Bearnamic Duo – John & Frank

Meet Mid Century Modernists John & Frank from Palm Springs, with pieces featuring the Art Of John Murasky : http://www.johnmurasky.com/

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Hi John & Frank,

How did you guys meet?
“We met back in May of 1996, on AOL! Can you believe it? We met in the “Bears 4 Bears” chat room. We would chat online daily, but that evolved into daily phone calls, which made for some very expensive phone bills, since I lived in the Los Angeles area, and Frank was in Salem, MA.
We would actually watch movies on the phone. We would sync up the movies, on each end, and watch the whole thing over the phone! We would also send each other little gifts using the same cardboard box. I don’t know how many trips that little box made across the country, but we still have it! Sickening, I know. We finally had our first in-person meet at Walt Disney World in October of 1996. Frank eventually moved to CA in 1999.”

 

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Do you have common interests?
“We both love mid-century modern design, classic movies from the 30s through the 60s…let’s see… what else… classic cars, cooking, classic disco, cartoons, animation, sci-fi, UFOs, ghosts, history,
and of course, the city we live in, Palm Springs!”

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Do you each have an interest that the other has none in?
“We actually share pretty much all of our interests, but often one likes something to a higher degree than the other. Cars, for instance, is Frank’s big love. He knows all the models, makes, what they originally came with, what color they came in… I just think they’re cool and pretty. The opposite might be true for cartoons and animation.”

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What’s the secret to your successful relationship?
“One word… Communication! We always tell each other what we’re feeling, what’s going on, all that.”

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Any advice for a dating couple?
“We would say, be open to all possibilities. It always makes me laugh when you hear guys saying “I’d never date a guy who does this, or looks like this, or is into that.” I just think they’re narrowing the field too much. They might miss out on the love of their lives because of one tiny thing. Or, they have this impossible laundry list of expectations, that no one will ever live up to.”

Thanks John & Frank! Cheers from the Modern Bears!

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Modern Bear Magical Modernism Tour!

In celebration of Modernism Week and International Bear Convergence

Join Modern Bear Hosts Travis Smith and Chris Bale for a Modernism Week Double Decker Bus Tour of the capitol of Mid Century Modern design, Palm Springs!

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Only 45 Tickets will be offered!

Purchase Modern Bear Bus Tour Tickets here:
http://www.ticketderby.com/event/?id=248495

The tour will highlight the two predominate architectural styles of Palm Springs: Mid-Century Modern, and Desert Spanish. The tour includes many homes of the rich and famous such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Cary Grant, all of who resided in striking architectural homes. Many of the city’s architecturally significant civic and commercial buildings are also a part of the tour. The tour will be conducted by the informative and entertaining Chris Sears, along with Travis and Chris.

The top tier of the bus will be used only, to offer guests a unique perspective view of Palm Springs.
A limited block of tickets will be offered after November 1st for the first 45 guests only!
Only the exteriors of properties are seen on the tour

The group will Meet at Modernism Week Camp at 10 AM on Palm Canyon Drive between Jiao Restaurant (Chino) and Copley’s Restaurant. Coffee and donuts will be served while Travis and Chris give a brief talk about the Palm Springs Modern lifestyle and introduce tour guide, Chris Sears. The bus will depart at 10:30 and return to Modernism Camp at approximately 1:00. Guests may eat lunch (not included in the tour) at the food court at the camp, or explore the Uptown Design District dining options.

This is not an official IBC event.

Bear World Magazine Presents A Modern Bear Holiday

Writer Scott McGillivray features Modern Bears Travis Smith and Chris Bale celebrating the holiday season in classic Palm Springs Modern style!
Read about it in Bear World Magazine

Photo by John Paschal / Snapshot Studios
Photo by John Paschal / Snapshot Studios
Photo by John Paschal / Snapshot Studio
Photo by John Paschal / Snapshot Studio
Photo by John Pascal / Snapshot Studio
Photo by John Pascal / Snapshot Studio
Photo by John Paschal / Snapshot Studio
Photo by John Paschal / Snapshot Studio

The Sculptural Art of Gene Dodak

Sometimes the sculptor is a work of art himself. Case in point is Artist Gene Dodak from Palm Springs. We invite you to look past Gene’s incredible body to view his body of incredible work. We are fascinated by Gene’s clay “Totems” inspired by nature and aquatic life, as well as his Mid-Century inspired lamps and vessels.

