Improved: San Diego Artists Interpret Our Landscape’
Lonnie Burstein Hewitt
First published in the La Jolla Light
Diego History Center: Sept. 20-Jan. 26,1649 El Prado, Suite 3, Balboa
Park, (619) 232-6203, sandiegohistory.org ■ Oceanside
Museum of Art: Oct. 26- Jan. 26, 704 Pier View Way, downtown Oceanside,
(760) 435-3720, oma-online.org
the world of arts and culture these days, the big word is the “C” word:
dwindling resources and fierce competition for funding, many organizations have
discovered the joys of sharing the costs and rewards of partnership.
this month, San Diego History Center and Oceanside Museum of Art will be
presenting their first joint exhibition, “Nature Improved: San Diego Artists
Interpret Our Landscape,” opening at SDHC Sept. 20, and OMA Oct. 26. They
promise a diversity of perspectives on our region, with each site showing half
of some 90 artworks by 26 local artists.
Street' by Kim Reasor
which also operates the Junipero Serra Museum in Presidio Park, was founded in
1928, and is one of the oldest and largest historical organizations in
California. Its newest executive director, Charlotte Cagan, is lead coordinator
of the landscape exhibit, and sees it as a great step forward in the center’s
connection to the community.
mission is to tell the story of San Diego, and an important aspect of that story
is artistic activity,” Cagan said. “We chose the subject because we have a
significant collection of landscapes from the past 100 years and we wanted to
connect them with contemporary works.”
this invitational, juried show, submissions had to be recognizably inspired by
San Diego landscapes, both rural and urban. “It’s a broader definition than what
we might consider traditional landscapes, because many contemporary artists find
the urban landscape challenging and exhilarating too,” Cagan said.
Surge' by Stuart Burton
a distinguished panel of curators, including Derrick Cartwright, Director of
University Galleries and Professor of Art History at USD; Alessandra Moctezuma,
Gallery Director and Professor of Fine Art at Mesa College; and Daniel Foster,
Executive Director of Oceanside Museum of Art.
lead curator is art scholar Bram Dijkstra, who curated the recent exhibit of
Charles Reiffel’s post-impressionist landscapes, which was a collaboration
between SDHC and the San Diego Museum of Art. “There’s a definite connection
between that exhibition and this one,” Cagan said. “We get to see how
contemporary artists are interpreting some of the same landscapes.”
Day marked Cagan’s second anniversary with the History Center. “It’s flown by in
a frenzy of activity,” she noted. And there’s lots more activity in the
year’s big thing will be “Presidio to Pacific Powerhouse: How the Military
Shaped San Diego,” a collaboration between SDHC and eight different military
sites, including the Midway, the Aerospace Museum and Camp Pendleton. And in
2015, the Center will be heavily involved in the Balboa Park Centennial.
hope to give everyone a sense of the bandwidth of the History Center,” Cagan
said. “I believe we are the Smithsonian of San Diego; we have everything here
that tells the story of who we are. If you want to connect with our community,
past, present, and future, this is the place.”