Joseph Fiedler
Mandrake Bar
Bayside Artbeat Berkeley was on the road in LA this weekend for the opening of Illustration West 45, the annual exhibition of The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, which was held at “lowbrow” central, Billy Shire Fine Arts in Culver City [Shire is the creative force behind and founder of the famous La Luz de Jesus gallery in Los Feliz]. The “pre opening” party was held at the super stylin’ Mandrake Bar where artists Scaryjoey [aka Joseph Daniel Fiedler] and Cathie and Marilyn Bleck mingled with independent designer-publisher-impresario Mark Murphy, his fiancé Tera Johnson and Nancy Nelson from the Berkeley Art Museum [BAM]. You have to look hard if you’re going to go to Mandrake; there’s no sign [note to designers: signs are passé´]. But do go! This is absolutely the coolest bar you could ever imagine.  The guy next to me at the bar talked about buying art, real estate in Culver City, homeless people shitting on the porch and smoking Silver Haze while artists set up a video installation in the back “gallery”, and folks played guitars on the patio [ I drank Red Stripe with Patron Anejo- a South of the Border Boilermaker]. Not to be missed is the only “decorative” art, a large Raymond Pettibon print “I Thought California Would Be Different” by the bathrooms! Totally chill!
BSFA is a "Chelsea" type of converted warehouse.
SILA was fortunate enough to have gallery space for their annual exhibition donated for the second year in a row by Shire.  The gallery at BSFA is well appointed, and quite large for “alternative”.  The show was beautifully hung by Billy and Annie too. Judges this year were: Greg “Crayola” Simkims, Jim Auckland, BSFA’s own Annie Adjchavanich, Mark Murphy and Yuko Shimizu. On hand were SILA’s Alyce Heath, illustrators Martha Rich [complaining that she shouldn’t really be there], Mark Todd, his wife Esther Pearl Watson and their daughter Lily [also complaining], Bob Dobb, Erik Sandberg, LA Times AD Liz Hale and ThinkSpace Gallery’s [Silver Lake] Andrew Hosner with wife Shauna. Drawgers Alex Murawski and Joseph Daniel Fiedler had work in the show.
Even in LA the crowd is thicker near the crudites.

The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles’s 45th Annual Exhibition Illustration West at Billy Shire Fine Arts Gallery, thru April 7, 2007. Billy Shire Fine Arts Gallery, 5790 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232 [between La Cienega and Fairfax] 323.297.0600

Mandrake Bar
2692 S La Cienega Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90034 [Between Venice Blvd and Washington Blvd, Culver City] 310.837.3297

The bar on the patio is a cool hang.
Scary with Liz Hale.
Wall shot with Cathie Bleck and Scary.
Erik Sandberg, Esther Pearl Watson and Scary.

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Fiedler is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!