‘Art Hearts Fashion’ at Heart of LA Fashion Week

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East German visual artist Cornelia “Connie” Kurtew, known for her celebrity images, event photography, and capturing artistic snapshots in and around Hollywood, will be among the visual artists and fashionistas featured at “Art Hearts Fashion” Oct. 5-8 in Los Angeles.

It was Kurtew’s parents who instilled the tools she would need to emerge from her stark and sterile country with a keen eye and a passion to express herself through words and images.

“You could not just say what you really thought … you had to be creative to not get caught,” says Kurtew of her Communist upbringing, “We had to find forms to express ourselves. I chose mainly photography and words to tell my story.”

Kurtew’s mother, an engineer and poetry lover, was displaced from East Prussia as a young girl. Her father, a Bulgarian contractor, gave her “the nuts and bolts of repairing my own camera,” she says.

But it was the voice of Bob Dylan that called her to the California dream.

“At 10 years old, I didn’t know what the words meant,” Kurtew admits, “but his voice gave me chills.”

A longtime supporter of the LGBT community and a contributing photographer to Goweho.com, Kurtew is eager to participate in “Art Heart Fashion,” not only for the exposure, but as a way to give back.


"Home" by photographer Connie Kurtew.

“Home” by photographer Connie Kurtew.

Founded in 2011 by designer Erik Rosete, “Art Hearts Fashion” provides designers a platform to showcase their work while giving back by supporting the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

“I have several friends that have HIV, that have been living with it for years,” says Kurtew. “I always try to find ways to give back, and help out. I am happy to collaborate on such a great cause with one of my best friends Eugene Huffman.”

Huffman, an artist, and Kurtew are among the visual artists contributing to the visual art exhibit open Monday-Thursday, Oct. 5-8, from 4-11 p.m., at the elegant Taglyan Complex, 1201 Vine St., Los Angeles.

An Opening Reception on Sunday, Oct. 4, at Station, located at the W Hotel, 6250 Hollywood Blvd., kicks off the week of events. A closing night party will be Oct. 9.

Adds Kurtew: “The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is a great organization. You buy my art and I donate to them, everybody wins on this one.”

For more about Cornelia Kurtew’s photography go to kurtewphotography.com; for more about “Art Hearts Fashion,” see www.artheartsfashion.com.

Journalist Laurie Schenden covers the entertainment industry, with many of her notable celebrity interviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other national and international publications. As a longtime columnist and feature writer for the LA Times, she also covered events and California destinations for the lifestyle, Outdoors and Travel sections. Laurie Schenden's international pieces include the long-running Where Are They Now celebrity feature for Spotlight Magazine, published in five languages. Laurie has also contributed to numerous documentary films, and produces content via Saving Grace Films.

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