Category Archives: News

We are the College Towns

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Our eastward location has given us the gifts of a true Southern California lifestyle without the hustle and bustle of Downtown Los Angeles. Being 30 Miles East, our region still gives us the attributes of Los Angeles living all while maintaining a robust culture of our own. Read More

“Ascension” show to be the last for Loft Beats

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The Pomona Arts Colony is about to take a huge hit. Erns Valdez, Owner, Curator and Artist of Loft Beats Art Gallery announced that the gallery will be closing its physical doors, and ascending on to new ventures. I had the chance to chat with Erns about this monumental decision. Before we delve into the mind of Erns, I would like to extend a very special 30 Miles East invitation to all. The final show entitled “Ascension” , is a culminating show of many artists of different mediums and will send the Loft Beats legacy off into the future. Please check out the flier for more information! I am honored and thrilled to be a part of this show!

Now, when I caught up with Erns, my first question was “How are you feeling?” He replied: “I would have never imagined any of this would happen. Getting my loft, I had just imagined being an artists and showing people my art. Just a hobby or something cool to be a part of. A cool place to live and be a part of something where I could explore my artistic side. For the past 6 y425675_3203057747876_520452239_nears, it’s just been one none stop, one thing leads to another kind of thing. Having a place where people could show art was kicked it all off. Inviting artists to show, not charging them an arm and a leg like the big galleries…giving artist that foot in the door. Some show once or twice and disappear and some really take off and submerge themselves in the art scene. It’s been a beautiful thing for me to watch over the years.”    

For me, this could not ring more true. If you have been following 30 Miles East from its inception, you would know that Erns was one of the first people kick off the site with an exclusive interview. As I began to tap into my own creativity, Erns was there to not only support 30 Miles East, but was also the first person to allow my photography to be a part of an Art Gallery.

I continued to chat with Erns about the challenges he faced during the 6 years: “We’ve outgrown the loft and keeping it open has been a challenge as it is with any gallery. It’s especially hard when you’re trying not to make any money. Loft Beats has always been a non-profit at heart. I never did any of this to make money or make money off of others. The loft has always paid for itself and that’s been a blessing. One thing that fuels Loft Beats has been my time. Loft Beats and all that it does is very time consuming and I’m sure not many people can appreciate what that means. Even as I plan to close the loft, there is still a lot that needs to be done. The only difference now is my family will have a bigger share of my time and I am now partnering up with some amazing people. This leads me into the future.”


Which brought us to…you guessed it, the future of the Loft Beats legacy: “The only thing happening is the loft itself is closing. It’s just a physical space. As I mentioned I am partnering up with my former intern/now partner, Janira Hernandez. Janira has slowly been building a presence at DBA256. Starting in April Loft Beats art shows will take place at DBA256 and be curated by Janira Hernandez. Same exact shows and style just a new location. Loft Beats is not leaving Pomona! We will stay at DBA until a good location for us opens up and I would like for Loft Beats to have it’s own gallery space again. In the meantime I am passing the torch onto Janira and will be her assistant. She’s come a long way over the years and I’m very proud of her. I will still be a member of the SCA Project Gallery and will be joining the dA Gallery. The director of the dA has been amazingly supportive over the years and has offered me a work space if I should ever need one. An offer I might take up so that I can keep being an advocate for Pomona and the arts. I may no longer be president of Pomona but I still have meetings with artists and organizations interested in coming to Pomona. Pointing people in the right direction and letting people know it’s a great place for the arts and culture. As many people know I am looking to open a new gallery in Upland, CA. This was an opportunity made possible by a new partner (who shall remain nameless) who’s asked for my help as well as offered to give me a space and chance to explore some new creative outlets. As with Loft Beats this new venture I hope will give more opportunities to local artists but will this time be an actual Non-profit. This is just all talk at the moment so we’ll see what pans out.”


