Saturday, January 23, 2021

Beatriz Cortez: UCSD Longenecker-Roth Artist In Residence Guest Lecture

 By Patricia Frischer

Beatriz Cortez

Beatriz Cortez gave a fascinating talk which is so important to understand the art work she is creating in the past and now during the pandemic. She is articulate and erudite about philosophy and history and many of her struggles to search for meaning were not only unusual but convincing. My notes on her talk are more like sound bites and to communicate them, I have to take some liberties to reorder them. I think this will not be a problem for her as she is not a great believer in linear time.

She spoke of ancient and contemporary indigenous people and their belief in the power of objects.  In fact, objects have a will, they can punish, reward, travel and protect. The are imbued with this power because of our respect for them. Inanimate objects are intelligent and self-organizing and like us are in the process of forever becoming. She mentions a Museum of Memory where fortunes are delivered and objects can cross time.


Time traveling objects

Fortune telling dispensing

I will start with the example which resulted in the sculpture we can view (from Jan 30, 2021) at the Lux Art Institute. Her observation was made of the great stones that populate many of the parks in New York including Central Park. These Glaciers Erratic formed the landscape over thousands of years and are still in constant transformation too minute for us to notice. They are made of minerals just as steel is made of minerals. Her sculpture is steel going back into stone. The steel which we think of as man made is really organic.

Steel armature

Installation at Lux Art Institute, Jan 22, 2021. Sculpture previously on display at Rockefeller Center, New York


Cortez made a very difficult immigration from El Salvador on her own and it was a traumatic experience. For her migration can be a death or a re-creation. The idea of Nomadism, something always moving, always in progress of being made needs to be considered. Now more than ever, she sees that we are all breathing each other all the time as we transform. The pandemic is demonstrating that as it spread through the atmosphere. She delivers political messages written in the air, in the breath. We will not be afraid. No more cages. She writes on the concrete: Defund ICE. She questions destiny and the future: who gets the vaccines?


Our identities are always shifting but we need to identify ourselves and not have an identity thrust upon us. In her series of cairns, there are collaborations with the mountains when earth is brought from many times and different distant places.  But this is not a linear process, or even a circular one. One needs an "untimely" machine to travel in every direction and simultaneously. "Future perfect" is a future that has happened and is already in the past. It becomes future past. Cortez is constantly trying to open up thoughts. And as they disappear, like those mountains, “In the future, we shall have walked through walls.”

Time machines

Here is the official statement that came with the lecture notes about Beatriz Cortez. Her artist's residency at UCSD is delayed, but that at Lux Art Institute in the studio starts Jan 30 and runs to Feb 27th, 2021 and is a collaboration exhibition with rafa esparza, Kang Seung Lee, Candice Lin, Pavithra Prasad, and Christian Tedeschi will run until March 30th. 

Watch the full lecture on UTube

Beatriz Cortez is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. Her work explores simultaneity, life in different temporalities and versions of modernity, memory and loss in the aftermath of war and the experience of migration, and in relation to imagining possible futures. She has had solo exhibitions at the Craft Contemporary Museum, Los Angeles; Clockshop, Los Angeles; Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles; Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles; Centro Cultural de España de El Salvador; Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California; and Museo Municipal Tecleño, El Salvador. Her recent group exhibitions include In Plain Sight at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle; Candelilla, Coatlicue, and the Breathing Machine at Ballroom Marfa, in Texas; Unfolding Universes at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Colombia; Utopian Imagination at the Ford Foundation Gallery, New York; Paroxysm of Sublime at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles; Ingestion at TEORé/Tica in San José, Costa Rica; Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas at the Queens Museum, New York; and Chronos, Cosmos: Deep Time, Open Space at the Socrates Sculpture Park, New York. Cortez has received the Artadia Los Angeles Award (2020), Frieze LIFEWTR Inaugural Sculpture Prize (2019), Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant (2018), and California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2016), among others. She holds an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and a doctorate in Latin American Literature from Arizona State University. She teaches at California State University, Northridge. Beatriz Cortez is represented by Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles. 

