In the Studio with Debbie Korbel

by Kristine Schomaker

What does a day in your art practice look like?

It depends whether I am in the studio or out gathering materials for my assemblage pieces. If I am in the studio, I may spend many hours sculpting or working on the patinas. Or, I may be laying out pieces for an assemblage sculpture, then drilling, wiring, gluing, etc. I often don’t get things placed exactly as I want them on the first try, so it may take me two or three attempts before I move on to the next piece.

All this is punctuated by intermittent socializing, coffee-drinking, candy-eating, daydreaming and talking on the phone. And of course, there is always the task of trying to keep a million and one things organized—so tidying my studio (ugh) does have to happen at regular intervals so that I don’t kill myself tripping over things.

What do you wish to accomplish with your art?

I guess there are a few things I’d like to accomplish—some easy, some not so much. Of primary importance to me is to communicate with others on a level that is not superficial—to share my thoughts and feelings—and to have others understand and hopefully relate to those thoughts and feelings, perhaps recognizing something of themselves in the work. It is a non-verbal way for me to say, “See, I am just like you. I love, hate, suffer, laugh, etc. at the same things you do.” It is a quick way to connect with people on an emotional level—it is a barrier -breaker. I feel successful when people warm-up to me because they relate/like/ see value in/enjoy what I have created.

How has your art evolved over the years?

I am still trying not to be self-conscious, not to censor myself based on what others may think of me when they look at my art. Some of the art I make is risqué and I never really know if what I make will be well-received.

Do you ever find yourself limited by the materials that you have available?

No, not really.

What is the most challenging part about being an artist?

Self-doubt is certainly up near the top of the list–which is, I suspect, one of the more challenging things for people trying to succeed in any field.

Do you have a specific audience in mind for your work?

Those that aren’t easily offended.

What are your words of wisdom for someone starting out in your field?

Believe in yourself. Don’t wait for someone to give you permission to be an artist—you’ll never get it. Just make the art. Apply to shows. Get out there—see what happens. The worst that will happen is you will make some nice friends who are weird like you!

What’s next for you in the future?

I will be in two museum shows so far this year, MOAH and The Booth Museum and several independent gallery shows. Lots of hard work and hopefully a bit of glory.


L Aviva Diamond

a solo exhibition

Dates: February 22 to March 20, 2020
Reception: February 22, 6-9 pm

Location: Los Angeles Art Association
Gallery 825
825 N La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 652-8272

“Diamond allows viewers to slip beneath a shifting surface to reach something far deeper, an ethereal and transcendent cosmology, from which she shapes works that transport and expand.” – Genie Davis, Diversions LA

In her Los Angeles solo exhibition “Light Stream,” abstract nature photographer L. Aviva Diamond plunges the viewer into water’s mystical essence. This is art as a form of meditation, transmitting the spiritual aspects of water. Diamond uses large-scale images to create an immersive experience of the ambiguous, shifting, elemental forces of the cosmos. Her work melds the natural external world with the inner realms of dream, myth and symbol. The boundaries between earth and sky, wave and galaxy, become blurred. Universal becomes cellular; water and light merge into simultaneous creation and destruction – the swirling energies of a shifting universe.

L. Aviva Diamond began taking photos as a teenager, inspired by the works of Minor White and Paul Klee. She spent many years as a journalist, reporting and shooting for The Miami Herald, winning a local Emmy in St. Louis, and becoming a network correspondent for ABC News. She later established a successful corporate media training business. In 2014, Diamond joined the Los Angeles Art Association and began exhibiting her work. Her art has been included in shows at the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Palm Springs Art Museum, Neutra Institute Gallery, The Center for Fine Art Photography, Latino Art Museum and various California galleries.

For more information on L. Aviva Diamond’s work, please visit

Lauren Mendelsohn-Bass
“Sugar Coated” 

Solo Exhibition

Red Mountain Gallery, Truckee Meadows Community College
7000 Dandini Blvd
Reno, NV 89512

Opening Reception: Thursday Feb 13, 2020 5-7 PM
On view February 13 to March 11, 2020
Instagram: @mendelsohnbass

Mixing pop imagery and classic noir iconography, Sugar Coated draws the viewer into an enticing candy-coated world, only to find all is not as sweet as it appears.
Inspired by 1950’s era advertising, “Sugar Coated” is a nod to classic Film Noir and its emotive German Expressionist roots. It takes us on a journey through the world of superficial reality–where artificially alluring and nostalgically innocent context masks darker thoughts, ideas and actions. Playing on the visual tropes of mass marketing and vintage advertisements, this work explores the ways reality is obscured when presented as ostensibly attractive. As popular culture navigates an era of “fake news”, social media, and alternative facts –nothing is as it seems. These paintings examine today’s culture where truth is fluid; ideas issues and events are routinely reframed to reinforce a brand, and even daily life is depicted in a series of perfectly posed, edited and filtered images on social media.

