Popcorn and Prizes


“Young Turks” filmmakers Stephen Seemayer, left, and Pamela Wilson with their son and associate producer, Zach Seemayer.

Don Gewelke — with his daughter Lisa and friend Phil — came from New York for the screening.

Don Gewelke — with his daughter Lisa and friend Phil — came from New York for the screening.

“Young Turks” screened at the United Film Festival Los Angeles on Monday night (April 29, 2013), and a good time was had by all. Several lucky members of the audience tweeted to win “Young Turks” T-shirts and Party Boys CDs.

Filmmakers Pamela Wilson and Stephen Seemayer followed the screening with a lively and revealing question-and-answer led by festival host Sal Rodriguez. They talked about living downtown in the 1970s and ’80s.

Rodriguez commented on Seemayer’s inclusion of several homeless people as counterpoint to the interviews with downtown artists that make up the bulk of the documentary.

Tony discusses life on the streets of downtown L.A.

Tony discusses life on the streets of downtown L.A.

Rodriguez was struck by the intimacy and frankness Seemayer was able to evoke from Tony, Schlitz and the others, who all lived in the alleys and vacant lots surrounding the Young Turks’ studios. Seemayer explained his decision to include them in the fabric of the film: “These guys were all around our lofts and studios, and we got to know them. If you think about it, the only difference between us and them was a couple of months rent.”

After Rodriguez commented that “Young Turks” is a remarkable, educational document of a vital art scene and era not widely acknowledged by a lot of cultural institutions, Wilson talked about plans for the future of “Young Turks,” saying the next step is to get it released on DVD and into the film collections of museums and universities.


Tonight Is the Night

United Film Festival“Young Turks” is the featured selection screening tonight (Monday, April 29, 2013) at the United Film Festival Los Angeles. The event starts at 9:30 p.m. at the Los Feliz Theatre.

Two short films — “Cold Living— Spirit Vine” and “Into Noise” — will screen before “Young Turks,” and there will be a Q&A with filmmakers Stephen Seemayer, Pamela Wilson and Zach Seemayer after the film, which John Rabe of KPCC’s “Off-Ramp” has called “a delightful and refreshing documentary about … artist friends and the life they lived in downtown L.A. circa 1980.”

Tickets cost $10 and are still available here.

“Young Turks”
Monday, April 29, 2013, 9:30 p.m.
Los Feliz 3 Cinema
1822 N. Vermont Ave.
L.A., CA 90027

Occupy the Arts District!

signs of the times poster for web“Young Turks” filmmaker Stephen Seemayer takes over the District Gallery (right around the block from where Al’s Bar once reigned) starting this Thursday (April 25, 2013). Seemayer will show 63 new artworks inspired by Occupy L.A.

During October and November 2011, Seemayer and his “Young Turks” collaborator, Pamela Wilson, spent time nearly every day documenting the occupiers camped out around L.A.’s City Hall. The protestors were not only showing solidarity with Occupy Wall Street in New York, they were also demanding fairness and compassion for working class Americans, a shift in values and a closing of the rift between the wealthiest in our society and the 99%.

Seemayer’s energetic collages incorporate the slogans and signage that got the occupiers’ messages across, along with photographs of life on the lawn, graphic stencils of raised fists and other revolutionary symbolism, and front pages of the L.A. Times during that tumultuous two months.

“Signs of the Times” opens at the District Gallery on Thursday, April 25, and runs through May 26. The gallery is open Tuesday – Sunday, 1-6 p.m.


April 25-May 26, 2013
District Gallery
740 E. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Film Festival Screening to Include Q and A

"Young Turks" associate producer Zach Seemayer with editor Pamela Wilson and director Stephen Seemayer.

“Young Turks” associate producer Zach Seemayer with editor Pamela Wilson and director Stephen Seemayer.

United Film Festival“Young Turks” filmmakers Pamela Wilson, Stephen Seemayer and Zach Seemayer will take part in a question-and-answer session after the screening of their 95-minute documentary as part of United Film Festival Los Angeles on Monday, April 29, 2013.

The festival, which runs from April 26 through May 2, will feature 17 independent features and many shorts, and prizes will be awarded at a gala on May 2 at the Vista Theatre. Jury Award and Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature, Best Feature Documentary, Best Short Film, and Best Student Short Film will be presented, as will be a lifetime achievement award to director John Landis.

Tickets for the “Young Turks” screening, which begins at 9:30 p.m. at the Los Feliz 3 Cinema, can be purchased online here.

