Bakersfield Culture Sizzles as Art and Theatre Celebrate 10 years at “The Empty Space”

14 Apr
"Kreative Allusions," by John Kirkeby

“Kreative Allusions,” by John Kirkeby-photo by Wanda Winkler

Bakersfield Culture Sizzles as The Empty Space Art Gallery/Theatre Celebrates Ten Years The Empty Space theatre and art gallery, located at 706 Oak St., is a cultural icon in Bakersfield. It is celebrating it’s tenth anniversary with an exhibit from John Kirkeby called, “Kreative Allusions” and a play called, “Crimes of the Heart,” written by Beth Henley and directed by Bob Kempf. Gallery director, Jesus Fidel, 30, prides the theatre/gallery as beng, “the only totally nonprofit, donation based theatre/gallery in the U.S. run by 20 volunteers 365 days a year,” said Fidel. Each month a different artist is featured in the art gallery and a different play is presented to the public. The plays are usually locally written or off-Broadway shows, with suggested donations of $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors per theatre show. Visiting the gallery exhibit is free and delicious snacks, coffee and wine is available. While the artist reception hours are between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends, the plays take place in the evenings on weekends. For a schedule of this month’s showings and future events go to www.esonline.org. John Kirkeby, retired from Xerox ten years ago, now has more time to be creative. He is celebrating his second showing at The Empty Space. “I really like the casual atmosphere at this gallery. For my first exhibit I was really nervous and brought 41 paintings and sold only a few. This year I have 21 paintings and they are selling very well,” said Kirkeby. He also has many prints of his artwork to choose from for sale at the gallery. If you are artistic and would like to exhibit your work to the public you can contact Michelle Guerrero, 35, the marketing director at (661) 327-7529. Both Guerrero and Fidel have been with The Empty Space for three years and are always available to answer any questions. If you love art you can also go to the Bakersfield Museum of Art website, www.bmoa.org for more information on  Bakersfield’s hidden art treasures.

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