The Longenecker-Roth Artist in Residence Endowment was established in 2016 to extend Martha Longenecker's legacy as an artist and educator. In the spirit of her historic impact on the visual arts in both local and global communities, this endowment brings to the Visual Arts Department of UC San Diego artists of national and international stature who will inspire our students to broaden the scope, appeal, and range of art as well as incite exchange with the faculty, the campus community and local artists and audiences.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Qing Dynasty Ceramics SDSU Chinese Cultural Center and SD Chinese Historical Museum

by Patricia Frischer 

If you have any interest in color or Chinese Porcelain, I highly recommend the Chinese American Experience and Beyond lecture series on the topic of "Qing Dynasty Ceramics: An unprecedented era of colorful glaze innovations", by Allie Arnell, with comments and works from his own collection by Andy Lu.

In the Qing Dynasty, the vogue for porcelain in Europe would reach its height during the first half of the 18th century. This presentation showed the gorgeous colors such as café au lait, pale yellow, brilliant turquoise, apple green, purple or eggplant, etc. There were over 40 colors in the porcelain during the Qing Dynasty.

This program is presented to you by the SDSU Chinese Cultural Center and San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.

Here is just a short selection of the fabulous works that were discussed. The Song Period preceded the Qing Period with each previous period influencing the next but adding something new.

Allie Arnell

Andy Lu

Waves of Feminism mural by Katie Ruiz at Women's Museum of California

by Patricia Frischer

I joined the Women's Museum of California’s virtual Waves of Feminism mural unveiling and was treated to a behind the screnes creation talk about the inspiration behind the project and how the mural came to be. We got to see the mural created by Katie Ruiz and to hear from Sue Gonda how the women in the three waves of the mural were selected. We learned about separate issues that were prevalent in each era: 100 years ago, the 1960’s and the present. But the director of WMC, Felica Shaw, has also invited the public to contribute their own messages of what the future might mean to us, what the world would be like with gender equity, inclusion and diversity for all.

You can see the mural at Liberty Station right outside the Museum on the exterior walls of Barracks 16 and there will be short labels on the wall, QR codes give you more info including more in-depth exhibitions. Of course, you can go online where they will share all the public messages and more info and tools, workshops, panels and resources to come.  Future projects include: music, films and fashion so you can explore the sound track, celluloid influences and, icons that led the feminist movement. 

Felicia Shaw

Sue Gonda

Katie Ruiz



Waves of Feminism mural

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Iana Quesnell Regional Artist Talk at Lux Art Institute


by Patricia Frischer

Iana Quesnell Regional Artist Talk at Lux Art Institute

I strongly encourage everyone to watch the recorded version of this talk by Iana Quesnell if you are interested in a truly dedicated and talented women who sacrifices for her art. We have been following this artist who lives in her truck so that she does not have to cover rent with extra paid work even before her SD Art Prize win.  Not only did this presentation take you through her body of work, but the presentation itself was a work of performance art.

The few screen shots below don’t give you a true idea of the excitement created by an Quesnell who continues to dig deep into her motives in her quest to find meaning for her life. Her show at Lux Art Institute shows a selection of work…not a retrospective, but a part of the journey she is on.
IN STUDIO: Friday, January 15, 2021 through Friday, January 15, 2021
ON EXHIBIT Saturday, January 16, 2021 through Saturday, March 20, 2021

Here are a few sounds bites from the presentation which started with the title “You are what you eat.”

Perception is key. There really is no difference between a yoga practice, an art practice or even boring work a cashier at Trader Joe’s.

In mapping the posture of yoga, she learned to map her whole life.

We need to understand the scrips of our lives and learn if it is possible to change those scrips.

Notice the difference between free will vs conditioning.

Her drawings are grueling to make, but a joy of dedication.  

Her training is in systems analysis. So she loves showing the work as a body and not an individual entity.  

The life style is the work. The work is a performance.

During military service seeing a haystack out the flap of her tent took her right to Monet's painting

Capturing yoga postures in her first classes

Planning notes for a project. Each large drawing has a full size first version. Mistakes are not possible on the final version as the paper cannot be erased 

detail view 

detail view

detail view

View from her living room from her apartment in TJ

Detail view of her stay at the Omni before her SD Art Prize exhibition

DIY easels made from cardboard and buckets with one for her and two for guest who might draw with her on the beach.