A Man About Town

A Column by Phillip William Sheppard

A Column by Phillip William Sheppard

I love art and when the call came from our Editor Fred Beauford for me to cover the LA Art Show I was only too happy to attend.

The 20th Anniversary of the LA Art Show kicked off with a star-studded benefit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The opening night premiere party, which welcomed more than 7, 000 celebrities, philanthropists, collectors, and art patrons, was hosted by Amy Adams and Darren Le Gallo.

The high-profile celebrities and political officials included James Franco, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Melanie Griffith, Nixx Sixx, Seth Green, Olivia Holt, Yara Shahidi, Dania Ramirez, Josh Bowman, Joanna Cassidy, AFI’s Davey Havok, U.A.E. Consul General Alsabusi, among others.

St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Thanks to support from events like this one, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

“We are excited to partner with St. Jude at the 20th Anniversary LA Art Show,” said Kim Martindale, general manager and producer of the LA Art Show. “By sharing their knowledge freely and exchanging ideas openly, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital inspires more collaboration between doctors and researchers worldwide, and as a result, more lifesaving treatments for children everywhere.”

When Amy spoke of her commitment to Saint Jude and the Arts it was very moving and she got a standing ovation. I have attended many Art shows over the years but this one was special. You could see it in the attendees and artists who were present.

There were works by John Anderson, “Abandoned Beginnings,” and Justin Y, who works with his fingers, and it is quite remarkable what he achieves on oil.   The work of Jeff Robb frankly is beyond words. I was captured by the visual images and the process he used in “Unnatural Causes.”  His images make you think you got the whole picture and yet with closer examination you realize that the three dimensional film and photographic process enhances the relationship between light, magnetism and the forces of nature. I found his work and the effort to create it incredible.

I could not get enough of it the art show and I went downtown to the Convention Center three times, to once again enjoy what our city has to offer A Man About Town.


If you have not had an opportunity to visit Sonoma County, and in particular Occidental, Petaluma, Healdsburg, Sebastopol and Bodega Bay, then you have no idea what you are missing.  The Occidental Center of the Arts at 3850 Doris Murphy Court, Occidental, CA 95465, has a show entitled “What We Do Now.”  This showing has artists’ works, from Marylu Downing’s vitality, mixed-media paintings to Sandra Rubin’s vivid abstractions with  warm natural themes, to Pamela Glasscock’s watercolor portraits of flowers; and E. Ryder Sutton’s emotional yet subtle interiors and still lifes in pastel are so vibrant with life.

Painting by Marylu Downing Painting by Marylu Downing

Marylu Downing, (paintings above) an ongoing partner at Graton Gallery, is now “looking out the studio window” for source points for her imaginative imagery.

Painting by Sandra Rubin

Sandra Rubin, (painting on left) who retired from her career as a pediatrician to devote more time to art, paints in acrylic and oil with a free and exuberant energy.

E. Ryder Sutton works from memory and imagination, with much of her current inspiration coming from a family home in Michigan.


For dinner and lunch you cannot go wrong with Underwood Bar Bistro in downtown Graton. They offer baby back ribs, topas, oysters, salads, fantastic sea food, grilled lamb sirloin, pan roasted chicken and liberty duck; and you can never go wrong with their flat iron steaks my favorite.


In Santa Monica you never know who you are going to run into at Whole Foods--for starters, Don Cheadle and I cross paths. I gave him a quick introduction into The Specialist novel and exchange contact information.

Like most sports fan if you run into Larry Merchant, legendary fight broadcaster known for some of the most memorable quotes you will ever hear; like in 2005 Bernard Hopkins vs. Jermain Taylor:  "The celebrated professor of boxing is going to take to school a precocious student. Is the student ready to graduate?"  2002 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Fernando Vargas: "Fernando Vargas may have had a 6-pack on his stomach...he did not have a 6-pack in his chin."

I am a huge fan of Blade Runner, Director Ridley Scott and screenwriter David Webb Peoples, based on a novel by Philip K. Dick. I was in the Army in 1982, when it came out, stationed in Indiana at Fort Ben Harrison. In the movie a blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator, IMDB.

And, who do I run into but actor Joe Turkel who was cast as Dr. Eldon Tyrell and he graciously says a few lines from the movie, “Good Evening Mr. Torrance, Good to see ya, Hi Lloyd you know you know Lloyd are the best Goddam Bartender to Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon…How about a little of the dog that bit me Lloyd” … and ”Is this to be an empathy test capillary dilatation of the so call blush response fluctuation of the pupil involuntarily of the iris ah Dr. Terrell I like for you to meet Dr. Decker.”

I felt like a kid in the candy store.  I mention Blade Runner as the Academy of Motion Pictures is doing a showing at Bing Theater in Hollywood, CA and The Man About Town will be there.

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