Hodgepodge Save the Date April 12th

Opening reception Saturday April 12 6 – 9 pm
Julie Montenegro State Farm
5683 York Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90042

In collaboration with Julie Montenegro State Farm, The Haggus Society presents Hodgepodge.Featuring the works of Mary Kay Stam, Loryn Spangler Jones, Eve Chayes Lyman and Nina Koumachian Ehlig. “Don’t let the name Hodgepodge fool you, this is by no means a chaotic mishmash. It is an organic unfolding of a cohesive body of works.

Originally what was intended was to show photographic art for this particular exhibit slot. And as we all know, sometimes the best laid plans, aren’t. Instead of hitting the panic button, I did what I do whenever I get stuck, I revert to fishing at my feet. Assessing what’s right there in front of me, what I’ve over-looked, or changing the perspective by simply taking a walk around the neighborhood. It’s a practice that constantly leaves me amazed by who and what shows up. Hodgepodge is the result of that practice.” —Terri Lloyd, Organizer

Hodgepodge is on exhibit April 1 through June 30, 2014

Mary Kay Stam

Socio/political issues are the overriding inspiration for my work. Most recently, I’ve observed that in the wake of the Aids epidemic, vampire lore has exploded in popularity. Blood is now taboo and we desire what is taboo? —I wonder if it’s so easily explained. It is an interesting phenomenon, so recently I’ve been painting blood cells in a style reminiscent of Wayne Thiebaud. In another piece, a jazz singer performs in a spotlight which contains blood cells in the background, her gesture and expression ambiguous.

Rebellion against the reality of climate change is also noteworthy, given the high number of recent natural disasters — biblical in size and scope — and what about the Bible in the age of technology? Why do we cling to the tribal stories between it’s worn covers? I defer to Bishop Spong (retired bishop of the Episcopalian church) here — he’s so much more articulate than I regarding the literal interpretation of the terrible texts of the Bible and Apocraphypha.

And then there are nuclear disasters and other man-made threats to the world. It seems reasonable and simple that we shouldn’t use nuclear power until we can neutralize the waste, but we manage to justify the use of it. Man Over Matter is a portrait of the archetypal Wild Man encased in gold armor which is overrun by a vine. He’s enthroned in a silk floss tree, which has become his crown of thorns. In the hazy landscape behind him, San Onofre nuclear power plant sits like ironic breasts on the crust of mother earth.

Perhaps we cling to outdated ideas because our world is changing so rapidly, we only see a blur before us. Advances in technology are both the result of our melting pot society as well as its catalyst. As technology changes and reforms (or terraforms) the landscape of our society it will either be humanity’s salvation or destruction.
As it stands, “social media” is anti-social. Chatting online isn’t socializing, it’s avoiding socializing. Because of the anonymity, bullying is rampant. But I’ve also seen thought contagion on a level that’s unbelievable — the intersecting of valuable cultural traits, history and awareness. I’m currently mind mapping these thoughts.

These are the things I think about when I make art. I believe it was my mother’s strong cultural education that influenced me to paint more in the style of New York artists — with a limited pallet, inclining toward the abstract. I believe it was also her psychological acuity that made me attuned to inconsistencies in behavior and injustices in society.

Loryn Spangler-Jones 


I started experimenting with paint and color in 1997 as a means of self discovery and liberated self expression. I quickly learned mixing mediums within my work added both complexity and depth to each individual piece. Self taught, I create intuitively acting as a vessel from something much bigger than myself.
Much of my inspiration comes from personal experiences as a woman deconstructing the societal bondage of oppression and silence. Through the self discipline of venturing into unknown territory within the hidden corners of myself, shedding layers of fear and doubt and embracing my own vulnerability and sensuality, my work is always autobiographical and evolutionary. Emotionally charged, my paintings speak to the beauty, strength and power within all women while simultaneously exposing our human imperfections.

Eve Chayes Lyman

Where did this toad come from? Somewhere in the deep recesses of my unconscious! I have never made a piece like this toad, and who knows if I ever will again! But I think that same the whimsical part of me expressed herself in this self-portrait as well. And that’s what I love about art – it is always a leap into the unknown, always an act of faith, and the results are so often unexpected!

Generally my work is more serious, based on the figure and often an exploration of the feelings, questions and thoughts sparked by whatever moves me. I am an idealist at heart, and my art expresses my passion for the common humanity I have discovered in people from all walks of life, in all corners of the globe. As a society, we need art – to touch something in us we might not otherwise have found, to awake something perhaps dormant, to open our eyes and allow us to see freshly, to “move” us in all the many senses of the word.

And perhaps this toad does just that… what do you think?

(Both Toad and Self Portrait will be on view.)

Nina Koumachian Ehlig, aka, Tarnished Scorpio

If you’ve ever been to a Haggus Society event, chances are you’ve seen the wares of Tarnished Scorpio, aka, Nina Koumachian-Ehlig adorning the ears, necks, wrists and fingers and even toes of attending Hags.

Asked why the name Tarnished Scorpio and Nina will tell you, that for her, it’s not about the sparkle and polish. It’s more akin to what they tell you on the Antiques Road Show, that patina holds a story, a history. Much of what is used to comprise many of the Tarnished Scorpio works is antique or heirloom material. Add to that a splash of gemlore, with a twist of the cosmic, aka inspiration and you’ve got a wearable work of art.

Taking a moment to look at any of Nina’s works up close, you will be amazed at her attention to details, and the message she wishes to convey via the piece. (But of course, she’s GIA certified.)

The Haggus Society is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of the Haggus Society must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.