Erns had some final thoughts and gratitude to share: All I can say is that I have been blessed with the support of so many people over the years. Blessed with opportunities to work hard and most importantly to help others. I hope Loft Beats has made a positive impact on the Pomona Arts Colony an hope it continues to for many years to come in what ever space it occupies or what ever form of arts show it may be.

You read it here. This is not the end of Loft Beats. Stay tuned, as Loft Beat’s “Ascension” is just about to begin!

Cheers to my friend, Erns– for his vision, support and dedication to the arts.

See you all on Saturday.

Art and Love encompass this Second Saturday’s Art Walk

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Okay, this Second Saturday Art Walk just so happens to fall on Valentine’s Day. I am not a huge fan of this holiday (and no, I am not bitter and single. I am happily married). I am, however, a huge fan of Pomona’s Second Saturday art walk (and by now, most of you probably know that about me)!

Here are snippets on some of the events going on at the Art Walk tomorrow:

Loft Beats Art Gallery will be hosting an inclusive art installation that features  special guests, readers, writers and much more:

SPACE Pomona will be unveiling their installation “Future Happenings” curated by Cheyene Ellett:

future happenings
The dA Center for the Arts will be hosting their annual “Simply Red” Installation with many talented artists from around the globe. Their opening reception will be held this evening (Friday) and will be raising funds for the da Center. A $15 dollar donation gets you in to view the installation before the public. Proceeds for the tickets benefit the dA for its community programs that enrich the local community. Simply Red will be open to the public on February 14th.

da Tahitian Dancer Daniela Viecelli
Daniela Viecelli – Iancalesca 2015 Simply Red “Tahitian Dancer”

The LOFT on 2nd is proud to celebrate the innovation, art and strength of Pan Africans past, present and future. For the third year, they present a very special show entitled, “We Journey”. Los Angeles resident artist, Queen Ifawuyi Shamala Bennu Auset will be the featured artist.


The SCA Project Gallery members invite all to join them in celebrating the installation “The Things We Love”. Each participating member artist was asked to invite a friend or two to exhibit this month. The featured member artist this month is Joseph Palmieri – who has six of his works in their member alcove.
Opening reception will be this Saturday, February 14, 2015 from 6-9 pm with wine & chocolate!

Artwork of Diane Kraemer

dba256 Wine Gallery will be hosting their installation entitled “Love this” featuring many different artists and masters of craft. Live music, wine and art to be had by all. I will have some of my own work up at dba256 (and at Loft Beats)!


Wine, art, friendship and love? There is so much to see and do, so why go anywhere else?
Support local artists and local commerce this Valentine’s Day! See you in the galleries, friends!

Dronen’s self-released EP “284 Days” is making waves in the local rock scene

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Dronen, local rock band featured last year on 30 Miles East, has been busy in the studio kicking out some great tunes! Their self-released EP entitled “284 Days” was just released and is already receiving praise from local indie magazines and blogs:

“Southern California Grunge-Punk revivalists Dronen are an example of a cash strapped monster of rock lying in the weeds on a massive catalogue of instant classics ready to unsheathe its fiery collection of sharpened chords, and drive them deep into the heart of a fractured music machine.” – Speak into My Good Eye

I am happy to share their work and encourage you all to stop by their bandcamp page and give their latest release a listen:

Here is a track from 284 Days entitled” The loss of all things”:

[bandcamp width=350 height=470 album=184750430 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false track=2672420937]


Dronen’s abbreviated bio:

Dronen is a rock band with roots buried deep in the 90’s, growing up listening to the likes of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Radiohead. These early influences allow them to conjure up a familiar, yet original sound that they hope will help them to thrive in the slow-but-inevitable resurgence of rock music. 


Featured image property of Dronen.

Resident Artist Matthew Chism’s artwork featured in Brodie Award nominated book

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The debut novel, “Free Electricity” by Ryan Rhodes, is a gripping tale about leaving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Resident Artist Matthew Chism was commissioned to do the cover art for the novel, which has now been nominated for the Brodie Awards. “Free Electricity” has received glowing reviews and is in need of votes to receive the award. To vote, please visit the following link:

To purchase the novel please visit:

Below are some reviews on the book as well:


My deepest Congratulations to Ryan and especially to Matthew for his artwork receiving some well deserved attention!


