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Metal Prints, Beads and Ethical Fabric: Cutting Edge Art & Design at YouKnowY Gallery in La Jolla CA

Trendsetters
Cutting edge photography artist Alexandra Borbolla and designers Regina Dondé, Kolektsiya, and Leslie Fastlicht Russo of LFR Designs gathered at YouKnowY Gallery in La Jolla California introducing their trend setting work to an adoring crowd that steadily streamed into the gallery all evening. On March 20 2019, the bright white walls of YouKnowY sported the colorful engaging prints of Alexandra Borbolla who has been making waves in the modern photography scene by showcasing mesmerizing works of photographic art that invite the viewer to explore their own sense of flow and serenity within. The current collection explores the concept of perception. Gallery and store owner Daniela Jinich along with helpful gallery Manager Justin warmly welcomed everyone.

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Metal Photo by Alexandra Borbolla “The Blue Abstract: Meditation State”

“My artwork is a way of expressing how it feels when we are in these altered states of mind through breathing through meditation, through flow and knowing that we always have the choice of changing our state of mind.”
– Alexandra Borbolla

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Busy Gallery Reception

Urban Impressionism
Blurring blues, purples, and urban colors with airy washes of beach greens and turquoises, our gaze is transported beyond her photos into a world of serenity that awaits moments of contemplation in nature or in the in between spaces of an urban setting. In the words of the artist: “I have used blurred images and light. I want to represent how when we meditate, for instance, when we are in altered states of mind, we reach this ‘focusedness’ on reality and we unfocus on mind chatter, we open our minds to something larger, where we see more opportunity, more expansion, more room.” Using metal printing, her new series is all about perspective, states of mind, representing the mind in meditation or after meditation. Alexandra demonstrates how creativity opens and there is more room to see different points of view. Her work on the metal was inspired by Viennese New Zealand artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

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Fine Artist Alexandra Borbolla with her Recent Collection on “Perception”

Capturing Art in Nature
Alexandra juxtaposes tiny, almost imperceptible hikers above and below an immense cliff of orangy red sand in Namibia, reminding us that we are passengers on a great planet, nowhere near being “in control” in the way some seek to portray humanity. The message is nevertheless warm: the desert is immense, we explore, we respect, we share our stories, we connect to others and are made larger by recognizing how small we actually are. In her own words: “In my photos, I want to express the immensity when we are walking along these incredible dunes, when we are facing the ocean and we see infinity, when we are surrounded by snow and all these wide textures all over, we get a sense of timelessness because all of nature has taken so long to build, so long to get where it is, we become immersed and so happy and every cell in our body ‘gets’ this.”

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Three Works by Alexandra Borbolla: The Desert of Namibia, Infinity (black beach), The Sound of Textures (snow)

Fabric Made Using Ancient Wisdom
Ethical fabric designer Kolektsiya joined us in person with her lush one-of-a-kind felt and wool wraps and sheer black multi layered infinity tops explaining her passion for reviving the nearly-lost arts of creating handmade fabrics using time-tested methods like carding and darning. Desirous eyes drew onlookers closer and curious fingers explored the rare thick scarves whose thin layers of colored fabric embellished a solid black core. Rather than being an emissary of a dying art, Kolektsiya is firmly and confidently positioning herself at the dawn of a revival of ethical and sustainable fabric creation based on ancient techniques – she is the envy of anyone walking the red carpet to be sure!

What Everyone Wants
Capturing the attention of anyone who walked by, the creations of Regina Dondé humbly but magnificently occupied the south wall of the gallery. With a mix of cozy ethnic prints from Mexico alongside manga-inspired Japanese style robes, her collection was a creative mix of winter wear on one side and resort beach wear on the other. Her designs steal the show in any fashion magazine because she has paired wearable breathable light airy fabrics with original graphics coveted by superstars. Indeed, anyone who tried on her pieces either began to twirl around in circles to show off the long entertaining sleeves, or they struggled to choose which color to take home, they are all flattering.

Wearable Worldly Jewelry
Leslie Fastlicht Russo of LFR Designs wowed the gallery with her scintillating jewelry designs that evoked alternately native American themes, Buddhist contemplation, and fascinating glass designs. Her rings are easy to wear and are still eye-catching.

