retail Cost: $25.00
Publisher: CauseConnect LLC; First U.S. edition
Publication Date: January 14, 2014
Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
INSTAGRAM JAM SAT 4/11/15 @ 8:00 PM to 12:00 midnight LOT 613 @ 613 Imperial St., Los Angeles, CA 90021 This show marked the third iteration of the Lucie Foundation‘s popular Instagram Jam and happened in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles. An official event of MoPLA’s annual Month of Photography Los Angeles, it was originally conceived by photographer Shaughn Crawford @shaughncrawford. The exhibition featured 20+ Instagram sensations worldwide, including Tasya van Ree @tasyavanree and Melissa Richardson Banks of @DowntownMuse (also @SouthBayMuse). Produced in partnership with Edgar Varela of @WeAreDTLA, a portion of the print sales benefitted SNAPSHOP!, the Lucie Foundation’s at-risk youth workshop program.
¡VETERANO! CARS presented by Frank Romero SAT 4/16/15 thru SUN 6/14/15 The Muckenthaler Cultural Center @ 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton, CA 92833 This exhibition was about how the automobile has a consistent presence in the work of many artists, including Melissa Richardson Banks.
SOUTH BAY SNAPSHOTS SUN 4/19/15 thru SAT 6/6/15 Phantom Galleries L.A. @ 12609 Hawthorne Blvd.. Hawthorne, CA 90250 Local photographers displayed images depicting daily life in the South Bay, including Melissa Richardson Banks, Jon Berry, Arlene P. Carley, and Richard Podgurski.
PRINTEMPS SOIRÉE: Art Show FRI 5/2/14 @ 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM Jonathan Club • Downtown Los Angeles 545 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles 90071 RSVP on FACEBOOK • Website With the theme of spring, Printemps Soirée featured paintings, photography, prints, and sculpture by artists Steven Barger, Marcel Bastiaans, Don Crocker, L.D. Eller, Martha Greiner, Jack Jasper, Bonnie Lambert, Rita Lee, Shahla Reynolds, Melissa Richardson Banks, Patti Lou Richardson, and Richard Stanley. The show was organized by Shahla Reynolds.
ARTS DISTRICT IN BLOOM: Photographs by Downtown Muse SAT 4/26/14 thru SUN 4/27/14 Artisanal LA Spring Show • Downtown L.A. The Reef @ 1933 S. Broadway, Los Angeles 90007 Most downtown areas might be described as gray, colorless, and devoid of greenery. This series of photography by Melissa Richardson Banks defies that notion of Downtown Los Angeles with her colorful images of blooms in the Arts District surrounded by brightly painted walls adorned by street art.
MUSEd: Paintings of the Arts District Inspired by Downtown Muse WED 4/23/14 thru FRI 5/15/14 Art Squared Gallery • Pershing Square in Downtown L.A. This outdoor exhibit featured six 8′ photomurals of paintings by artists Kikki Eder, Christian Hernandez, Miriam Jackson, Bonnie Lambert, Sandy Rodriguez, and Roderick Smith who reinterpreted photographs by Melissa Richardson Banks @DowntownMuse.
SUNRISE/SUNSET: Photographs by Downtown Muse THU 4/10/14 thru THU 5/8/14 Angel City Gallery • 216 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 This exhibit showcased twenty 20″ x 20″ prints from Melissa Richardson Banks, a self-described “snap-shooter.” selected with the support of cinematographer Jason Wawro. The exhibit also featured 24 photographs of the Arts District not previously published or publicly displayed.
MUSE-INGS: Featured Artist of Downtown Art Walk THU 2/13/14 • YouTube Video MALDEF Gallery at 634 S. Spring St., Los Angeles 90014 The solo exhibit featured 35 photographs by Melissa Richardson Banks from her book, MUSE-ings: Snapshots of the Arts District.
MUSE-INGS: Snapshots & Paintings of the Arts District SAT 1/18/14 thru SAT 2/8/14 Warehouse Gallery at Art Share LA 801 E. 4th Pl., Los Angeles 90013 The exhibit featured 50 original works of art by artists inspired by the photography of Melissa Richardson Banks; 50 framed photographs from her book “MUSE-ings: Snapshots of the Arts District” were also on view. Reinterpreting her images, 46 artists created new works of art: Jari “Werc” Alvarez, A.S. Ashley, Qathryn Brehm, Jesse Burgos, Gary Callahan, Diego Cardoso, Susie S. Chang, Jaime Colindres, Kikki Eder, Ramiro Fauve, Clemente Garcia Lassaulx, Margaret Garcia, Tom Garner, Kristopher Gee, Yolanda Gonzalez, Jacinto Guevara, Christian Hernandez, Javi Herrera, Miriam Jackson, Jeremy Thomas Kunkel, George Labrada, Lili Lakich, Bonnie Lambert, Lauren A. Langford, Leba, Tod Lychkoff, Ted Meyer, Colette Miller, Patricia R. Mitchell, Valerie Mitchell, Alberto Miyares, Birgitte Moos, J.W. Pippen, Wenceslao Quiroz, Patti Lou Richardson, Rick Robinson, Sandy Rodriguez, Alex Schaefer, SEK, ShadowMonsterBear, Roderick Smith, Anna Stump, Bob Ujszaszi, Jerico Woggon, and Jaime “Germs” Zacarias. Participating artists incorporated artistic license to create narrative and representational art based on Richardson Banks’ photographs utilizing a wide range of styles, including impressionism, surrealism, abstract and outsider. Their work represented a wide range of media including paintings using oil, spray paint, watercolor and/or acrylic, mixed-media prints and drawings, as well as sculptural installations, neon, and more.
ROMERO STUDIO ART SHOW SAT 12/7/13 and SUN 12/8/13 Plaza de la Raza 3540 N. Mission Rd., Los Angeles 90031 The 32nd annual exhibit curated by Sharon & Frank Romero featured artists Margaret Garcia, David Flury, Carlos Almaraz, Patssi Valdez, Yolanda Gonzalez, Melissa Richardson Banks, and Oscar Castillo.
EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW SUN 12/8/13 Duncan Miller Gallery in Bergamot Station 2525 Michigan Ave. #A7, Santa Monica 90404 Photographs and books were displayed by Melissa Richardson Banks, Sara Jane Boyers, Richard Chow, Steve Daly, Elena Dorfman, Judy Francesconi, Kevin Gray, Maureen Haldeman, Lorna Hart, Liz Huston, Mark Indig, Renee Jacobs, Tom Johnson, Robbie Kaye, Sandra Klein, Clay Lipsky, Claire Mallett, Rico Mandel, Lisa McCord, Linda Morrow, Lori Pond, Kristianne Koch Riddle, Yasmina Rossi, Douglas Stockdale, and Michael Wood. Sponsored by Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and YourDailyPhotograph.com.
THE INSTAGRAM SHOW: Celebrating the Art of the Phone THU 12/5/13 thru SAT 12/7/13 Melrose Lightspace 7600 Melrose Ave., Ste. N., Los Angeles 90046 Two photographs by Melissa Richardson Banks were included in this juried exhibition, which features a diverse selection of more than 100 images selected from all over the world.