Stay Gallery

Dear Editor:Everyone who attended the opening for the new sculpture exhibit at Stay Gallery last Friday was completely blown away by the vision, imagination and execution of the work by artist Cristian Castro. Castro's sculpture is truly at a world class level, and Downey residents ought to see it before the show closes on Nov. 7. This work would be right at home in the finest galleries of Beverly Hills or New York, yet we have it here in Downey at Stay Gallery. "Industrial sculpture" doesn't begin to describe these pieces fashioned out of discarded or reused metal parts. Castro has crated the most beautiful robots, figures and creatures. Castro is the quintessential artist with a day job - he works for Ebus in Downey, a firm that builds electric, hybrid and fuel cell mass transit vehicles. On his own time, he fabricates these incredible pieces. The back story of how this exhibit came to be underscores the effort and achievement of people who have been working for several years to encourage more public support for all of the arts in Downey. As he tells the story, Castro says his curiosity prompted him to speak with Val Flores, director of Stay Gallery, and suggests that Flores see his work. As a result, this month-long exhibit is a fitting celebration of the gallery's one-year anniversary. Stay Gallery deserves its celebration. During its first year of operation, the gallery has made itself available for a variety of events and activities. In addition to the traditional visual arts exhibits, the gallery has hosted staged readings of plays, events for civic groups and poetry readings, and been one of the venues for Downey's free, day-long music festival last June. This is a people's gallery, sponsored by the City of Downey and aided by donations of labor and materials as well as financial gifts from various supporters. I urge everyone to come and see this wonderful culmination of the first year's efforts. Stay Gallery is on Downey Avenue, just north of Firestone, and is open six days a week, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday through Sunday. Carol Kearns Downey

Dear Editor: On behalf of Downey Art Vibe (operators of Stay Gallery), I would like to thank everyone that attended our 2-day celebration Oct. 10-11 for our one-year celebration. After three months of working closely with the City of Downey, architects, contractors, and a variety of local businesses, we have built a gallery space that is now fully functional and open to the community. What was once a former drapery store was transformed into a beautiful arts and cultural space for everyone of all ages to enjoy. Stay Gallery's new operating hours are 11-7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Special thanks to everyone that helped us build our space: City of Downey; Dr. Mary Stauffer; Tony Abboud & Western Allied Construction; Henry Alvarez Design; Javier Meier Borrani; Johnny Venegas & Elite Concrete Restoration; Jose Vasquez & Cal United Plumbing; Ferguson Plumbing Supply; Kohler; Mike Chirco and Chirco Heating & Air; Even 'Pochi' Rojas; Nora Lighting; Ramset; Marcos Alby & Dura Flooring; Juan Arregon & Downey Metals; Downey Unified School District; Kent Kiess & Warren High School's Construction Technology Class; Phil Davis & Downey Adult School; Rotary Club of Downey; Dean Lopez & Downey Home Depot; RC Roofing; Dominicis Dental Care; and the Law Offices of Ricardo Lopez. We would like to thank everyone that has supported this project during the last year. The support has allowed us to continue operations and remodel Stay Gallery into a multi-functional space that will house diverse programming. Visit our website for programming and upcoming events: stay-gallery.com. We would like everyone that missed the opening of "Bones of Steel" to come check out this incredible exhibition by industrial designer Cristian Castro. We are very excited to start our second year of operation and invite everyone to come to Stay Gallery to see what we are all about. We've only just begun. Valentin Flores Downey

********** Published: Oct. 17, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 27