As we all look for ways to connect remotely, painter Alexandro Zamora is using his art. A solo exhibition of his work is the latest show on display in The Empty Space's virtual gallery.

The 15-piece collection features movie characters, athletes and celebrities. Zamora said people are drawn to familiar subjects.

"What interests me about pop culture is it's something that brings us all together, we can agree on music, movies, shows or even art," he wrote in an email. "We can all relate to a good show or a classic character from a movie. If you see an image of a musician you like, you might think of a song, or album. I think that’s a good feeling and it’s the same with sports, film and entertainment."

His favorite is one of Kobe Bryant, depicting the iconic image of the athlete dejectedly holding his trophy in the locker room after the Lakers won the 2001 NBA Championship.

"I painted it about a year or two ago because Kobe was my favorite player and someone I really admired," he wrote. "When he passed away this year it broke my heart, it felt like I lost a family member. So the painting means a lot to me."

Zamora has exhibited in group shows at the theater and its gallery space at Eureka! but this is his first solo exhibition.

His style is a work in progress, which the artist is happy to explore.

He wrote, "I used to concern myself a lot with finding a 'style' but now I just put my energy into improving my art in all areas. Whether I’m trying to best capture a portrait of someone, or exploring different ways to create an image, really just being able to create in different styles.

Viewers of the digital exhibition may benefit from the positivity Zamora put into creating the work.

"Art has brought me a lot of peace and happiness. I just hope I can share some of it through my art."

The exhibition will be viewable online at esonline.org/artgallery through Sept. 26. Originals and some prints are available for purchase.

Coming soon

The theater is staying busy through the end of the year adjusting to restrictions on live theater. The recent town hall held live on The Empty Space's Facebook ran through what's to come including:

Virtually Empty: Performers of all styles are sought to share their talents in a collection of virtual offerings. All mediums and forms of art are welcome. For more details, visit esonline.org/virtuallyempty

TES Master Class series: The theater will tap its talented members for classes on dance, vocal lessons, improv, accents/dialects, children’s theater and more. Classes will be offered via Zoom for a small fee. Details will be posted online next month.

Haunted Bakersfield: Enjoy an evening of curated scary stories drawn from local history.

Artist Susan Rousel: Creator of MaS Design Ceramic Oddities will bring her custom spooky creations together for a show in the virtual gallery for October and November.

Wanderbühne: Inspired by roving German theatrical troupes of the 18th century, this November event is described as a "site specific auto tour of live art pieces around town." The theater will provide travel snacks, a map and a specially curated playlist for participants driving to points of interest viewing scenes, songs and other live visual and audio performances by local actors and artists. 

"The Adventures of Santa Claus": A show adapted from "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus" by L. Frank Baum, who also wrote "The Wizard of Oz."

Holiday Boutique: Encompassing the entire theater and gallery, the annual shopping experience in December will be tailored to safely accommodate in-person shopping or online with curbside pickup with online shopping.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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