Nina Zak Laddon






Last CA 101 art exhibit opens this weekend in Redondo Beach

The CA 101 art exhibit opens Friday, Aug. 25, and will run for three weekends at the Redondo Beach Historic Library. Pictured is artist Ross Moore and some of the work that will be on display. (photo by Michael Hixon/SCNG)


Social, political and environmental issues will be explored at the final CA 101 art exhibit, which opened with an artist’s reception on Friday, Aug. 25, at the Redondo Beach Historic Library.


CA 101 began in 2012,  bringing contemporary art to the South Bay. But the exhibit will end this year.


Mixed media and other mediums from more than 130 artists across 46 California cities, along with several other states, are taking part in the exhibit. The exhibit features 259 artworks that were selected out of nearly 1,400 submissions, according to curator Nina Zak Laddon.


The exhibit is hosted by Friends of Redondo Beach Arts.


The exhibit will run for three weekends at the library, 309 Esplanade at Veterans Park. Besides Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26 and 27, it will also run Sept, 1 to 3 and Sept. 8 to 10. The exhibit will be open from noon to 7 p.m. each of those days. A closing reception will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Sept. 10.

Beach Reporter, August 26, 2023

Easy Reader, August 21, 2023

Last CA 101 public art show opens Friday


"Under the Moon," Beanie Kaman


by Garth Meyer


The tenth and final CA 101 art show holds its opening night Friday at the Redondo Beach Historic Library.


Artists checked in Aug. 18, aided by a group of 10 volunteers and the show’s founder and curator, Nina Zak Laddon. The next day she decided placement for each piece, making adjustments after a Public Works crew arrived to board up all the windows due to approaching Tropical Storm Hilary.


“Every window. We were installing in the dark, basically,” said Laddon.


Volunteers continued to put up artwork Monday and Tuesday, followed by labeling next. This year’s exhibit includes 250 works, representing 18 percent of submissions.

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Spotlight on art: Going out with a bang “The Last CA 101”


by Tony La Bruno


Beginning in late August, “The Last CA 101” spanned three weekends at the Redondo Beach Historic Library in Veterans Park, curated, as in years past, by Nina Zak Laddon, and featuring dozens if not hundreds of artworks by the likes of (chosen at random) Lorraine Bubar, Jane Szabo, Pam Douglas, the late Alfred Skondovitch, Kacy Yu, Susan Else, Jason Jenn, and Amy Lyu among others. This array of visual creativity filled the rooms and galleries upstairs, downstairs, and on the main level. This was a fitting end to a 10-year run that was never less than impressive.

Easy Reader, August 27, 2023

Wayne Powell, Shala Smith, and Bondo Wyszpolski.



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Diversions LA, September 1, 2023

A Fond Farewell to California 101

by Genie Davis


California 101, the art exhibition that took place annually – with the excepetion of pandemic closure years 2020 and 2021 – ran for ten years in iconic South Bay locations such as Redondo Beach’s AES Power Plant, empty store space in the South Bay Galleria mall, the former Gold’s Gym spot overlooking Harbor Drive, and for it’s final two years, in the Redondo Beach Historic Library near the pier.


Helmed by curator and founder Nina Zak Laddon, this was a monumental undertaking, focusing on Southern California artists, including but not limited to those in the South Bay itself. The beachfront community has been underserved when it comes to art, with the Torrance Art Museum, Hermosa Beach’s Shockboxx gallery, and the Palos Verdes Arts Center pretty much the only venues in these beach towns.

Scared Grove, Flora Kao

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The Redondo Beach Historic Library, at Veterans Park, has overlooked the Pacific Ocean since its dedication in July 1930.


And now, the landmark, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, will be home to an art exhibit named after another iconic California structure: the 101 Freeway.


The ninth annual CA 101 art exhibition will debut on Friday, Sept. 2, will feature more than 70 artists whose work encompasses all types of media.


The exhibit, hosted by Friends of Redondo Beach Arts, will continue for three weekends before closing on Sept. 18.