The exhibition delves into complex emotions around what we desire, and more specifically, the mass marketed idea of desirability in lifestyle, perception, physical characteristics, conspicuous consumerism and more. “Sugar Coated” seduces the senses with luscious color and alluring imagery expertly depicted with great detail. The artist wields realism as a means to expose the lack of reality in socially constructed norms.

About Lauren Mendelsohn-Bass
Lauren Mendelsohn-Bass is a Los Angeles born painter who received her Bachelor of Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her work depicts the psychology of the mind’s inner conflicts and struggles, portrayed through her figures’ outward appearance and gestures. She often emphasizes the psychological drama with a monochromatic, Film Noir feel in order to examine what makes us tick. Her large, figurative paintings have a climactic, narrative quality with a focus upon emotional suspense, with each glance suggesting a passion or crime.

“Cavalcade of Dreams”

Debbie Korbel and Ellen Rose

Riverside City College
4800 Magnolia Ave.
Riverside, CA 92506
Opening Reception: March 5th, 6-8:30pm
On View Feb. 24 – April 3rd, 2020

Debbie Korbel’s work is what we need in today’s world. Not afraid to stand out or be heard, her work is witty, edgy, relevant, and challenging. Her power to captivate the viewer, make them smile, and feel like they belong resonates with her audience. It is why collectors, including Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler, buy her work. It is why she is showing at Art Palm Springs this weekend and in a two person show “Cavalcade of Dreams” at Riverside City College. Each sculpture is like a puzzle where she finds and fits each seemingly unrelated piece together in its most expressive form in order to create something new. And delightful.

“Her works exude a colorful music, a tumbling bundle of mini explosions. And it’s funny, the same words could be said when describing laughter, which just happens to be one of the elements fueling Debbie’s work.”
Jennifer Susan Jones, Beautiful Bizarre Oct, 2018

Debbie Korbel is an artist whose creativity has been applied to various media including painting and sculpture as well as writing television scripts, short stories and song lyrics. Her sculptures have been exhibited and collected internationally and appeared in movie and television shows.

In 2019 she won first place in The Modern Male Show at Bowersock Gallery. She has been the subject of newspaper and magazine articles, the latest feature article (August 2018) was published in The Pasadena Independent, The Monrovia Weekly, and The Arcadia Weekly. She has been featured in the October 2018 issue of Beautiful Bizarre magazine, Diversions LA magazine and the July 2019 American Art Collector Magazine. She was awarded 2nd place in the 2019 Crocker Kingsley Museum Annual exhibition. She will be exhibiting her work in 2020 in a joint exhibit at MOAH (Museum of Art & History) in Lancaster, CA.


“Perceive Me” by Kristine Schomaker

Ronald H Silverman Fine Arts Gallery, Cal State University LA
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles CA 90032
Dr. Mika Cho, Director, Fine Arts Gallery

Opening Reception: Saturday January 25, 5-8pm

Artist Talk with Alexandra Grant Sun February 2, 2-4pm
Artist Talk with Leslie Labowitz-Starus Sun February 16, 2-4pm
Artist Panel and Closing Reception Sat February 22, 2-4pm
Instagram: @kristineschomaker

In “Perceive Me,” plus-size artist Kristine Schomaker challenges society, the art world and herself to become more accepting of our differences, especially differences in size. She issued the challenge here in Los Angeles – a city known for its unrealistic images of the female body – by asking 60 artists to do nude portraits of her larger-than-average form. Rather than shaming Schomaker for her size, the artists celebrate it with paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, video and a 3D print.

