Even in a pandemic, the Long Beach arts scene continues to move forward and figure out how to be innovative.
Joshua Garcia, founder of InspiredLBC, a Long Beach-based art agency, is bringing together area artists for October Is Art Month.
"Arts is a passion of mine," he said. "Without it, what would we have to look at? How would we create beautiful themes and spaces?"
Garcia is a real estate agent by trade, with InspiredLBC his passion project that brings local artists together. Through the project, he's been able to foster relationships with people that he might not have met otherwise, something he hopes to introduce others to through his work.
"For these artists, art is their living. It's how they buy groceries and pay rent or support their families," he said. "InspiredLBC gives me the opportunity to provide a platform for others. We're living in a pandemic, so we should be helping each other out."
This month's art theme is called "Render Me This." The art competition to be part of the exhibit is a partnership with Voodoo Ranger Belgium beer with the goal to #KeepArtsWorking through competitions and platforms to share their works with other people and artists.
Long Beach muralists Dirty Roshi (@dirtyoldroshi), Carly Ealey (@carlyealey), Ms. Yellow (@msyellowart) and Ron the Killer (@ronthekiller) will be leading the month with free online tutorials, including a walkthrough of their individual creative processes and renderings. To tune in, people should follow instagram.com/inspiredlbc and turn on their notifications for updates.
"I've worked with them for the last few years," Garcia said. "They've been so important to getting InspiredLBC up and running."
For the last two years, InspiredLBC has hosted shows in the Ice House warehouse building located at 625 W. Anaheim St. Their events featured wall-to-wall painted murals, food, drinks and merchandise for sale. Since the gallery space has been closed to the public during the pandemic, Garcia and his team have had to get creative to get people together — this time virtually — for an art show.
People can submit their own artwork at inspiredlbc.com before Oct. 27. Currently, there's no place to turn in work yet, but that's intentional.
"We don't want people to turn in their old work, or just submit something for the sake of submitting it," Garcia said. "We're making people tune in, and we'll let them know where they can submit their work later."
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at email@example.com.