Sunday, July 26, 2015

Con)Text: Rethinking Language in Art at SDAI

By Patricia Frischer, coordinator, San Diego Visual Arts Network

Con)Text: Rethinking Language in Art at
San Diego Art Institute   opened Sat July 25 at 6 to 8 pm (1439 El Prado, Balboa Park, House of Charm, SD 92101) More info: Marina Grize 619.236.0011

The San Diego Art Institute has gotten lots of press lately and we believe they are hitting their stride with a new mural in the entry and a show featuring local artists who are using text in their art. Ginger Porcella, the director and curator of the show, saw this trend as very strong in the works she saw when she first arrived in San Diego a year ago and this show is the result of her keen eye and ability to gather together a group of talented creatives. 

The new large mural in the entry way is a homage to Balboa Park and also draws on many of the elements we have grown to love in the work of Raul Guerrero. Raul is a SD Art Prize recipient and a well respected established artist in San is work of this caliber that deserves to be showcased in the primary space in Balboa Park for Contemporary Art.  The work depicts a series of couples viewing and seemingly have a dialogue about art.

The second part of the above mural is this cheeky sculpture set in a  window alcove with an additional wall painting. Fishing for Pickles is a stream of conscious

The first work that caught my eye was this glass  piece by Deanne Sabeck. The structure is a thin sheet of glass attached to the wall like a narrow shelf, but the reflection above and below reveals a book and fairy tale story.

Keith Parks is showing  this work called The Plot Thickens which consists of strips of text arranged and photographed. We first saw Keith's work in the Crow show at Studio Door

Perry Vasquez presents this great interactive wall The audience is invited to fill in the words that start WOURD. ie. Would Our Uteri Really Dance and Wizards Only Understand.Rad Dogma. 

This long work by Dani Dodge consists of eye glass lens that have been painted and attached to peg board. Stacks of books are lined up under the work against the wall. Surprisingly this work spring from an incidence when a elementary school librarian told her to read less and get out into the world more.

Dani Dodge detail

Bradley Tsalyuk and Corey Dunlap, I think, steal the show, with the banner suspended with happy face helium balloons. The slogan says, "Don't wish it was easier. Wish you were better."  This pretty much sums up the attitude that SDAI is representing right now. We can all do better art and raise the bar on what we are showing the public.

My personal favorite for this show was this very simple work which sums up my idea of a conceptual art work. Ned Snider gives us this understated image that leaves the imagination full range to be creative. Why does one work affect you more than other. I think it is just a timing issue. Another day would have been another work, but for me I needed to have an outlet for a bit of suppressed rage and this was my enabler.  I walked away smiling.

No not a sculpture or even a photo in the show, but lovely attendees all in a row. Please note: Robin Lipman far left is a new board member of SDAI.

Ann Berchtold and Tom Sergott discussing Art San Diego.

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