Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Notes on Aesthetics and Authenticity Symposium March 8/9, 2014 by Patricia Frischer and Airport Tour by Lonnie Hewitt

Presented by Constance White, Arts Program of SD International Airport
at the New Central Library

Constance White
Patricia Frischer and Felicia ShawPhoto by Marti Kransberg
Art and Culture Symposium: Aesthetics & Authenticity on Sat, March 8, at 9:00 AM - Sun, March 8 at 3:30 PM is presented by San Diego International Airport Art Program (book now $65) at the Downtown Library (330 Park Blvd, San Diego, 92101) but will start on Fri March 7 with a tour of all of the new art in the new Terminal 2 West. More info: Airport 

These are my personal notes on most of the presentations and panel held on Sat and Sunday. I missed some and I admit prejudices of my own interest are reflected in these notes. It should not serve nor pretend to be a summary of the symposium.

We were kindly welcomed by both Mel Katz, chair of the Library Commissioners and hugely responsible for the fabulous library where this symposium was held and Robert Gleason, Chair of the SD County Regional Airport Authority who funded the symposium Both agreed that the arts contributes to the quality of life in the city. The arts can make you feel safe and softening the hard edges of a cityscape.

Todd Gloria x-interim mayor and now city council president gave the key note speech. He started strongly with a statement about collaborations and how we need arts and culture to make a statement that differentiates our city from others. We are in competition worldwide and we are competing to WIN. This is about place making and the city as a brand. Balboa Park is unique and that is an anchor. North Park is the contemporary anchor as an ecodistrict.

We need our Innovation labs to generate ideas. Even the idea of the labs needs testing. Once ideas are pioneered they need to be replicated. SD will have a $38 million surplus, at least 1% of that should go from the Tax on Tourist for the arts under the agreement made last year in the Five Year Blueprint for the Arts. The difference between finest city in the America and greatest city is art. We need cutting edge projects from young and older organizations.

Community in put from creative people is essential. Gloria sees his job is to make neighborhoods better. That includes the point of entry to the USA from Mexico which should be a welcome mat and not a vewi of dumpsters.

County wide collaboration spearheaded by supervisor Dave Roberts. When young people start to want families they move to better neighborhood and then it is hard for the old neighborhood to improve. So the question is how do you give those budding families what they need to enrich the existing neighborhoods?

With the population growth expected (and this is just from new birth rates and not people moving to SD) we have to build up instead of out. Not all city council people are onboard with that yet, but they all know they are in competition and have to do something. We will have street cars again even if it takes years to happen.

Balboa Park Celebration is now under his supervision at least for the city funds. Mistakes were made for example no one ever asked what potential funders might have wanted for this celebration. It appears that they want us to looking forward, not backward. And the ideas should be those that are scaleable if they are funded. The Institutions of the park will have their own ideas and some money might be forthcoming to help them, but the question is how to have this celebration In the public spaces. Decisions will happen about this very soon. One question is how to frame to see the park in a new way?

He addressed education needs saying we must re-introduce the arts and harness the young who already have a strong service ethic. But they need to go beyond serving meals to homeless and try to solve the problem. The arts must spearhead specific action item solutions or ideas and must learn to speak the language of government and not confuse the public and politicians with art speak.

We moved on to a series of presentation and panels.
Who am I, where am I?
Tom Borrow author of the Creative communities handbook
We describe our identity by claiming it, creating it or manufacturing it. It takes 12 years to establish an identity. Who, when, and where all have to be defined. Neighborhoods are shared space, Community is shared ideas.
Seyed Alavi stated that multileveled complex ideas have better chance of being relative now and in the future. Find the fundamentals that lie within and let the surface be contemporary. Audience needs to be encouraged to be curious. When they slow down they notice details of something that has been done on purpose. Aesthetics just means Perception. Instead of necessity being the mother of invention, it is aesthetic curiosity. The word aesthetics is just a placeholder. We need to bring together risk adverse and risk takers.
Question raised in this session included. When did art become separate from the public and need a bridge? Site specific resulted from that disconnect. Who should make decisions...policy makers or artists? Can they work together? When is an idea a program and when is it a project? If you are the artist asked to make an art work about a community in which they do not live, can it be authentic?

