Sunday, April 26, 2015

I am in Love with San Diego: Report on ArtWak, Arts Alive at SDMA and SDAI International Show

Mission Federal ArtWalk SDVAN sponsored participation booth with Kristel Boe on Sat/Sun April 25 & 26 11am to 6pm. Her stand is located on the North East corner of Beech and India and the ArtWalk is between Ash and Grape streets in the Little Italy. More info: Sandi Cottrell 6196151090

53rd International Show
continues at San Diego Art Institute (1439 El Prado, Balboa Park, House of Charm, SD 92101) More info: Marina Grize 619.236.0011  

On April 24-26, The San Diego Museum of Art will be transformed by more than 100 floral designers bringing the Museum’s Permanent Collection to life during the 34th annual  Art Alive .   New this year, FIDM will be creating several fashion interpretations of works of art, and artist Chor Boogie will provide special installation artwork for the Bloom Bash kick off party on Friday 4/24.

I seem to be full of the joys of spring. The Jacaranda trees are in full bloom. There was a light breeze and the rain held off and I got to get my exercise walking for a couple of miles through the Art Walk and then over the bridge to the SDMA and SDAI.

Mission Federal ArtWalk SDVAN sponsored participation booth with Kristel Boe 

We have for many years now been sponsoring a participation booth at the Mission Federal ArtWalk. We are lucky to have discovered some wonderful volunteers who invent a project that can be done in a short time and is suitable for both adults and children. This year Kristel Boe did us proud with a foam printing project. She welcomed those to her booth along with the wonderful art walk volunteers and demonstrated how to cut into the foam and then ink it and make a print suitable for a greeting card or a mini art work from the result. Printing on colored paper made for a very festive display as the inks dried. 

Kristel Boe  does a printing participation event for both children and adults

Wonderful Art Walk volunteers

Great street sign
I only had a brief time to visit the rest of the ArtWalk but this sign caught my eye outside one of the many small private galleries that are springing up on the India street. 
The city hall with an avenue of Jacaranda trees and booth after booth of artists. I know that SDAI had a couple of booth at the fair and it was great to see so many organization represented as well as the individual artists.

Jeff Yoeman - one of the featured artists at Art Walk and long time participant and friend of SDVAN.

Gotta love those trees!

53rd International Show
continues at San Diego Art Institute. Many of you may know that I am now on the board of SDAI and we are so excited about the changes that are happening at this revered resource in the middle of Balboa Park. We would like to see it made the best place to see contemporary art in the park and a real hub for artists of all ages. There is a new influx of young artist discovering SDAI for the first time and their energy and enthusiasm is heartening.   The membership is up, the grants are pouring in and this is due to the leadership of the new director Ginger Porcella and her great team. Some were worried about the closing of the north park facility but a lovely grant had made it possible to created the same size teaching space in the back storage room in the park and as you see below, there are also times when work tables are rolled into the gallery space. On Saturdays if you attend the free class even admittance is free.

The view from above of the free Saturday class held in the gallery space at SDAI
But it is also the quality of the art work that is now so impressive. There is still something for everyone and prices are still very affordable but the quality of works seems dramatically to have improved in my opinion. More than 90 people who have sent in testimonials about the changes in the space agree. We have a vast rich variety of art created in our county and I now find that I can see some of the best of the best at SDAI. This is a show juried by David A. Ross  who reviewed nearly 1,000 submissions of artwork. Ross has a 40-year career as an art museum professional and curator. He is currently the Chair of the MFA in Art Practice at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He previously held directorships at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1998-2001), The Whitney Museum of American Art (1991-1998), and The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (1982-1991). He has been involved in the organization and jurying process of major international exhibitions including Documenta, The Venice Biennale, and The Carnegie International to name just a few. I am delighted to say that most of the art accepted was by local artists including those who got the juror's and director's prizes.  I had a very hard time choosing just a few of the works to photograph. This is a show worth seeing in person.
Catherine Burce - porcelain and cedar

Warren Bakley's Beachware

Margaret Noble - Indices of Fear

The actual list of fears by Margaret Noble

Belize Iristay; ceramic and gold leaf

Belize Iristay - Turkish heritage

Hung Viet Nguyen

Arthur Martinez: Break Glass in case of Institutional Racism

Thomas Slager

Michael McCloud

Mark Schmidt
Larry Cavenay: Bat Man

Randy Rosas

Dan Adams

David Russel Talbott

Jane Szabo

Ryder Richards; plaster and velvet

Ryder Richards

The newly arranged gift store that shows art for sale made by artists who are members of SDAI.

