Latest Mural

Latest mural for exhibit, Dine In Take Out.

Making Things Right

I agreed to repaint the stolen Heart for the local Cardiology group and was asked to do another for a different physician group here in town. Thank you to Amy Smith of San Joaquin Hospital for the opportunity!

Dine In Take Out, artwork of Jen Raven

Somebody, by Jen Raven
I was Curator of The Foundry's latest solo-exhibit 'Dine In Take Out', artwork by Jen Raven. Jen's line of work is not only touching, but expresses the different feelings most artists experience; pain, lonliness and love. It gives spirit a voice and leaves the words up to the interpretation of the beholder. The above image, "Somebody" was a favorite for many. Walking around the gallery (sales clipboard in hand) I witnessed a handful of people incaptured by this image.
Jen's opening was the first week of January. Every detail from the title wall mural, the custom take out box installation titled "Empty Calories," by Justin Jennings, handmade fortune cookies holding Jen's witty quotes, sushi inspired desserts by A.J. Darke of Karma Cakes, candle light and paper lanterns was in place. There was a great response to the show! An encore reception was in order!
'Dine In Take Out - Take Two' was born! Another round of treats, more twinkling candle light and promoting we all met at The Foundry on 1/22/11... A few more familiar faces were in attendance, eight more sales, and a smile from ear to ear on Jen's face!
Jen has spent the last upteen years catering to the growth of others. She has curated not only for the visual arts but the performing arts alike. Jen is a painter, a seamstress, a thespian, a dancer, a writer, a poet, and a performer! It was magical to see everyone attend to show their support from the many different genres of the art community.
From the promoting and visuals shared of Jen's works from 'Dine In Take Out' another gallery called Bunny Gunner, down South has excepted her small works series "A Little Lonely." Here's to you Jen Raven from the Bakersfield art scene. Thank you for your involvement and encouragement and kudos on your first solo exhibit and its success. Onward and Upward!


Stolen Artwork = 15 minutes of fame?

Well the unthinkable has happened!
I was invited by The Arts Council of Kern (ACK) to participate in a group exhibit of the best kind! The art was to be displayed at a Gala at San Joaquin Hospital. Our subject? A aluminum heart. We were to paint what we wanted and come up with an appropriate title to tie in with the hospital and heart shape. It took me a lot of time to come up with my subject.
When I think hearts I think Valentines, kids, red, pink, white, love... it went on and on in circles in my mind for months. Finally I realized what to do. "Young at Heart". My inspiration came from a string of paper dolls my daughters made at school holding hands. I had used this design in the past for my pieces titled "My Three" to symbolize my three daughters.
Using my template I carefully lined out the sizes to fit the heart shape perfectly, painted, sealed, titled and delivered my heart back ACK. The hearts were viewed by a select list of physicians in town who sponsored the event. The sponsors were allowed to pick a heart to keep for their participation in the event. All hearts were on display during the galla as well, some up for silent auction as a fundraiser.
A few of the hearts were also selected to paint larger versions to be installed permanently at various locations in Bakersfield. My friend Gabe Aceves was one of the large installation artists. His heart was amazing. Each of the four sections of the heart was painted as a different fruit core. Amazing idea!
The event was beautiful from the pictures I viewed online. In follow up for my Vitae, I contacted ACK to see if my heart was sold at auction. To my surprise I was told there was an "problem" with my heart. The good part? My heart was chosen by Comprehensive Cardiovascular Medical Group as their heart to keep. This made me SO proud. Bad news was at the gala event although my heart was spoken for, someone walked away with it... MY ART WAS STOLEN? Does this make me famous? Ha! Love it!
All will end well. ACK has ordered another heart and I have agreed to repaint it for CCMG and will deliver it once complete.

The Foundry

Mission Accomplished! For months now I have been working with four special friends in putting together a new club and art gallery in downtown Bakersfield, CA. I'm blaming my absence in my blog on this fact. It has been a long and enjoyable process. :) The Foundry can be found at 1700 Chester Avenue in downtown Bakersfield, CA.
The group of people behind this venture are very valuable relationships to me. I have moved my Sweet Designs art studio to the new space. I lease a room that houses my art supplies. I have found that I have not spent as much time IN the space as I have planned but that will come with time. I've spent a couple afternoons of creation with a dear friend Jen Raven and have experienced the good presence in the space. It is bright, eclectic and comfortable. www.christinasweetdesigns.com
Justin Jennings of JP Jennings Custom Picture Framing occupies The Foundry's location. Each of our "Founders" occupy an office in the shop side of the location along with Justin's framing store. Justin is one of the last Custom Picture Framers in town. His work is of high quality. JP Jennings is the only framer I use and recommend his services to all interested! www.jpjennings.com
Nicole Browning of Nicole Browning Art Consultation & Services is an art consultant. She manages artists and utilizes her experience and formal art education to help artists grow in their field and assist in sales. Nicole will be the main Curator for The Foundry's art gallery. I will be a co-curator when needed. www.nicolebrowning.com
Alan Urquhart of Alan Urquhart Photography and Design is a Graphic Designer and Photographer. I have had Alan shoot me in the past as well as group photos for the Pink Ladies in conjunction with Shutter Clique, Bakersfield, CA. Alan also works for Willis Designs of Bakersfield and designs printed materials and websites. http://alanurquhart.com
And last but certainly NOT least is Alan Willis. Alan is a self-taught artist in Bakersfield, CA. He works with an airbrush and has an eye for detail. Alan and I first met while I was hosting a vending tent at a local Coffee shop Caffeine Supreme in downtown Bakersfield. He had heard of the local art scene online and came out to visit. The flower paintings he brought out were amazing! We became friends and would often host the vending tent together on Saturdays. He is a work horse and dedicated to the cause behind our mission.
The Foundry's mission is to provide opportunities in education, exposure and exhibition for select visual artists and art enthusiasts for the purpose of advancing the professionalism of those dedicated individuals.
Our membership is growing fast! We are proud of our members association and looking forward to a great 2011! Please visit our website at www.bakersfieldfoundry.com. Artists please consider joining our membership and contact me with any questions you may have!!
Tree mural painted by me on the shop side of The Foundry.

Sey Studios

I wanted to share and support my friend Ashley Marie Sey Lively. She is an amazing illustrator. Her characters are memorable and once you start to study her work they are identifiable as Sey's work! Please be sure to visit her Etsy.com store at www.etsy.com/shop/seystudios

You can also find Ashley on my Facebook friends list and a Facebook profile under Sey Studios!!
Christina Sweet


Opening Doors to the Arts

At First Friday in March many artists created art works out of the old doors pulled from remodel projects on the Bakersfield downtown buildings including the Hay Building and the Padre Hotel among others.

Here is a picture of the door I created, which was one of the five doors that sold!