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business art circle

Click here to see a complete list of our supporters.

Join the Business Art Circle today and positively impact kids' lives through meaningful arts education and close mentoring. Donate now and receive recognition throughout the year. Give a one-time gift, an annual gift, or become a Sustaining Donor with a minimum monthly donation of $10 auto-charged to your credit card. Gifts of $1,000 or greater may also qualify for Sponsorship of our Annual Gala, with recognition in print, online, and through other promotional strategies, depending on your giving level.

Want to learn more? We'd be happy to schedule a tour of our programs. Simply email Executive Director Lynn Warshafsky here or call her at 310.392.0846.

Business Art Circle Member Profiles

Tami & Mike Pardee + Larry Naylor, Naylor's Paint + Ralph Garrido + Colleen O'Mara + Serafim Guzman

Tami & Mike Pardee

“Having children in the right mindset—making them feel confident and believe in themselves—is the most important thing you can do for a child,” says Tami Pardee of Pardee Properties. Not only does she and her husband Michael—who runs the visual effects studio The Mission—put this into practice for their own four children, they also understand the need and value of giving back to those in lessor circumstances.

The Pardees first became aware of Venice Arts when friends invited them to attend one of Venice Arts’ galas several years ago. That evening they purchased photographs by Venice Arts’ students, which are still hanging in their offices. They have been great supporters of the organization ever since.

Tami was born and raised in Oregon but spent summers in the L.A. area from the age of seven. She received a business degree from Boston University and moved to the West Coast, where she worked in the entertainment industry, including working in publicity at Paramount Pictures and as a personal assistant to Sharon Stone. She left and returned to Oregon, where she followed in her parents’ footsteps and built commercial buildings. She then came back to California to get her MBA, met her husband Michael, became pregnant with her first child, and then decided to go back to work “part-time”. She obtained her California realtor’s license and sold $33 million dollars in homes that first year. She has never looked back.

Tami now operates two offices, one on Abbot Kinney and a new office in Santa Monica, with a total of 40 employees. Fueled by a desire to make a difference in the community, in 2009 she implemented a Giving Back program that devotes a portion of the firm’s commission from each property to a local charity of the client’s choice. Venice Arts has been the recipient of those funds on numerous occasions.

Michael hails from Worcester, MA, and attended Loyola University Chicago, where he was a political science major. Thinking he would go to law school, he worked as a legislative aid to a US Senator. When the Senator lost the primary, he returned to Boston and worked for a mutual fund company. He always had an interest in production, so he decided to move to California. Since then he has worked in numerous production positions, including Head of Production in the commercial division for Digital Domain. In 2010 he founded The Mission, a visual effects animation studio, just a few blocks away from his wife’s office, where they have worked with clients including Nike, Chevy, Hershey, as well as for Super Bowl spots. He is also currently preparing to open a second production facility in New York City within the next six months.

Michael also understands the value of giving back and is excited about working with Venice Arts to bring its students for a tour of The Mission, including a behind the scenes look at how commercials are put together. Venice Arts is pleased and proud to have Tami and Michael Pardee as supporters of the organization.

Larry Naylor & Naylor's Paint: Giving Color to Venice Arts!
"Disneyland is supposedly the happiest place on earth, so we decided to be the second happiest place on earth" Larry Naylor, owner and operator of Naylor's Paint in Venice explains his store's tag line. Naylor's Paint, a buzzing traditional and specialty paint hub in Venice, was founded in 1965 and in 1987 moved to its Lincoln Blvd location.

What do Venice Arts and Naylor's Paint have in common? Four years ago when we were opening our first gallery space we approached Naylor's Paint to donate some paint and did we ask the right person!

Besides being a long time local business owner dedicated to the community, Larry Naylor, owner and operator, has degrees in biology and ecosystems from UCLA. Scuba diving, natural history and nature photography have been Larry's passion since the 1970's. He spent one year working with a museum in El Salvador and another 3 years working with a museum in Paraguay. He has a vast portfolio of beautiful nature photographs from insects to eels. So when Larry learned about our program and the free photography workshops we offer to low-income kids he jumped right on board and donated all the materials to paint our gallery. Upon its completion, Venice Arts hosted a show of Larry Naylor's photography, which produced a great turnout of local enthusiasts.

Four years later, as we prepared to move to a new, bigger gallery space on Lincoln, we once again approached Larry to donate paint to Venice Arts. Larry jumped right in and gave gallons and gallons of primer and paint to the cause as well as spending time with us to make sure we had exactly what we needed. Just looking around Naylor's Paint and its clientele you know you have stumbled on to one of those rare neighborhood gems. When asked what makes Naylor's special, Larry replied "I think our sales staff makes our store unique.  I like to think that everyone here enjoys their job, and they enjoy working with people, and they treat our customers well." Naylor's serves customers from all walks of life- from furnishing products to set painters for films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones and Terminator 4 to contractors, cabinetmakers and of course anyone who walks through the door.

Venice Arts' new gallery space at 1702 Lincoln Blvd is beautifully painted floor to ceiling and we have Larry to thank. Over the years Larry has always asked us when we will start offering adult workshops so he can go digital with his passion and hobby for nature photography. We hope in our new and expanded space we will be offering adult workshops and Larry will join us in learning the most recent digital photography technology.

We know that Larry calls Naylor's "the second happiest place on earth." As the lines are shorter and the entrance is free— it may well be the happiest place on earth!
Visit Larry at Naylor's Paint - 132 Lincoln Blvd. - Venice, Ca 90291 Monday-Friday: 6:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Saturday: 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Phone: 310-393-7223.

