For four years running, photographer Sean J. Mason—who has been capturing striking images of clients for more than 15 years—has won WeddingWire’s Bride’s Choice Award for his spontaneous, photojournalistic fine-art photography. In addition to documenting weddings and engagements, Mason captures striking portraits of clients, allowing them to recall fleeting moments in time or show up fading paintings of relatives in their Hall of Ancestors.
Trained by legendary acting teacher Sanford Meisner, Christy English Wioncek opened the Bay Area Acting Studio to teach a new generation of actors how to—in the words of her mentor—"live truthfully under imaginary circumstances." Her stable of equally Meisner-steeped instructors leads classes including introductory adult courses, intensive courses for working thespians, and children's classes for young'uns looking to break into the industry early or convince babysitters they've been diagnosed with a life-threatening ice-cream deficiency.
FastFrame’s skilled framers customize borders for an array of wall-worthy pieces. Selecting from an extensive inventory of materials, they craft frames to showcase original artwork or to endow special photographs with a dignified display. Their carefully curated conservation materials prevent works of art from fading and prevent their subjects from sprouting a 5 o’clock shadow. But the framesmiths don't limit themselves to two dimensions—sports memorabilia, kids’ artwork, and other three-dimensional objects find artistic preservation within shadowboxes. They even transform flat-screen TVs into customized, framed works of art by installing a VisionArt feature, which transmits the still image of a painting, family portrait, or favorite infomercial onto idle screens.:m]]
Since its maiden voyage in 1936, The Queen Mary has cultivated a colorful history by transporting iconic figures from Winston Churchill to Fred Astaire across the ocean blue, as well as serving as troop transport in a world war. Today, passengers board the famous ocean liner to tour historical and haunted areas amidships or stay overnight in an onboard hotel. Visitors rub elbows at seasonal soirees and dive into historical exhibits, fueling up at restaurants, bars, and cafés for a literal taste of The Queen Mary's brand of luxury.
Museum Quality Framing’s staff encases cherished photos, artwork, and three-dimensional objects in materials ranging from polished wood to leather. Ready-made photo frames ($10+) clasp snapshots in a wood-and-glass embrace, protecting them from wrinkles, stains, and the scratchy nuzzles of sentimental lumberjacks. Lackluster walls can find colorful companionship in preframed artwork and a vehicle for deep self-reflection in mirrors ($100+). Ensconce valuables in custom framing packages ($69.99+), which can accommodate sports memorabilia, or preserve fine art with archival mats and backing boards. Handcrafted frames add a Renaissance flair to photos, utilizing materials such as 22-karat gold leaf to create one-of-a-kind frames.
If you've ever stood on the second floor of the Los Angeles Central Public Library and marveled at the explosion of color within the rotunda or the 12 adjacent murals depicting California history, then you have the Los Angeles Conservancy to thank. When the library was scheduled for demolition in the mid-1970s, concerned citizens formed the Conservancy to save the rotunda, the exterior limestone sculptures, and the library's many other architectural treasures. The group finally convinced the City Council to preserve the library in 1983, after years of public discussion, debate, and book-sniffing sit-ins. Ever since, it has advocated for greater Los Angeles's historic sites and educated people about the city's architectural heritage. The Conservancy is responsible for saving and revitalizing landmarks such as the former Cathedral of St. Vibiana, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, and the world’s oldest remaining McDonald’s restaurant.
To accomplish its mission, the membership-based nonprofit offers a number of ways people can experience these beautiful and storied places. The Last Remaining Seats series earned a Reader Recommendation for Best Film Series and Best Downtown Event in the Los Angeles Downtown News' 2012 poll, in which the conservancy’s walking tours also earned the title of Best Downtown Tour. But the organization does more than save grandiose public buildings: increasingly, it also focuses on smaller community projects such as garden apartments and sites that reflect the area's rich Latino culture.
Executive director and 20-year Conservancy veteran Linda Dishman explained to Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times, "People are becoming more vocal. …That's one of the great secrets about Los Angeles: People really identify with their neighborhoods." The Conservancy also presents annual preservation awards to honor the efforts of individuals who fight to save places such as Pann’s Coffee Shop and Griffith Observatory.
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