By Libby Lancaster
“Ever since I was a little girl I enjoyed art and acting,” said Santa Monica artist Bobbie Rich. “I eventually had to make a choice, as there is only so much time.” She said she always knew she was supposed to create art…and teaching art affords her a fun outlet to still be on stage, yet do her art at the same time. “Life is better when you embrace your gifts, but that doesn’t mean everything is easy. Although incredibly rewarding, being an artist isn’t exactly the most dependable career path. I am very proud to be a successful artist.”
Rich will enjoy her second solo exhibition at Santa Monica restaurant Upper West. “I’m very excited for the July 30 opening bash and to be spending much more time at such a delicious and beautiful restaurant!” The exhibition entitled “Wanderlust” will feature more than works. Rich went on to explain that during the summer her teaching schedule lightens up so she has more time to paint and work on her own personal projects. “It’s been really wonderful working on my balcony to finish up new works for Upper West. Several have sold, fresh off the easel, so I am really focused on completing new large works to adorn the restaurant.”
Rich is a consistent patron of the restaurant…”Upper West has the best Happy Hour around! A few of my favorite options are the Braised Brisket Tacos, the Crispy Glazed Chicken and the Thai Peanut Noodles.”
Rich often gives her time helping nonprofits. She recently did some live painting for Harvest Home’s Gala at the Fairmont Miramar. Her painting was live auctioned in the ballroom as the grand finale of the evening for $6,000, with 100 percent donated to Harvest Home. Harvest Home transforms the lives of homeless pregnant women and their children by providing housing, support, and programs that equip women to become great mothers.
She was also commissioned by Herman Miller to create a mural. Since she works teaching for Family Art and Art Camp for Community Corp of Santa Monica and the Boys and Girls Club of America at several affordable housing locations, she was able to connect the furniture store with the CCSM and Boys and Girls Club. She personally collaborated with the kids and Herman Miller employees to create a beautiful under the sea mural at 430 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica. “I designed and drew an enormous paint-by-number before the Herman Miller team and Boys and Girls Club kids arrived. All the paints were pre-mixed. Paint swatches were on the walls. Everyone was assigned a color and away we went!”
When asked which artists inspire her these days, she replied, “My students are the emerging artists that most inspire me. I give them enough free reign to test and express their own ideas, while learning all the fundamentals and beyond. Each day is a surprise and I always soak in all the treasures they create.”
Meet Bobbie Rich at Upper West restaurant (3321 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica) on Sunday, July 30 from 4-7 p.m. BobbieRich.com, theupperwest.com.