WAHA E-News 12-15-2006

Jingle Bells, Season's Greetings -- Festive Holiday Events in West Adams and All Over Town!

By Laura Meyers

Saturday and Sunday, December 16 and 17 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days 2519 5th Avenue (between Arlington and Crenshaw, just north of Adams)

Still have gifts to buy for individuals on your holiday shopping list? Artist Arthur Tobias, who has been creating pottery and sculpture professionally since 1970, has an open house and sale this weekend. A West Adams resident since 1990, his current body of work presents a variety of hand-thrown, functional wares from mugs to jugs, in porcelain and stoneware. Most recently Tobias has been experimenting with traditional alkaline glazes compounded from fireplace ashes (oak, pine, cedar and manzanita from the San Jacinto Mountains), recycled neighborhood glass and Death Valley clay.

Tobias studied with British sculptor Nicholas Vergette at SIU Carbondale, Illinois, but, he says, "I am mostly self-taught as a potter. I researched the 19th century shapes of my native Illinois when I was starting out in the '70s. I have always had a fondness for the churns, crocks and jugs of that place and time. I also have long been inspired by the china coffee mugs of Mid-Western diners. They mostly came from the potteries along the Ohio River. Their simplicity and functionality has long shaped my aesthetic."

>Functional Stoneware and Porcelain
>Cash or check only
>Bring a friend (not immediate family) and get a free coffee mug of your choice.

Call 323-737-2120 for more information.

Sunday, December 17 4 to 8 p.m. 15415 East Don Julian Road (City of Industry)

A century of Southern California history awaits visitors at the Homestead Museum. This six-acre site dates from the era when California was still part of Mexico through the decade of the 1920s when Los Angeles had become a major American city.

This Sunday, the Homestead Museum opens its doors for its annual Evening Holiday Tours. Visitors will enjoy period decorations by moonlight. Tours will focus on how the celebration of Christmas in Southern California changed from the 1840s through the 1920s. Following the tour, visitors will enjoy cider and some sweet treats in the Homestead Museum Gallery.

Admission: $5 for adults and $3 for seniors, students, and children 2-12. Children under 2 are free. Advance reservations are recommended. Call 626-968-8492.

The holiday exhibit will be on view through January 7. (Tours are offered Wednesday through Sunday, at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m., and are free, except for the Sunday evening event.)

The Homestead Museum features the Workman House, an 1870s picturesque country home constructed around an 1840s adobe built by William and Nicolasa Workman; La Casa Nueva, a 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival mansion noted for its architectural crafts, built by the Workmans' grandson Walter Temple and his wife, Laura; both of which are decorated for the season. The museum also includes El Campo Santo, one of the region's oldest private cemeteries, containing the remains of Pio Pico, the last governor of Mexican California, and many other prominent pioneer families.

Saturday, December 16 6 to 9 pm Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave. ( Long Beach)

Posadas are Mexico's most spectacular Christmas celebrations. These parties commemorate Mary and Joseph's difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter. "Posada" in Spanish simply means lodging or shelter.

Visitors will enjoy delicious tamales and other holiday dishes, listen to beautiful Villancicos (Mexican Christmas carols), and break a huge piñata. Bring the entire family.

Members: $15 Non-Members: $20 Children: $10

The Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA) in Long Beach was founded by Dr. Robert Gumbiner in November 1996. It is the only museum in the western United States that exclusively features contemporary Latin American art. Through the utilization of its permanent collection, traveling exhibitions, and programs, MoLAA educates a diverse Southern California audience about contemporary Latin American art.

The museum is located in the newly developing East Village Arts District of Long Beach, California. Between 1913 and 1918 the site that the museum now occupies was the home of Balboa Amusement Producing Company, then the world's most productive and innovative silent film studio. Before there was a Hollywood, Balboa was the king of the silver screen, producing as much as 20,000 feet of negative film a week. The building currently being renovated as MoLAA's Entertainment/Education/Special Event venue may have been part of the old Balboa film studio. MoLAA's exhibition galleries, administrative offices and store are housed in what was once a roller skating rink known as the Hippodrome. Built in the late 1920s, after the film studios were gone, the Hippodrome was a haven for skaters for four decades. The building then served as a senior health center for fifteen years. The high vaulted ceilings and beautiful wooden floors were perfectly suited for the Hippodrome's final metamorphosis into the Museum of Latin American Art. 562-437-1689

Saturday and Sunday, December 16 and 17 1 p.m. Greystone Mansion in Greystone Park, 905 Loma Vista Drive ( Beverly Hills)

The play, "The Manor," is the fictionalized story of the turbulent and troubled Doheny family (yes, those West Adams Dohenys), and the tragic events that took place at Greystone, the 1928 mansion erected for Ned Doheny. A year later, Ned and his friend Hugh Plunkett were found shot to death at Greystone. Inspired by these "true and tragic events," "The Manor" plays out in the actual mansion as the audience members follow along through its corridors. (Yep, a different kind of house tour.)

Admission is $45, and refreshments will be served. If you can't make either of this weekend's two performances, the curtain rises again in 2007.

> January 6, 7, 13, 14, and 20
> February 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18 All showtimes are 1 p.m.

For reservations, call 310-364-0535.

On view through January 7, Banning Residence Museum, 401 East M Street ( Wilmington)

One of Los Angeles's earliest mansions is decked out in festive Victorian fashion for the Christmas holidays. Much research has been done to ensure that the Museum reflects realism in decor and re-creation of a Victorian Christmas. Save time to browse through the Norris Museum Shop, which is filled with gifts, ornaments, and holiday decor.

General Phineas Banning broke ground for his residence in 1864. He wanted his family to live in gracious American comfort, so he built his mansion in the fashion of the fine Greek Revival houses which he had seen back in Delaware. He insured that the house was grand and comfortable inside and out by filling it with elegant Victorian furnishings like the ones that fill the rooms today.

Visit during regular museum hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, with tours departing at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., plus on weekends only at 3:30 p.m. (You must go on a tour at one of these specified times.)

A special exhibition, "A Victorian Child's Life: 1850 to 1900," is also on view.

Suggested donation to tour the museum is $5 for adults (children 12 and under are free.) Please call the Banning Residence Museum for further information at 310-548-7777.


We welcome your contributions to the WAHA E-News and West Adams Heritage Association's monthly publication, "West Adams Matters." Please understand that we do have deadlines. Material for the print newsletter should be submitted no later than the 1st of the prior month (i.e.: April 1 for the May issue). If your event is scheduled for early in a month, we suggest you request coverage for the prior month (i.e.: May issue for a June 3 event), because it's entirely possible that not all of our members will have received their newsletter by then (we do try hard…). We reserve the right to edit submitted material. For the WAHA E-News, we prefer to only send it out once or twice a month. Please don't wait until two days before an event to let us know about it. It may not be sent out. EXCEPTION: If you suddenly hear of an important city hearing or other public meeting that is important to West Adams, we will endeavor to send out a special bulletin. Submit your material to Laura Meyers, editor, lauramink@aol.com.