Airport artists – combined thoughts from Stuart Keeler, Jim Campbell, Norie Sato Po Shu Wang, Erik Carlson and the Merge Conceptual Design team.
Challenge drives the creative process. Controversy brings clarity. Art is made for the public and becomes part of the public domain. Let the public become involved in the work and then that becomes the art. Goals are fuzzy so hard to judge success. Public art can teach artists something that they may have not have gained otherwise. This is not art by committee. Instead, it is an opportunity to think out loud and with an audience of possible contributors. If a work is good it might end up defining the place, even if not site specific in the beginning.

Margie Johnson Reese - Cultural Economy
Ms. Reese runs a arts program for students with hundred of collaboration to make sure art in available before, during and after school. She recommends you acknowledge abundance, cut red tape, build on what you have, find constraints, address barriers and deal breakers, and release failure. Relevant plus exciting equals engaged. Access plus quality equals equity. Middle school at 12 years become sponges, but they unfocused and can be a real challenge. Parents were one asset present in all categories. One of her most important messages was to listen to the stories of others and honor them.

Cultural Provocateurs
Werc is the first new muralist at the airport and he used the letters SAN-just like the tagging used in graffiti art. These are temporary digital works.
Michelle Hyun - USCD curatorial fellowship used the gallery as anything but a place to show and/preserve art works. The space became a 24 hour study area, lab, performance stage, etc.
Stuart Keeler - Public art can take three forms: plop art that is preconceived and is just resident in the space, art which is fully integrated in the site and art which serves the public interest, Keeler described his life as a self appointed artist in residence. He promoted his book: Service Media. The message here was don’t wait to be asked, involve yourself.
Dan Springs continues to work with other libraries now that the New Downtown Library art is installed and to administer public art when funding is available.
Bennett Feji , principal of Peji Deign firm was an enthusiastic leader of the final exercise when tables worked to present new ideas for collaboration. It was another opportunity to network with the participants. Just as Ms. Reese urged us to do, we were given some time to listen to the stories of others and honor them

A conflict in scheduling prevented me from hearing presentation from Ed Abeyta,Judit Hersko, and Oscar Romo lead by Xavier Leonard from the Civic Innovation Lab

You can read about the Global Culture Districts Networkin a report on Re-imagining Cities by John Eger. In it he announces a meeting June 17-19 in Dallas, Texas, The New Cities Foundation expects to attract over a thousand leaders from cities around the world, most of whom will hear about creative place making, technology innovations, new transportation schemes, sustainability, financing and audience building.

There is now a gallery at the Library and we enjoyed seeing the works of Gail Roberts, Ernest Silva and Philpp Scholz Rittermann. 

Here is a follow up article by Lonnie Bernstein Hewitt posted in the La Jolla Light

New depARTures: San Diego Airport’s Terminal 2 debuts public-art collection

Jim Campbell’s ‘The Journey’ is the airport’s largest artwork, a 700-foot-long light ribbon of 38,000 LED pendants emitting images of swimmers. Photos by Maurice Hewitt
By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt
Eight years ago, the Airport Authority Board adopted an Airport Art Master Plan that included a new collection of site-specific artwork at San Diego International Airport. That vision of an artful gateway to the region guided their major expansion project. Completed last August, “Green Build” Terminal 2, won a 2013 Orchid from the San Diego Architectural Foundation for Interior Architecture and Public Art.

