After a 2 year hiatus with the departure of Mark Elliott Lugo, the Pacific Beach Taylor Library began anew with its having substantial art exhibits. The first exhibit was West Coast Drawing that ended on May 9th.
The Digital Art Guild has followed up with a juried exhibit. Filters and Masks that runs through July 31st.
The exhibit catalog is available online and in hardcover. (Nb. The percentage of art exhibits that document the show is low. The Digital Art Guild has made a dedicated effort to document many of its exhibits: To Send Light Into the Darkness, Cross-Pollination, Homage, and Urban Legends and Country Tales.)
Unity of Theme / Diversity of Aesthetic
One path to crafting an art show is to allow each artist to select their own work (with or without a juried or curated process). Another path is to propose a theme. Often, the theme is simply a veneer for marketing purposes. At other times, the artists seek a meaningful connection with the proposed exhibit's theme. Given the ingenuity of individuals, such connections make for wonderful surprises for the audience as well as for the other artists in the exhibit.
This exhibit is abundant in surprise. Part of the surprise can be found in the dual level of thinking required for contemporary art in digital media.
Parenthetically, the same could be said for the innovators of earlier art genres -- impressionism, pointillism, cubism and the like. It might be heretical for one to opine that this is less true for those plying those same paths; after all, there has been an acceptance of these aesthetics. At the inception of these genres, artists and their critics engaged in pitched verbal battles of how art ought to be done. Now it is hard to imagine a criticism, 'that would have been good except that it is an impressionistic painting.'
Perhaps it is not so much the style so much as the toolsets. Digital toolsets often result in precise imagery. Is that a 'bad' thing? I recall Mark Elliott Lugo saying at a meeting in preparation for the first SIGGRAPH art exhibit in San Diego (2003) that digital art looked "too highly rendered."
Consider the art work below of Dolores Glover Kaufman, Michael Sussna and Henry Heerschap. There is an aspect of perfection in the lines, color and texture of these images compared to the messiness of paintings or pastels (see the work below of Kira Carrillo Corser and Lee Zasloff).
This objection is becoming increasingly passé, especially as some venues embrace the reality of digital media. This is especially true in photography, less so in painting.
The theme of the exhibit plays upon the social and cultural reality of how are perceptions filter what we see, hear, taste, smell and touch and how we and others wear masks that disguise our thoughts and attitudes. At the same time, digital media employs tools that are called masks and filters, as well as other tools that transform, adjust color in spectacular ways, allow for multiple layers of varying opacity, and the like. For those artists employing digital media, the dual layered meaning offers more than the traditional palette.
A Sampling of the Participating Artists
|Kira Carrillo Corser / The Music Beneath the Mask|
|Michael Sussna / Purple Mountain Majesty|
|Dolores Glover Kaufman / Anybody’s Guess|
|Henry Heerschap / Spherical Union|
|Lee Zasloff / Sort Of Close Friends|
Ron Belanger, Charlie Anne Breese, Kira Corser, Celia Durand, Joan Everds, Ursula Freer, Henry Heerschap, Valerie Samuel Henderson, Kris Hodson Moore, Dolores Glover Kaufman, Marc Kitaen, Kat Larsen, Beverly LaRock, Kaz Maslanka, Joe Nalven, Sfona Pelah, Jill Rowe, Renata Spiazzi, Mel Strawn, Michael Sussna, Pasha Turley, John Valois, Michael Wright, Lee Zasloff,
The juror for the exhibit is Chantel Paul, a curator at the Museum of Photographic Arts.
|Reception at the PB Taylor Library Art Room Photo Credit: Ron Belanger|
Mark Elliott Lugo, former art critic with the Evening Tribune, began the well-respected art exhibits at the Pacific Beach Earl & Birdie Taylor Library (now simply, the Taylor Library) in 1997. He worked on the elements of the art gallery at the new downtown San Diego Public Library before retiring in 2012.
Christina Wainwright, the Taylor Branch manager, has been coordinating these new exhibits until the central library creates a centralized application process for this and all other library branches.
Note: Joe Nalven is a founding member of the Digital Art Guild and a participant in this exhibit.