California Art Club Rialto benefit

posted by Michael Zoldessy on October 8, 2008 at 7:59 am

SOUTH PASADENA, CA — The California Art Club will present a sneak preview of “Local Color,” the soon-to-be-released film about a young art student and his elderly genius mentor, at the historic Rialto Theatre on Sunday, October 12, at 7:15 p.m., to help raise awareness and funds for the revitalization of this South Pasadena landmark.

This special screening of the film, which was created by award-winning director and writer George Gallo, who is an artist member of the Club, is one of the art-related events that the organization is sponsoring with the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce as part of Rialto Visions: Icons & Landmarks of South Pasadena.

Rialto Visions will kick off on the day of the screening with Club artists setting up their easels for a plein air “paint-out” of the 1925 theatre and other sites within the city. The public is invited to participate in the paint-out.

A selection of artwork created during the paint-out will be juried by Amy Scott, Curator of Visual Arts, Autry National Center, for a special exhibition and sale at the SoPas Gallery from November 2 to 30.

With this special program in South Pasadena, the California Art Club marks the beginning of its centennial celebration in the same city in which the organization was founded. The Club was established in 1909 by a group of plein air painters, who held their first meeting in the South Pasadena studio of artist Franz Bischoff.

“The California Art Club is delighted to be co-sponsoring the "Local Color” sneak preview as well as the other events of Rialto Visions, as our organization continually strives to educate on the merits of traditional fine arts and classical training, while also preserving California history by capturing important places and events on canvas,“ said American artist Peter Adams, who serves as the Club’s president.

Tickets for the sneak preview of “Local Color,” which will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the director and filmmakers, are $10.00 per person. Tickets will be available at the door, and all proceeds from the one-night-only preview will benefit the efforts to restore the Rialto via the Vision Rialto Initiative of the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.

For more information on Rialto Visions and this special screening as a fundraiser for the restoration of the Rialto Theatre, visit

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Media Contact:
Beverly Chang
(310) 472-9323

About the California Art Club
The California Art Club (, established in 1909 by early California Impressionists or plein air painters, is recognized as one of the oldest, largest and most active leading professional art organizations in the world. The mission of the Club, which is headquartered in Pasadena, Calif., is to promote traditional fine arts in the fields of painting, drawing and sculpture, to produce and promote art exhibits that foster understanding and interpretation of traditional art heritage and California history, and to furnish educational opportunities in fine arts.

About the Rialto Theatre
The Rialto Theatre is one of the last remaining intact vaudeville and movie palaces in Los Angeles. Built in 1925 and designed by noted architect L.A. Smith, the Rialto had been operated by Landmark Theatres since 1978 as a single-screen movie theatre, until it closed to the public in 2007. As the historic theatre is rapidly decaying, the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce ( has established the Vision Rialto initiative to bring the theatre back to life. The Rialto is poised to receive its largest pledge for revitalization ever – a $250,000 facade improvement grant – if local residents approve in the upcoming municipal elections a ballot measure for a downtown revitalization project to improve the surrounding business district. The Rialto Theatre is located at 1023 Fair Oak Ave. in South Pasadena.

About “Local Color"
"Local Color” ( is a poignant, semi-autobiographical film by award-winning director/writer George Gallo. It stars Trevor Morgan as John Talia, a talented, but troubled 18-year-old art student, who seeks out Nicoli Seroff (Mueller Stahl), an elderly alcoholic genius painter who has turned his back on not only art, but also life. The two form what appears to be at first a tenuous relationship. The kid wants to learn all the secrets the master has locked away inside his head and heart. Time has not been kind to the old master. His life appears pointless to him until the kid rekindles his interest in his own work, which ultimately gives him the will to live. Together, they give each another a priceless gift – John learns to see the world through the master’s eyes, and the master learns to see life, once again, through the eyes of innocence. The film will be released in selected theatres across the country on November 7, 2008. Empire Film Group, Inc. (OTC: EFGU) is distributing the film.

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