Punk legends exhibit, perform at the Artlands, for the cats | Arts & Entertainment

The Artlands art gallery’s most recent exhibit ends with a bang, when the closing reception on Saturday, Jan. 27 includes live sets later in the night by punk bands: Fur Dixon and Gitane DeMone and Rikk Agnew at The Vault Martini Bar next door.

Punk legends from Southern California, New York City and the UK banded together to help felines in need.

The organization behind the collaboration, exhibit and concerts is Lifelines For Felines, Inc. a nonprofit that rescues homeless felines and finding them homes, also cares for special need cats.

Director of Lifelines For Felines John Nikolai is the curator behind the show.

In 2006 Nikolai curated the recurring exhibit titled “Hung” that served as the final anniversary art show of CBGB, credited as the club and birthplace of NYC punk.

The Artlands exhibit contains several pieces of art that appeared in that show.

There is the mom, Regan Raygun with her three kittens Gaye Black (named after one of the artists in the show, Julie Newmar, who is named after the actor who played Catwoman in “Batman” and Frida Pearl Kahlo.)

“They were born in the parking lot of a Del Taco halfway between Los Angeles and the desert,” said Nikolai. “We are trying to find a forever home” for them. They are all lovely and very peaceful.”

The main goal is to get these four cats adopted, explained Nikolai. Lifelines For Felines currently has about 35 cats, including cats with disabilities.

The nonprofit covers the area between San Fernando Valley to Twentynine Palms.

“We’re looking at cats that are in dangerous situations. The vast majority of society doesn’t care about them at all,” said Nikolai, describing how the sentiment of punk music going against the establishment while caring for the outsider fits with taking care of homeless cats. “The rescue started because there was a serial killer killing cats downtown” Los Angeles, “and the support this rescue has gotten has primarily been from people in the punk community.”

“We have three rescue cats that we adore,” says Gitane DeMone.

DeMone is one of the artists and musicians who will perform with Rikk Agnew on Saturday. “It’s just the two of us, the other bandmates were busy, so it’s a little experimental but very noisy,” she says of their planned set.

The architects and artists of the original punk revolution and of gothic rock, with alumni of such bands as The Cramps, TSOL, The Skulls, The Mau Maus, Christian Death and 45 Grave, have fostered or adopted cats from the rescue, some playing benefit concerts for the charity and selling their artwork to benefit the rescue.

“I admired their work as a kid and was influenced and inspired by them,” Nikolai says.

Proceeds from the artwork go to the rescue.

Most of the artwork is for sale, including a couple of pieces by Jamie Reid, the graphic designer for Six Pistols, who died last August. The benefit art exhibit runs through Jan. 31 with a closing reception Jan. 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. followed by two live concerts at The Vault.

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