Stuart Keeler and his two-story aluminum tubing and Swarowski crystal ‘Cloud’.
The jury appreciated the airport’s extensive use of glass, maximizing natural light and providing stunning views, and was impressed by the breadth and brilliance of the art installations, hailing the project as “the beginning of a new era of fresh thinking about public art.”
Flushed with success, the Airport Authority scheduled an Aesthetics and Authenticity Symposium, inviting speakers from around the country to discuss the role that art, design and culture could play in promoting a region’s prosperity and quality of life. The date was set for a mid-October weekend; the place selected was the Southwest Fisheries Science Center on La Jolla Shores Drive, whose award-winning blend of form, function and sustainability made it a perfect choice.

Po Sun Wang and his Relativator, inspired by Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity.
Then came last fall’s government shutdown; the Fisheries Center, a federal building, was closed, and the symposium cancelled.
But this month, Aesthetics and Authenticity came together for about 80 registrants, no longer in La Jolla, but at the New Central Library downtown. It kicked off the evening of March 7, with a magical mystery tour of the new airport art.
Welcoming the tour-goers was the symposium’s organizer, Airport Art Program Manager Constance White. An artist and jewelry designer herself, she has been the power behind the airport’s expanding art since 2006. She led one of the two tour groups, which included brief talks by the main artists, and a close look at the eight great new pieces.
At the post-tour reception, she was exultant. “We really planned in a strategic way to implement this program, and to see it come together after eight years is enormously gratifying,” White said. “It wasn’t all peaches and strawberries, but there was so much integrity and creativity from the artists. I’m ready to do it again!”

Leslie Nemour with one of her ‘women in film’ on display at the West End Gallery.
Viewing the art at Terminal 2: From outside the building, Franka Riehnelt’s and Claudia Reisenberger’s “Sublimare” – featuring patterns of giant kelp leaves – represent San Diego’s undersea kelp forests on the underside of the two-level concrete roadway and flanking the check-in pavilions. Roy McMakin’s bronze windows are suspended from the glass walls of the two pedestrian bridges. The rest of the artworks are on the far side of the security checkpoint and can be viewed only by in-transit passengers on American Airlines, US Air, United, Delta or Jet Blue. Allow time for viewing on your next trip!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

R.B. Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla, Exhibits Works by Painter Ricardo Xavier

R.B. Stevenson Gallery
“Kinetic Contrasts”:  Ricardo Xavier
February 22 – March 29th
review by Cathy Breslaw

Flow    acrylic on canvas    48" x 96"    2013

Color, pattern and design take center stage in this exhibition of works by artist Ricardo Xavier. The exhibition is made up of 37 works - acrylic on canvas paintings, water based screen-prints on paper and small circular works of acrylic on round wood panels. Standing among Xavier’s works, one feels the vibe of Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Carnival in Brazil – saturated and intense colors swirl and sway into complex multi-dimensional repetitive patterns that dance on the surface and below. While these paintings send the viewers’ eyes into overdrive, once settled into focusing on one painting at a time, we are able to capture the energy and layering of patterns and can make sense of the gestalt of the piece. There are obvious systems employed to create these surface designs and we can see a behind the scenes methodical approach to creating the work.  One wall of the gallery is devoted to 28 fourteen inch round acrylic works on panel, each with its own design and color palette.  It is here that the viewer can digest Xavier’s work in small bites, slowing down the process of understanding the work and getting to its essence.  These small works are energetic compositions that appear as microcosms of the other much larger scale works in the show.

Looking Forward    acrylic on canvas    60" x 60"    2013

Scott White Contemporary, La Jolla Exhibits Group Show with Well Known Mid-Century Painters Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski and more….

