Celebrating the Creative Community of Venice.

Humor from my Pen - more photos

Humor From My Pen - Photos



Front of SPARC 

On June 4 the art of the incarcerated Cuban 5 patriot, Gerardo Hernandez, was inaugurated at the SPARC Gallery in Los Angeles, California in a show entitled "Humor From My Pen". The event coincided with the birthdays of Gerardo Hernandez and fellow Cuban 5 hero, Ramon Labañino and the International campaign "The 5th of each month for the Cuban 5".
 The SPARC Gallery, in the old jail of the city of Venice, opened its doors on Saturday June 4th to give life to the political cartoons of Gerardo Hernandez, one of the Five Heroes of the Republic of Cuba. Hernandez created the cartoons during long years of imprisonment in maximum security prisons in the United States. 


Gente Mirando SPARC

As Gerardo explained in his message to the audience "The cartoons that you are about to see were not made with the idea that some day they would be displayed all together in an art exhibit.  Amongst other things, I respond continuously to hundreds of solidarity letters and I do this work lacking the material and appropriate conditions of a real artist.  I am an art aficionado who draws cartoons out of necessity to express myself in a certain way.  This necessity is to send out a message to our people, or to express my perspective before different events such as the birthdays of someone who we admire or the death of a friend for example. That is what has motivated the work that you will be viewing today..."


As people entered the gallery they could observe a memorial honoring renowned civil right attorneyLeonard Weinglass, who was part of the legal team of the Five and who recently passed away.

The well-attended event also featured the artwork of Lalo Alcaraz, creator of the nationally syndicated daily cartoon "La Cucaracha"; Matt Wuerker, the Politico's editorial cartoonist and illustrator; Judy Baca and Emily Winters. Well known Spanish artist, and long time supporter of the Cuban 5, Paco Bernal, also contributed his work to the exhibit.  Part of the exhibit was an installation piece that imitated the prison space where Gerardo created his works. Gerardo is currently serving two unjust life sentences.



The evening program included an informational panel and a section of question and answers. Suzanne Thompson, from the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 was the MC. Ms. Thompson gave a warm welcome to the public and thanked all of the individuals and organizations that made this cultural event possible.   


Debra Padilla, Executive Director of SPARC gave a warm introduction to Gerardo's cartoons and expressed  they were honored to offer the space for cultural expressions such as "Humor from my Pen". Alicia Jrapko, from the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5, presented an update of the case of the Cuban 5 and read a message from Gerardo Hernandez intended for the audience.  Jrapko spoke of the national and international campaigns in support of the Five and invited people to join in their struggle.  


Judy Baca, Artistic Director of SPARC, said that only the best cartoonist, such as Gerardo, can quickly take contemporary issues such as these and find the absurdity in them.  Carol Wells, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, said that throughout history the struggles for justice have always had a component of artistic expressions such as graphics, illustrations and murals.

Finally, Emily Winters, co-founder of the Venice Art Council, spoke about the importance of continuing to fight and defend our cultural organizations that are under serious danger of disappearing due to the economic crisis that is affecting all sectors of community programs.   


Cantan Happy Birthday

Audience sings "Happy Birthday" to Gerardo 



Biography of Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo - Cuban Artist.

Gerardo Hernández Nordelo was born in Havana on June 4, 1965. He graduated with a degree in International Political Relations. While in school Gerardo participated in amateur festivals as part of a theater group. He also worked as a cartoonist-humorist for Cuban publications and collectives; Palante, Melaito and Aspirina. The members of Aspirina, collectively participated in two exhibitions at the University of Havana and created a mural at Havana Cuba Pavilion. "Asprina was a great school," recalls Gerardo. “We participated in the First National Encounter of Young Comedians, where he met Carlos Ruiz de la Tejera, Virulo, Tomy and other recognized professionals. For me, who always dreamed of being a journalist, that was really exciting ... but we learned a lot, because nobody wanted to look like anyone and everyone he was shaping his own line, his own style."

Humor From My Pen - Opens June 4th at SPARC

 Humor From My Pen

Humor From My Pen - backside

The Argonaut: Former internees gather on anniversary to commemorate planned Japanese-American memorial marker

 BY VINCE ECHAVARIA - Link to Argonaut
On the 69th anniversary of their departure from Venice to Manzanar, several former Japanese-American internees returned to the site from where they and their families left behind their homes and their war relocation camp experience began.

Former Malibu resident remembers forced WWII internment

 Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 1:11 PM PDT  Link Back
A memorial marker denoting the relocation of 1,000 local residents, including former Malibu resident Amy Ioki, to the Manzanar camp during World War II, will be placed at an intersection in Venice.

By Paul Sisolak / Special to The Malibu Times

Amy Ioki was a member of the only Japanese American family in Malibu-and just 16 years old-when the call came to assemble at the corner of Lincoln and Venice boulevards in Venice, Calif.

It was April 1942, four months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when the United States entered the World War II stage as one of the Allied Big Three. Ioki's family, the Takahashis, was ordered to board the bus en route to the Manzanar War Relocation Authority Camp. It didn't matter that the high school junior, her two older brothers and three sisters were U.S. born; their crime was simply being Japanese.


 CONTACT:  Suzanne Thompson (310) 570-5419                             

suzannethompson55@gmail.com  (Venice- April 15, 2011)
     The Venice Japanese Memorial Marker Committee (VJAMM) announces their groundbreaking ceremony for Monday, April 25 at 10AM, on the 69th anniversary of the forced relocation of Japanese and Japanese Americans to American concentration camps. The memorial marker will be located on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards near the former “Civil Control Station” where in April of 1942, local residents from Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu assembled and then boarded buses to the Manzanar War Relocation Authority Camp and would spend the next three years of their lives.

KCET story and slides about the Japanese-American Memorial Marker




On April 25, 1942, hundreds of Japanese Americans reported to 933 1/2 Venice Boulevard, near the intersection of Lincoln and Venice Boulevard in response to Civilian Exclusion Order No. 7 which ordered the evacuation of people of Japanese ancestry, "alien and non-alien" alike, out of the Malibu, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, and Venice areas. Over the next three days, some 3,000 Japanese Americans lined up at this intersection for the day-long bus ride to the Manzanar War Relocation Authority in the Owens Valley.

Japanese American Internment Memorial Design Meeting September 11, 2010

What should the Japanese American memorial marker or monument
on the northwest corner of Lincoln and Venice Boulevards look like?

Attend a Community Meeting to Help Decide!
Who should come? Students of local history, Artists with their creative ideas,
Former internees and their families, Financial supporters,
Locally elected officials, All those in favor of the  Japanese American Memorial Marker!
When?  Saturday, September 11, 2010, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Where? Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 12371 Braddock Drive (at Centinela Avenue), Culver City, 90230
RSVP: info@veniceartscouncil.org
Or call Emily Winters at (310) 306-7372
Here is a link to a presentation about the Japanese American Internment Memorial.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer