Tuesday, October 29, 2013

OMA Art Auction and Landscapes from Doug Simay's Collection - Additional article by Lonnie Burstein Hewitt

Oceanside Museum of Art has a bumper crop of events in October. Two of those are The  Art Auction on October 26, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. with a chance to purchase works from Oct 5 when the exhibition opens features 115 work by over 80 southern CA and San Diego artists hand picked by Sandra Chanis former president of the board and the Art Auction Committee.  Outside: Selections from the collection of Doug Simay continues through January 5, 2014.

OMA Art Auction

I loved this introduction by Sandra Chanis and so using this as a intro to this blog entry:

What makes good art? What art should you collect?

In inviting artist to participate in the major Art Auction, I looked for artists who are honest, aware of self, who possess a clear, passionate and compelling message, and have been able to evolve and mature in their vision. 

My final goal is to give you the unique opportunity to own carefully selected art affordably with proceeds that benefit the artists, OMA and you, the collector. 

Let me explain how the process took place....

all medium were considered: furniture, sculpture, painting drawing, mixed media, ceramics, jewelry, photography, fabric and print making. After much searching, personal visit wer made over a 7 month period by members of the Art Auction Committee to each and every one of the artists displayed. During those visits, the artists generously opened their studios and showed us all their work both completed and in progress  Questions and answers followed regarding the vision and the meaning of the art. From the 20 or plus works that each artists showed us, pieces were selected paying careful attendtion to the message, quality and value of the work. 

The final product is an immense generous collaboration between the artists and OMA who opened it entire upstairs gallery for this 3 week exhibition/auction. 

I applaud not only the artists and the Art Auction Committee who volunteered their time, but also the staff that has given numerous hours of invaluable experience to this complex project. 

And we applaud Sandra Chanis for this wonderful show, beautifully displayed, which all together made for an energy filled evening with wonderful food and great support for OMA.
Ann Mudge

Cheryl Tall ceramics and Patricia Frischer Borders of Intimacy

Penquin by Patricia Frischer
Michelle Kurtis Cole

Jeff Irwin

Larry and Debby Kline

Matt Divine sculpture with proud new owner

Deanne Sabeck

Tom Driscol
David Tourje

Outside: Selections from the collection of Doug Simay continues through January 5, 2014. 
 Mr. Doug Simay has the eye of an artist and in this huge showing of just the landscapes from his private collection you get an idea of how dedicated he is to selecting  what is acquired. I have know this for a long time as I am an avid follower of his Picks from LA which we post on SDVAN. He is tireless and you could not do better than to use his eye to mentor you if you are a beginning, intermediate or even advanced collector. Doug Simay's LA Picks for Oct 2013

Dimetri Kozyrev

John Divoa

Richard Sidevy

Tom Jenkins
Stuart Burton

Doug Simay has spent more than half of his life collecting art. Now in his 60s, the longtime La Jollan bought his first artwork at 28, when he found that a piece he loved was actually affordable, and, for a mere month’s salary, he could own it.

Currently, 57 “Selections from the Doug Simay Collection” are on view at the Oceanside Museum of Art, part of a museum-wide exhibition of landscapes. Simay’s section is titled “Outside,” which he explains in an introduction: “For me, ‘landscape’ is the pictorial plane on which ‘portraits’ exist. Take away the creatures that represent a story and what is left is my concept of landscape. A close-up of a horse is a portrait. A group of horses in a pasture is a landscape. Landscape is what is outside a protagonist.”

To Simay, every picture tells a story. “I can look at a painting and read it,” he said. “It’s partly an acquired skill, from years of education, but it’s also hardwired in me; it’s how my brain operates.”

Born and raised in Indio, he had a “superb” art teacher in high school, and developed a taste for making and appreciating art. He also managed to develop a taste for scuba diving, so he and his buddies drove down to La Jolla on weekend dive trips, camping in the parking lot behind the Museum of Contemporary Art.

When it came time for college, he chose UC San Diego, where he could pursue a dual major in art and biology and live close to the ocean.

At UCSD, he decided he wasn’t meant to be an avant-garde artist, and found success in the field of sub-cellular biochemistry. He went on to medical school, and spent more than 25 years in family practice, with an office on Coast Boulevard.

It was as a young intern that he bought his first artwork, a drawing by Robert Bechtle. Like all of Simay’s pieces, there’s a backstory to this one: he had to fight the San Diego Museum of Art for his right to acquire it. “They wanted it for their permanent collection, but I was there first,” he said. “They finally let me have it, and I let them show it in 1983.”

From the start, Simay bought from living artists, and enjoyed cultivating relationships with them.
In the late 1970s, he met Mark Quint, who had a small gallery next to Margaret’s Dry Cleaners. “I used to buy art from Mark, and when he moved downtown in the early ‘80s, I joined him, and opened my own gallery space next to his,” Simay said. The Java Coffeehouse Gallery followed, then an art-centered bookstore, and finally one large gallery, under what he called his “visual arts moniker,” SimaySpace.
“We did a lot of shows by culturally significant artists and I was my best customer,” he said.

In 1998, with artist Stuart Burton, Simay opened a full-fledged Art Academy in a 15,000-square-foot space across from his gallery. Under Burton, the Academy still exists, in smaller quarters on 30th Street.

Simay is now officially retired, but not from the art-world. “I can think of no finer way to spend my day than to look at art,” he said.

For 40 years, he has lived in the same art-filled condo, with furniture by Dave Fobes, who designed all his gallery spaces. These days, he buys less, and travels more widely, posting photos and descriptions of his art-finds on simayspace.com

He also goes to Los Angeles every month, visiting 70-100 galleries in a whirlwind few days, and sharing his “Best Picks” on simayspace with hundreds of fans.

“I used to feel that art speaks for itself, but people have to be educated, and that comes with communication,” he said. “My favorite works always have a quality I would call beauty, but I also favor works that combine good and evil, hope and despair, creation and destruction.

“I tend to like figurative stuff because, for me, storytelling is a significant pleasure. I look at more art now, and reporting on what I see is a tremendous learning tool for me. My life has never been better!”

You can read an article about Doug Simay posted in our SmART Collector series - Meet the Collector section by Kinsee Morlan. 

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