Tuesday, May 14, 2019

SD Art Prize at the Athenaeum produced by San Diego Visual Arts Network

By Patricia Frischer

SD Art Prize  Presented by San Diego Visual Arts Network at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library (1008 Wall St. La Jolla, 92037) with Anne Mudge with Erin Dace Behling, and Robert Matheny with Max Robert DailyThis exhibitions runs from Sat, May 11 to Sat, July 6  Words of support from Lynn Susholtz, Art Produce, Jacqueline Silverman, director San Diego Art Institute, Dave Hampton, curator for Robert Matheny and Jill Dawsey, PhD, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego now available for free download in the  SD Art Prize Catalog 2018  More info: Patricia Frischer

The 2018 recipients of the SD Art Prize were honored during the opening of their exhibition at the Athenaeum Music and Art Library on Friday May 10th. The show included new art work by all of these artists of excellence. As always, the Athenaeum provided a perfect showcase.

San Diego Visual Arts Network is pleased to announce that Chi Essary has been selected as the new curator of the San Diego Art Prize. Over the next year Essary will be streamlining and restructuring the prize to focus solely on emerging artists, increasing the prize’s visibility and building public engagement.

“I’m looking forward to streamlining the Art Prize and building its reputation and audience. It’s a valued milestone in the artist community and I’d like to build the general public’s interest in the prize and the emerging artists we have right here in San Diego.”  Chi Essary, new curator of the SD Art Prize

“We feel really fortunate to put the SD Art Prize into the capable hands of Chi Essary who will breathe new life into this time honored award for excellence.“ Patricia Frischer, founder San Diego Visual Arts Network which funds and produces the SD Art Prize 

Chi Essary

Anne Mudge creates ethereal environments of complicated wire works that looked amazingly fragile but turned out to be as resilient as its creator. Tension wire and physics keep these very organic works afloat. Mudge says there are challenges and, "...magic moments of discovery" in her process-based art. In this exhibition we see new works in delicate silver tones, but also some white works in this very large display. A whole wall is dedicated to darker pieces with more pronounced intersections. A favorite was one that transitions from earth to sky, dark to light. 
Anne Mudge 


Mudge works with geometry and repetitious patterning and shares these aspects of creation with Erin Dace Behling’s furniture design. They are both creating landscapes because they are arranging biological components into a sort of scenery, but Behling is using a wider variety of materials and her works are functional. She uses very familiar components of the natural world but in unfamiliar ways. Look closely at the variations in color on the handcrafted wood and concrete which reflect the magically colors of the Utah deserts and mountains. 
Erin Dace Behling

Max Robert Daily is a butcher and puppeteer and art installer by trade and the proprietor of Oslo sardine bar, really an art installation. After displaying last fall at SD Art Prize  at Art San Diego presented by San Diego Visual Arts Network, Max Daily still has one stop to make in Santa Fe before returning from a year of traveling to Art Fairs around the country sponsored by Redwood Media Group. He will be showing again at Art San Diego which this year moves to the convention center. The Sea Glass and Skipping Stone dispenser in this exhibition really works and for 25 cents, you could own a few pieces of this installation. The dispenser is set on a pile of books from the Athenaeum.  Go up to $10 and get your own package of sardines and crackers. A free newspaper hat/sailing boat comes with each interaction if you are lucky.  Daily really is a clown and  a piece we have not seen before is a box of clown death mask noses sitting on a stack of newspaper comics. Clown play a varied role in our community and the life blood of Max Daily's work is that variety. 
Max Robert Daily

outside of the box


Robert Matheny has played with every medium and combines strong conceptual art ideas with a tangible product which is almost never functional. He is a master trickster with a sense of humor of the cynical variety and the constant surprise of never knowing what he will do next. Matheny had a terrific retrospective this year at the SD History Museum (maybe he is not so Almost Anonymous anymore!) He reports that the "as usual, whatever I select to show will be spectdaculary." The tiny blue and gold glitter dot shown off in an elaborate frame is part of a new series of glitter works. At the start of his more than 50 year career he used metal flake paint surfaces on sculptures.  He recently posted instructions for a meditation by concentrating on one flake of silver glitter placed on grey pants until they catch the light of the reflected sun.  He asked the question, "which do you like best the "real" 2 dollar bill or the "fake" one?  Makes you think, doesn't it!

Robert Matheny 

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Ruth Platner: Yom Hashoah - A Holocaust Remembrance through the Arts a Leichtag Foundation

By Patricia Frischer

Ruth Platner's exhibition: Yom Hashoah: A Holocaust Remembrance through the Arts at the Farm House Gallery of the Leichtag Foundation is a Holocaust survivor's story in painting and drawings. 

