Hi-ya folks! Not sure if you’ve heard, but there was Disneyland exhibition/auction event in Sherman Oaks for most of August! I was fortunate enough to go check it out before it closed and stuff was auctioned off, so now it is my duty to share with you some of the magical and nostalgic artifacts of Disney.


Photo credit: Tara Ziemba/Getty Images

That’s From Disneyland! housed one of the largest private Disneyland memorabilia collections Southern California has ever seen. Collector Richard Kraft partnered with Van Eaton Galleries to transform a 40,000 square foot former Sports Authority Store into a “FREE, family-friendly, interactive museum that celebrates the unique history and artistry of Disney theme parks.”


Frontierland section of posters all estimated at $2,000-$4,000 each. The Original Mark Twain & Keel Boats Attraction Poster (fourth from the right) SOLD for $17,000.

Rivers of America “Indian Settlement” Animatronic Dog (Disneyland, ca. 1960’s), estimated at $5,000-$7,000. SOLD for $7,000.

After 25 years of hoarding artifacts from Disneyland in my home, office, and countless storage facilities, I’m swinging open the doors to my collection and throwing a bon voyage party for everyone who shares fond memories of Disneyland. This FREE exhibit is my way of saying goodbye to my beloved treasures from the Happiest Place on Earth.


The best part about this exhibition? Richard is donating a portion of the proceeds from the auction to the Coffin-Siris Syndrome Foundation and CHIME Institute For Early Education, both of which benefit children with special needs, like Kraft’s daughter.

Disneyland Hotel Neon Letter D, estimated at $25,000-$30,000. SOLD for $86,250.

Growing up in Southern California, Disneyland was my home away from home. My parents used to bribe me when I was a little girl by saying that if I didn’t cry during my doctor’s appointment (as the mean nurse injected me with a needle the size of my head), then they would take me to Disneyland. I, of course, immediately held back my tears and hoped for the best. There was even a time in my young-adult years where I’d find myself at the park at least three to four times a month! But due to the (absurd) surge in prices recently, that “home” became really away from home. This exhibit, however, managed to rekindle that part of my life and the love for the art of the magical world of Disney.

This exhibition had everything you could possibly think of – from the finely designed trash cans found in Fantasyland to the small “Ride closed due to winds” signs. Here are more images of the stuff that was being auctioned off. As you’ll see, I have notated the estimated prices followed by the whopping selling prices at the auction.

“Enchanted Tiki Room” Animatronic Jose Prop. Estimated at $50,000-$75,000. SOLD for $425,500.


Disneyland Main Street Mail Box Prop. Estimated at $1,000-$2,000. SOLD for $25,000.


Original “Art of Animation” Attraction Poster. Estimated at $5,000-$7,000. SOLD for $17,000 (Realized Price).


“Dumbo the Flying Elephant” Attraction Vehicle (Disneyland, 1960’s). Estimated at $100,000-$150,000. SOLD for $483,000.


Original Haunted Mansion Stretching Portraits (Disneyland, c. 1969). Estimated at $50,000-$75,000 each. The stretching portrait of three men sinking into quicksand sold for $350,000 (Realized Price), two-times more than the other three stretching portraits!


1972 Disneyland Map. Estimated at $200-$400. SOLD for $1,900 (Realized Price).


Disneyland Service Vehicle Original Concept Drawing (Disneyland, c. 1955). Estimated at $900-$1,200. SOLD for $1,300 (Realized Price).

There are literally HUNDREDS of more items that were sold in auction. If you’d like to check out the catalog, click here.

White – the color of pureness, light, cleanliness, softness, and perfection. Ironically, it’s also the color they use at mental hospitals (because of its calming effects, mind you). But how can a color with such a pure and soft feeling be one of the most notoriously deadliest pigments in the history of pigments?

Lead white has been used as far back at the 4th century B.C.E. by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. It was commonly used in the preparation of ointments and plasters as well as cosmetics, but this pigment was highly valued by painters because of its dense opacity.

Stacking White Lead (from Dodd, G. British Manufactures, 1884).

To make their paint, artists would grind a block of lead into powder, exposing highly toxic dust particles. The pigment’s liberal use resulted in what was known as “Painter’s Colic,” or what we know now as lead poisoning. But why is lead deadly? Lead gets directly absorbed into the body and penetrates the nervous system. Once in the nervous system, the lead disrupts the normal function of calcium in your body and can cause mental disabilities and high blood pressure.

