Friday, November 20, 2020

Carlos Martiel: The Shadow of the Color Line Residency at Lux Art Institute

 by Patricia Frischer

A naked man is sealed in a concrete box and a man and a women spend some time chipping away to make a hole so the man can slither out.

A naked man stands on some small raised protrusions with his legs shaking with the effort of balancing.

A naked man takes the place of one of the four legs of a table serving a large buffet of food.

Carlos Martiel is this naked black man and a Cuban performance artist who resides both in Havana and New York but is currently the resident artist at Lux Art Institute.  He puts himself in danger, not just briefly but over a period of time.

This is  very obviously a metaphor for the treatment of African American, but that does not make the immediacy of the experience he presents us any less potent. There is violence, abuse and alienation, born with a stoic almost impersonal demeanor. There is visible pride but with innocence that exudes a mystery.

You can see three of his performance art works which were linked on utube and find out more about him on his Carlos Martiel  Lux Art Institute page.

Carlos Martiel at Lux Art Institute
IN STUDIO: Sat, Nov 21, - Sat. Dec 19, 2020 through
ON EXHIBIT: Sat. Nov 21 – Sat. Jan 16, 2921

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A Covid-Time Exhibition: How to View Art Without Leaving Your Car

 By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt. Photos by Maurice Hewitt. 

Wow! An outdoor art-show opening reception on Friday the 13th, just as we sank into the purple tier of social restrictions after newly-soaring Covid-test positives.  It took a combination of nerve and imagination for Mesa College’s Gallery Director/Fine Art Professor Alessandra Moctezuma to come up with an idea like that in times like these. 

An artist and curator herself, Moctezuma supervises the Museum Studies program at Mesa, which traditionally has the class present a gallery exhibition as its final project. But this year, with everything gone virtual, she decided that staging an outdoor drive-through exhibit would give students the same opportunity to develop their curatorial, promotional and installation skills. 

The exhibition was imagined as “a visual time capsule capturing the dramatic events of the last eight months—plague, social unrest and fires.” After posting a Call for Artists on social media, students chose 36 emerging and established artists whose works would be painted or printed on 3’x5’ banners and displayed on a fence along the perimeter of one of the college’s parking lots.

My photographer/husband Maurice and I attended the afternoon reception, which consisted of a masked student welcoming us with a printed catalog, complete with photos of the artworks and artist bios, and an even warmer welcome from Alessandra herself, a bit further along. Her smile shone through her mask as we sat in our Prius, waiting in the social-distanced lineup of cars, with the art just beyond.

“We’ve had so much virtual activity here, I really wanted to do this today, to greet visitors in person and chat with everyone, if only for a few minutes,” she said. “The event’s all outside and everyone’s in their cars, so we were allowed!”

Did she have any concerns about opening a show on Friday the 13th? “Not at all,” she said. “13 is my lucky number!  It’s my grandmother’s lucky number too!”

Over 150 cars showed up for the three-hour-long opening—not all at once, happily. We came around 2 p.m., the line of cars in front of us moved along at a comfortable pace, and we took our time viewing the banners. Here are some of our favorites, those we found particularly eye-catching, with selected quotes from the catalog.



These fanciful drawings are very different from what we usually see by this award-winning artist, who’s best known for her intricate paper-cutting and embroidery. The two figures are, she writes, “about perception and imagination…What do we see when there is chaos and despair in our world? I want to play with the ideas of relocating how we see.”


JUDITH PARENIO: The Place That Was

Referring to herself as “a sculptor who paints” and obviously influenced by Southwestern culture, the artist presents “a visual dialog about the earth’s frailty and beauty,” imagining ancient people returning to their abandoned pueblo and giving it new life by reviving their old ways.


GAIL SCHNEIDER: Hercules Beetle

A drawing from a children’s book the artist created for her grandkids to brighten up pandemic-time.



A still from a short animation that was part of a live projection on the side of a building in Little Italy during San Diego Design Week. “It is about hope for unity, with this fist bump as one of the gestures.”


SHEENA RAE DOWLING: The Answers Aren’t Down There: I Already Looked

and The Loneliest Place on Earth

A pair of striking pieces that are actually about the horror of addictions—alcohol and drugs—by an artist who has done extensive work with people in recovery.



“I feel the passage of time like an hour-glass these past months during Covid-19. Seems as if there are limits to how much each of us feel we can handle. This shape is my exploration of what it means to be human and particularly female.’’  A two-dimensional banner like all the others, this one seemed seriously textured;  I really wanted to reach out and touch it, but I was on the far side of our car!