The San Diego Museum of Art 34th annual  Art Alive .   I took the opportunity to walk across the Laurel street bridge, a walk I had never done before. I usually park beyond the organ pavilion. So I had a chance to see more jacaranda trees and this charming sculpture. Since I was on my way to the floral interpretation of the works at the SDMA I was struck by this lovely little pan of flowers at the feet of this work.

On majestic tree rise tall into the blue sky.

view from the bridge to the back of the zoo and jungle of palms

New patio furniture now enhanced the experience of the longer just bare concrete. Hurrah.
I have attended Arts Alive many times but I was really stunned by the beauty of the giant arrangement in the rotunda of the museum. Cascades of white bloom...I saw iris and roses but there were many more flanking the corners and rising high into the stairwell. Even if you can't take the time to go see the rest, this has encouraged me each year to at least check out this floral tour de force. 

Some of the art is interpreted quite literally. Other arrangements were abstracted. I found this year that some of the arrangements seems a little heavy handed and others a bit ordinary. But I think without the crowds, then the zen of the experience might have been more genuinely felt. I imagine great care was spent making the decisions of how to relate to the works in all cases and I know this is a very popular event on the annual calendar. I was not allowed to take photos easily or I would have more documentation for you.

Paul Hernandez used his vivid imagination and skills in all sorts of medium to interpret some of the art works in fashion inspired statement.

Jamie Kales floral interpretation

Young Art 2015: Visualizing Music was the real surprise of my visit. Many galleries were turned over to the work of very young artists and the show was fascinating as they were challenges to make visual the audio experience. I was very impressed with the care shown for this display. I only got this one accidental shot as I was again scolded for taking pictures. Evidently I was supposed to be guided through my whole visit by an escort but none was available during this very busy day at the museum.  


Monday, April 20, 2015

Buhm Hong Awarded Digital Art Guild Prize at 2015 SDAI International Exhibit

The 53rd San Diego Art International Exhibition for 2015 awarded Buhm Hong the Digital Art Guild Prize. 

As one walks into the SDAI entryway, about to descend to the lower level gallery, one senses the presence of Hong's memory-like animation on the wall space immediately across the open space.

It is a challenge to present the animation with the ambient lighting. Nevertheless, the imagery tugs at one's curiosity. Here are two samples of the animated flow.

Buhm Hong / Floating Dreams
medium : Cinema 4D, HD projectors, media player, speaker; size : 1920 X 1080 (pixel); date : 2014

Joe Nalven: I imagine that most viewers will stand in amazement, wondering how this video came into being. Would you share your process with the readers?

Buhm Hong: Let me talk about the process of making a video work 'Floating Dreams' briefly. I took photographs of the wallpapers from the houses of redevelopment areas and used for the backgrounds of the video. The lights of window frames were made by a 3D program 'Cinema 4D' that simulates the movements of the lights and the shapes  of the houses.

Thinking of abandoned and vanished towns and houses, I tried to draw the living memories within. I scanned the drawings and through the post productions in computer, they appear and disappear with moving lights. In this exhibition, I projected to a wall of the gallery space. I aimed to show an optical illusion as if the light comes from outside with a constant changes of walls and drawings.

Buhm Hong / Details from animation Floating Dreams

Hong describes his art-video-animation journey: 

"Memories continuously shape our worldview, including our perception of real and imagined spaces. My multidisciplinary practice is an attempt to understand how people accept new and strange places, including the liminal space between “being there” and “being here”. I focus on the origin of consciousness that can connect two disparate yet related places through fragmented, stream-of-consciousness thoughts that gradually form organic structures such as pipes and mirrors. I work across various artistic platforms including video, sculpture, installation, and drawing to express remnants of multi-layered memories that become landscapes of my profound imagination. I create spaces that seem to exist only in our subconscious—places that are simultaneously nostalgic and utterly foreign. I concretize my ideas regarding the structure of memories in the three-dimensional world, often utilizing organic and industrial imagery such as pipes and mirrors, intertwined with labyrinthine elaborateness. The pipes serve as a conduit for the flow of memories, while the mirrors’ poignant reflections constantly change through the shadows of the pipes, forming an infinite loop of faded recollections."

To get a sense of Hong's animation style, visit his Floating Dreams.

Buhm Hong / Artist setting up projector

Also on display at the rear of the gallery is 5 Rooms.

The exhibition was juried by juried by David A. Ross.