But with side effects like these, painters across time and cultures didn’t seem to mind. Lead white was always the practical choice up until the 19th century because of its density, opacity, and warm tones. It was irresistible to artists like Vermeer and later the Impressionists like Van Gogh. Its glow couldn’t be matched, and the pigment continued to be widely used until it was banned in the 1970’s.

The Milkmaid (De Melkmeid) by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1657–1661. The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam inv. A2344.

Details of Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890), Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, February 1890. Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation).

Suffice it to say, there is nothing pure about this color, but one can’t deny its brilliance and radiance in paintings. Luckily nowadays we have various synthetic options that can somewhat achieve the lead white effect, but nothing will ever be as resilient as the original deadly pigment.

Mulling lead-white on porphyry stone. Photo credit to Larry Groff, www.paintingperceptions.com.

Our alumnus, Nikita Budkov, was recently featured in an exhibition that welcomed new artists! This exhibition took place at the Hillside Fine Art Gallery, located in the college town of Claremont, CA. The Hillside Fine Art Gallery has been featuring art by award-winning professional artists belonging to the California Art Club. As I have talked about before in another blog post, this year marked the club’s 107th Gold Medal Exhibition, in which Nikita was fortunate enough to participate.

Rodolfo Rivadermar (left) and Nikita Budkov (right).

Because this was a huge deal for us here at LAAFA, I decided to ask Nikita a couple of questions for a mini interview to see how he was feeling about this new experience for him:

-What does it mean to you to be chosen for this exhibition?

This exhibition means a lot because it is a welcoming celebration to myself and two other artists of the Hillside Fine Art gallery. It is going to be my first opening night in this gallery.


-Tell me a bit about your painting, what was your thought process for it and why was it the piece that you chose to submit?

I have six pieces in the show, they are all different landscapes from Siberia, Moscow, Sequoia National Park, and Los Angeles. My idea was to show the beauty of nature overall.

“A Struggle with Emptiness” by Nikita Budkov.

“Glow” by Nikita Budkov.

-What advice do you have for our current (or future) students who are looking to submit to this kind of exhibition?

Go look at what the gallery has on their walls, make notes, keep it relatively the same subject, but always bring your own new ideas.

Congrats Nikita! We are happy that you represent LAAFA and wish you all the best in your art endeavors.

Hillside Fine Art is located on 445 W Foothill, Suite 101 in Claremont, CA. Special Artists reception takes place on Saturday, August 11 from 5pm-7pm. Regular gallery hours are from Wednesdays through Saturdays from 12pm-5pm. 

Welcome to a world of felt! This past weekend I had the honor of checking out the new installation by Lucy Sparrow, a London-based artist who works almost exclusively in felt by creating soft versions of existing objects. For her first big break in Los Angeles, Lucy has made an entire supermarket fully stocked with over 31,000 products all made by hand and signed by her! You will literally find everything in this market. Don’t believe me? See the images below:

I first read about this artist in 2015 when she exhibited Madame Roxy’s Erotic Emporium. Although details about this installation and the products that it housed would be considered NSFW (Not Safe For Work) for LAAFA, the simple idea of an artist creating products entirely out of felt was so peculiar that I instantly fell in love with her work.

All the products in this installation are available to buy and range from $15 to $200 and up (like, $50,000 and up). In a recent interview that Lucy did with The Cut, she mentions why she chose felt. “I decided to work with felt because I find that it’s a medium that is so synonymous with being a child. It’s an easy fabric to work with, it doesn’t fray, it’s available in all the colors you could possibly think of. So, I thought, I wonder if I could make an entire shop that if you’re daydreaming, it looks similar enough that you could go there thinking it was real.”

And so she did. Having the chance to experience this supermarket in person brought out the child inside of me. I was suddenly transported back to the days when I would pretend to shop with plastic groceries and be a cashier with fake money and a register that ding’ed just like the real thing. It was an interactive world come to life and now my perspective of supermarkets will never be the same.

Sparrow Mart is located on the second floor of The Standard hotel at 550 S. Flower St. in Downtown, and runs August 1, 2018 to August 31, 2018. The installation is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed on Mondays.