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Find Your ‘Sanctuary,’ Join the ‘Summerland Fun’ at NELA Second Saturday

Our neighborhood itinerary includes Cactus Gallery and Leanna Lin’s Wonderland—with a suggested stop at Future Gallery in Highland Park.

It’s been a scorching week—and the evenings are about the only time to venture outdoors without being reminded of the famous Noel Coward song, Mad Dogs and Englishmen (go out in the midday sun).

The hot spell ought to be fortuitous for this month’s NELA Second Saturday Gallery Night—when art lovers spend the evening visiting art galleries in Northeast Los Angeles, particularly in Highland Park and Eagle Rock but also in Glassell Park and Cypress Park.

Here’s what’s on offer in Eagle Rock on Saturday, Aug. 11:

At , that “cozy, butterscotch-painted” art store a block south of , to quote our Eat/Drink/See Eagle Rock columnist Kim Axelrod Ohanneson, the theme for Saturday’s Gallery Night is “Sanctuary.”

While not intended to imply a refuge from the steaming weather, Sanctuary does include more than a few works of art whose themes suggest anything but the oppressive heat: The beach, a forest, a beautiful home, even a bike lane.

“I had the theme on my mind for a while and it finally came together,” said Sandra Mastroianni, Cactus Gallery’s Argentine-born owner and one-time teacher at the Los Angeles Unified School District, who lives around the corner from her Eagle Rock Boulevard store. “Everybody has a different take on what their sacred place is. For some it’s a church, a temple or a mosque—for others it’s nature, music, art.”

Mastroianni asked the artists featured in her Sanctuary show to embody in their work their idea of a safe haven. “The result is a show as diverse in media as it is in how differently people interpret sacred space,” she writes in her blog, adding: “You will find oil, acrylic and mixed media paintings on canvas, wood and cigar boxes, watercolor, pencil, pen and ink on paper, photography, papier-mâché, felt works, sculpture and other mixed media works.” (See the accompanying photos for some of the art featured in the Sanctuary show.)

The opening reception for Sanctuary starts at 7 p.m. Saturday and ends at 10 p.m. A presale of artwork will be available via the Cactus Gallery blog, starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10. The show runs through Aug. 26.

Further up north on Eagle Rock Boulevard, the redoubtable Leanna Lin is hosting the first solo show at her gallery for artist Danielle Lamberti-Mezzardi, a New York City-based graphic designer.

Danielle taps into her Italian heritage and all-girls Catholic school upbrining to create fashion-inspired Italian dolls, not to mention an array of “cute and fuzzy” accessories designed for the fall, which will be displayed in the art corner at , the eye-catching store with a bright-green awning and brilliant-rose door that our Culture & Music columnist Dan Kimpel once aptly described as “equal parts studio, shop and art gallery.”

The show opens Saturday and runs through Sept. 23.

Wonderland will also be celebrating—again, in case you missed it last month—the second anniversary of the store’s opening, with a show titled Summerland Fun. For the show, Eagle Rock artist Michelle Romo, of Crowded Teeth, has curated the works of a string of artists that includes the New Zealand-based Becky Dreistadt, Berkeley-based Deth P. Sun, Chicago-based Jeremiah Ketner, and Jolby, a Portland-based design and illustration studio run by artists Josh Kenyon and Colby Nichols.

Click here for a full list of the artists and the works featured in the Summerland Fun show.

The fun at Leanna’s starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. on Saturday. Beverages, music and surprise vegan treats by Clara's Cakes will be on hand, as will the usual goodie bags.

Farther east of Eagle Rock Boulevard, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Figueroa Street in Highland Park, Future Gallery will host the opening of “Mr. Twister’s Twisted Art Show.”

The exhibition features the work of artist Brian Tolley. The young artist uses twist ties and markers to create what Future Studio describes as “painstakingly detailed pieces hand-twisted without glue or armatures.”

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