MICHAEL CHAVEZ: Build Community

“This piece is to show how we can create community by cooperation on tasks that benefit us as a whole in the long run.” A fine poster for handling life in Covid-time—or any time.


Mesa Drive-In: November 13-December 9, 2020.

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed for Thanksgiving 11/23-11/27.

Parking Lot 1; enter through Mesa College Drive and follow directions. Stay in your car. Photos can be taken through the driver’s open window. San Diego Mesa College, 7250 Mesa College Dr., San Diego, CA 92111

Participating Artists: Kirsten Aaboe - Victor Angelo - Jenny Armer - Lucy Boyd-Wilson - John Calavitta -  Katie Carrion -Michael Chavez - Remi Dalton - Joseph DeLaunay - Sheena Rae Dowling - Christopher Ferreria - Katie Flores - Kirsten Francis - Sarah Frey - Sora Gallagher - Scott Gengelbach - Sofia Gonzalez - Janice Grinsell - Steve Harlow -Kathleen Kane-Murrell - Ginger Lou - Don Masse - Bhavna Mehta - Lourans Mikhail - Michelle Montjoy - John Oleinik –Judith Parenio - Johanna Poethig - Yvette Roman - Elizabeth Salaam - T. Jay Santa Ana - Gail Schneider –Andrew Sena - Jennifer Steffey – Christopher Tucker – Cindy Zimmerman

For more information, including a link to an Audio Tour of the exhibit, see


Lonnie Burstein Hewitt is an award-winning author/lyricist/playwright who has written about arts and lifestyle for the La Jolla Light and other local media for over a dozen years. You can reach her at



Friday, November 13, 2020

Pages from the Book of the Unknown Explorer: A Performance Lecture by Installation Artist Judit Hersko

Judit Hersko's portrait of Anna Schwartz -  transparent silicone cast with sea butterflies.

Report by Patricia Frischer

Judit Hersko creates historical fiction. When you first experience her performance, you think you are listening to a factual commentary but it turns out that she has created and then inserted characters based on her mother and herself into her otherwise well-researched fact-based stories. She does this with a certain amount of glee and wonderful imagination. Her character Anna Schwartz is interested in the documentation of the sea angel and the sea butterfly, two pelagic snails that are the canaries in the coalmine when it comes to ocean acidification. The shell of the sea butterfly dissolves under acidity levels already present in some parts of the oceans and since the sea angel’s only food source is the sea butterfly they are both threatened. Decay and time are a big part of Hersko’s ephemeral pieces as she acknowledges that things change and pass. Threads of personal and collective memory run through the work. 

Jeanne Baret disguised as a man on an exploratory voyage around the earth, 1766-1769

Judit Hersko who depicts herself as Anna Schwartz's daughter

Hersko creates photographs, collages, and sculptures to support her narrative and she inserts these into existing materials. Finding magical connections in historical facts inspires her and she weaves further relationships by inserting her characters. She works in the intersection of art and science as well as fact and fiction.

Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott with his wife Kathleen Scott - 
Quail Island in Lyttelton Harbour, NZ, 1910

Sculptor Kathleen Scott  working in her studio with her son Peter

Judit Hersko - Installation “400 Parts Per Million”

Hersko’s story focuses mainly on climate change science as well as important and undervalued women in the history of science and culture. One example is Ellen Browning Scripps who made her own money from journalism, never married and gave masses to charity in the San Diego region. Most of us, including Hersko, just assumed she had inherited or married into her money. There has always been a society of women who supported as well as practiced science and Hersko imagines her character Anna Schwartz interacting with those active in her era in both social and laboratory settings.

Collage format invented by women of the Victorian era.

Judit Hersko - collage “Anna Schwartz: Self-Portrait with Diatoms”


Judit Hersko working with light, transparency, time, performance

Judit Hersko - Installation “Pages from the Book of the Unknown Explorer”

Judit Hersko detail

Judit Hersko works in close collaboration with scientists. She says she has a miniaturist approach and likes to get close to her subjects. However, creating the narrative allows her to zoom out and provide a wider perspective. Does the art benefit the science?  Her art is inspired by the science and helps to convey the science. But collaboration between artists and scientists is a two-way street as the scientists can do better and different work by having a new perspective. Artists have a different way of looking at things and the scientists in her sphere are inspired by her. 

Judit Hersko is currently Chair of the Department of Art, Media, and Design at California State University San Marcos.

