Rebels With A Cause
How a Valley couple switched career gears to share their love of art and its healing powers
- Written byElaine Sir |
Ponti Lambros and Sabine Abadou met as children on the playground at The Buckley School. It was a foreshadowing experience; years later, as a married couple, you might say they are still “playing together.”
In addition to both being accomplished artists, they are now the entrepreneurs behind Art Rebel, an art community center in Sherman Oaks. From celebrities like Dave Grohl and Jessica Alba to a 94-year-old cancer patient battling the side effects of chemotherapy—all sorts of people come to the studio to experience the joys of painting.
For some it’s a therapeutic outlet. For others it’s about unwinding after a hectic day at work or simply reconnecting with the creative side many of us left behind as kids.
As the son of a prominent attorney, Ponti chose a “safe” career to please his parents. He worked long hours as an investment banker in London, all the while missing theater and the arts.
After high school, Sabine gravitated toward art immediately. She attended the Art Institute of Chicago and began working as an artist—but then felt a calling toward alternative medicine. She left the art world and embarked on a career in London (and later LA) as a homeopathic healer.
With long, stress-filled days, both Sabine and Ponti found themselves eagerly awaiting the time until they could get home and paint together.
In 2008, a friend, who was a homicide detective, stopped by their house. After sharing how emotionally exhausted he was, the couple suggested he pick up a paintbrush. For the first time in 25 years, that night, the detective slept like a baby.
This was the lightbulb moment that led to Art Rebel. Right then and there Ponti and Sabine decided to switch career gears and follow their passion.
“I think there are some people that specialize in one career and that’s what they were destined to. There are also those of us individuals who live life like a perpetual bucket list and we happen to be in that group. It’s what appeals to us, it just makes life exciting,” Ponti says.
What began as a safe haven for adults has grown into terrain for people of all ages. The studio offers everything from baby art classes to summer camps to corporate retreats.
“We don’t believe in a cookie-cutter approach to creativity. We aren’t ‘paint by numbers.’ We want to provide an environment where people can create lasting memories; where a mom can come and paint with her baby, a couple can create together or an adult can celebrate a milestone birthday,” Sabine explains.
Ponti and Sabine hope to grow their brand with like-minded artists who share their commitment to the democratization of art, healing and giving back.
Art Rebel 14382 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, 818-784-2010, artrebel.net
Opened in October 2009, Raphael features a “mixology program” which focuses on signature cocktails with fresh fruit and herbs and classic cocktails with a twist.