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"A Hero Ain’t Nothin' But A Sandwich"

Charlie James Gallery is pleased to present our second solo show by gallery artist Nery Gabriel Lemus, winner of the 2013 COLA Individual Artist Grant, and the 2013 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Award. In this current body of work, Lemus continues to explore domestic issues, issues that can often manifest in society at large. In particular, Lemus brings focus to the influence, positive and negative, adult men have over young boys, either within families or as men in society. Lemus’ interest in the topic stems from his involvement in social work over the past 14 years, where he has worked with boys and young men with absent fathers and a lack of positive role models.

The work in the show examines the concept of heroism - particularly in what constitutes a hero. Society has established heroes in a multitude of different spaces, frequently cemented through entertainment culture. In our hyper-mediated age, many established heroes are found to be fraudulent, and many elevated personae exemplify behaviors of questionable merit. The title of this exhibition is taken from Alice Childress’ book, A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich (1973). The book chronicles the struggles of Benjie, a young African-American kid struggling with acceptance and self-worth while flirting dangerously with heroin addiction. Benjie utters the titular phrase implying that heroes and saviors have ceased to exist in the hard times he lives in. Within this body of work, Lemus uses recognizable childhood archetypes like stuffed animals, piñatas, superheroes and childhood characters to incorporate the idea of heroic absence, and to suggest where heroes might be found.

Nery Gabriel Lemus was born in Los Angeles, in 1977. Lemus received his BFA at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California (2007) and his MFA at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California (2009). Lemus also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine (2008).

His work has been featured is several group exhibitions including, Made in L.A. 2012, organized by the Hammer Museum in collaboration with LA><ART, OZ: New Offerings From Angel City at Museo Regional Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico, The Seventh House at Project Row Houses in Houston, Texas, the 2010 Border Art Biennial at El Paso museum in El Paso, Texas, El Grito, at The University of Arkansas in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Common Ground, at the California African-American Museum. Lemus is also a recipient of the 2012- 2013 prestigious City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) award and the 2013 recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Award.

Reception: 7 - 9 p.m.

Charlie James will be giving a presentation about the exhibit.

Parking - if you are exiting the freeway (110N) onto Hill Street, the parking lot will be on your right. It's a quick turn into the parking lot from the freeway. If you're coming up Hill (from downtown), it'll be a left turn. $5 There should be some available street parking as well on Yale, the street that runs behind Chung King Rd.

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  • Jennifer

    This was my first show with you guys and I was quite pleased. I live out in Westlake Village, so it's nice to get out of the burbs to the city and experience these wonderful outings!! Loved the baseball card exhibit....It was nice meeting you Clara!!!!

    2 · March 23, 2013

  • Daniel S.

    I very much enjoyed the gallery and the enthusiastic presentation about the artists by gallery owner, Charlie James. Lots of fun, cool, people attended, great conversation. Later some of us wandered down the street for some delicious Chinese food.

    1 · March 23, 2013

  • Barbara

    Had a great time, meet fun interesting people and viewed interesting artwork.

    March 23, 2013

  • Patrick K.

    I liked the art, but couldn't find the meetup. When we arrived at the gallery, there was no one else and no instructions to go elsewhere. By the time we left, there were a few other people looking at the art, but no host, program, or camaraderie, so it must have been canceled or relocated, but I wasn't informed.

    March 22, 2013

  • Erica J.

    Not sure what happened- I came to the location that is on here & it was closed? Was really looking forward to this.

    March 22, 2013

  • Bruce P.

    Sorry Clara and friends stuck in transit traffic...see u @next showing.

    March 22, 2013

  • Tom

    I sorry i wont be able to make it. Unpredictable office today. Was really looking forward to this.

    March 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm sorry but I can't make it. :( Thought I'd jjust been suffering from allergies. I think it's worse. Sorry to miss this event.

    March 22, 2013

  • Mark A.

    guest quit

    March 22, 2013

  • Arden R.

    So sorry Clara. The person who would drive to L.A. cannot.
    Have fun.

    March 22, 2013

  • Kirsten W.

    Unexpected company visiting, can't make it!

    March 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, out-of-town guests changed my plans.

    March 21, 2013

  • Sara P.

    See all of you on Friday.

    March 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    was looking forward and disappointed to miss but have to pass this time :-(

    March 19, 2013

  • Henry

    Saturday 16th there are 6 Gallery Openings at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. I'm going and if you want to join me for a communal walk through I'll be out side GDA | Lois Lambert Gallery E3 (in that middle bit on the left) at 6 to 6.15pm wearing my straw hat so you can recognize and connect. I'll probably be wandering around a bit earlier too.

    Address is:
    2525 Michigan Avenue,
    Bergamot Station
    Santa Monica, CA 90404

    These Galleries are having receptions.
    Latin American Masters, Santa Monica (5-7pm)
    Rosamund Felsen, Santa Monica (5-7pm)
    FIG, Santa Monica (5-7pm)
    James Gray, Santa Monica (6-9pm)
    Lois Lambert, Santa Monica (6-9pm)
    Patrick Painter, Santa Monica (6-8pm)

    Hope to see you, Henry.

    March 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    wow that sounds like fun! I have never been to an art show before so this will be great. New to CA so hope to meet some potential friends ;)

    1 · March 9, 2013

    • Qui D.

      clara has the best events u will many friends i bet

      1 · March 10, 2013

  • Sushila

    This sounds so interesting, so sorry I won't be able to attend this one.

    March 9, 2013

  • Arden R.


    March 7, 2013

  • Cesare S.

    Art run into my blood and always on my mind I am working in a Artis and I do it all the time:)

    March 7, 2013

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