“It’s the last show,” says Richard Stephens; “I’m not going to produce shows anymore.”
A silence fills the room as the interviewer stammers: “Wh-wh-what do you mean?”
“I gave Johnny Cantu three shows to produce at the shop [that’s slang for Cannery Row Studios]; we’re gonna start in January. I’m stepping back; he can take over the gallery, see if he can make some money, ‘cause I seem to not… I’m too nice of a guy to make money.”
That’s what happens with nice guys; they finish last.
“Yes, but that’s fine,” Stephens replies. “I may just go off into my own sunset… I just need a change.”
Last year Richard Stephens had health problems and he had to cancel some scheduled shows at his bohemian-style Redondo Beach art gallery.
“I’ve been trying to make up shows for the artists that I had scheduled. Jeanne Zaske and Lynnie Sterba was one of the make-ups, and John Teague was another.
“The final people [whose shows] I had to cancel last year were Betty Mallorca and Bob Masse,” he continues. But this leads us straight to “Richard and the Three M’s,” which opens this Saturday, Dec. 1, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m.
Stephens is showing his own painting along with pictures by Mallorca, Masse, and Magnusen – his three M’s.
“Wayne Magnusen is a new artist,” Stephens explains. “I don’t really understand his work but I figured if I could have it in a show setting that maybe somebody would.”
And that somebody would explain it to you.
“It’s real minimalism,” he adds, “but I’ve already had people that really like it, so, one never knows what people like.” He describes the monoprints as best he can. “There’s more detail on this table, but he sees all kinds of stuff. I figured I’d give him a chance.”
On Betty Mallorca, Stephens says:
“I thought she’d be a good complement to my work, because she has real big work and I have some big work. Most of her stuff is abstract and some of my stuff is abstract.”
Bob Masse has created historic rock and roll posters.
In the smaller gallery: Jill Nastaszewski and Her 3D’ers, this being various bric-a-brac that can also double for cool last minute holiday shopping.
The show closes on Saturday, Dec. 22, with a gathering from 6 to 9 p.m.
“The 22nd will be the party that ends all parties,” Stephens declares; “if we survive the 21st we can all party on the 22nd.”
And if not, well, then maybe in the hereafter.
Cannery Row Studios is located at 604 N. Francisca Ave., Redondo Beach. Hours, open four days, Thursday to Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Call (888) 366-1988 or go to canneryrowstudios.com.