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Flower Pepper Gallery Brings Inspiration to Pasadena

By Kelly Church

Nestled in Old Pasadena, the Flower Pepper Gallery is an independently-owned art gallery that displays art from local and international artists. The gallery also features a collection of books on art and design and hosts exhibits on a monthly basis.

"We think people are pleasantly surprised to find a small, independent art gallery tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the larger shops," says owner and curator Huan Gu. "Many of our customers discover us when picking up lunch at King Taco or wander in after spying our intriguing window displays when getting coffee at Home Brew."

Gu may refer to the Flower Pepper Gallery as small, but you wouldn't know it based on its inventory. The gallery is home to a huge number of artists' work. While many of them only have one or two pieces held at the gallery, there are a few select artists that have upwards of ten pieces available for show and sale. There's always something new to see - and that's what brings locals back.

"We have heard many times how inspired and refreshed the customers feel when they leave here, a welcome respite from their long day at work," Gu says. "The exhibitions are changed monthly and most people come back, eager to see each new display."

Exhibits are a large part of Flower Pepper Gallery's success. Changing the exhibits is quite a bit of work, especially when you include the opening reception Gu puts on for each one - complete with cupcakes and wine. However, Gu says the new exhibits bring in a large audience, making it all worth it.

The Power of 3 is one of the gallery's recent exhibits. Flower Pepper Gallery worked with guest curator Mark Todd, a professor at the Art Center College of Design, also located in Pasadena. This exhibit, which ran May - June, was a kind of experiment in creative freedom. Each artist included in the exhibit was given the same three sizes of wooden artist panel and asked to create three works of art. Curator Mark Todd explains, "The idea is that when you see a work of art from a particular artist that moves you, it's exciting. When you see another, and yet another, each communicating to each other but also standing on their own, it's inspiring. You get a better sense of who the artist is and perhaps the stories they want to tell."

With the constantly changing exhibitions, you'll have to hurry to the Flower Pepper Gallery before the next one disappears. August will feature the Ever Surreal exhibit, an opportunity for viewers to experience surrealism and magic through physical art. Each artist will create four to six pieces for this exhibit, which ends September 1, 2015.

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