News and Events from the Art Scene in Hawthorne!



Hawthorne Cable TV spot on the the recent Hawthorne Arts Open Studios Event.

Hawthorne Arts Complex is a 44,000 SF arts warehouse facility consisting of 25 private art studios, gallery and common spaces. Soon to expand to 85 studios and customized work spaces. Friendly, supportive artists community.


A new mural was dedicated at Ramona Park on September 21, 2017. Councilmember Olivia Valentine, Treasurer L. David Patterson, Parks & Recreation\Fine Arts Commissioners Gloria Plascencia and Richard Huhn, among others, attended the ceremony.

Velvet Marshall is a second generation American painter and artist born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Originally trained in a classical, realistic style she later developed an appreciation for the more progressive work of painters both American and European from the modern abstract expressionist movement of the late 1950s and 1960s.

This form of painting, known as "action painting," had similar ties to the Surreal movement, in that it had a direct relation to the artist's emotions, expression, and mood, and showcased their feeling behind the pieces they designed.

This fusion of freedom and expressionism in conjunction with utilizing classical Flemish and old master techniques developed in a modern way is the basis of VelvetMarshall's style philosophy.
Her background in music, film and print add an additional visual, audio and tactile inspiration in her works which are very textured and sensitive to luminosity; employing recurring motion of biorhythms in the paint to predict various aspects of experiences in life with the primary use of mediums such as oil paint, roofing tar, roofing acrylic latex, watercolor, tea and common household mediums used in daily life


A proclamation was presented to artist Skye Amber Sweet for her donation of a mural at HollyPark expressing her love for the community and its continued growth. The mural was painted on March 25 and 26th of 2017. Children at the park were able to participate by adding their hand prints into the design of the mural. Artist Skye Amber Sweet is a poet and muralist and is known for her canvas art.

Mosaic Tiles part of the construction at Bicentennial Park

Hawthorne Arts Complex Artist Feature for October - Nick Martinez

Artist Feature for September - Aneesa Shami

Tell us a little about yourself and your background as an artist.

I grew up in Overland Park, KS and have been making art since I can remember. I have always loved drawing, and it was my dream to go to the Kansas City Art Institute, where I graduated in 2015 with a BFA double major in Fiber and Art History. Soon after I graduated (specifically, two months after) I moved to L.A. with my now-fiancée. I soon found work as a gallery manager for Branch Gallery in Inglewood, which exhibits fiber artists exclusively. I’ve also been a gallery archivist intern at L.A. Louver, and am currently working part-time as a studio assistant for local fiber artist Tanya Aguiñiga. In between my full-time work schedule, I visit HAC on my days off to work for myself.

What kind of work do you make?

Currently, I am doing a lot of weaving, collage work, and drawing. Much of my practice is driven by my love for mark-making, bold colors, and interesting texture. I make work reminiscent of abstract expressionism, and there tends to be a lot of movement within each piece’s composition.

The primary piece I am working on right now will be made out of many differently colored felt scraps. I plan to sew strips together to make a large “yarn ball” out of them, and then arm-crochet it into a sculpture or wall hanging. I also have a very large in-progress collage piece where I am tearing up magazines and using matte medium to create a fabric - almost like piecing a quilt top (you can see a portion of it in the photo below). And, of course, I always have a scarf ready to weave on my beautiful 4-harness floor loom!

Check out more of my work on my website and on Instagram.

What inspires you?

New materials, especially unique yarn or fabric. I also love reading, and find a lot of inspiration from that as well. Some books I am in the middle of include: Myths to Live By by Joseph Campbell, Family Furnishings by Alice Munro, and Anna Karenina by Leo Tostoy. I’m also inspired by other artists in my community, including peers from my alma mater, my coworkers, and especially the artists here at HAC.

How has your practice changed over the years?

When I was in school, I focused a lot on learning new techniques in fiber and how I could apply my drawing-based lens to them. My senior thesis expanded on this theme, and I made work that used folds in paper and fabric as a mark, rather than a pen. I’m moving in a new direction with my work, and am focused more on what textures I can use to create dense detail in my imagery. Two pieces I’ve completed this year include a long, narrow weaving made with strips of paper (detail shot can be found below), and a shag-rug wall hanging made with many, many different types and colors of yarn. I think the felt piece I am currently making will carry this exploration of materials even further, and am excited to see how it turns out.

Why do you make art? What role do you think artists have in society?

I make art to create beautiful and thought-provoking objects. I hope that what I make inspires others to create work, or to appreciate art in general. I think it is the artists’ role to provide new ways to see the world around us, and to help others understand these new perspectives.


Be sure to follow our Instagram account, @hawthorneartscomplex, and Facebook page,, to see more work by Aneesa throughout the month of September!