The CA 101 exhibit began in 2012 at the since-demolished Palos Verdes Inn, which sat on Palos Verdes Boulevard and the 101 — which has multiple monikers, from Highway 101 to the Hollywood Freeway — in Redondo Beach. The exhibit’s name referred to the famous highway on which the inn once sat, but it was also an allusion to its initial goal of featuring artists living and working in California.


Since then, however, the event has expanded to include artists across the United States and globally — but the name still remains.


Over the years, CA 101 has taken place in special, interesting spaces, including inside the AES Power Plant in 2015.


This year, the spotlight will be on Redondo’s historic library.


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CA 101 art exhibit returns to Redondo Beach to showcase work in unusual spaces

The historic Redondo Beach Public Library will be home to 230 art pieces beginning Sept. 2.



The CA 101 art exhibit opens Sept. 2 at the historic Redondo Beach Library. Friends of Redondo Beach Arts hosts the event, which will continue for three weekends, closing on Sept. 18. Pictured is Scott Meskill and his installation that is a work in progress. (photo by Michael Hixon)

Beach Reporter, August 25, 2022

Spectrum News, June 14, 2022

How art brings new purpose to unused spaces in Redondo Beach

by Zarina Khairzada


REDONDO BEACH, Calif. — The Redondo Beach Historic Library has previously served as a place for learning, weddings and events. But as the pandemic took hold, the building remained empty.


In September, artists and the Friends of Redondo Beach Arts will restore the space for this year's CA 101 art exhibit. The 10-day event will be free for the artists entering their work, visitors and the community.


The CA 101 art exhibition will be open to the public on the following dates from noon to 7 p.m.:  Sept. 2-5, Sept. 9-11, Sept. 16-18



Redondo Beach Historic Library is hosting

an international art exhibition which is not to be missed - CA 101

by Edward Goldman


I very much enjoyed seeing this exhibition with its Curator, Nina Zak Laddon giving me a special walk-through. It was such a challenge to see contemporary art works occupying nooks and crannies of this historical building.


The exhibition with work by 73 different artists is curated by Nina Zak Laddon. All mediums are represented, including paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures, collage, crafted work, assemblage art, and 12 installations.


Exhibition dates are Sept. 3 to 5, 9 to 11, and 16 to 18.

Gallery hours are noon to 7 p.m.

It is put on by a gross root movement of dedicated volunteers and wonderful supporters.... and best of all it is FREE to the public.


Paint out at Veterans Park Library

“The Conversationalist,” Theodosia Marchant

Easy Reader, August 31, 2022

CA 101: an art extravaganza. Your highway to fine art

by Bondo Wyszpolski


Back with a vengeance, CA 101 returns to Redondo Beach, this time with 230 artworks by 73 different artists, and the opening is Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. in the historic library inside of Veterans Park.


Curated by Nina Zak Laddon, the exhibition spans three weekends. All mediums are represented, including paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures, collage, crafted work, assemblage art, and 12 installations. The artists are from across the country, although most of them are local or regional.


There’s also a small tribute to the late Jari Havlena (1921-2012) who was a longtime artist of note in the South Bay.


CA 101 has mushroomed in numerous venues over the years, mostly in vacant storefronts, gyms, and restaurants. Always inventive, always creative, with a team of dedicated volunteers that has made each incarnation a memorable experience.


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July/August 2020

The Summer Show, Palos Verdes, California

The Summer Show is a virtual exhibition featuring work by PVAC members associated with any of its eight artists groups: Artists Open Group (AOC), Pacific Arts Group, Paletters, Palos Verdes Painters, Peninsula Artists, Photographic and Digital Artists (PADA), The Artists’ Studio, and Third Dimension.


This year, PVAC is pleased to announce Nina Zak Laddon as Juror. Nina is the co-founder of the Redondo Beach Art Group and originator of the Power of Art exhibition. She serves on the Board of Friends of Redondo Beach Arts as a Creative Advisor. Nina has been the curator of CA 101 contemporary international art exhibition for the past 8 years. She is currently the TEDx Redondo Beach Organizer.


“During a time of global pandemic and social unrest when our daily lives are confronted with uncertainty and fear, art is essential. Studies have shown that viewing a work of art can reduce stress and anxiety as well as foster empathy in the eye of the beholder.



