South of the Grapevine | North of the Grapevine


Through the ambassadorship of Los Angeles-based Arte Américas supporters Yolanda and Henry Chavez, our organization has, in two short years, had the good fortune of meeting many artists, collectors, gallery owners, and well-connected individuals in the Los Angeles arts scene. Each of the allies who helped to make this exhibition series possible can be traced, in one way or another, right back to the Chavez family. 

This is the second year that our galleries have hosted an exhibition titled South of the Grapevine, featuring artists from throughout Southern California whose works have been shown in some of the most prestigious galleries and museums across the world.  The spirit of the series, however, goes far beyond the concept of presenting outstanding artwork by A-list artists.  In addition to the exhibition on view in Fresno is a companion exhibition that features Valley artists being shown at Avenue 50 Studio in Los Angeles as you read this, appropriately titled: North of the Grapevine.

This year we are featuring two Los Angeles legends: Sergio Teran and Rick Ortega.  The two artists create strong works that excite the eye and engage the soul. Their color palettes are bright and distinctly Latino -- and the content of their works is beautifully executed and filled with deep narrative.  Their artwork requires a third or fourth experience, as new details are revealed with each viewing. 

Both artists have acquired name recognition in a city where such a feat is only attained by a small percentage of individuals that make the attempt.  Their artwork is featured on textbook covers and on the walls of collectors' homes.  Having their work available to the people of the Central Valley (at no cost) is this year's beautiful result from this grassroots interstate art exchange.  Arte Américas is proud to provide the gallery space for artistic experiments that benefit the greater community.

Traditionally, Ortega's work would have occupied one space in the gallery and Teran would be shown in the second.  Instead, the decision was made to place one artist's work on the right side of the gallery, and the other on the left.  With this layout, the viewer is able to experience the works of both artists at once.  A shared color palette is evident when viewing the works in this way.  Notice the shades of blue, red, and orange that both artists tend to favor; when viewed side-by-side you realize that these are the colors of L.A. and that you are, in fact, experiencing Los Angeles through the colors chosen.

We featured four of Teran's works in the first edition of 'South of the Grapevine' upon the  recommendation of Kathleen Gallegos, Director and Curator of the prestigious Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park.  The works were a hit, and Teran subsequently submitted a piece for the 2016 Dia de los Muertos exhibition as well.  This year, art-lovers  will have a greater body of Teran's work from which to get a deeper insight into his techniques and use of forced perspective.   Step close and notice the three-dimensionality of his works and pay attention to the various symbols and recurring themes – clues as to how there are ‘threads’ that unify various works.

Arte Américas has been selling prints and posters of Rick Ortega's work for many years, framed and hung in our Aztlan Xpressions gallery space that is curated by our associate Rick Garcia.  He was able to personally make the connection and successfully propose Ortega's inclusion into this year's South of the Grapevine exhibition.  It's an honor to have Señor Ortega's Chicano art in our gallery space.

What is even more exciting is that with each exhibition we continue to nurture our relationships with other galleries and arts organizations in Los Angeles.  They, like us, simply want the artists in our communities to thrive and have more opportunities to show their works.  The North/South of the Grapevine shows provide new audiences on both ends of the treacherous interstate corridor for which it is titled.


FOR OUR INAUGURAL YEAR we included some of LA’s most respected and celebrated contemporary artists, paired in the gallery alongside a selection of recognized emerging artists. One would need to travel great distances to encounter a collection of works by a group of artists of this caliber.  They each boast heart-quickening biographies that list cities, museums, galleries, and group shows where their artwork has been or is currently on view.   

Artists featured in this grouping were carefully and collaboratively selected in-house alongside four Los Angeles-based curators:  Cheryl Bookout, Andrew Cervantes, Kathleen Gallegos, and Amanda Quinn-Olivar. The collective roster assembled by these curators represents the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” in the scheme of LA’s diverse  multi-generational, multi-cultural spectrum of artists. 

A small companion exhibition was on view in August 2016 at Holy Grounds Coffee & Tea in Alhambra, California.  The grouping, appropriately titled NORTH OF THE GRAPEVINE, featured a handful of artists from the San Joaquin Valley.  

CLICK HERE to see images of the exhibition

  • Kelly Berg
  • Ben Botello
  • Oscar Castillo
  • Andrew Cervantes
  • Michael Chearney
  • Fabian Debora
  • Raoul de la Sota
  • Robert Graham
  • Chaz Guest
  • Collective Magpie
  • Raoul de la Sota
  • Shepard Fairey
  • Sophia Gasparian
  • Danny Greene
  • Gronk
  • Kristina Hagman
  • George Herms
  • Ann Le
  • Alvaro Marquez
  • Kevin Stewart McGee
  • Martina Moreno 
  • Lindsey Nobel
  • Arnold Puentes
  • Jose Ramirez
  • Momilani Ramstrum
  • Sandy Rodriguez
  • Raquel “Rocky” Rojas
  • Frank Romero
  • Lily Simonsen
  • Sergio Teran 
  • Vincent Valdez 
  • Linda Vallejo 
  • The Phantom Street Artist 
  • Sharon Weiner
  • Suzan Woodruff