Must Haves
The combined talent of these trendsetters is remarkable. The four creators do all in their power to share their artistic vision and gifts with others. Alexandra by gracing the walls of our homes, offices, hotels, and museums with her uplifting transformative photography, Kolektsiya by creating pieces that make a person feel better immediately just by putting them on, Regina by offering a make-over to anyone who wisely chooses to show off her unavoidably attractive pieces, and Leslie by creating elegant yet casual worldly jewelry that can be worn by all. Clearly, great minds think alike and the irresistible magnetism of these artists who drew a big crowd was palpable in this most chic Girard St. gallery.

Icing on the cake was a cameo appearance by rockstar storyteller and professional photographer Felice Kinnear, Editor in Chief of The Connector magazine alongside poetic singer songwriter Bridget Brigitte.

Article by B. McDonald at Bionic Sisters Productions

 

 

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Alexandra Borbolla Dazzles at E Street Gallery

“We Have the Choice to Always Return to Our Center”
321 E Street Gallery Exhibition and Reception on Oct 9 2018 

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With something fresh and new always in store for us, fine artist and mindfulness practitioner Alexandra Borbolla dazzled all the lucky visitors who attended her exhibition at the 321 E Street Gallery in Chula Vista, California. A loose translation of “Chula Vista” would be “Beautiful View” or “Cool Scene,” both of which apply to this entrancing exhibit! Alexandra’s work sparkled, shimmered and glowed alongside works by Kerry Riché, Aaron Goulding and Sergei Rusakoff, all artists showcasing aquatic and ocean-themed pieces. Alexandra’s mesmerizing artwork draws us in, whether we are looking at an abstract study of urban street lights or a disappearing puff of apricot colored sea foam on the sand.

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Alexandra’s colorful and calming artwork stems from her commitment to cultivating mindfulness and centering the self. In her words: “Mindfulness is the art of bringing one’s attention again and again to one’s breath, to the present moment, into our body. This focuses us because we bring our attention back to the here and now where life is happening.” While exploring the local shoreline at the beach, Alexandra wondered how she might create a work of photographic art about a chair that she loves, one that usually stays in another place. She wondered how to create a kind of portrait of this special chair and make it interesting, by simply placing it at the beach. She decided to set the chair out on the sand and with her camera she simply recorded scenes using a video live-motion setting most of the time. Eventually she saw many animals passing by including various birds, dogs, and people. Some people, it turns out, would try to actually take the lone lightweight colorful chair and once they saw Alexandra nearby, they would promptly return the chair. She never said a thing to any passerby, not even “I’m over here” or “it’s mine.”

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The weather changed regularly with the sky turning from from very sunny to mostly cloudy. For this special session, she stayed about 3 hours and realized how this plain inviting quiet chair could actually represent ourselves and our human spiritual center. She says: “It is beautiful how we can come back again and again to our center: any chaos simmering outside doesn’t matter, we have the choice to always return to our center.” She also took pictures during these hours at the beach. Her Reflections fine art photography series is about how a person can be present by focusing on a physical sensation. It’s about that transition of shutting down the mind by focusing the breath, we are still aware of our surroundings, but we focus on the breath, like a camera lens. Her Reflections series is all about how to focus our thinking and includes works called “Texture Sand,” “Pink Sand” and “Silver Sand.”

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In Alexandra’s Mindfulness practice, she invites people to consider not closing their eyes completely during meditation. People might close their eyes half way, in order to be vigilant while focusing in the breath. She explains that when we are being vigilant, aware of our body, we are expanding our consciousness. In her photographs of sand, for example, she demonstrates that we also still see all around us. As compared to some of her other collections, Alexandra’s work this time is a bit more abstract and interestingly leaves more to the imagination. Her angles are more unusual than in the past and she blurs color differentiations between sky, sand, water, and clouds. An outstanding and compelling collection!

