Gold Bug in Pasadena: tea-partying insects, two-faced babydolls and other amusing oddities


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Stacey Coleman calls his Pasadena gallery Gold Bug ‘a contemporary cabinet of curiosities,” but after its recent expansion, the description seems an understatement in many ways. After taking over an adjacent storefront, Coleman, wife Shelley Kimball and daughter Theodora Coleman have filled tables and covered walls with dozens of artists’ work that is beautifully crafted and often delightfully odd.

Lisa Wood’s miniature dioramas, above, include cicadas sitting down for tea with gold-rimmed china and soldier ants building a sandcastle — scenes that seem at once a parody of natural history displays and a celebration of them too. (And, yes, those are real insects.) The offerings range from large sculpture costing thousands of dollars to acid-washed concrete figurines (including the two-faced doll heads above) that sell for less than $20. For a look at other offerings, click to the jump. Above: Stacey Coleman and his daughter, Theodora, stand inside the newly expanded store. Featured artists change regularly, and Stacey’s wife, Shelley Kimball, is preparing to install some of her own works in December.


Above: Elizabeth Johnson’s seashell work. Look at the bust on the far left and note the hint of blue in a tiny figurine below the head.

Above: A detail of that figurine.

Above: Gold Bug commissioned children’s book illustrator Sophie Blackall to take vintage cabinet cards and embellish them by hand.

Above: Alexander Korzer-Robinson takes antique books, selects images that he finds compelling, then meticulously cuts each out, leaving the pages attached to the binding. The result is a new story that unfolds under the glass cover, within the dimensions of the original book.

Gold Bug is at 22 E. Union St., not far from the Container Store in Old Town Pasadena.

-- Craig Nakano

Photo credits: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times