This Sunday, the Los Angeles Athletic Club, normally a members-only venue, will open its doors to the public for "Art Beyond the Glass." The event is an art show/bartending extravaganza featuring various creative expressions -- fine art, photography, furniture design, even DJing -- by L.A. bartenders, many of whom are also donating their time behind the stick. All proceeds will be donated to Art Share LA, a downtown arts organization that offers loft space to artists and classes for the community.
Organizers Daniel Djang, founder and editor of Thirsty in LA, and Zahra Bates, senior bartender at Cole's Red Car Bar, hit upon the idea for "Art" after discovering that dozens of L.A.'s bartenders expressed themselves in numerous artistic ways beyond the artistry of mixing drinks. Almost immediately, the idea of creating a showcase for this talent was born.
According to Djang, "As with everything else the L.A. bartender community does, the response was immediate and overwhelming. From the get-go, the offers of help have been constant and without hesitation. The ingenuity in creating cocktails is to be expected. But the level of artistic talent, from painting and photography to DJing, music and stage performances has been mind-blowing."
Along with food, music, an art show where the works can be purchased and a raffle, there will -- of course -- be a stellar drinks line-up.The cocktail selection will be handled in a novel manner, with bartending "teams" each focusing on one sponsored spirit at both the new Invention Bar and several satellite bars in the Athletic Club.
In its second year, "Art Beyond the Glass" seems poised for a long run. As Zahra Bates notes, "This is not the only charitable effort that has been created and backed by this city's bartenders. This is just the one where you can buy some art to hold on to that incredible feeling of having done something good for someone."
At the Invention Bar:
Team Bombay Sapphire: Chris Ojeda, Kate Grutman, Mia Mastroianni, Nathan Burdette
Team Del Maguey / Becherovka: Devon Tarby, Giovanni Martinez, Julian Cox, Rosie Ruiz
Team Infinium / Casa Noble Tequila & Zaya Rum: Dr. Christopher Day, Dan McClary, Joe Swifka, Justin Pike
Team Leblon Cachaça: The 3 Graces (Brent Falco, Cari Hah, Zahra Bates), Jason Schiffer, Justin Roberts
Team Pisco Portón: Brady Weise, Brittini Rae, Chris Amirault, Daniel Zacharczuk
At the Satellite Bars:
Team Aviation Gin: Daniel Warrilow, Kiowa Bryan, Michelle Bearden, Paul Sanguinetti
Team La Niña Del Mezcal: Angela Gomez, Beau DuBois, Brian Butler, Jen Len
Team Belvedere / Team Handsome: Dan Long, Devon Espinosa, Francois Vera, Ricky Yarnall
Amanda Gunderson: The Bazaar (fine art)
Brian Butler: Sunny Spot, The Brig (bartender & fine art)
Brittini Rae Peterson: Goldie's (fine art)
Danny Cymbal: Casey's Irish Pub (video)
Gabriella Mlynarczyk: .ink (fine art)
Justin Pike: The Tasting Kitchen (bartender & fine art)
Leandro Dimonrovia: Cole's Red Car Bar (video)
Pablo Moix: Old Lightning (street art)
Peter Lloyd-Jones: 1886 Bar at The Raymond (fine art)
Plex: Tony's Saloon (fine art)
Philip Renderer: Seven Grand (furniture design)
Allan Katz: Caña
Dave Fernie: Pour Vous
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Art Beyond the Glass: Sunday, June 30, 2013, 3:30 - 7:30 p.m., Los Angeles Athletic Club, 431 W. 7th Street, Los Angeles, artbeyondtheglass.com
Lesley blogs at 12 Bottle Bar, tweets at @12BottleBar and is the author of the book "Gin: A Global History." Email her at email@example.com. Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.