Fortune and Acclaim: Business Art Circle Member Ralph Garrido and Daughter, Jen
What does tax accountant Ralph Garrido's appearance on the cover of Fortune magazine have to do with his daughter's growing acclaim in the fine art world? On the surface, nothing at all. But scratch that surface and it's clear that the same mix of passion and forward-thinking determination motivated them to succeed on their own terms.

As the first-generation son of enterprising parents from Guam, Ralph was raised in Culver City, near Mar Vista Gardens. At a young age he saw that following the crowd wouldn't lead him anywhere he wanted to go. "I knew that I was going to have to work hard for my success," he says, "and as a parent I tried to teach my two daughters to work hard and believe in themselves."

Ralph credits daughter Jen with inspiring him to join BAC at the $500 level during last year's annual Venice Arts BAC Mixer. "Many of my accounting clients are commercial artists," Garrido says, "but Jen opened my eyes to the importance of all types of arts education. I believe every child deserves opportunities to achieve their dreams."

While building his tax practice, Ralph always managed to spend time with his close-knit family, and to have a bit of fun -- like motorcycle riding. His passion for crisscrossing the country on his Harley was notorious enough to bring him to the attention of a reporter researching the then-new trend of road-Hogging boomer professionals. Ralph ended up in a "leader of the pack" pose on the cover of Fortune magazine (Dec, 1997). Of course, Harley riding wasn't a "trend" for Ralph, but a way of living on his own terms. Most days he still rides one of his bikes to his Santa Monica offices (Ralph Garrido & Associates, Inc.), or to client meetings.

Lately Ralph's also been riding his Harley to eldest daughter Jen Garrido's fine art shows. "We were always proud of Jen's abilities," says her father. "But I wasn't so happy when she refused to listen to my advice to become a commercial artist. She was determined to earn her MFA, and become a fine art painter."  Now that his daughter is showing and selling her work around the country, Dad's had to admit she was right to hold fast to the drive and determination that runs in the family.

View Jen Garrido's work at She's currently represented by Julie Baker Fine Art in Nevada City, CA and by Branch Gallery in Durham, NC.

Colleen O'Mara and HYPE Comunications, Inc.
Providing Venice Arts with Pro Bono PR Services
A passionate believer in giving back to her community, Colleen O'Mara, founding partner of the Los Angeles-based communications agency Hype, and her team have taken on Venice Arts as a pro bono client, providing a full range of PR services.

"Supporting young artists of the future is a very high priority for us at Hype," says Colleen. "It's a responsibility my business partner and I take very seriously, because we've never forgotten how important our own mentors were."

A writer since the age of eight (when she won her first writing contest), Colleen's articles and essays have been featured in a variety of publications, including "Los Angeles Times," "Movie Maker," and "Film & Video."  She serves as Editor at Large for the online arts journal,, and is a contributing writer to the "Santa Monica Observer". An active participant in the entertainment industry, Colleen holds memberships in WIA (Women in Animation) and AICP/West.

In 1997, Colleen opened Hype with her good friend, Jessie Nagel, a publicist and creative director working in commercials. Today -- true to Hype's core commitment to helping artists succeed – the agency's international  roster features an eclectic group of talent that includes directors, producers, editors, animators, visual effects artists, DVD experts, musical artists, and independent filmmakers. The Hype team also produces HypeFest, an annual film festival which showcases short films, commercials and music videos.

"Jessie and I believe strongly in giving back to the community," Colleen says. "It has been part of our mission since we started the company 9 years ago. When I met Venice Arts' founder Lynn Warshafsky socially a few years ago, we began talking about possibly working together. The Venice Arts' methodology of putting tools in the hands of young creatives; teaching them and mentoring them was and is a perfect fit for our goals as an organization. We are pleased and proud to help advance Venice Arts' efforts to provide arts and digital media education to at-risk youth." 

Colleen and her husband, Matthew Diamond, live in Venice with Uncle Roscoe -- their punk rock miniature Maltese -- and new baby Julian (aka Jules) Diamond. In her rare free time, she travels with Matthew and Jules, and co-writes travel articles about their experiences. She even finds the time to write the occasional short story or essay.

We at Venice Arts are also pleased and proud to have the benefit of Colleen and Hype's impressive talent and dedication. Thank you, Colleen and Hype.

Serafin Guzman Landscape
We talked with Dan Guzman, co-owner of Serafin Guzman Landscape, a 32-year old Venice-based business and BAC member since 2004. Dan's nephew, Michael, now 15, participated at Venice Arts from the age of 5, and his sister, Elvira, is a parent representative on Venice Arts' Board. Dan believes that it is good to give something back. He says, "We didn't know about the Business Art Circle until Elvira asked us to join. We gave because we work in the community and our business is based here. If joining the Business Art Circle (enables Venice Arts) to provide a positive learning experience for our neighborhood's kids—then it is well worth it."

Dan's father founded Serafin Guzman Landscape in Venice in 1974. When his dad retired in 1995, he and his brother, named Serafin after his dad, took over the family business, which had built a solid reputation primarily through word of mouth. "We were trained by my dad and worked with him for as long as I can remember, spending Saturdays and summers learning the ropes."

While based in Venice, and primarily serving the west side, including Malibu and Bel Air, Serafin Guzman Landscape also serves clients as far east as Pasadena and San Marino and occasionally, south to Orange County. Dan says, "We are a full service landscape construction company with end-to-end services: demolition, grading, irrigation, drainage, paving, lighting, and even maintenance. We typically work with architects and designers. We also work with other landscape constructions companies, because they may not provide a service for which we are known. I handle the hardscape and Serafin handles the maintenance and softscape elements."

Clients have included Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Danson, Dan Ackeroyd, Christina Lahti, the Disney family, and many other notables. Photographs of Serfin Guzman Landscape's work have been highlighted in Home & Garden magazine, Sunset Magazine, and California Landscape Contractors magazine.

We thank Dan and his brother Serafin for their support!
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