Scott White Contemporary, La Jolla
Color & Form
Review by Cathy Breslaw

‘Color and Form’ is a group exhibition of well known artists, Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons, Friedel Dzubas and Thomas Downing. Known as a color field painter, Dzubas’s paintings “Nouveau” and “Stone Flower”, are oil paintings reflecting the simplified abstracted shapes in blues, beiges and yellow/oranges resembling landscapes.  Larry Poon’s “Untitled” acrylic on canvas reflects his expressionistic style with its subtle color palette of ranges of white, blue, red, and beige in energetic vertical brushstroke patterns.  Kenneth Nolands three paintings in the show – “Mysteries Aglow”, “Dusk Affair” and “Via Fill”, are each representative of one of the major types of paintings Noland did that were categorized as stripes, targets(bulls eye circles) and shaped canvases.  These works which were painted between 1968 and 2002  are subtle in their hues and contemplative in their overall feel.   Jules Olitski’s “Third Caliph” and “Monday Night Mark”, both painted in 1965, are acrylics on canvas, representative of  color field painting and seemingly painted by spraying layers of color subtly blending one with the next of dark yet vibrant purples, blues, yellows and reds. Thomas Downing who is known as the pioneer of the “dot” in painting, and spent most of his career painting various patterns of them, expresses this concept in “Reel”, an acrylic on canvas with a color palette of red, white and blue.  There is one sculpture in this exhibition that though it was created in 2013 by Joey Vaiasuso, “Untitled”, fits like a glove into this mid-century modernist group of artists’ exhibition. Tomato red planks of powder coated steel in varying lengths in a structural arrangement, create a thoughtful counterpoint to this exhibition of painters.

Painter, Irene Abraham's work, 'Outside Inside' Exhibited at Solana Beach City Gallery, Solana Beach, CA

Irene Abraham:  Outside/Inside
Solana Beach City Hall Gallery, Solana Beach, CA
February 16 – March 31      Reception: Thursday, March 20     5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Review by Cathy Breslaw

“Outside/Inside” is an exhibition of 16 abstract works on a variety of surfaces including canvas, board, paper, and repurposed window-shades. Abraham uses primarily curvilinear and straight lines, movement and color to create her paintings. The abstract imagery references a combination of roads and highways, maps, and what appears to be underwater sea-life to create her energetic compositions.  Abraham’s highway-like works like “In out”, “Once Up On”, “Launch”, and “In the Clover” incorporate imaginary landscapes and color palettes reflecting a narrative that peak our curiosity and invite us to ponder. “Hardwired #1” and “Memory Palace #2” reminds us of arial landscapes as might be seen from a low flying plane. “Vanish” and the diptych “Starting Line” are the largest scale works in the exhibition and along with “It’s Been Good to Know You”, the range of purples, pinks, blues and greens resemble what we may see under the sea.  Some of the works have a flat, two dimensional feel while others stretch into three dimensional space.  There is a dynamic flow to Abraham's compositions of the works and an investigation of space in the landscape whether we are viewing it from above or below our line of vision. Irene Abraham’s show can be seen through March 31st and is well worth a visit. 

Vanish   acrylic on paper  76" x 45"
In Out    acrylic on board    24" x 36"

Meyer Fine Art Exhibits Artist Clay Walker's Paintings, Drawings, Woodblock Prints, and Sculpture

Meyer Fine Art, San Diego
Clay Walker: ‘Beyond Traditional Boundaries’
Article by Cathy Breslaw
www.cathybreslaw.com    www.artfullifebycathy.blogspot.com