Note: Scripps Institution of Oceanography now has an art collection focused on art and science collaborations. Works from “The Weather on Steroids” exhibition on climate change (2017) are the first pieces in this collection.  Thanks to Margaret Leinen of Scripps Institute of Oceanography and Amy Adler Visual Arts UCSD for supporting this performance presentation. 

Watch the actual Performance Lecture by Installation Artist Judit Hersko 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Virtual First Friday at Liberty Station Arts District

 by Patricia Frischer

Virtual First Friday at  Liberty Station Arts District

I can recommend that you take a look at this virtual event that the NTC Foundation sponsored. Although long, don’t miss the last 45 minutes with the interview of Hugo Crosthwaite. They presented a cross section of just some of the events going on at the Liberty Station Arts District.  

Host Andrew Waltz with Hugo Crosthwaite discussed his creation of the Installations at the Station mural, Column A and Column B: An improvised mural narrative performance bases on the separation of child from their parents created in 16 days. He also showed his video. "Tzompantli",  a stop-motion animation video. Lael Corbin and Perry Vasquez joined into the discussion which extended to the problems women have in crossing the border. We are defined by the stories we tell ourselves.

Hugo Crosthwaite with Columns A and B

Lauren LeVieux Artist Studio "Fish Out of Water 2020" is an art work that only reveals itself if it is wet. Sprinkle some water on the concrete and see a set of fish designs.  

Leah from Milk Oolong Studio - Watch the magic of the pottery wheel and see porcelain teacups created and learn a bit about this new studio where you can learn to make pottery.

Patricia Martinez Canela Photography presents “I voted” a live photo session with stickers placed on the white tutu of a ballet dancer and red and blue gels.  

Anne Gaffey Art demonstrates a  mixed media heart motif small gift painting. You can do this at home or at her studio. 

Molly Puryear and Dan Malashock from Malashock Dance presents Community Conversations: Artistic Collaboration in collaboration with UCSD films. clips from a variety of exciting past programs featuring intersections of dance with visual artists, digital artists and musicians.

Malashock Dance

Leslie Pierce Studio Oil Painting Demo and inspiring Art Talk.


Monday, November 2, 2020

Selling Art Tomorrow

by Patricia Frischer

(clockwise: Linda Mariano, Erik Smith, Craig Kausen


RAVE Art Fair Exhibitor Series: #2 Selling Art Tomorrow– second of 4 invitation only sessions produced by Redwood Art Group

Because the SD Art Prize has shown at Art San Diego since its inception, I keep track of all the progress made by this international art fair company. They offered a series of discussion about the future of the art market in a set of 4 panel discussion. Here is my summary of the second session but you can view all the archived session once they are complete. They also come with a valuable set of tools for artists and gallerist from writing an artist’s statement to engaging social media supplied by the Art Business News.

Linda Mariano, Redwood Art Group managing director of marketing, reminds us that Content is King. You need to be able to talk about your art work. Tell your story and that behind the art. Visually show the artist in his/her studio. Create an experience for the viewer online. It is OK to test out new things and don’t worry about being perfect. Get comfortable being uncomfortable in front of a camera.

Eric SmithPresident Redwood Media Group, is exploring new option since the onsite art fair had to halt.
In the first session many out of the box idea were discussed including such as small, select home shows with your collectors, 30 pieces in 30 days to create excitement, getting artists together for a pop up perhaps an outdoor restaurant venue. He notes that virtual events are starting slow but will build and be ongoing. He is starting to see super stars involved which will build and attract more people. People are not going to want to travel right away, but collectors are still wanting to buy. There are large savings to be had right now since virtual fairs are much less expensive i.e. a RAVE virtual booth starts at $495. Virtual includes all sorts of communications including zoom type meetings, but also Instagram Facebook and utube groups.  In this context virtual means the viewer can stay home and participate.

RAVE (Redwood Arts Virtual Events) are not just a viewing room, but a real experiential platform where you can meet and talk to artists and gallerists, attend unique events, and have an art buying experience from wherever you are virtually. The 2-day events have lots going on at the same time and is well priced for exhibitors. You have access to 100,000 on the Redwood mailing list plus all the exhibitors sending out notices to their mailing list. This is new and planned but it is still an experiment. Even when the live events are back, then there will be live streaming. The first RAVE is RAVE Miami Dec 4 and 5th

Next year live events when they come back could be better than was first thought as the statistics just came out that flying is very safe as COVID cases are only 1 in 27 million flyers.  