Featured image: Property of Matthew Chism and Ryan Rhodes for “Free Electricity”.

Failure announces new album and is including fans along for the ride

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Many of you know that I am a huge fan of the band Failure. If you follow 30 Miles East or are friends with me personally, you would know this isn’t anything new. The work of Ken Andrews, Greg Edwards, and Kellii Scott has influenced my life more than just within the veins of music. In the early summer of 2014, I was floored when Kellii Scott made contact with me via 30 Miles East and commented on my coverage of their first reunion show at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles. Little did I know that later in the year I would be interviewing Kellii, meeting Ken Andrews (in an awkward, yet funny-interrupting mid-interview-you-had-to-be-there-kind-of-way), and covering the entire show at the Glasshouse. Dreams do come true, my friends. So, how does one repay the people that have helped make this young blogging journey so memorable? Support. Even if I didn’t run 30 Miles East, I would still be supporting these three amazing musicians (and awesome people, I might add). When Failure officially announced their entrance into the studio for their follow-up to Fantastic Planet, there was no question that I would be posting and sharing the news. So, without anymore trips down my sentimental memory lane, I am happy to share with you that Failure is taking on a different approach in the release of their upcoming album. The band has joined forces with, and are keeping fans updated on the progress of the album with video updates, social media posts, and an exclusive way to pledge and get in on the inside track with their album release. For all of the latest updates and ways to pledge, please stop by

Stay tuned! I know I am! Read More

“Contagion of Difference” to be unveiled at SPACE Gallery

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“Contagion of Difference”  is a group Collage show featuring Jay Riggio, Ace Farren Ford and Lance Glover. The show will debut December 13, 2014 at the always amazing SPACE Gallery in the Pomona Arts Colony.

Contagion of Difference show statement:

“The practice of fine art collage can be traced to 1912, when Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque began affixing cut paper to their paintings, though its roots date back many hundreds of years. A century later, what does collage say to us? It seems that the shocking collision of images explored by the Cubists, Dadaists and Surrealists in response to technology and the pace of life in the 20th century is yet relevant. There is an unavoidable nostalgia in much of this work, as by its nature it culls images from the past, and yet the search for wholeness through the merging of fragments is all the more apropos in our increasingly fragmented world. These constructs may be seen as the recombinant DNA of the collective imagination.”

Opening December 13th, 2014

Artist reception: 6-9PM

Musical Guest: Dinosaurs With Horns

Curated by: Christina Franco-Long, Lance Glover and Louise Bialik

The gallery below is a small sample of the amazing work to be featured. Click on an image to launch the gallery.


“Dinosaurs with Horns” will be the musical guests for the opening night of “Contagion of Difference”.

Rick Potts and Joseph Hammer delicately dispensed laughing-gas-balloon-animals-go-pop-music as Dinosaurs With Horns.

The cryptic LAFMS (Los Angeles Free Music Society)-related group occurred during and in between periods of playing with Points of Friction,Steaming Coils and Solid Eye. Spencer Savage and/or Tom Recchion jammed with them in the mid ’80s and continued intermittently since Los Angeles music history “Music utilizing consumer audio technology, tape loops, samplers and analog synthesizers to create compelling and varied musical expressions.” Historic performances at L.A.C.E. and KXLU.
For more information on Dinosaurs with Horns, please visit their website:





November Second Saturday Art Walk & Unveiling of Faceless Sister

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There could not be a more perfect weather setting for an Art Walk on this fine second saturday of November. Per usual, the Pomona Arts Colony will be beaming with art, music, and the cultural eclecticism only Downtown Pomona can bring.