‘Beyond Traditional Boundaries’ is a solo exhibition of the work of deceased artist, Clay Walker.  Other than a few group exhibitions, Walker’s work has not been shown since the 1970’s.  His work was brought to the attention of art dealer Perry Meyer by Walker’s wife Muriel after his death in 2008.  Walker’s over 50 years worth of art-making reveal an artist who mastered many mediums including painting, sculpture, paper making and mixed media. He was most noted for his printmaking works – woodcuts and glass prints.  His work reflects the diversity of the mid-twentieth century aesthetic – showing an influence of Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism, Neo-Expressionism and Contemporary Realism. His work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. and Walker had friendships with Picasso, and Andy Warhol.  After the 1970’s Walker abruptly stopped exhibiting his work but continued to be a prolific artist, creating hundreds of art pieces. Upon viewing the vast and differing styles of the work he created, much of his color palette and mark-making reflects his Seminole and Cherokee Native American  heritage.  Earthen hues of reds, browns and golds, and symbolically created shapes are sprinkled through the large and small scale paintings on canvas, works on paper and sculpture.  Walker’s figurative works bear a strong relationship to Cubism while a large metal sculptural work is reminiscent of Rauchenberg’s ‘Combine’ pieces. Clay Walker’s work has been shown in over 200 exhibitions but a curiosity remains as to his decision to work ‘under the radar’ in the art world after having enjoyed a significant presence for many years.  This retrospective exhibition at Meyer Fine Art is an opportunity to peer into the world of Clay Walker’s ideas, thoughts and imagination and 
into the creative process of an artist who obviously loved his craft.
Enter Not   woodblock print  19 1/2" x 23 1/2"   1950-1952
The Social Significance of Our Component Parts   oil   32" x 40"  1947

Christo at Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, : Installations, Photos, Drawings and Film Documentary

Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA
XTO+J-C: Christo and Jean Claude Featuring Works From the Bequest of David C. Copley
Review by Cathy Breslaw

XTO+J-C is an exhibition that features artist Christo’s best known monumental projects he and his late wife, Jean Claude accomplished over forty years.  Included in their works are the 241 ½ mile long “Running Fence” in California’s Sonoma and Marin Counties(1976), the Wrapped Reichstag in Berlin (1995) and in New York’s Central Park, “The Gates” (2005) which included 7,053 fabric banners that spanned the walkways in the park. This exhibition features more than fifty works by Christo, and highlights recent gifts from the artist, as well as The David C. Copley Foundation. Since these are all environmental projects in various locations around the world, the exhibition displays installations, drawings and photographs from these years long projects as well as a 59 minute film documenting “Running Fences” from 1976.  Also included are the Wrapped Packages (1960) alongside many drawings and collages related to Christo’s early wrapped objects – chairs, road signs, motorcycles, tables, telephones, wheelbarrows, armchair and luggage rack. These wrapped item drawings draw our attention to these everyday items through their ‘concealment’. Included as well are the large-scale “Store Front” (1965-66) and a related series of “Show Windows” from the early 1970’s, which expanded Christo’s sculptural art practice into the environmental realm and spawned the many subsequent outdoor projects. For those museum visitors unacquainted with Christo and Jean Claude’s work, the documentary is very educational and portrays many of the challenges these artists have had in creating environmental installations including communications with people in communities, and local, state and federal government officials to obtain permissions and legal papers as well as navigating throughout the long years and time frames for completion. The commonality across all their projects is the use of fabric and textile – fragile, sensual and temporary materials which translate the temporary character of the works of art and beauty.

Christo   Package    fabric, rope and twine   29 1/2" x 13 1/2" x 8"   1960

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hill&Stump, Marshall Vanderhoof: Embracing the Art Energy on Main Street / Barrio Logan

by Joe Nalven

The San Diego arts community has expanded beyond Little Italy into North Park, Liberty Station and Barrio Logan. 

So what is it like to share new digs in a community with already established art studios? 

Anna Stump, Daphne Hill and Marshall Vanderhoof moved into a building at 1878 Main Street about four months ago. Other art studios could be found in the back; and many other studios were across the street and for several surrounding blocks. 

This slice of the art scene is an invitation for you to travel to Barrio Logan and discover the arts energy that complements the revitalized community. (Note:  I worked at the Institute of Chicano Urban Affairs in the mid-1970s on Logan Avenue and memories of good friends persist. I even bought my first print out on the street from the artist himself - a self-portrait of Mario Torrero.)

At the back / Artist collective: The Roots Factory

Anna Stump was my guide. She sat comfortably for a moment in the studio she shared with her collaborator Daphne Hill and a fellow artist, photographer Marshall Vanderhoof. We walked out back and chatted with Brandon Roth, painter and sculptor, working on his motorcycle. 