“Young Turks”
Monday, April 29, 2012, 9:30 p.m.
Los Feliz 3 Cinema
1822 N. Vermont Ave.
L.A., CA 90027

Face Time in Downtown

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With displays and original pieces that memorialize lost downtown landmarks, local artists Ed Glendenning, Irving Greines, Carlton Davis, Stephen Seemayer and Pamela Wilson are featured in the new “In Your Face” exhibit that opened April 11 at Angel City Brewery.

Sponsored by the Los Angeles Downtown Arts District Space and Angel City Brewery, “In Your Face” will run April 11 through June 9.

In Your Face Exhibit at Angel City Brewery

"Al's Bar" photocollage by Pamela Wilson and Stephen Seemayer, 2013 (detail)

“Al’s Bar” photocollage by Pamela Wilson and Stephen Seemayer, 2013 (detail)

“Young Turks” filmmakers Pamela Wilson and Stephen Seemayer are among a group of artists featured in a new exhibit opening this week at Angel City Brewery.

April 11-June 9, 2013 at Angel City Brewery

April 11-June 9, 2013, at Angel City Brewery

Sponsored by the Los Angeles Downtown Arts District Space and Angel City Brewery, “In Your Face” will run April 11 through June 9. In addition to Wilson and Seemayer, it features works about the downtown environment by Carlton Davis, Ed Glendenning and Irving Greines, and was curated by Jonathan Jerald of the District Arts Gallery.

Jerald describes the show as a visual tribute to the downtown art scene of the 1970s and ’80s and long-gone places like Al’s Bar, the Atomic Café and the Art Dock.

Wilson and Seemayer will display photocollages focusing on the transient nature of the downtown landscape. Made up of images from “Young Turks,” the works feature people and places that no longer exist.

Glendenning, Greines and Davis will exhibit photographs of the urban wilderness, including images from Davis’ recent book, “The Art Dockuments,” which chronicles the lifespan of the “world’s first drive-by art gallery.”

The opening reception for “In Your Face” will be Thursday, April 11, 630 p.m. to 10 p.m., and will feature a performance by Society for Experimental Music.

April 11-June 9, 2013
Angel City Brewery
216 S. Alameda Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Film Festival News

uff“Young Turks” is an official selection of the United Film Festival – Los Angeles, which takes place April 26-May 2, 2013, at the Los Feliz 3 Cinemas.

United Film Festival – Los Angeles screens cutting-edge independent films and highly acclaimed classic movies with the audience in mind. With festivals in Los Angeles, New York, London, San Francisco, Chicago and Tulsa, United Film Festival’s focus is to bring together talented filmmakers from diverse backgrounds, thus creating a “United” showcase of creative energy and talent. This is a film festival for everyone, a place where art and community converge.

“Young Turks” will screen as part of the festival on Monday, April 29, at 9:30 pm. Tickets

Los Feliz 3 Cinemas
1822 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Another Turk at Work

Jon Peterson in 1981.

Jon Peterson in 1981.

Jon Peterson at LA Artcore Union Center and Brewery AnnexLA Artcore will host a retrospective exhibit of the 40-year career of Jon Peterson in both of its downtown galleries starting Thursday, April 4, 2013.

Peterson’s early work included paintings applied directly to the walls of the galleries in which he was showing. As he explains in “Young Turks,” “I wanted to create a work that would transcend its environment.” The result were paintings with no foregrounds, where whatever happened in front of the piece became the subject of the piece.

This led Peterson to another, more radical, means of blurring the line between viewer and subject. Peterson used theories he had picked up as an aeronautical engineer and sculptural theories he learned at Otis Art Institute to craft what became known as “bum shelters,” brightly colored structures that he placed in the environment surrounding his loft between Little Tokyo and Skid Row. As he explains in “Young Turks,” these pieces viewed in the context of a gallery had one meaning, while when they were in a parking lot or alley, they took on a whole different meaning and actually were used as shelter by the homeless denizens around downtown.

"Jon Peterson: Paintings & Sculptures" will be on sale at LA Artcore.

“Jon Peterson: Paintings & Sculptures” will be on sale at LA Artcore.

More recently, Peterson has turned to more traditional painting, but with a twist: He is reinterpreting the drawings of a woman named “Phyllis T.,” whose scrapbook of sketches he bought for $20 at the Pasadena Swap Meet. The resulting canvases are both humorous and haunting.

A new book edited by “Young Turks” filmmaker Pamela Wilson examines Peterson’s career in depth, with essays by critics Peter Plagens and Constance Mallinson. Peterson will be signing copies of the book at the opening of the LA Artcore exhibition on Sunday, April 7.

ArtScene critic Margarita Nieto reviews Peterson’s retrospective in the magazine’s lastest edition. You can read the article here.

The exhibit will continue through April 28.