Artist Gene Dodak

Gene at work in his studio.
Gene at work in his studio.

After receiving his BFA in Sculpture, Ceramics and Design from Central Michigan University, Gene worked as a window designer at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco and eventually became the Visual manager for the Palo Alto store. He started his own company, Strong Environments, a landscape and design business in the Bay Area in 1994. Gene moved to Palm Springs with his husband, Art Strong, in 2004, and went back to his first love of working in clay.

Gene at his Palm Springs home surrounded by his eclectic work of lamps and vessels.
Gene at his Palm Springs home surrounded by his eclectic work of lamps and vessels.
Gene at his Palm Springs Studio
Gene at the Silica Studio in Palm Springs Studio

Working with and being influenced by Mid-Century artist Paul Bellardo, Gene’s work has become more varied in the last few years, creating modern lamps, vases, and other sculptures. His current interests are slab, wheel-thrown, altered and hand built sculptures.

Gene's Totem sculptures can be used outdoors as well as in.  These Totems are wired to light up at night for dramatic effect.
Gene’s Totem sculptures can be used outdoors as well as in. These Totems are wired to light up at night for dramatic effect.

It was Gene’s Totem sculptures that caught the attention of the Artists Council Exhibition in Palm Springs. It is an annual juried exhibition shown in the Jorgensen Gallery and Marks Graphics Center during the fall of each year. Gene’s work was part of 47 chosen out of over 400 entries.

The Sculptor as sculpture.
The Sculptor as sculpture.

Artist Gene Dodak

Vessels by Gene Dodak
Vessels by Gene Dodak

Gene’s work is represented by Woodman/Shimko Gallery in Palm Springs. Gene’s work is available for residential and commercial commissions.

Mid Century Modern Porn: Hotel Lautner

This is a Modern Bear favorite! An iconic desert hideaway once known as the Desert Hot Springs Motel has been re-imagined today as Hotel Lautner, an award winning, stunning modern day oasis in the desert.

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The owners purchased the famed modernist architect John Lautner’s mid-century property in 2008 and spent 3 ½ years on its meticulous renovation. To bring this resort successfully into the 21st century, the owners/designers were careful to remain tastefully true to the gestalt of the original design. It has been accurately described as a “hybrid” between luxury vacation rental property and micro-boutique hotel.

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Guests are encouraged to live the Mid-Century Modern “Lautner Lifestyle” in their own private flat equipped with all the creature comforts of a “home away from home”. One can also rent out the entire compound for the ultimate retreat with family and friends. We recently attended a friend’s wedding ceremony and reception there, a magical setting featuring candle lit tables at twilight surrounded by the desert mountains.

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The hotel is comprised of four ingenious interlocking structures. The dramatic play of light throughout the day and night is achieved with the thoughtful use of skylights and glass walls. An impressive succulent garden wraps each unit on three sides giving the guest the magical feeling of living in a terrarium.

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The outdoor patios and garden areas are four steps up giving the room a feeling of being nestled in the desert earth. Each of the four units is remarkably spacious and is uniquely appointed with luxurious vintage modern furnishings and boutique hotel amenities.

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We loved the Saline Plunge Pool with built in seating, large enough to accommodate 8 people, and the adjacent lounge area and outdoor shower. There is also a dramatic Communal Fire Pit Lounge with cushions and pillows, with an Infrared BBQ and dining area located next to the fire pit lounge. Classic butterfly chairs are located throughout the compound.

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Hotel Lautner is located just 10 minutes north of downtown Palm Springs where guests can enjoy fantastic restaurants, vintage modern shopping and mid-century modern architecture. If you’re looking for a unique get-away from crowds but still want to be close enough to drive to clubs, dining, and shopping, we highly recommend this fabulous modern gem in the sunny California desert!

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“Style in Steel Home” – Architect Donald Wexler

One of our fave Mid Century Modern architects is Donald Wexler, who was hugely influential in creating the classic Palm Springs look in the homes he designed. He is known for pioneering the use of steel in residential architecture, and in 1962, he designed the all-steel Alexander houses.

In 1967, Wexler designed the fabulous “Style in Steel” house located in Buena Park, California, and featured here in these brilliant photos by Julius Shulman.

Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967. Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967.
Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967. Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967.
Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967. Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967.
Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967. Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967.
Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967. Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967.
Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967. Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967.
Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967. Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967.
Photo by Julius Shulman