2010 Exhibitions

June 11 - July 31, 2010




For nearly 20 years, a small group of artists has met to draw artists’ models, often on Sunday mornings, within a small geographic area just east of downtown Los Angeles.    Although the exact genesis of the group varies with the teller’s memory, sessions attended by the core cover at least 8 separate locations, beginning around 1990.

Why a single group of artists would maintain such consistency, amid changes of fortune and location, has something to say about what the practice of art demands.  

20 years of the same subject: the nude human figure--starting with a blank pad, or canvas, or block of clay, and commonly ending four hours later.  

Four hours commonly involves several hundred (if not a thousand) separate artistic decisions:  lengths, thicknesses, finish, and arch of each line; every color, every tint.  What to sharpen, what to smudge.  What to attempt, what to keep, and what to discard. 

20 long years of kvetching, struggling, intent (clothed) humans – trying to catch the singular essence of one, serene unclothed human.

Outside these life drawing sessions, each member of the group maintains a separate individual career, with separate subjects and artworks that may (or often) have nothing to do with drawings of models. But the act of coming together to draw/paint/sculpt a common subject has not given rise to any “group mind”.  Everyone has a unique dialog; an approach to life that results in an inborn style.  There is not a single piece in this exhibition that could be attributed to anyone but the artist who created it.  Despite 20 years of friendship and a common subject matter, these disparate portraits illustrate how absolute and vast the distance is between individual artists.

(“Above and Beyond” status is hereby awarded to Mike Vegas, who has for the last 15 years, has single-handedly organized these life drawing workshops, while moving through four separate studios.  Without his effort, this group would probably be denied much of its history).


The First Fifteen Years
May 7 - 31, 2010







March 12th - April 24, 2010





                        (Jay Reed and Gregory Liffick) 

MARCH 12, 2009 – APRIL 24, 2010


57 UNDERGROUND, 300 S. Thomas Street, Pomona, CA 91766
Phone: (909) 397-0218     Website: http://57underground.com
Gallery Hours: Fridays through Sundays, Noon to 4 p.m.;  additional hours on last Saturdays:  6 - 9 p.m.

Artists’ Receptions: Saturday, March 13 and Saturday, April 10, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

In its March-April show,  57 Underground is proud to present the work of its two embers, artists Gregory Liffick of  Ontario and Jay Reed of .

Gregory Liffick creates his art works of manmade items, of metal or fabric or wood or ceramics, usually found in department or thrift stores. These items tend to take very interesting shapes and sizes,  often embodying and commenting on styles from the present and the past. He likes to reshape or deconstruct these items and shapes and reconstruct them, adding string, paints and nails and words in ink, to make new statements on the current state of the world as he sees it. The form that the items take when he firsts finds them may inspire a work, but the work always changes in creation, and demands to become what it has to be, not what he usually first envisions it to be. There is always a final piece to complete the puzzle, which sometimes requires a special search of its own.

The art of Jay Reed is diverse, including painting, assemblage, collage and sculpture. Having worked in the construction and interior design fields for more than thirty years, he uses materials from the construction industry in ways not usually associated with art. Jay has worked with interior designers and individual patrons to design and build art for residential and commercial applications, creating logos and pieces unique to certain homes or offices. His work is shown is galleries throughout Southern California. 


Media Contact: Gregory Liffick (909) 987-1720



January 8 - Febuary 27, 2010



57 UNDERGROUND will present works by four Southern California artists: Janet Adams, Kathy Breaux, Janice DeLoof and Desiree Engel, from January 8 to February 27, 2010. Regular gallery hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 - 4 P.M.

Receptions and conversations with the artists are scheduled for Saturday, January 9 and February 13, 2010 from 5 - 9 P.M. The gallery will also be open during Pomona Artwalks Saturdays, January 30 and February 27, 2010 from 6 - 9 P.M.

Following are statements by the artists:

Janet Adams - "Nature is the best story teller. I have been taking notes."

Kathy Breaux - "My mioxed media works include abstraction, realism and collage. They evoke ideas about expressionism, eastern culture and spirit. I use acrylics, gold leaf and various collage elements to convey my ideas."

Janice DeLoof - "Recurring images of furniture and various utilitarian objects are symbols and signs from my own personal vocabulary of memories used to create visual narratives on wood, canvas or embosssed paper. Small mixed media wall paintings with miniature tables and chairs include small subtle clues to the tension and drama that lies underneath family life and memories. These works are storyboard-like scenes of family stories told with furniture in different modes."

Desiree Engel - "Most of my ceramic work is based on shapes and colors encountered in nature. I use these forms as a basis for experimentation with the medium of clay as well as with inventive glazing and surface decoration. I enjoy te immediacy of clay and the endless possibilities of working with it. Oneof the qualities I like is that the final look of a piece is somewhat out of my control as it warps and colors change when subjected to high firing temperatures." 



November 13 - December 11, 2010




Where            text     =          The surface message

Subtext          =          Implicit content, indirectly revealed

                                         <read: powerful, suggestive, playful, subversive >



In Gallery 57 Underground Director and exhibit curator Russ Huff’s words, “Subtext is something not announced but is implied and becomes something understood by the observer.”  His wall sculpts of metal, glass and paint present conceptual aesthetic compositions whose spiritual meanings gradually emerge from highly physical grounding, sometimes as much by their obvious absence as by embedded clues. 

georga garside utilizes visual ambiguity, irony and general (if sometimes dark) playfulness to present multi-leveled puns whose teasing energy eclipses the au courant cynicism pervading much of our personal, political, and aesthetic lives.

For C.W. Venice McCurdy, text has always itself been problematic.  Book covers, print, recycled arifacts provide a starting point for her commentary on the mixed bag of literacy.  She delights in the irony of building aethetically interesting artworks from book covers libraries have received (from more wealthy patrons) and then rejected because they were outdated or would otherwise go unread.

Ken Johnson’s  embeded and emerging themes become the figure of his paintings and assemblages, consigning what was the initial figure into the status of context and ground, the vehicle for new configurations of  “the real.”