DOWNEY - One year ago, Stay Gallery executive director Valentin Flores ran into an old Downey High School friend, Marvin Battley, during a film screening in Downtown Downey. They hadn't seen each other in years.
Impressed with the work of Downey Art Vibe, the non-profit that runs Stay Gallery, Battley soon got involved with the organization.
"After reconnecting with Valentin and learning more about the inspiring projects of Downey Art Vibe, I was convinced that Downey Art Vibe and the Art of Rancho program at Rancho Los Amigos would be a great match for future events," Battley said. "I approached Valentin and his team with the idea, they were enthusiastic, and so, with the help of some key introductions to wonderful individuals at Rancho, we all went to work seeing what we could do to make it happen."
Soon, Battley found himself leading the charge to build a partnership with Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center that would bring the Art of Rancho to Stay Gallery.
The partnership culminated last week, when the gallery hosted more than 250 people as the First Annual Don Knabe Pediatrics Art Exhibition opened.
"The Art of Rancho program, in my opinion, puts together one of the most successful annual art exhibitions in Downey," said Flores. "They've been doing in for 18 years now. We simply wanted to bring the Art of Rancho to Stay Gallery and share with our crowd that frequents the gallery."
"Giving the community a space to exhibit is one of the main reasons why we exist," Flores added. "It was one of our most successful events yet."
Meanwhile, the gallery will be hosting its second annual Ugly Sweater Holiday Toy Drive this Friday, Dec. 6. Toys can be dropped off any time between 11 a.m. and midnight, with donations benefitting the TLC Family Resource Center.
Board games will be played all day (including Giant Jenga), with a reception from 7-9 p.m. and live music starting at 8 p.m. There will also be an ugly sweater competition.
Stay Gallery is at 11140 Downey Ave., just north of Firestone Boulevard.
********** Published: Dec. 5, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 34