Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, Erin Stone saw the art world end at the San Diego (405) Freeway.
Galleries, openings, a hub where creative individuals could meet were few and far between in the 818 of her youth. All those scenes seemed to be happening over the hill in the Westside and in recent years, in downtown Los Angeles.
So she and other artists decided it was time to steer attention toward the 260 square miles between the Verdugo, Santa Susana and Santa Monica mountains, where 2 million people live.
“There’s so much talent in the Valley,” Stone, 30, said. “We’re more than just America’s suburb.”
And more than the place that gave birth to the Valley girl and the adult film industry. In 2009, Stone, Addy Gonzalez, and others formed the 11:11 A Creative Collective, an organization committed to celebrating San Fernando Valley artists of all backgrounds and experience. The collective has created several events throughout the Valley, including pop up and traveling galleries and the annual Canoga Park Art Walk. More than half a dozen murals, including those by East Valley artist Levi Ponce, and public art projects in 2013, also were supported by the collective.
To continue the group’s mission, an exhibit called “Sudden Impact,” opens tonight in Tarzana and features works of more than 35 artists from across the San Fernando Valley’s cultural and academic institutions, including students from Cal State Northridge, Pierce and Los Angeles Valley Colleges as well as local artists who have continued their art education in other locations. The exhibit will run through March.
Metal sculptures, mixed media works and detailed assemblage art will all be featured.
Stone, a photographer whose work also will be shown, said she felt isolated from an arts movement growing up in Woodland Hills. That theme can be found in some of her work, she said.
“We want people from the Valley to see the art and we want people to come to the Valley,” Stone said.
The year ahead holds promise for more public art, murals and growth of a Valley arts scene as more talent comes together.
“We think there’s going to be a huge boom,” Stone said. “Collaboration will be the key to all that.”
“Sudden Impact” opens tonightfrom 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.. at 18640 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana. The exhibit runs through March. For more information, call 818-925-5993 or go to www.111acc.org.