Los Angeles artist Sheli Silverio responded with a 57-inch-tall watercolor painting. “Kristine invited me to be part of her “Perceive Me” project in which I got to use my lens to interpret her; Her body, her authenticity, her power, her femininity, her bravery, HER. In the process of doing so, I took the opportunity to explore myself. It’s been good for my heart. I think part of understanding ourselves, happens in relation to the world around us. But we also know that the social standards are in need of critique more often than not. The way “Perceive Me” reflects and shifts the idea of perception of self allows for this criticism. It opens space for everyone involved, artists and viewers, to reflect upon how they see themselves, how they look at others and what weight and significance we place on all of that.”

Schomaker’s work has often touched upon perceptions of the female body, an issue that has been a challenge for her since her youth. She hated having her photo taken because she didn’t want her body and face, which she saw as less-than-ideal, being memorialized in photos. She developed an eating disorder, but she never lost sight of the need to express herself in her art.
And with “Perceive Me,” the artist, curator, and instigator found a way to celebrate herself in addition to educating the larger world about acceptance.

“Posing and modeling for these 60 artists, I felt like a supermodel. I felt thin, bold, beautiful, classy, elegant, sexy,” she said. “The artwork that was created is amazing. Then I looked in the mirror… I was the same. But I knew I was saying something that needed to be said.”

“Perceive Me” opens with an exhibition at California State University, Los Angeles Jan. 25, 2020. The opening reception is Jan. 25, 2020 6-9pm. The show runs through Feb. 22, 2020.

Over the next couple of years, “Perceive Me” will travel to Coastline Community College Art Gallery, McNish Gallery at Oxnard College, Mesa Community College Art Gallery, College of the Sequoias in Visalia and the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster.

“‘Perceive Me’ is not just an exhibition or a catalog or Instagram posts. It is a platform for empowerment, for owning who we are, for being unique and authentic, for taking back our bodies in the #metoo movement, for being true, powerful and strong no matter what body shape, size, color, gender we are. ‘Perceive Me’ is for everyone,” Schomaker said.

Artists who collaborated in the project include Amanda Mears, Anna Kostanian, Anna Stump, Ashley Bravin, Austin Young, Baha Danesh, Betzi Stein, Bibi Davidson, Bradford J Salamon, Caron G Rand, Carson Grubaugh, Catherine Ruane, Chris Blevins-Morrison, Christina Ramos, Cynda Valle, Daena Title, Daggi Wallace, Dani Dodge, Debbie Korbel, Debby and Larry Kline, Debe Arlook, Diane Cockerill, Donna Bates, Elizabeth Tobias, Ellen Friedlander, Emily Wiseman, Geneva Costa, Holly Boruck, J Michael Walker, Jane Szabo, Janet Milhomme, Jeffrey Sklan, Jesse Standlea, John Waiblinger, Jorin Bossen, K Ryan Henisey, Karen Hochman Brown, Kate Hoffman, Kate Kelton, Kate Savage, Katherine Rohrbacher, Kerri Sabine-Wolf, Kim Kimbro, L Aviva Diamond, Leslie Lanxinger, Mara Zaslove, Marjorie Salvaterra, Martin Cox, Monica Sandoval, Nancy Kay Turner, Nurit Avesar, Phung Huynh, Rakeem Cunningham, Serena Potter, Sheli Silverio, Susan Amorde, Susan T. Kurland, Sydney Walters, Tanya Ragir, Tony Pinto, Vicki Walsh

About Kristine Schomaker:
Kristine Schomaker is a Los Angeles based multidisciplinary artist, art historian and curator. She received her BA in Art History and an MA in Studio Art from California State University Northridge. Schomaker has been exhibiting her work since the late 1990s. She has had solo exhibitions throughout Los Angeles including “Plus” at Ark Gallery in Altadena, “Mirror, Mirror!” at Gallery H Phantom Galleries LA, Hawthorne, California, “And One Man in His Time Plays Many Parts” at the Los Angeles Art Association, “Plus” at Moorpark College Art Gallery, “A Comfortable Skin,” at Kerckhoff Hall Art Gallery UCLA, Los Angeles, California and “Ce n’est pas une Peinture,” at TRACTIONARTS, Los Angeles, California. Schomaker has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions.

In addition to working as a practicing artist, Schomaker is an independent curator, the founder of Shoebox PR and publisher of the online contemporary art magazine Art and Cake.

