Helms Studio Series

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Helms Studio Series

October 14, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

Helms Bakery District presents Helms Studio Series inside the Washington Corridor Gallery, where the artistry of five individuals converge to offer a captivating experience during the Culver City Art Walk & Roll Festival.

Chris Hero, a versatile Los Angeles-based painter, channels two decades of life drawing at Studio II onto salvaged paper, crafting spontaneous and intuitive masterpieces in acrylics, inks, and gouache, often completed in under half an hour during life-drawing sessions. Meanwhile, artist David Valvoda captures unique perspectives of the everyday world through photography, weaving disparate images into captivating compositions.

Kate Leachman explores memory and emotion through oil paintings on canvas and wood, reimagining personal photos and nature in vibrant colors. Their smaller, instinctive creations, known as “Musings,” provide a delightful escape into the joy of the creative process. Stephanie Kerley Schwartz, a Los Angeles-based set and costume designer, combines theater and art in the ongoing project Hypothetical Scenarios, celebrating the tactile experience of creating with found materials. Finally, Toby Pederson, with an illustrious 20-year career as a commercial photographer, skillfully illuminates the overlooked and mundane, revealing the beauty in simplicity.

Helms Studio Series is your invitation to explore these unique artistic journeys and witness the world through their creative lenses.


Chris Hero

Helms Studio Series presents Chris Hero, a versatile Los Angeles-based painter with a unique journey through various professions. His current work, born from two decades of life drawing at Studio II, involves layering history and surface on salvaged paper. Hero’s spontaneous, intuitive art uses acrylics, inks, and gouache, with most pieces completed in under half an hour during sessions with life-drawing models.

Stephanie Kerley Schwartz

Helms Studio Series presents Hypothetical Scenarios, works created by Stephanie Kerley Schwartz, an Los Angeles based set and costume designer working with theaters, installation artists and painters. Her design work has been seen on stages across Southern California as well as in Portland, Oregon and Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC.

Hypothetical Scenarios is an ongoing project that combines Stephanie’s theater and art practice, along with her passion for creating interactive environments with found and collected materials. Expanding the relationship between objects and materials fascinates her — exploring the tactile experience of making things, and the transposed feelings that arise from the combinations. By juxtaposing materials such as raw rope and refined colorful silk, or discarded rusty metal and precious gold leaf, her work chases beauty using tactile craft, finding meaning in the juxtaposition of objects and materials that pass through her hands, relieving them from the duty of practicality.

Kate Leachman

Helms Studio Series presents Kate Leachman, a native of Los Angeles, currently working in Studio II, Culver City. Kate’s current work centers around people, places and objects integral to her life. Paintings in oil on canvas or wood are inspired by memories. Resourcing personal photos, nature and imagination, she recreates her memory of the subject in vibrant color. Kate’s artistic practice also includes making small mixed media works. Constructed on a variety of paper, canvas or board, she explores combinations of wet and dry media. These are instinctive creations she calls “Musings.” A daily practice, working on the Musings is a liberation from the inherent problem-solving that comes with large paintings and allows Kate to relax into the pure joy of the creative process.

Toby Pederson

A graduate of Art Center College of Design, Toby Pederson, boasts an impressive 20-year career as a commercial photographer. His collaborative and skilled approach has graced major advertising campaigns, showcasing his refined style rich in subtlety and detail, particularly emphasizing lighting. Beyond commercial work, Toby’s personal still-life photography delves into the often overlooked or mundane, contrasting with today’s flashy tech-driven world. Armed with extensive photography expertise, he skillfully highlights and captures simple subjects like construction materials, insects, paint, or even a humble bubble in water.

David Valvoda

David Valvoda is a local photographer and artist who hails originally from Cleveland, OH. David’s photography focuses on the world around us as seen through unique perspectives, often seeing the dramatic geometry in our everyday surroundings as well as putting disparate images together to create a unique image.


Washington Corridor Gallery
8723 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232 United States
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