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 

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