Anna Stump in the studio at 1878 Main Street
Anna Stump chats with Brandon Roth at the back of 1878 Main Street, Ste. F

Before we go across the street and visit some of her neighbors, what is it that Anna, Daphne and Marshall are doing at their studio?

Anna Stump and Daphne Hill do collaborative art pieces. 

Hill&Stump / Oak Tree

Joe Nalven: What have you discovered about your new studio location? Has it opened any doors to you (friends, art-making ideas, living the life)?

Daphne Hill: Our recent move to our new studio in Barrio Logan still feels very new and exciting. Anna, Marshall (our new studio mate) and I hope to connect with other artists in the neighborhood, coordinate open studio events, and really be part of the community. We absolutely love it here!

We are meeting our neighbors little by little, and discovering what’s going on in the area. It’s clearly a lively and wildly creative place. The North Park studios Anna and I shared (we were in two different spaces together for about two years each) had a very different energy – partly because we were on the second floor and could just watch the action from above. It’s a whole new experience being at street level in Barrio Logan. There are lots of colorful people walking by all day – young, old, families, professionals. We see a little of everything from our studio, and it really feels like we’re in the middle of it all.

The flavor and energy of the neighborhood makes it’s way into the studio in many ways. The colors of the murals I see on my way to the studio are so rich and vibrant. I am beginning to see some of the same colors making their way into my work. Anna and I have started a great series of buckles made from the colorful Loteria cards we find at Northgate Market, which is just on the next block. We stock the mini fridge with their tamales, salsa and guacamole, and we always have a huge bag of tortilla chips on hand for snacking. I joke about eating more lard in the past few months than at any other time in my life, but that probably isn’t entirely true. I grew up in the South eating delicious biscuits and pies regularly, so, in truth, I’m probably just getting back to my roots in a rather unexpected way!

It’s those surprising little discoveries and realizations that make this area feel so right. When life and work become formulaic, there is no growth. This is a place for expansive growth. Marshall, Anna and I are expecting big things this year – both in our studio and in our new favorite neighborhood, Barrio Logan.

Hill&Stump / Fire

I asked the same question of Anna Stump and Marshall Vanderhoof.

Anna Stump: Every time I move studios, I take stock of my artistic practice: physically and emotionally. Our new space is much bigger than our old studio: the floorplan is expansive and the ceilings high. It feels like both a serious commitment for major work, and a place to be giddy with creativity.

Because the space is so large, we can make (and store) a lot of work, BIG work. Hill&Stump and Naughty Blonde Redux are in full expansion mode. With my own work, however, it’s too early to tell. I have started paintings on paper that are intimate in scale, and treat political and social issues.

The three of us make a great team. I have never liked the idea that artists are isolated. Our artist neighbors are working every day, and there is energy in the air: construction, trains going by, industry across the street and a school in the next block. Barrio Logan is transforming before our eyes, but it will mostly transform us.

Marshall Vanderhoof: 
As a photographer, sharing a studio with two painters has really inspired me to think about ways to use my photography far beyond just taking and printing images. Sharing a studio has opened doors to meeting many new people in a short time. It has dramatically increased my network of other artists, friends, and has helped keep me focused and inspired on those days where it is just difficult to stay focused on what I want to accomplish.

Marshall Vanderhoof / A View of Barrio Logan

The new neighborhood is amazing. I have spent a lot of time exploring the neighborhood and taking images, something I had never done in the area before. It is a hidden gem and I am very excited to continue exploring more.

Anna and I walked across the street to check out more of her artist neighbors. Heather was new to the area as well and was practicing her Cirque-style acrobatics at the front of the building.

Heather "Silky Smith" Lewis / Acrobatics on Main Street

We walked into The Stronghold and met Bees, one of the organizers of the San Diego Zine Fest.

