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Pencil This In: Affordable and Contemporary Art Fairs, Chinese American Architects in LA 1945-1980 and Harlan Ellison

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Choy Residence, courtesy of the © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute
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There's art, art and more art going on in LA tonight at LA Live, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica and at the Chinese American Museum. We also found Harlan Ellison talking about his writing career and an evening with MinshareLA. Read on for all the details.

The Chinese American Museum (CAM) holds an opening reception tonight for Breaking Ground: Chinese American Architects in Los Angeles (1945-1980). The exhibition focuses on four Chinese American architects whose work represents some of Los Angeles' most iconic buildings and design styles. The show opens just in time to kick off the Chinese New Year / Year of the Dragon that begins on Jan. 23. The architects contributed to LA culture, particularly coffee shop culture (think Pan's, Bob's Big Boy, Norms, etc). The public reception will be held from 7-8 pm at CAM at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. To RSVP, call 213.485.8567 or email with subject heading “Breaking Ground Opening Reception.”

Writer Harlan Ellison radicalized science fiction from the 1960s onwards with more than 1,700 freaky short stories, novellas, screenplays and essays. He’s also a prolific TV writer who’s responsible for writing episodes of The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Star Trek. Ellison makes a rare appearance tonight at 8 pm at Cinefamily, and he’ll be joined by guest moderator Josh Olson (Oscar-nominated screenwriter of A History of Violence). They’ll discuss Ellison’s love/hate relationship with TV, followed by a screening of several of his episodes. Tickets: $14, free for Cinefamily members. If you’re not able to come out tonight, the video of the entire program will be streamed live on theCinefamily blog.

The Affordable Art Fair opens for the first time in LA tonight. The fair proves you don’t need to be an expert or a millionaire to own original works of art. Held on the Event Deck at LA Live, the fair offers contemporary paintings, sculptures and photographs priced from $100 - $10,000. The exhibition runs until 9 pm tonight, with free admission from 4-9 pm. Tickets: $20, students and seniors: $15. Open through Sunday.

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Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival open today and runs through Jan. 29. The fest features more than 30 major performances and large-scale outdoor projects, many of which pay homage to the “radical and trailblazing public and performative works that were created by artists during the Pacific Standard Time era.”

To coincide with the opening of Art Los Angeles Contemporary art fair at the Santa Monica Airport, Judy Chicago reinvents her “1968 visual spectacle using 25 tons of dry ice to create temporary public sculptures that dispense a field of fog as they evaporate and eventually vanish.” The installation continues all day with a flare performance from 5:30-6 pm flare performance. Opening night public reception from 7-9 pm with tickets at $40 online / $45 door. Art Los Angeles Contemporary runs through Sunday.

Tonight Mindshare LA takes over The Mezz Bar at the Alexandria Hotel (2nd floor). Doors at 7 pm and happy hour with music, hors d'oeurvres, games & prizes until 8 pm. The talks on The Cosmic Frontier begin at 8:30 pm with guest speakers Adam Steltzner, Chief Engineer, EDL, Mars Exploration Rovers mission, on The Most Advanced Mars Rover Yet; William Pomerantz, vice president, Special Projects at Virgin Galactic on When you go to Space; and Dr. Dmitriy Tseliakhovich, co-founder and CTO, Escape Dynamics LLC, on Building the Future of Space Exploration. Tickets: $20-25.

*Pencil pick of the day

Want more events? Follow me on Twitter (@christineziemba). Or follow Lauren Lloyd—who takes care of Pencil on Wednesdays (@LadyyyLloyd).