The virtual art world is flourishing bringing art into the home where one can view the artwork in a most intimate way. The computer screen as opposed to the page of an art book creates an interactive experience where one can examine the art in detail while traveling along the lines, colors, and content of the artwork.


This is a unique time to create and to jury an exhibition. PVAC artists have submitted works reacting to the turmoil of our new reality. They have returned to beloved landscapes and found solace in their studios while in quarantine. The artworks I reviewed are full of emotion, beauty and each one reveals a story either personal or universal.


Seeing the art in person is a completely different experience. Stepping into a gallery standing inches from the artwork, textures, colors, and compositions are intensified. It is a privilege I am looking forward to eagerly.


Artists are entrusted to continue to create, provide a dialogue, and lead us to a more just world.”

There's Something Happening Here,

Elizabeth Decker

The Beach Reporter, Oct 2, 2019

CA 101 art exhibition returns to old Gold's Gym in Redondo Beach

by Michael Hixon


The work of more than 100 artists, including many from the South Bay, are featured in the eighth annual CA 101 art exhibit, which opens at the old Gold's Gym in Redondo Beach Friday, Oct. 4, with a reception from 5 to 10 p.m.


According to curator Nina Zak Laddon, CA 101, which is hosted by Friends of Redondo Beach Arts, received 866 artworks from 233 artists from five countries, eight states, as well as 51 cities in California. They ended up accepting the work of 101 artists and 111 artworks, including eight that are site specific installations, 25 3D works, 29 works in photography and 49 2D artworks.

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Easy Reader, May 30, 2018

Bigger and better: “CA 101” art show opens Friday in Redondo Beach


The annual “CA 101” is beginning to seem like the defining moment for art in the South Bay, and now, seven years in, this two week event has expanded to not only include art from California, but from the rest of the country and even from overseas.


With its global reach, curator Nina Zak Laddon expresses the hope that “knowledge of other cultures and other points of view will enrich the life of every visitor.” Exhibition director Sandra Liljenwall adds that “The enthusiasm of the artists we’ve dealt with nationally and internationally has been extraordinary.”


And lastly, in the words of Chantal Toporow, president of the Friends of Redondo Arts Group, under whose auspices these exhibitions take place, “‘CA 101’ is consistently building our social and cultural capital, as well as community cohesion, by providing a collective experience of public expression around us.”


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Easy Reader, June 2, 2018

CA 101 art show in Redondo


The annual CA 101 is beginning to seem like the defining moment for art in the South Bay, and now, seven years in, this two week event has expanded to not only include art from California, but from the rest of the country and even from overseas.


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CA 101 2018 opened Friday, June 1, at 200 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach (formerly Gold’s Gym). Additional days and hours, Saturday through Thursday, June 7, from 12 to 7 p.m.; Friday, June 8, from 12 to 6 p.m.; Saturday, June 9, from 12 to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, June 10, from 12 to 6 p.m. Parking is available for $6 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel or for $2 an hour at the Redondo Beach Marina. Some street parking for those who don’t mind a bit of walking. For group curator-led tours call (310) 617-2840. For all other information go to

Lost, Ben Zask

Number 4 from the “Awakening” series, Robert Nelson

The Beach Reporter, May 30, 2018

CA 101 Art Exhibition gets a global flavor in Redondo Beach


Artists from around the globe, including 25 from Redondo Beach, will take part in the seventh annual CA 101 Art Exhibition, which opens Friday, June 1, at the long closed Gold's Gym in Redondo Beach.


According to curator Nina Zak Laddon, artists from eight countries, as well as five states and 44 California cities, are represented in CA 101.


“As a reaction to the current political and social movement to build walls and close gates in the USA, Europe and the world, CA 101 opened its doors and welcomed all artists, with the hope that knowledge of other cultures and of other points of view will enrich the life of every visitor to the exhibition,” Laddon said.


Exhibition director Sandra Liljenwall said the artists' enthusiasm has been “extraordinary.”


“They are eager to experience the interaction with California artists and feel the concept of FRBA (Friends of Redondo Beach Arts) producing such a sophisticated contemporary art exhibit as a gift to the community,” Liljenwall said.


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Slip N Slide, Cody Lusky