RedHanded, the Artisan Shop and Salon at 155 S. Topanga rocked on Friday night July 28, as owner Anastasia Fite created, in conjunction with the Topanga Film Festival, a celebration of art, music and the written word.
PHOTO BY ANASTASIA FITE
RedHanded, the Artisan Shop and Salon hosted avant garde films screened on billowing sheets, poetry and local bands in an eclectic setting that screams "Topanga!"
Taking what was once just a shack on the side of the road, (granted it was the Crystal Shack), Fite has affected an atmosphere both Bedouin and basic. Carpets and beds, paintings and hanging fabrics added an exotic flavor and, in spite of the otherworldly feeling, something about the whole place screams, TOPANGA.
After finishing his well-regarded residency on Thursday, musician and songwriter Sean Faye Cullen warmed up the stage for the Friday program. The early lineup consisted of Matt Bredford, Shannon Moore and Heavy Guilt.
This reporter arrived during the exuberant musical offering of the Self Righteous Brothers and Friends, a Canyon favorite featuring flair and funk aided by talented musician locals Tom and Jeanne Mitchell. An appreciative-audience mix of hipsters, friendly folk and neighbors shared the unique flavor of the evening. Fite, who acted like a hip den mother, asked, Do you really like it? Guests were encouraged to mill about and explore the different artsy, intimate rooms, which was like being in a home, a gallery, and a magic shop all at the same time.
The written word of the evening was a reading presented by the florid and fluorescent, (yes, she glows) author and poet Rachel Resnick, who lives here, teaches here and writes about Topanga, a stand-up gal with the soul of a poet and the edge of a warrior. Mixing social consciousness with societys all too human foibles without judgment is a high-wire act and Resnick takes us across that wire laying out a truth, her truth, saying, Here it is.
The evening wound down with Bill Morrison projecting a sort-of light show of old decaying celluloid pictures that looked like photos or footage from the Civil War or times long past, flared up and then faded to symphonic sounds. It was beautiful and sad.
Anastasia Fite is to be congratulated for bringing visual art and music and words together, supporting local artists and elevating that little space into a creative salon, which we hope will become a destination for those inside and outside our community for a long time to come.