Jen Snoeyink | Hope Trees
Solo Exhibition

Opening December 14, 3-5pm
On view December 14 to January 2, 2020
By appointment only

Geo Gallery
1545 Victory Blvd
Glendale CA 91207


Jen Snoeyink presents “Hope Trees,” an inspiring, richly immersive exhibition first conceptualized during the La Tuna Fire, which occurred near her own home. Snoeyink took fallen branches from drought-stricken trees wrapped in recycled yarn and fabric, and stood the branches on end as a symbol of hope for those affected by the devastating fires, and as a reminder that life will sustain and continue after devastation.

The artist says she sought to viscerally express the idea that “Nature’s strength is unbounded.” The fiber wrappings are lushly colored, patterned and designed with precision and grace. Standing like vibrant, poised dancers, the branches of Snoeyink’s wrapped trees rise as a counterpoint to an ashen landscape. She uses fiber as a painter’s palette, artistically articulating the form of a tree, and documenting nature’s poetic response to fire. By enveloping branches in what she calls a “makeshift blanket of repurposed textiles,” Snoeyink incorporates fiber art, assemblage, photography, and mixed media as an artistic expression of the environmental issue of wildfire, both in California, and elsewhere.

Snoeyink worked with Nature photographer Kerry Perkins to document the site-specific installations Snoeyink created in the Woolsey fire affected areas last February. These photographs, the trees and an installation will be on view in Snoeyink’s exhibition.

In August, Snoeyink created Hope Trees as a temporary installation for Burbank Schools. Since that time, she has wrapped Hope Trees for residents affected by the Saddle Ridge Fire. The artist’s vividly colorful, softly wrapped images of life rising from the ashes create a rainbow of light against darkened land. Snoeyink had started the project a few years ago when she had created yarn trees as a project with Thomas Jefferson Elementary School students; She has been “overwhelmed” by the support to create something new and beautiful through the fiber art experience, adding color and life to the trees.

Describing herself as an “arborist, optimist, and mindful maker,” Snoeyink shapes temporary art installations as tactile emotional responses to both social and environmental issues, with the intention of lifting viewers’ spirits and raising awareness.

About Jen Snoeyink

A multi-talented design professional, Snoeyink has worked in a wide range of creative fields from New York to Los Angeles. With a solid basis in design, she has created works in decorative painting, murals, and scenic art, and has most recently expressed her art through handmade fiber art and fine art paintings. Working in fiber, Snoeyink shapes art that includes felting, painted linen, silk, and lace flowers, as well as building evocative assemblages that include both recycled objects and woven fiber materials.

She shares her creativity with her community through public projects engaging both children and adults. She holds an MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Karin Skiba


Solo Exhibition
November 2-24, 2019
Opening reception November 2, 5-7 pm

29 Palms Art Gallery
74055 Cottonwood Dr
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

Science tells us that our connections are one of the most important factors in a long healthy life. Connection to home is the subject of Los Angeles artist Karin Skiba’s solo show, Habitat, opening at 29 Palms Art Gallery on November 2.

Skiba’s past work often involved emotional and physical environments in visual form. The theme of Habitat arises from this connection. The gallery space itself represents “habitat” in a true desert way, says Skiba. She admires the adobe building built to shelter from the heat and sun in 1936. As an art gallery this home now offers relief in the form of art.

Born and raised in Detroit, Skiba says the architecture of that city evokes the comfort zone of her youth and experiences there.

“I always loved downtown Detroit,” she says, “taking the bus to Woolworth’s as a teen to buy lunch with my girlfriends. Or eating at the old diners during my art school days. The stately grand homes and churches in the downtown area are familiar and beautiful to me still and prompted me to photograph them many times.”

Those photographs in collages capture the comfort of the past and childhood memories. It connects with her ancestors who came from Europe to find a new life and draws a line to the new and revitalized future for the city. Skiba calls this an “ecofictional landscape” where photos evoke a visual reality into a painted picture plane.

The work in Habitat uses ladders and trees that reach to the future and to the roots of the past, leading to emotional environments that offer solace and safety. An escape, sometimes reminding us of places we left behind in a search for our home. Or they can be unreachable because of situations we find our society in.

Karin Skiba (Russo) attended the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit and Claremont Graduate University receiving her MFA. Her work was shown at Barnsdall Park Art Center, LACMA, Security Pacific and in galleries in LA, Oregon, Chicago and Detroit. Her includes solo exhibitions at La Verne University, Cal Poly Pomona, Joshua Tree Art Gallery as well as the Riverside Art Museum.

Habitat runs November 2-24, at 29 Palms Art Gallery with an opening reception on November 2, 5-7 pm.