Saturday, June 24, 2017

"El Rey Trabajador" will be unveiled June 27, 6pm at the new Artward! Gallery in "Scottsdale" Carson

Unveiling of My New Painting 
"El Rey Trabajador" oil 72" x 48"

from "My Neighbor Series"


our newly founded
in the "Scottsdale" neighborhood of Carson, Ca


dedicated to showcasing my 
public art project in the city of Carson 
"Love My Neighbor" 
run by the 501 (c) 3 non-profit 
Artward Initiative

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 
6:00 - 8:30 pm
23400 Avalon Blvd, Carson, Ca 90745
El Rey Trabajador" from "My Neighbor Series" 
oil on canvas, 72" x 48

Art can lift aspirations and give us all an important common ground in today’s divisive times. I believe that as we are continuously exposed to the stream of escalating negative news we need to focus on people in communities that inspire us in positive ways. I take inspiration for this series from my community that overcomes adversity. 


The Study of Cirilo   
sepia on fabriano paper  

Every street and every neighborhood has its own widely loved neighbors. What I want to capture through My Neighbors is the unique, iconic and deeply human qualities that make ordinary people the true bedrock of our communities and who give us something meaningful, true and solid to hold onto in times of trouble, which is especially important in neighborhoods like Scottsdale. At the kind of times that we live in I want ART to help people fill what I call The Dignity Gap.

I was honored to be awarded  Carson Cultural Arts Commission grant for 2016/17 to continue working on "My Neighbor Series" in collaboration with The City of Carson. The additional grant was provided by the Wells Fargo Bank.

I believe that strengthening community bonds by getting to know and love one’s neighbors is an answer to many of the difficult issues facing society today. I hope that My Neighbors will encourage visitors to see their own neighbors from a new perspective and take the message of love for one’s neighbor back to their own streets.

I want to capture people in these painting who you cannot help but love. Through the Love My Neighbor public art project, I want to encourage other people to notice and embrace human beacons in their own neighborhoods. These are the overlooked heroes of our society. 
The focus of my attention this year is the notorious Carson neighborhood called quite ironically "Scottsdale". Following my concept that special neighbors exist in every condition I was fortunate to find a remarkable and inspiring character in Cirilo Campos, a beloved 75 year old gardener who

has been working in "Scottsdale" Carson for 31 years and would not quit, a true local hero and the icon of serving community. 

Cirilo's noble values, the dignity and pride of his hard work stand in stark contrast to a morally bankrupt "greed is good" creed that is shoved at us from every corner and which had ripped the very fabric of our society, bringing us to the edge of loosing the very treasured system that gave us all that we enjoy. It is the inspiration from true people like Cirilo that will help us persevere. I decided to paint an epic life-size painting celebrating human dignity shining bright in the world of adversity. 

I decided to use the very process of art making as a community engagement tool and executed this large canvas entirely on-site in the series of over 40 live sessions each open to the public. To showcase works of My Neighbor Series to the local community and use the Love My Neighbor project as a tool of continuous community building, I established a permanent on-site Artward Gallery.

It was the most remarkable and rewarding project out of everything I have done so far.
 Affecting society where it is needed most is what my father believed ART suppose to do and I learned this belief from him.

Larga vida al rey!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The City Of Carson Issues an Official Press Release on Love My Neighbor Opening

 Honored to have The City Of Carson issuing an official press release about the unveiling of "El Rey Trabajador" painting and opening of the new Artward! Gallery dedicated to my Love My Neighbor public art project.

“The City of Carson is proud of our unique diversity. We are currently preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our founding with substantial forward-looking urban development. Alexey Steele’s Love My Neighbor public art program highlights the city’s civic pride and showcases Carson’s diversity as we pursue our City motto of ‘Future Unlimited,’” said Carson Mayor Albert Robles.

I am privileged to have The City of Carson as the principle sponsor of this remarkable project. It is so amazing to see when the system actually works as designed. Without the vision of Carson Cultural Arts Commission and the support by the City Council the major "El Rey Trabajador" painting would have never been done.  

It is exciting to embark in such unique government - corporate partnership on a journey of innovative experiment in how art can be created and made available to wide public in the contemporary US.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wells Fargo Bank Provides Second Aditional Grant to Love My Neighbor Project

Grateful to Wells Fargo Bank for their committed support of the Love My Neighbor project through their second grant for the 2017. The amount more than doubles their first grant in 2016. Its refreshing and encouraging to see the major corporation directly supporting such community engaging project making a unique partnership with local government and an artist. The grant came through Artward Initiative 501c3 non profit that helps manage the project.

This grant will help setting up a permanent on-site Artward! Gallery that will be dedicated to showcasing Love My Neighbor Project to a local community and act as a tool of continuous community engagement. The gallery will be run by the Artward Initiative.

Grateful for Wells Fargo riding together with us on this.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

First Public Live-Painting Session in "Scottsdale," Carson

Scottsdale is a neighborhood, but a lot of communal ties are broken there. It cannot be called a "community" in the full sense of the word. There are people who spend most of their lives there, love it and call it “home” proudly while working hard to make it a better place. There are a lot of people who don’t interact much with each other. There are many who live with sensible fear. There are some who cause that fear.

It was great to have a first live-painting session open to the public to show how such work is made right there, in Scottsdale. Was awesome to have Cirillo’s beautiful family stopping by, his daughters born and raised in Scottsdale. Was great to see some folks form The City of Carson who helped so much throughout the process of making this remarkable project happen.

Scottsdale is a perfect stratified sample representing a large and important urban problem in the contemporary United States. If we can do it in “Scottsdale” – we can do it anywhere.  


Big thanks to Kelvin Brown, Sr of Hitman Photography and to Matthew Vreeke for great shots