Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Priest, A Rabbi and an art Critic walk into an Art Gallery....

A Priest, A Rabbi and an art Critic walk into an Art Gallery....: Varieties on Truth, Beauty and Art
A Panel Moderated by Kinsee Morlan with Reverend Eleanor Ellsworth, Rabbi Lenore Bohm and Robert Pincus.

an exhibition of new work by Vicki Walsh and premiering portraits by 6 emerging artists... 
Karen Cohn + Carole Dowling + Gisela Gebling + Olga Griesinger + Kassie Mattia + Sheryl White
Exhibition Dates 
July 5 - EXTENDED TO Aug 5
Saturdays and Sundays, 12:00 – 4:00pm, or by appointment
Opportunity Gallery
NTC at Liberty Station
2825 Dewey Rd, Building 202, Suite 103
San Diego, CA 92106

Left to right: Kaz Maslanka, Rabbi Bohm, Vicki, Revenend Ellsworth, Tom Sergott, Robert Pincus

We loved the title of this panel discussion and I was delighted to see such a great turn-out on the night. I was especially thrilled to see Robert Pincus as I had a nightmare about him recently and he was on great form and very entertaining. Isn’t it strange how you dream about something you must do and I guess I was slated to remember to attend this event, which we had to sandwich in between two other fun art promotions…the Art Expo 2014 and South Park Walk About. You can read Mark Murphy's ArtExpo 2014, my Picked RAW Peeled report. The South Park Walk About was a crowded, frenzy of young families who were basking in the sounds of at least three bands that I counted and a variety of food trucks, arts and crafts. Very happening and still going strong when we left at 9:30 pm. Watch for the next one on Oct 4. We met up with former education director of the San Diego Art Institute Stephen Wagner who was promoting his printed scenes of San Diego. Stephen now runs the ARC Galleries and Studios in San Francisco.

Vicki Walsh arranged this evening at NTC at Liberty Station in the new Opportunity Gallery which can be rented on a month to month basis until the New American Museum moves back into the space. You may remember NAM started in this location which was then occupied by Pulse Gallery before they move south and then closed.  Our lack of sustainable galleries makes it vital that artist take this kind of initiative to show their work.

Vicki is showing her incredible intense painting with the subject of faces and she also invited six of her students to show works along side. Three members of the audience that I knew were also subjects of these art works: Robin Lipman, Debra Poteet and Patti Cooprider.


The panel was Vicki’s idea to explore concepts of truth and beauty in art and Kinsee Morlan very professionally navigated the three speakers into this direction. Here are a few of the notes that I took. I noticed that there were sound bites at every turn. Maybe that is because Reverends and Rabbis do a lot of public speaking. These are not exact quotes and you had to be there make your own interpretation of the context.

Reverend Eleanor Ellsworth
We don’t know it all.
Art is not what is always beautiful, but also what is meaningful.
Inter faith is based on respect
People seek the structure of religion
Religion has long been a patron of the arts

Rabbi Lenore Bohm
What is good is beautiful. Truth is beautiful.
We are humble about our knowledge but impassioned about the worth of art
Art does not always need to be meaningful. Sometimes it can just reflect the beauty of the world.
Jews do not make any icons of God.
A benefit of pluralism is that it is a sign of fences coming down.
Religion can be a lens to see the work, just as art can.
Art is a noble calling and those who seek to be artists should go for it with passion.

Robert Pincus
Nothing is objective, every thing is subjective.
The printed word validates opinion. (could this change in the digital age?)
Successful art needs to succeed on its own terms
Art is not therapy
Art has the rigor of form that a trained eye can judge
A successful artists is one that makes art worth seeing

Kinsee Morlan
I am a journalist and I have noticed that people appear to crave opinion from experts.

Art is about communication.
I don’t want a portrait of a stranger in my home. I see too many strangers day in and day out.
Art offers structure without boundaries

I remember a comment from a friend of ours who is a theater and movie critic. I was going to mention this on the night, but there was so much good discussion, it just did not seem necessary but this might be a fitting end to this article.

He said he makes judgments based on three factors:
Does the artist have something to say?
If so, was that worth saying?
Did he say it well?

I stopped in briefly in two other NTC Liberty Station exhibitions:

ROCKIN' THE BOAT: The Women's Liberation Movement of the 60s and 70s at the Women's Museum of California until August 31

Aida Valencia is showing her own sculptures at Valencia Gallery along with the painting of Lourdes Rivera 

Quilt National at Oceanside Museum of Art

Quilt National
Reception Aug 9, 6-8 pm
Show from Sat. July 24 to Nov 30
Oceanside Museum of Art
704 Pier View Way, Oceanside,92054
Danielle Susalla760-435-3721

There is no doubt that is show is of the highest skill level of quilting and each quilt is a painting using cloth and thread as opposed to a covering for a bed. It appears to be highly selected with just the best of the best on display. There is a large selection of works that are made from fabric printed by the artist which is becoming more and more common. Those works now have to make an extra effort as the thrill of the new is now waning. As the medium becomes more accepted as fine art, the challenge is to compete at the same level as painting. Some do this, some are simply tour de force of technique. 