A very curious breaking up of the space to house art studios, an eerie feeling.

Anna Stump talks to an organizer of ZineFest and a member of The Stronghold

We wandered over to the Glashaus but we were early or late and not many to barge in upon at the moment.

Save the rest for another day .  .  . 

So, who are Hill&Stump and Marshall Vanderhoof?
Marshall Vanderhoof is a fine art urban/landscape photographer based out of San Diego, CA. While Marshall shoots at many different locations, he focuses on the Southern California/San Diego area, hoping to evoke emotion and provide inspiration through his photography.

Daphne Hill and Anna Stump do collaborative paintings. Acrylic color and metallics float between layers of epoxy resin, creating depth and shifting brilliance, with references to Japanese motifs, Rococo foliage, gilt decoration, and Impressionist movement.

Hill&Stump work together in their studio in San Diego, and are represented in Los Angeles by MLA Gallery, and in San Diego by Sonya Sparks Gallery. Ms. Hill earned her MFA from Claremont Graduate University. Ms. Stump, a Senior Fulbright Scholar, earned her MFA at San Diego State University. Both artists teach studio and art history courses in the San Diego Community and the Grossmont/Cuyamaca College Districts. 

Check out these other art spaces in Barrio Logan. All are SD 92113

La Bodega Studios & Gallery (2196 Logan Avenue),
Glashaus Artist Collective Warehouse (1815 Main St.)
The Spot (1835 Main St.)
The Roots Factory (1878 Main St.)
The Bakery (1701, National Ave.)
The Rainforest Art Project (2169 National Ave.)
The Woodbury School of Architecture (2212 Main St.
M.W. Steele Group: Architecture and Planning (1805 Newton Ave.)
Miriello Grafico (1660 Logan Ave.)
The Barrio Warehouse (2161 Main Street)
Chrissie Beavis Design and Fabrication (2070 Logan Ave, Unit B)
A Bridged Gallery (1991 Main St.)
Bread & Salt (1955 Julian Ave)  home to  ICE Gallery, and Art Pulse.
Also check out Set & Drift’s blog for community updates.
Here is a great map produced by Art Pulse.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Janine Free's Street Photography

by Joe Nalven

I enjoy seeing a fellow traveler's street revelations.

Janine Free is showing her new work - from Berlin to Arcata to Tijuana - at Gallery 21 in Spanish Village/Balboa Park.

I cherish the excitement of wandering a city and shooting the life and lives of its denizens.

But what about Janine Free?

Here is what she'll tell you when you visit her show at Gallery 21.
Street Photography to me is Documentary Photography with a sense of humor. It does not have the purpose to inform or demand your sympathy.  It entertains either by being funny or by bringing out the absurdity of what you see in the streets of cities where a high density of people live. 

When you walk the streets, you are an observer, time is in the present and your capacity to see amplifies details that your imagination turns into stories.  Your camera becomes an extension of your state of mind, knowing exactly when all the elements are in place to capture the story.  Interesting stories are rarely simple, they are always in flux and they are made of multi-layered narratives.  That is why I am so attracted to reflections off store windows  and the clues that mannequins, those permanent residents,  give you to help compose and freeze in time a slice of urban life.

I always stay in a city for weeks, until I begin to feel its essence and its place in history. I am satisfied when my photographs can capture the sense of place shaped through time both by the past events and the present. Reflections are the visual vocabulary that I use to make that story heard by the people viewing my images.  Through the humor of Street Photography, in my case portraying mannequins, I invite the viewer to use their imagination to complete the image.

I like to play with forms that challenge our perceptions by capturing ambiguous shifting of the planes of space.  I use the streets as a theater and the mannequins as the actors.