Ruth Platner's painting are colorful and positive and because the show is introduced as a Holocaust survivors exhibition, these seems to be at odds. But Ruth who is 92 and in attendance wrote a stirring message that was read by her daughter. she explained how as Jew in Germany in WW II she was banned from school and bomb shelters. Her parents managed to take her into the country side and one day on the way home from school, she came across the crater created by a bomb. She reached in and grabbed some clay which had been revealed after the top soil was blown away. Soon she was sculpting a head and found that the war had revealed art as her passion. The art in turn has been a large component in healing her from the war.

She attended the Hamburg Art Institute, married Fred Platner in 1949, moved to Wisconsin and in 1978 to Carlsbad. She created and administered the OMA School of Art and her incarcerated veterans program is based her book  “Meditation and Art”

To see this show which is up for a limited time in May contact Naomi Nussbaum 

The evening also supported the the Butterfly Project by having the attendees painting one ceramic butterfly in commemoration of each child who perished in the Holocaust.  This will be put on permanent display in The Hive which is a community workshop at the Leichtag Foundation. 

The Anti- Defamation League gave a presentation about how their No Place for Hate  program strives to support anti-bias and bullying interventions on school campuses across the country. Presentations by two local students was sad and heartening at the same time. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Art Walk Little Italy April 2019

by Patricia Frischer

Vicki Leon

 35th Annual Mission Federal ArtWalk on April 27 and 28 was a chance to see another year's choice of artists and crafts person's work while enjoying the lovely weather and great new restaurants of Little Italy. There were more than the usual jewelers displaying but I want to point out one local artist whose work is unique and exciting. Vicki Leon does public art on a rather grand scale, but some of her jewelry work is like miniature sculptures. They are beautifully carved and composed and the  color changes of her glass are enchanting. 

Noreen Ring (quilt above) is one of  five ladies from North County who only show together one time a year at Art Walk, but they have been coming to central San Diego and staying in a hotel near by for the last 20 years. The enjoy each others company and this chance to show off their work and makes sales and talk to each other is a great tradition.  

Christine Shwimmer has a series of images of ladies which I first saw at the Cannon Gallery at the Carlsbad Dove Library. It was great fun to see this painting again. 

Sarah Stieber Yes, this is sometimes my attitude when I listen to the news these days. 

Monique Straub never fails to woo us with her bright colors and strong shapes You can easily recognize her work which is saying something in the sea of images that dances in your head after a few hours of Art Walk.  

Alejandro Martínez-Peña has been present at Art Walk for as long as I can remember. It must be a great venue for him to sale. All these years later, his abstracts still seem authentic to me. 

Grant Pecoff was showing lots of fine art, but these surfboards were part of a theme at this year's Art Walk and there were special displays of artist's boards throughout the area. 

Molly Paulick  who has been selected as the San Diego Visual Arts Network 2019  Business of Art Scholarship award winner was  featured at the 35th Annual Mission Federal ArtWalk on April 27 and 28 in booth #621.  Patric Stillman from Studio Door has mentored her for this opportunity. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Minoru Obira at Lux Art Institute and Jean Lowe Carpet Showroom at Quint

by Patricia Frischer

Our hats go off to Guusje Sanders, the Associate Curator at the Lux Art Institute. Her selection of artists for guest residency have been outstanding. Minoru Obira is no exception. With wood, resin, graphite and slate, he makes elegant primal shapes that are rich with texture and stylish while they also seem to be ageless.

Volcano series


Detail Beginning

Wind Stands

Bird 2

Santa Ana Winds

Detail Santa Ana Winds

Tortuga #2

Grove of Shrine

Floating Weed

My Town

Detail of My Town

Detail of My Town

Carpet Showroom by Jean Lowe at Quint Contemporary Art

A tiny room  full of the most wonderful carpets just like you might find in a middle or far eastern marketplace. Look closely and they are all painted paper mache and even the small one dumped in the corner is paper.  I took one picture of my bare feet as the sign said you could walk on these carpets but I could not bring myself to step on them with shoes! Sorry to publish this after the show is over, but hopefully the picture and video I took will give you a good idea. Never miss a Jean Lowe show even if you have to go at the last hours of the last day. 

A final salute to Michael James Armstrong also at Quint Contemporary Art for his Line & Fuzz exhibition. By far my favorite work was the room installation. Here are two views, straight on and from an angle so you get a little idea of the scale of the piece.