Rachel Brumer

Miriam Nathen-Roberts

Sany Gregg

Paula Kovarik

Paula Kovarik details

Leslie A. Hall - this quilt says " It is my imagination or is having a sense of irony in short supply right now."  How fitting that you can see this show at OMA at the same time as the
Spitting In The Wind: Art From the End of the Line exhibition of conceptual works in the next gallery

Spitting In The Wind: Art From the End of the Line by Richard Allen Morris, John Baldessari, Bob Matheny and Russell Baldwin

Spitting In The Wind: Art From the End of the Line by Richard Allen Morris, John Baldessari, Bob Matheny and Russell Baldwin
Until to Nov 2
Reception Aug 9, 6-8 pm
Oceanside Museum of Art
704 Pier View Way, Oceanside,92054
Danielle Susalla760-435-3721 

This not to be missed exhibition show cases the work of four gentlemen who knew each other and shared an obvious interest for stretching the boundaries of art in the late 1950, 60 and early 70's . This was the pivot time for John Baldessari when he burned all previous work and declared "I will not make any boring art" and he made the image of those words the art.

I am familiar with most of the work of Johnn Baldessari having seen a massive show in London and a very nice retrospective at MCASD.  I am a huge fan of his and of Richard Allen Morris. He was one of our SD Art Prize recipients and is well know in Germany as well as in San Diego. I have seen a few of Bob Matheny's works but was really impressed with the great work on display in this show. They all have a sense of humor of the cynical variety and it is easy to imagine them knocking back a few and just having fun. I was especially please to learn about the art of Russell Baldwin as he was a stranger to me until this show, sad to say.  But now I am keen on them all and will watch for other shows of their art. Congratulation to the OMA for putting this mix together. Like all of the best curated shows, it seems obvious but no one did it before. 

Go see it, laugh and be amazed. 

John Baldessari documents the burning of his art

The Baldesarri on the left and the Richard Allen Morris on the right show work that survived the burn held in private or gallery collections.

Richard Allen Morris uses a squished paint tube as a reclining figure in this tiny perfect work



Richard Allen Morris

Russell Baldwin - this is a rift on the Baldessari word works, but Baldwin adds the visual word play.

Balwin detail of above

Russel Baldwin, detail of above

Ruseell Baldwin - art is all over "Heck, I can't even draw a straight line with a ruler."

Balwin detail, soft ruler

Balwin and Morris with surfaces that are yummy.
Balwin, this sparkle painting is also an early surface obsessed work

Bob Matheny - plaster, pigment and a real pail

Mathey, this is a ceramic cast of a tire wheel in ceramic that was used as an award for a spot landing contest. It says BEST at the bottom.

Matheny - I adore these book ends that are made from marble and that old black and pink foam rubber padding that so resembles it. On display in the case it was hard to even tell them apart.

Matheny - a whole set of artifact that play with words

Bob Matheny: Quote on palate - "For every photography who clamors to make it as an artist, there is an artist running the grave risk of becoming a photography. Foote.  AND this was in 1972

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mark Murphy's ArtExpo 2014

by Patricia Frischer

Thurs. July 24 to Sat.July 26
Wonderbread Factory
171 14th Street, SD 92101
More info: Mark Murphy  619.743.0405

Mark Murphy is a brave, brave man. As long as I have known him, he has supported local artists by publishing their books and giving them a space to show. With the advent of ArtExpo he brings a much needed venue to visual artists in San Diego during Comic Con. Yes, it is the first year of what I hope grows into a very special adjunct to that annual event. 

What you may not know, is this event was managed with the help of his students at the New School  at the Wonderbread Factory where he teaches design. Mark and his small team of students, not only made the array of posters to advertise the show (two of my favorites are below). He also turned the classroom in exhibition space which entails major wall repair, paint and lights.  The school, like all schools, puts certain restriction in place, so Mark did not have a totally free hand. That makes what he achieved even more special.

Mark hand picked all the artists and artisans showing at ArtExpo. So this is a curated show. I can see it expanding to booths for emerging galleries and small publication as well as  art associations. We see a selection of some of our favorite artists on view and it is a joy to see their new work. Some like Pamela Jaeger and Debby and Larry Kline are SD Art Prize recipients. 
Pamela Jaeger

Pamela Jaeger

Larry and Debby Kline

Larry and Debby Kline
 Other have or will show in the New Contemporaries exhibitions.
John Purlia

Hill and Stump

Larry Caveney

Larry Caveney

Joshua Krause

Joshua Krause

Sean Brennan
Cathie Bleck

Bonnie Marie Smith

Bonnie Marie Smith

Tasha Kusama

Nicole Waszak

And there is a selection of artists, all women, whose work I have never seen. I was impressed with Nicole Waszak, Tasha Kusama, and Bonnie Marie Smith. 

Congratulations to Mark. He came close to his goal of 3000 people for the three days. For a first year, this was a good beginning. And to have the courage to create an event like this is very noble.