First Fridays at G2

On the First Friday of every month
local Venice shops and galleries stay
open late to hold openings and special
events - often with food, wine and live
music offered as part of the attraction.
Crowds of people drawn to this First
Friday of April bustle about, and the
G2 art gallery at 1503 Abbot Kinney
Boulevard is right in the thick of the

The G2 gallery, founded by Dan and
Susan Gottlieb, opened in March of
last year. Their goal was to promote
environmental conservation through
photographic art. Gallery director
Jolene Hanson was hired by the
Gottliebs to make their vision for the
gallery come to life.

"Our owners Dan and Susan Gottlieb had the vision, and their vision was a nature and wildlife photography gallery, and their mission was to donate the proceeds from that gallery back to environmental charities," said Hanson. The G2 gallery is unique in the LA area for its focus on wildlife photography. "We are the only gallery in LA that is doing that, we're also the only gallery donating all our proceeds back to charities," added Hanson.

Having an academic background in photography, and education, and experience managing galleries and non-profit art organizations, Hanson is ideally qualified to realize the Gottlieb's vision, and in that she certainly succeeded.

The two-story gallery is spacious,
inviting and warm. Most of the exhibit
space is on the second floor, where there
is a large main gallery, and several
smaller, cozier rooms, that are connected
in a sort of maze that is fun to wander
about and explore. In one room, wine,
soft drinks, cheese, crackers, and a veggie
tray were on offer for this First Friday's
attendees. Throughout the gallery wafted
the pleasant music of jazz vocalist Lynn
Stevens and her accompanying pianist
who performed in another room.

Most of the exhibit space was occupied the
by exotic and beautiful photographs of
Antarctic Penguins, by Venice artist J.J.
L'Hureaux. This was the farewell night
for L'Hureaux's exhibit, however her
work is definitely worth seeking out.
The next exhibit, from April 7 - May
17, will feature the work of acclaimed
adventure photographer Galen Rowell
whose photographs have been featured
in National Geographic magazine.

A few areas are reserved for artists
whose work is kept as part of the
gallery's regular inventory, such as worldrenowned wildlife photographer Thomas
Mangelsen. Mangelsen was the first artist
exhibited at the gallery, and has been a
long time favorite of the Gottliebs. Avid
and accomplished wildlife photographers
themselves, this gallery has given the
Gottlieb's a chance to exhibit and sell
their own work. According to Hanson,
"their work has been unbelievably well
responded to, which has been really
exciting for all of us."

A gift shop on the first floor offers
a variety of items such as jewelry,
birdhouses, wildlife art books, and
handbags made from recycled sailcloth.
The gift shop allows the gallery to
represent artisans who work in other
mediums, and to offer items for sale at
a more affordable price point. Hanson
explained that the gallery doesn't want
to cater exclusively to people who can
spend five hundred dollars or more for
a work of art.

In addition to the photography exhibits, the gallery also features regular
lectures related to art, wildlife, and the
outdoors, as well as live music, such as
an upcoming concert of Inca music from
the Andes, and Peru. More information
about the gallery and upcoming events
can be found at