Malibu Seen

WILD THINGS

Famed wildlife photographer Tom Mangelsen was the man of the hour as the new G2 Gallery opened its doors in Venice. At 6,000 square feet, the place is grand, but what’s even more impressive is that it’s green. VIPs got a sneak peak and a chance to marvel at Magelsen’s amazing photos capturing the globe from Africa to the Antarctic.

The gallery, meantime, has been a labor of love for Susan Gottlieb who wants to support environmental appreciation and conservation through art and photography.

“We went to the arctic a year ago and this is the result of that trip,” the gallery owner explained with an enormous portrait of king penguins peering out over her shoulder. “We knew it would change our lives.”

Snagging Mangelsen for the first show seemed like a natural choice. “He has this way of getting the most incredible pictures. Those pictures include a salmon jumping right into the jaws of an awaiting brown bear, dancing polar bears on a block of ice and sleepy lions in the Serengeti.

For Magelsen, nature, photography and conservation go hand in hand. “Environment and habitat are so important to the overall scheme of the image,” he says. “This is where these animals call home. Without including the artistry of place, the image would not be complete.”

In addition to showcasing environmental photography, Susan will be making another kind of contribution. A portion of the gallery sales will go to benefit the Friends of Ballona Wetlands and the Environmental Media Association. “The environment has always been a passion of mine,” she says, “and G2 is a dream come true.”

CAN YOU DIG IT?

It is considered one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century-China’s spectacular army of terra cotta warriors. Malibu Seen was lucky enough to come across a touring exhibit several years ago at the Dodge’s Palace in Venice. Now an even larger collection will be on view right in our own backyards.

Beginning May 18, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana will present “Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor.” It is the largest loan of terra cotta figures and significant artifacts ever made to the U.S. The historic pieces come from the tomb of Chinese emperor Shi Huangdi who reigned from 259-210 B.C.

The highlight will be 20 complete life-sized figures representing various ranks in the emperor’s army of thousands. “The Bowers Museum will offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these marvelous cultural attractions right here at home,” said museum president Dr. Peter C. Keller. “We are so honored that the Chinese government has allowed us to display them.”

The army was commissioned by the emperor to protect him in the afterlife. Its discovery dates back to 1974 when a small group of farmers in Xi’an came across a mysterious terra cotta head. As experts continued to investigate, they came across an amazing array of thousands of warriors with their armor, chariots and horses all standing in battle formation.

It’s a fascinating view of Chinese history that’s been dubbed the 8th Wonder of the World and you don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth to see it. The exhibit runs through Oct. 12. of love!and fun.

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