Upcoming Alexandra Borbolla Reception: March 20, 2019 6pm-9pm at youknowwhy-Y Gallery and Store 7852 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, California 92037

Article by Bridget McDonald at Bionic Sisters Productions

Alexandra Borbolla: Defining the New MegaStar

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Golden Halo Award Recipients Alexandra Borbolla (Human) and Marion Ross (Happy Days)

Gone are the days when credentials for Hollywood stardom included simply being a heartthrob or vixen uttering a few breathy words in a blockbuster film. In 2018, the stakes have changed, and those making the biggest waves, needless to say, wear several hats and reach across the aisles. One such MegaStar personality is Alexandra Borbolla who has quietly built an international career by stacking up one key building block at a time and is now collecting many deserved accolades for her excellence in artistic photography, sensitive cinematography, fine art, and for teaching mindfulness, as well as wellness through sports. A renaissance woman of our time, this multi-talented and trilingual (French, Spanish, English) influencer has captured the hearts and attention of the likes of Make-A-Wish Foundation, ACES Autism Comprehensive Educational Services, the San Diego French American School, and even the prestigious Southern California Motion Picture Council (founded in 1936) which awarded Alexandra a Golden Halo Award this year for her outstanding cinematography, alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Academy Award winning Margaret O’Brien (Little Women), Burt Ward (Robin the Boy Wonder in the Batman series), Marion Ross (“Mrs. C” in Happy Days), Anson Williams and Don Most (“Potsie” and “Ralph” in Happy Days), as well as Bo Svenson (Walking Tall). She captivated the audience with her eloquent acceptance speech at this star-studded event.

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Southern California Motion Picture Council Historian Michael Schwibs, Happy Days: Anson Williams (“Potsie”), Marion Ross (“Mrs. C”), Don Most (“Ralph”), Tracy and Burt Ward (“Robin the Boy Wonder” from Batman series, Founders Gentle Giants dog rescue, MegaStar Alexandra Borbolla, President SCMPC Lord Marquis Randal Malone, Roger Neal (Agent to the MegaStars and Host Academy Awards Special Events)
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President of the Southern California Motion Picture Council Lord Marquis Randal Malone Film Star holds vintage Robin doll
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Golden Halo Honoree Alexandra Borbolla accepts award from Women’s International Center President Bridget McDonald

While her list of accomplishments is long and varied, including many gallery exhibitions, if one looks at the evolution of her work, there is a noticeable thread that weaves her artistic disciplines together: wellness and self-reliance through mindfulness. When her father placed a camera in her hands at a young age, she began to discover the power of the lens to convey not only what she saw and how she saw it, but also how to shape those sights into encouraging and uplifting images. For example, if she photographed children, she made sure to show them at their best and boldest, capturing moments of happiness, strength, tenderness, and honesty. If she photographed anyone with a physical challenge, the message her photos give is always one of empowerment and affirmation. Noticing her talent, the French American School recruited Alexandra to capture key moments on film, which ended up being key for educational and fundraising purposes. After they met at Burning Man, filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand included some of Alexandra’s moving story in his own internationally acclaimed film Human which explores the question “What is it that makes us human?”

While fine art, photography, and cinematography may be the tools that help Alexandra express her warm and inclusive vision, it is through her mindfulness teachings that she has flourished and is leaving her legacy. A mother of two young children, she began to notice, over the years, the need for certain classes to help not only children become their best selves through mindfulness and sports, but also to help adults who could benefit from specific mindfulness techniques from deep breathing, yoga, and meditation to key communication strategies within the family. Her goal is to also help families become and remain the nurturing, transformative, and encouraging units they should always be. Both children and, coincidentally, incarcerated prisoners, make a convenient target for blame: young, often inexperienced, sometimes unconfident and regularly unsure of themselves. Parents, conversely, generally get the benefit of the doubt: seasoned, older, calmer, powerful, and with implicit authority. Ever a champion of unrecognized skill and potential, Alexandra is quick to notice potential in children, hope for inmates, and potential shortcomings of parents or care-givers. By cultivating the natural dignity of each person, Alexandra has the gift of bringing people back to their pure inner selves. Without ever shaming or humiliating, Alexandra invites everyone, wherever they are in their walk of life, to flourish through health, individual responsibility, and exuberance. More than ever before, our multi-cultural social communities are in need of healing and open communications from trained mentors like Alexandra who, every day, is building needed and sustainable bridges.

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HH Dr. Princess Antonia Schaumburg-Lippe with Golden Halo Honoree Alexandra Borbolla

Film and Photography as Empowerment: A Conversation with Influencers Alexandra Borbolla, Paul Vaden and Kristin Farmer

What happens when three influencers get together? They change the world for the better!

“My goal as a photographer is beyond an image: it is a therapeutic, energetic healing process. It is showing the good in everything. The harmony in chaos and the rigidity of the human condition in contrast with nature.”

