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.

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