Here’s a very tiny tidbit of the happenings going on tonight:

SPACE Gallery will be featuring the instillations “Home” by Jon Measures and “Love” by Norman Gray. SPACE features some of the most prominent artists in the country, and their carefully curated installations are not to be missed!space

The SCA Project Gallery will be presenting their annual members-only exhibit: “The Show!” The Show will be brimming to the rim with exciting creations by their member artists that include: Sarah Arnold, Karen Karlsson, Denise Kraemer, R.T. Pece, Erns Valdez. Read More

Throwback Thursday: Crystal Castles at The Fox Theater Pomona

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I believe I heard a collective heart shattering in the fans of electronic music yesterday. Alice Glass announced her departure from Crystal Castles via her twitter account on October 8, 2014. If you are even a moderate electronic music fan, you would know that Crystal Castles is seemingly one of the most innovative and pioneering figures in the genre. Fortunately, Alice Glass and Ethan Kath left us all with an amazing catalog of music we can love even in their absence from the music scene. Given the news, what better way to celebrate a Throwback Thursday than to feature Crystal Castles at the Fox Theater Pomona? Crystal Castles blew the minds of many in 2013 at the Fox. Alice and Ethan are no strangers to Pomona, however. The duo also made their way to Pomona in 2011 as well. Below is the set list and a great video of their performance of “Intimate”,  courtesy of the shamalp YouTube Channel. Also below is a mix of some of my personal favorite Crystal Castle songs. Cheers!


*Video retrieved from the  the shamalp YouTube Channel.

*Featured image property of Crystal Castles and retrieved from

*Music links retrieved from and



Introspection and hard lessons

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Everyday we are faced with a mountain of valuable lessons. In those teaching moments,  we are forced to see what we never thought possible or imaginable. However, as adults, we have a tendency to ignore the lessons and the introspective capacities of our own allegedly developed pre-frontal cortex. Even the youngest of souls possess a large amount of introspection. Sometimes, they carry far more reflective abilities than so-called grown-ups. They are able to indulge and immerse themselves in the unique nuances of each minute of every hour of every day. This is the gift the young possess, and the gift adults should be envying and striving to attain. So here it comes, my moment of public introspection: What happens when we step away from the things we love and cherish? What happens when we neglect the things we love so dearly? Where does the impassioned ascent lie, other than in a perpetual state of limbo upon the recognition of its neglect? These questions beg for answers when we are spinning in the ebbs and flows of the life. While wading in the waves of my own existence, I put 30 Miles East on the back burner. Sometimes, life arrives, screeching in and pulling into your drive way, and Frank Booth shows up at your door and throws you in the car for a fucked up and unexpected ride (pardon the David Lynch/Blue Velvet reference). While in that fast moving car, you can see all of what you took for granted speed by you through the car window with no means of reaching out and grasping it. Your feeble attempts to re-grasp everything is like grabbing vapor. Among those things, 30 Miles East was slipping by me at an unprecedented speed. 30 Miles East brought me joy, passion, alternative perspectives and the opportunity to engage some of the most brilliant masters of craft in an area we are lucky to be residing in. Many of you know of what I preach: WE ARE Los Angeles, and we are filled to the brim with an insuperable populace of artists, musicians, photographers, writers, filmmakers, thinkers, and friends-especially 30 Miles East. This is something I vow to never put on the back burner again. Sometimes, we unknowingly allow the external abnormalities to wedge themselves in to what we hold so dearly when we lose sight of our priorities. I am guilty of this. Fortunately, if we are able to escape from that fast-moving car, stand on our feet and recapture what we hold dearly, we can activate the introspection, immerse ourselves in the nuances of our day-to-day and appreciate the beauty that we do hold in our grasp. Introspection and hard lessons. I have learned much recently. Given this new perspective, I have discovered different ways in which I will bring the culture of our region to light via the avenue of my beloved website, and thus hoping that I can bring some beauty to your day. Thank you to those who still believe in 30 Miles East, especially my resident artists and friends. I could not do what I do without you. I’m willingly boarding a fast-moving car. Only this ride will be welcomed. Stay tuned friends.

Peace and Love,


Featured image: “Her Power is Within” by Tony Koehl (Undeniably fitting for this post. Oh, and visit Tony’s artist page!)