Craig Kausen, President & CEO of Linda Jones Enterprises and Chuck Jones Galleries, also the Chairman of the Board of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity,  shuttered all 3 galleries and their non-profit took a breath and now has free programs through the Center for Creativity with Creative side chats. Jones Family Gatherings is a weekend event that is usually a way to connect with collection Very intimate studio tours with artists capable of exciting people about their work. This year they went virtual and he shared some advice about how to do this.

Not many in the arts used digital zoom, or created virtual art galleries, but since the pandemic closed everything down, we need to be prepared, educate ourselves and move forward with all things digital.  Visuals, text messages, video, online sales, shipping learn it all. Get out there and try something new as the old gallery viewing is not available. He suggests about 30 minutes - 1-hour total for an event with a presentation or two and time for questions and answers. Choose what is appropriate for the people that you can attract. Make sure there is interaction between panelists and the viewers. Record it all and archive it. If you include a pre-recorded video it should be no longer than 5-6 minutes. Then break it down to 30 seconds to a minute for Instagram and other social media as a teaser. Remember hatch tag #s.

A virtual event can be in any size space and with only one smart phone, but multiple cameras are better and some basic editing is important. Ear pods mean the artist can hear the questions. They did no rehearsal, but had a plan of how the event would be presented. He believes the key is you are doing this yourself is to try to have someone else running the tech. The big question is how you are going to connect with the collector. What is the story about the artist?  You can’t sit back and wait for the sale; you have to present a greeting and an emotional bond of some kind. The collector needs a story to tell people when they see the work in their own home once they acquire it. It has to be interesting and attractive and engaging.

Brick and Mortar is on the way down or at the best staying level. People are clamoring for something to do. How do you create the emotional bond between artist and collector online? Maybe this starts with a simple outreach to find out about them and how they are doing. The more dialogue between you and people with a real interest the better. Get good at telling your story.   A virtual art fair brings lots of collectors into one place just like the real thing so get involved with RAVE.

You can view the first session and there are 2 more session: You must RSVP to access the Series. All confirmed participants will be sent calendar invitations prior to each event. Please RSVP by November 2 to participate.

Session #3: Next Level Strategies for a Successful Art Fair on Thursday, November 5 | 1:00 pm Eastern 

Session #4: Creating a Business Plan for Today and the Future on Thursday, November 12 | 1:00 pm Eastern  with Crista Cloutier

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Night of the Living Art at Oceanside Museum of Art


 by Patricia Frischer


This year as a virtual experience Oceanside Museum of Art decided to go for a full fashion show hosted by Jan Arnold, CND co-founder and style director, and Gwen Bates, Director of Fashion Week San Diego. This pair describes each of the outfits in detail and the pre-party even gave us a chance to meet some of the designers in person. The whole event including the pre-part is archived Night of the Living Art: AnArt After Dark Fashion Extravaganza.


I am writing this while I listen to the after party music with DJ Mandy who is giving us very danceable discs. Until Nov 8, the fashions will all be on display at OMA.  You can vote for the People’s Choice winner ($1 a vote) and the winner will be featured in the coming months in the museum gift store. Plus you can actually  bid on coveted must-haves from the show, almost all of which are available for sale.  


Jan Arnold and Gwen Bates chose a joint winner for the evening Saki and Marty Ornish, who will be given a feature show at OMA sometime in 2021.

 I could not help but remember our own Art Meets Fashion project for San Diego Visual Arts Network in 2011 when we matched artists with fashion designer, teachers to write lesson plans and a documenter to record the collaboration. It is interesting to see that this sort of cross over between art and fashion is still a topic of interest. 

Featuring artwork/fashion by Andrea AntonorsiMohammad AzizDia BassettIsa BenistonDiana CareyEmmanuelle ChammahSheri CohenJohn DillemuthMary FooteSean-Michael Gettys, Randy L Harwood, Susan LaficaJessica LindzyRenetta LloydMelissa MeierBeata MierzwaChristiann MooreBeatriz Mora-HussarStacy NixonJami OliverMarty OrnishTaylor PayneFiona PhillipsClaudia RobinsonJan RolstonJulio M Romero,  SakiLucy StefankoDanielle Giudici Wallisand Danielle Zhang.

Here is a selection of some of my personal choices from the evening. 


Marty Ornish - co-winner with Saki (above) of the featured exhibition at OMA in 2021

Gwen Bates, Director of Fashion Week San Diego

Jan Arnold, CND co-founder and style director

Melissa Meier, on of the featured artist

Renetta Lloyd

Diana Carey

 Danielle Zhang