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Meet Ashleymarie Sey Lively of Bubble Pop Gallery in Bakersfield

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashleymarie Sey Lively.

Ashleymarie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I always wanted to be an artist, but my second dream was to curate art shows and exhibits. Bubble Pop Gallery is one of my many bucket list dreams that burst into reality in the winter of 2017. The pop-up gallery officially opened its doors in February 2018. Unlike many galleries, we feature artwork inspired by popular arts and culture (inspired by books, movies, comics, etc.). Each month, we put on themed group shows and have artists that are in our own backyard and from all around the world.

My first curator experience was in Spring of 2010 given the chance to curate my own group show at California State University of Long Beach called “All Pinned Up,” which was a group exhibition featuring original pin-up artwork, paintings, and illustrations by the CSULB Art Students. At that moment, I knew this was another dream of mine; to run and curate my own gallery. I assisted and curated a handful of other shows, including two solo exhibits. As an artist, I actively have shown in over 100 shows and exhibitions, and the list keeps on going. I talked with other curators and artists and learned from amazing pioneers such as Adam ‘Oz” Ostergard from Phantom Gallery, Sam Carter from Popzilla Gallery, and Jesus Fidel from The Empty Space Gallery.

I wanted to do something different and unique. I love the con experience and the creative aspect of it all. So, Bubble Pop became just that! I decided to focus artwork on popular arts and culture and it is amazing to see it popping up and growing each month with new upcoming and well-known artists displaying all under the same roof.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Smooth? No, but worth it? Yes! I pitched a gallery idea to a few places in the past, and it wasn’t the right time. When I had the name and specific idea for Bubble Pop Gallery, I pitched it to the board of The Fox Theater in Bakersfield. I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask, and the worst thing they could do was say no. They loved the idea and working with them and their amazing space has been a blessing. We’ve been able to use their East Lobby on First Fridays, which is our local art walk that happens each month. It’s in the heart of downtown Bakersfield. We’ve added a secondary space at Temblor Brewing Co. where we move the entire show, the day after First Friday, onto their walls for the month. And I also run and maintain myself, the online website and shop for those who want to purchase original art and prints from our current show that couldn’t make it in person.

All this is run by myself and with the aid and help of my family. I’ve had some amazing sponsors like Jim Burke Ford Lincoln, Environmental Sound Solution Inc, and Shinault & Baker who have helped fund the gallery with supplies and equipment. We have a ways to go, but without the support of businesses, we wouldn’t be here today.

On top of running Bubble Pop Gallery, I have an amazing family with two young kids and a wonderful husband, I run my own art shop on Etsy, I am a homeschool teacher and part-time professor, and I help with our church’s children’s choir. So, juggling all of that, that can be a struggle, but it’s worth it to connect with creatives, their children, and the future generations of artists out there. This is all about community over competition and spreading joy.

Please tell us about Bubble Pop Gallery.
Bubble Pop Gallery is a pop-up gallery that does group shows which pay tribute to pop culture, comics, books, movies and more. We are always looking for new artists near and far to exhibit with us. We don’t have just one location and can pop up pretty much anywhere. This winter, we will have four pop up locations; our original Bubble Pop Gallery at The Fox Theater on First Fridays, then at Temblor Brewing Co., our new location at Silver Wolf Comics & Collectibles called The Fizz featuring hand-selected artists with work inspired by comics, and in December at Jim Burke Ford Lincoln in their showroom for the “Animal Art Show” which will feature animals in pop culture and showcase a very special featured artist, with a portion of all sales going to charity to help animals in need.

We merge artists of all walks of life from all over the galaxy into fun unique shows that bring everyone together. We work all types of artists: traditional, digital, 2-D, 3-D, sculpture, animation, makeup artists, SFX artists, costume & cosplay and more!

I’m proud that I can bring artists together in a welcoming environment, that the themed shows help spark the imagination and creativity, and that I’m helping inspire the future and highlight popular arts and culture in the community (in person and online.)

CURRENTLY SEEKING ARTISTS FOR 2019 ART SHOWS! Interested artists please email us at for 2019 Artist Packet.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Honestly, I don’t think I would have done anything differently. This was such a great way to get into the business and grow. I didn’t know what to expect. I expected nothing but hoped for everything. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, and will always work out in the end if you put your mind to it and truly believe in positive thoughts and prayers.

If you have a goal write it down, and then visualize it. Put it out in the universe that is what you are going to do. You’ll be amazed at how it comes back to you. It may not be in your time, but if you truly believe and trust, it can happen. And with a community who supports you and you support them, the possibilities are endless.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Matthew James Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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