Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Picture's Worth A Pretty Penny

Who: VN Editors Jennifer Pickens, Aurelia d’Andrea, Elizabeth Castoria, and Lisa Mickleborough + Oakland’s artsy-fartsy glitterati
What: Blackbird Photograpy Gallery Show & Website Launch Party
Where: Pretty Penny, Oakland, Calif.
When: April 4, 2008
Why: To support local vegan artists

The Scoop: We here at VegNews like ourselves some art, especially local vegan art. But, truth be told, our favorite art of all is the kind made by local, vegan artists who happen to be VN Senior Editors, like Ms. Jennifer Pickens. Jen, along with her partner Tiffany Black, established Blackbird Photography in 2001 when they met while studying photography in college. While initially compelled to photograph companion animals, they’ve since expanded their portfolio to include portraits, weddings, photojournalism, and print editorial.

Having traveled to all seven continents, Jen has brought a seasoned and sensitive eye to a body of work described as “timeless,” “emotional,” and “quiet.” Sound like a lot of shameless plugging? Maybe. But we went to check her work out for ourselves. Arriving at Pretty Penny vintage clothing store’s charming Oakland location, we squeezed past hipsters clutching bright old-lady purses and sporting ill-fitting cowboy shirts and stood, agape, as we took in Jen and Tiffany’s (digital of course, not gelatin-procured!) collection. Displayed in an assortment of unique frames hung their best pieces, including candid shots at awkward family gatherings and haunting, Hitchcock-like bird stills. We truly were surprised by their beautiful work. We could have stood around all night being impressed—but we were also there to schmooze! As VN editors, it was our solemn duty to chat with other attendees, fanny about amidst fantastic, one-of-a-kind frocks, sip some wine, and toast Jen and her continued success. You can find her work on Pretty Penny’s walls for at least a couple more weeks, but you better act fast because, by the time we’d departed, a number of pieces had been slapped with a big ol’ “SOLD!”