– Alexandra Borbolla

Influencers Kristin Farmer (Founder ACES Autism Comprehensive Educational Services), Fine Artist Alexandra Borbolla, Paul Vaden (Retired World Boxing Champion) exchange ideas on a bright morning, comparing notes on their respective society-changing work. The conversation focuses on mentoring children and Paul comes to the table with his characteristic enthusiasm, informed by a long series of world champion wins in the boxing ring: “You have to think like there’s no Next Time.”

Alexandra can relate. Holding a camera in her hand since adolescence, she has scoured international settings for the most moving images. Her work tells stories. From beginining to end, and everything in between. By mixing photography with strategic interviewing, she can help people relax in front of the lens, to open up, and to be themselves. Especially children, who may be facing challenging times in school.

She helps people to be and to express themselves, she empowers those who view her art, and helps people, especially parents, children, and even inmates begin a process of healing and personal transformation. In her words, “Talking and listening are healing. Really listening and truly caring helps people heal.”

When Alexandra gets in her creative process, she calls it “Being In Flow.” When she gives a talk for example, she feels in flow, or when the chaos of myriad ideas finally comes together into something harmonious, then it becomes an understanding. Her eyes glint a bit when she expresses that “There is a bliss when things come together, I can almost feel invincible, through a kind of selflessness. I get a selfless feeling of being connected to others.”

Paul also knows how to connect the dots between his inspiration and working with others: “I don’t have a job, I create an experience with everything I do. I can’t go on stage without a microphone, without sound engineers, and without all the ingredients that people need to hear from me, I am much more than just myself. Who I am and the reason why I can reach others is the result of teamwork.”

The catalyst for today’s meeting is Women’s International Center Living Legacy honoree Kristin Farmer who is the founder of ACES, a transformative national group that helps children with Autism: Autism Comprehensive Educational Services. Kristin is truly a pioneer in her field, helping dreams come true for children and parents alike by nurturing proven therapeutic methodologies that have led to countless success stories. We are moved that busy Kristin is with us, fitting in our exchange minutes before a flight, all while internally weathering a recent loss in her family. With trusted friends and colleagues, she knows the healing power of art and looks toward Alexandra who has been not only a supportive friend and colleague, but an indispensable asset to ACES through her cinematography.  in conveying the sensitive and much needed messages of this innovative healing and treatment group.

When Alexandra worked with Kristin at ACES, she helped people pull together their thoughts for presentation in an interview. She developed a helpful questionnaire and noticed how people got comfortable with her while they spoke about how they felt at work. As she asked her questions and she noticed how they were feeling, she saw a transformation within each person, in themselves, mostly when they talked about themselves. This approach ended up working in a positive therapeutic way for ACES. It was clear that Alex had great skills in getting people to relax in front of the camera and in articulating their ideas.

Her videos were inspiring both during the process of filming and in the final product. When people saw the video, there were nothing short of emotional tears.  When the videos were shown publicly, people felt a sense of belonging and a significance deep within.  In her own words, she “wants people to always feel like they are something bigger.” She has successfully done this in ACES and loved it. She relates that “When we are so submerged in our work, sometimes we forget the “Why,” but when someone from the outside reminds us, then we remember that all the stress is worth it.”

Fun and intimate school videos encourage parents and others to contribute to the cause. Teachers also get inspired, they see themselves and realize that they are doing something for the children’s futures. When Alexandra creates her films through a serious of intensely personal interviews, the goal is for impact in a deeper way. People love her film work, because they feel a connection and a calling. Her life takes on a larger meaning, the Why, which is what inspires and moves her: finding just that emotional place where everyone feels connected and feels their passion.

For more information on these three awesome influencers, please visit their websites:
Cinematographer, Photographer, Fine Artist and Mindfulness Mentor Alexandra Borbolla: http://AlexandrasFilms.com
ACES Founder Kristin Farmer: ACES Autism Comprehensive Educational Services
Retired Boxing World Champion Paul Vaden: PaulVaden.com

Article by Bridget McDonald, Ph.D. at Bionic Sisters Productions

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Bridget McDonald of Bionic Sisters Productions with ACES Founder Kristin Farmer, Retired World Boxing Champion Paul Vaden, and Fine Art Photographer and Mindfulness Mentor Alexandra Borbolla