     Date: March 5th - 17th, 2014
     Reception: Saturday March 8; Noon to 4PM 
     Time: 11am to 4pm daily

     Location: Spanish Village, Balboa Park 
     Address: 1770 Village Place; Studio 21 San Diego, CA 92101


San Francisco


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lumen, Shadows, & Chroma = Levine, Mandell & Parnes at Mission Trails Regional Park

by Joe Nalven

Each year Mission Trails Regional Park presents a new group of visual art exhibits ─ sometimes an individual artist, more often an interesting selection of artists.

Dana Levine, Eileen Mandell and Dana Parnes bring together an interesting selection of their photography, playing with aspects of light, shadows and color: Lumen, Shadows & Chroma.

   Lumen, Shadows, & Chroma

   Visitor Center:   1 Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego
   Directions: www.mtrp.org 
   Phone:  619-668-3281

   March 1 through March 28, 9 am - 5 pm
   Artists' reception on March 9 from 1 - 4 pm  

   If you have never visited Mission Trails Regional Park, bring 
   walking shoes and wander the trails.

I wasn't sure exactly how Levine, Mandell and Parnes were using the elements of light, shadows and color in their photography. So, I asked each of them to provide an image from the exhibit and explore their use of lumen, shadows and chroma. Quite an interesting exploration ─ and an invitation to see the show and to walk the trails of the regional park.

Dana Levine 

Dana Levine / Yellow Orchid

Dana Levine:  Yellow Orchid was one of the first botanical images I created in my symmetry series, in which I combine one photograph with its mirror image. The result is a photograph with new shapes and patterns, much more interesting than the original. Here, lumen, or light, softly bathes the cup of the flower and its side yellow leaves. Parts of the background are brightly lit, allowing the flower to come to the front of the picture plane. Green leaves of nearby plants are out of focus; they make shadows of mid to darker tones that let the eye concentrate on the orchid. The flower is a soft lemony yellow against green-gray foliage. Cool yellows and cool greens are chroma of adjacent colors on the color wheel - a very harmonious palette. Symmetry, with an emphasis on lumen, shadows, and chroma, produces a beautiful, appealing photograph of a flower.

Eileen Mandell

Eileen Mandell /  Built for Speed

Eileen Mandell:  Standing in the middle of a canyon with more than a dozen horses barreling down on me was not something I ever thought I would do. It was certainly an experience in trust. As I stood there, leaning into the small bush behind me, I just held my breath and kept clicking away- taking as many photographs as possible as the horses veered to the right and left of me. As this one particular horse came from the shadows into the light, he was moving so fast, and was heading right toward me. I wasn’t certain that he would turn. It was a photographic experience I will never forget. When I finally got a chance to look at the photographs on a large screen, I realized this was the image to best express the strength and speed of all of the horses. I tried to design the details to incorporate that movement. In the moment that the horses passed me by, I didn’t get a chance to look closely at the color, but again, looking back at the photographs, I was amazed at how the camera picked up all the reflected light, and how the colors of the horses was so much more varied than one would think.

These equine photographs express the movement and detail, light, shadow, and color, that I search for in my naturescapes as well.

Dana Parnes

Dana Parnes / Sailing Among the Tall Ships in San Diego (detail)

Dana Parnes:  What an exhilarating way to spend time enjoying the Pacific Ocean. This was a spectacular day for me – to combine two passions: sailing and photography. All under the beautiful San-Diego-Blue sky, which was almost clear this day only a few clouds floating gently above the horizon. The sunlight shining brightly reflected on the water creating a beautiful luminosity on the ocean, which illuminated the shadows and details of the magnificent Star of India and her sister ships. The sails and striking colors of the ship are highlighted creating an almost three-dimensional view and a pure painterly chroma. To experience our local tall ships from the perspective of the sea, as we sailed amongst each other was a magical experience. I was sailing on a friend’s vessel, the Aquamarine II. The wind was perfect and our sails led us peacefully wherever our hearts desired to be. Panoramic Photography is an artistic technique I am focusing on in a current collection. The Maritime Museum of San Diego features a world-class collection of historic vessels.