Upcoming: The Beverly Hills Art Show Features Artist Brooke Harker

Written by Libby Lancaster

Brooke Harker Chinatown Skies

The Beverly Hills Art Show takes place Saturday, October 20th and Sunday, October
21st. Known as one of the city’s largest public event, this two day art show takes place
in the spring and fall of each year. Coordinator, Karen McLean has been involved with
the festival for thirteen years and says, “This year we have an illustration and animation
– related scavenger hunt which will end at the Paley Center (corner of Beverly Drive
and “little” Santa Monica Boulevard). The event has been taking place for almost forty
years and will feature over 240-juried artists. Produced by the City of Beverly Hills, the
show was originally started as a biennial art event under the name, the Affaire In The
Gardens.

Los Angeles artist, Brooke Harker, who joined the show this past spring, will be featured
in Booth # 349. She recently returned from China where she created paintings for the
first Irish Pub in the Dongguan. In commenting about her invitation to paint in China,
she spoke about the uniqueness of her experience. “I really had no idea how many people
my painting would attract throughout the day. I spent 7 days oil painting 8-12 hrs a day
outdoors on a lawn next to the pub and at night by the light of huge neon sign advertising
Pepsi in Chinese. I must have met nearly a hundred people the first day alone… It touched
my heart deeply when I learned that most people had never seen an artist painting live
before…The looks on their faces of curiosity, confusion, surprise, and joy followed by a
steady stream of Mandarin chatter made it clear that even if I couldn’t fully comprehend
their world, what an honor it was to be there, and have access to connect with people in
way I might not be privileged to otherwise.

When asked if any paintings inspired by her experiences in China might
be in the selections for the Beverly Hills Art Show she said, “As it
has been a lifelong goal for me to visit Southern China, the moment my
trip to Dongguan took shape, Chinese architecture in the US began to
show up in my paintings. “Chinatown Skies,” illustrates a scene from
Chinatown in San Francisco, a piece that began prior to my departure
while listening to Mandarin CDs and thinking about the Last Empress of
China as depicted in books by one of my favorite authors, Anchee Min.
I finished the final touches on the lanterns in this painting after my
return. The companion piece, “Sister Chinatown,” another scene from
San Francisco, began when I returned and will be ready to show at The
Beverly Hills Art Show.”

Harker’s obvious enthusiasm to connect with people clearly matches the kind forum The
Beverly Hills Art Show creates for artists and art enthusiasts. From new visitors and
tourists to repeat patrons, many browsers appreciate the opportunity to speak directly
with so many diverse artists. The event is family and dog friendly, under a canopy of
trees, blending a relaxing garden environment with the eye-catching creations of the Fall
2012 juried artists from around the country. Brooke Harker’s paintings will be available
at Booth #349 between Canon and Crescent.

The Beverly Hills Art Show takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and
Sunday, October 20th and 21st at the historic Beverly Gardens. Admission is free. Beverly
Gardens is located along Santa Monica Blvd, from Rodeo Drive to Rexford Drive. For
more information, please visit www.beverlyhills.org/artshow 

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