LAUNCH LA believes exposure to the arts enhances quality of life and strengthens community through the shared appreciation of creative expression in all its forms and hybrids. LAUNCH LA is passionate about providing artists with quality opportunities to present themselves and their creations that reflect our times to a curious and enthusiastic audience at important happenings throughout Los Angeles.
LAUNCH LA addresses these core values by presenting arts and culture programming throughout the year at its gallery and project space on La Brea Avenue, through multidisciplinary programs at TARFEST, our free music and arts festival held annually at the La Brea Tar Pits Park, now in its 13th year, as well as periodic showcases and collaborations in important Los Angeles communities.
James Panozzo – Founder/Executive Director
James created the non-profit social enterprise LAUNCH in 2010 to oversee the production of TarFest annually while also providing unique programming and exhibition opportunities to important artists in Los Angeles. He served as the Director of Lawrence Asher Gallery from 2004 – 2010, exhibiting emerging and mid-career painters, sculptors and installation artists. James co-founded TarFest in 2003 and continues to develop and manage its programs which provide opportunities to emerging artists at venues in the Miracle Mile District of LA.
Steve Kramer – Chair
Stephen Kramer is an attorney practicing with the Kramer Law Group in the Miracle Mile District of Los Angeles. Steve graduated from USC in 1970, after studying at the American College in Paris. He went on to pursue his legal studies at UCLA School of Law and was admitted to practice in 1976. After spending over fifteen years in the “large firm” arena, Steve decided to open his own practice and he and his colleagues have been established in the Miracle Mile District of Los Angeles for almost fifteen years. Steve’s own practice emphasis is in the areas of Trusts, Estates and Probate, as well as serving as counsel to various non-profit organizations based in Southern California. In addition, Steve serves as President of the Miracle Mile Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Mid City West Community Council.
Merry Karnowsky has been a gallerist and curator for over 15 years working in Los Angeles, Berlin, and across the globe. She has had a central focus on championing emerging and mid-career artists who push beyond the boundaries of genre specific restraints, with a creative stable that is one of the most significantly sought after both nationally and internationally.
Articles about Karnowsky’s artists have been featured in Juxtapoz, Swindle, Flaunt, Paper, Nylon, The Face, Variety, Giant Robot, Super X Media, Art Week, Art Issues, Modern Painters, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Times. They have also been included in group and solo Museum exhibitions at The Grand Central Art Center, The Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, The Cincinnati Art Center, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, MOCA Miami, The San Jose Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Rome (MACRO), Musee Halle St. Pierre, Paris, Laguna Art Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Peter B. Cury
Peter B. Cury is the Design Director of The Hollywood Reporter. A native New Yorker, he moved to Los Angeles in 2010 for the opportunity to refresh, re-brand and redesign the eighty-year-old entertainment publication. Since joining the magazine, he has helped shape the look and feel of the magazine by focusing his attention on typography, illustration, photography and infographics.
Before making his move to Los Angeles, Peter was an award-winning magazine art director for InStyle Magazine and Condé Nast Portfolioamong other titles, and helped redesign People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and Fortune Magazine. His illustrations, under the name Brunoillo, have appeared in GQ, Esquire, T Magazine (The New York Times Style Magazine) and Men’s Journal.
He has also designed several custom fonts, logos, books, infographics and marketing materials for a range of clients including The San Francisco International Airport, Coca-Cola, American Illustration, New LA Charter School, Big Brothers and Sisters of Los Angeles and ThePointsGuy.com.
Peter received his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design from U.C. Berkeley.
Ryan McCann has a background in sports as a former Quarterback for the UCLA Bruins and Cincinnati Bengals. When his career was cut short due to a shoulder injury he translated his energy into the arts.
Since his immersion into the art world Ryan has developed a technique and created a niche for himself using a blowtorch to burn the image into wood. His work ambiguously attacks popular culture while navigating socio-political truths. Ryan’s portrait of renowned UCLA Coach John Wooden titled “Coach” is part of the permanent collection in the UCLA Hall of Fame. He has also done commissioned work for Gibson Guitars, Patron Tequila, and the World Champion New Orleans Saints.
Growing up with a family in the entertainment business Ryan has also taken to acting and has Guest Stared on shows like The Exes, NCIS, Justified, Accidentally on Purpose, and Dont trust the B in Apt 23.
Ryan has done non-profit work for A Better LA and The Art of Elysium and is thrilled to be a member of Launch.
Jordan comes to Launch LA after working with several nonprofit organizations. She brings a strong foundation of strategy and development experience, and is excited to be immersed in all of Launch LA’s wonderful undertakings, bringing the amazing Los Angeles emerging arts’ community to the LA audience.
170 S. La Brea Ave., Upstairs
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Thursday – Saturday 12 – 6pm
5858 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 205
Los Angeles, CA 90036
James Panozzo, Executive Director