Nb. The color variation in the selected details from the animation resulted from the image editing process. Joe Nalven

This article is cross-posted at SDArtReviews.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

North County arts Network meeting at CCAE in Escondido

The second of four 2015 North County Arts Network (NCAN) meetings was held on April 16 at The California Center for the Arts, Escondido ( 340 North Escondido Boulevard, Escondido, CA 92025 ). The honorary NCAN host was Jerry Van Leeuwen, the Executive Director of CCAE and all 110 participants were treated to wonderful food and drink by this gracious supporter of north county arts.

Daniel Foster made introductions and explanations as there were many new people attending this event. NCAN aims to strengthen the arts organizations and communities of North County San Diego and beyond through convening, networking, and strategic/collaborative approaches that will produce leveraged impact for arts and culture in the region. The goals for this evenings meeting is to discuss the purpose and forming structure for NCAN, map and survey our NCAN community and priorities, create dialogue and discussion with all attendees, and provide excellent informal networking opportunities to build relationships and sense of community.

A panel facilitated by Leah Goodwin, Education Partnerships, CCAE had in put to help define the need for this newly formed organization from Jim Gilliam, Arts Administrator, City of Encinitas , Jacquelyn Kilpatrick , Director, School of Arts, CSUSM, Vincent Kitch, Cultural Arts Manager, City of Carlsbad and Wendy Wilson , Executive Director, Escondido Arts Partnership.

There were five break out groups after the panel. I was one of the facilitators for the first group Marketing, Membership, and Development Group with Erin Decker, Sr. Associate Dir. of Development, La Jolla Playhouse. Alexandra Kritchevsky, Grants Manager, La Jolla Playhouse was our secretary and will be presenting full notes as will the other four groups. I hope to post those results in the future.

We started with a brief statement about how the three topics were related: Marketing gets people in. Membership makes them want to stay in and Development turns members into supporters. NCAN is all about coming together and that implies collaborations, so collaboration was a big part of our discussion. We discussed sharing an understanding of our audience and the importance of clarity of our message. I have outlined below just a few of the strategies that were discussed.
  • Marketing strategies
    Online networks
    Best practices in marketing strategies
    Cross collaborative events/programs jointly marketed
    Shared ad space
    Potential shared database of North County arts patrons
    Splitting the cost of market research
  • Membership strategies
    Joint membership privileges
    Discounts for members at for profit services and shops
    Best practices in membership growth and involvement
  • Development strategies
    Joint grants applications (NEA, etc)
    Joint fundraising events for collaborative programs
I found that five breakout groups were not enough for 110 people and the number of people in our group (over 30) made it more difficult to really know the participants. If we intend to do any real projects together, we need to get to know and trust each other. So I am hoping for no panel and smaller groups at the next session which will be held at the Lux Institute on July 16. We might also need to have a separate pre-event for first timers so they are familiar with NCAN and what we are trying to achieve. I see NCAN very much as a pilot program for other parts of the county. If we can make it work in the north and invite others to form their arts network, we can eventually all join together to form an official SD County Arts Council.
The most exciting aspect for me was to encourage some new brave initiatives that might fail but if they succeed will raise all boats on the tide. Sometimes you need the support and help of your colleagues to make this kind of leap of faith.

The four other groups were:
Visual Arts Programming Group
Wendy Wilson, Executive Director, Escondido Arts Partnership
Daniel Foster, Executive Director, OMA
Raziah Roushan, Dir. of Marketing, OMA (Secretary)

Performing Arts Programming Group
Christy Yael, Intrepid Shakespeare Company
Riley Carbonneau, Dir. of Performing Arts, CCAE
Jennifer Pena, CCAE (Secretary)

Civic / Municipal Arts Group
Jim Gilliam, Arts Administrator, City of Encinitas
Vincent Kitch, Cultural Arts Manager, City of Carlsbad
Naomi Nussbaum, Executive Director, Synergy Art Foundation (Secretary)

Arts Education Group
Leah Goodwin, Education Partnerships, CCAE
Merryl Goldberg, Professor, School of Arts, CSU San Marcos
Kirsten Vega, Education Coordinator, CCAE (Secretary)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Helen Redman's 'Lifelines' Retrospective Exhibition Begins at the Womens Museum San Diego April 23rd

Helen Redman: Lifelines
Mesa College, San Diego CA
Article by Cathy Breslaw
Helen Redman   Mesa College, San Diego   (drawings on wood in background)

 “A mother speaks to her children through generations”. 
This quote by Terry Tempest Williams printed on the first page of Helen Redman’s catalog ‘Lifelines’, describes the essence of Redman’s work as an artist. Redman’s art is courageously expressed through the lens of herself in relationship to motherhood and grandmother-hood. Rather than hiding her gender as many female artists of her generation have done, Redman faces it all head-on. Both her identity and life challenges as a woman and mother take central stage in her paintings and drawings in this retrospective exhibition. For Redman, her role as an artist is inextricably linked to her family as she documents the stages of pregnancy, birth, grief from the death of a child, and the growth of her children and grandchildren at various points into adulthood. Redman began her ‘Lifeline’ series in the early 1960’s.  Her realistic but expressionistic style of drawing and painting have remained consistent throughout the years. Her use of color, form, shape and patterns provide us with direct clues about how Redman was feeling and thinking at any particular point in time each work was created. Using a range of materials – pen and ink, oil pastel, acrylic and oil paint and mixed media, on surfaces ranging from paper, canvas, to wood, Redman’s figurative works also tackle the female through stages of menopause and aging. Though Redman’s work has connections to female painters like Frieda Kahlo and Alice Neel, Redman’s work is more intimate and personal. ‘Lifelines’ is a life-chronicle that along with her family who are fortunate enough to have their lives documented in such a personal way, we can appreciate and perhaps see some of ourselves mirrored in the process. ‘Lifelines’ closes at Mesa College on April 14th but moves on to the Womens’ Museum in San Diego and is on view from April 23- May 31st.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

2014 SD Art Prize winners in La Jolla

by Lonnie Burstein Hewitt with Photos by Maurice Hewitt 
first published in the La Jolla Light

Marianela de la Hoz and Bhavna Mehta, with Marianela’s portrait of Bhavna, which she gave her as a gift. Behind them is one of their two collaborative pieces, ‘Joy is a long-term project.’ Maurice Hewitt
For the past nine years, the San Diego Art Prize, funded by San Diego Visual Arts Network, has been awarded annually to two established artists, each of whom gets to choose an emerging artist to also receive the award.

The Art Prize committee, including Patricia Frischer of SDVAN, Ann Berchtold of Art San Diego, art collector Debra Poteet and Erika Torri, executive director of the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, choose winners from a list of nominees by visual arts professionals and former Art Prize recipients. By the end of 2015, they will have distributed $56,000 in awards to 36 artists.

Recent artworks by 2014 prize-winners, established artists Marianela de la Hoz and Philipp Scholz Rittermann and their handpicked mentees, Bhavna Mehta and Joseph Huppert, are on view at the Athenaeum through May 2.

This year, for the first time, there are collaborative works by the two pairs of artists — photographic installations by Rittermann and Huppert, and two beautifully cut, drawn and embroidered paper pieces by de la Hoz and Mehta.

La Jollans may be familiar with Rittermann’s work: his large-scale photographs of China’s Grand Canal were shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2011, and in 2013, with Robert Irwin, he co-created La Jolla Mural No. 12 (‘The Real Deal’ in the parking lot of the former Jonathan’s Market). Huppert has been Irwin’s assistant since 2007, and is now working with Rittermann on new outdoor art “interventions.”

Their curving, translucent, near-lifesize, photographic portrayal of the Athenaeum’s interior is a space-transforming eye-catcher. But there’s a special attraction to the small-scale pieces on display — the surreal drawings and paintings of de la Hoz, who combines a contemporary, darkly mischievous sense of humor with painstaking medieval technique, and the intricate, cut-paper constructions of Mehta, who puts her own, very personal spin on Indian folk art.
“I draw with a knife, cutting paper to tell visual stories,” Mehta said. “My work is based on the idea that everything is connected.”

At the March 27 reception, hundreds of art-lovers seemed to feel the connection, as they gathered to celebrate the winners and their work. Patricia Frischer announced the 2015 prizewinners: Wendy Maruyama and Roy McMakin.

Patricia Frischer, founder and coordinator of San Diego Visual Arts Network, at the March 27 reception for the 2014 Art Prize recipients Maurice Hewitt

Coop’ Cooprider, Robin Lipman, Kami and Patti Cooprider with Bhavna Mehta’s ‘How We Remember’ Maurice Hewitt
Max Nanis and Megan Blewett inside the Athenaeum Collaboration Maurice Hewitt

Naomi Nussbaum and Irene de Watteville with Bhavna Mehta’s colorful shadow boxes Maurice Hewitt

Robert Irwin joined Aurora and Philipp Scholz Rittermann inside the curving, translucent, photographic portrayal of the Athenaeum’s interior, a collaborative work by Rittermann and Joseph Huppert. Maurice Hewitt

Gallerists Tom Noel and Larry Baza with pieces by de la Hoz and Mehta, whom they represent Maurice Hewitt