Wednesday, May 17, 2017

SDVAN project SD Art Prize at the Athenaeum

by Patricia Frischer

The San Diego Visual Arts Network ipresents the artists recipients of the  San Diego Art Prize 2016 in an exhibition Displacement | Replacement.  The established artist Irma Sofia Poeter with emerging artist Shinpei Takedaand established artist Richard Keely with emerging artist William Feeney  will being showing at Athenaeum Music & Arts Library from May 13 to  June 10, 2017, Art Notes by Melinda Chiment, executive director, The AJA Project, Norma Iglesias-Prieto, Professor at San Diego State University and Researcher at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Jim Ruland, writer, Neil Kendricks, artist and filmmaker are available in the 2016 SD Art Prize Catalog.
Athenaeum Music & Arts Library
 1008 Wall St. La Jolla, 92037
More 858.454.5872

The SD Art Prize is an award for excellence and for this particular prize, we choose two emerging artists and ask them to choose two established artists to join them in an exhibition. Sometimes the work relates, sometimes the artists even collaborate with each other. Walking into this exhibition was an extravagance of individual riches. 

This year William Feeney and Richard Keely clicked and although they did not show the products of that collaboration yet, we have been told it is forthcoming. Keely says that the combination of Feeney's expert skills intrigue him as his work has been more of the rough and ready type of construction. The three works of Keely's below utilize concrete as a medium as he is exploring an architecture's material on his way to a residency in Japan. The works are all about a contained space, an intriguing pocket of air that is imagined more than seen. In fact, you struggle to see inside these works at all. That creates a mystery. I particularly like these works as they let my imagination work overtime. 

Richard Keely

Richard Keely

Richard Keely
This series of Keely's works relates more to Shinpei Takeda's piece below. He describes it as the rib on the hull of a boat. The structure of thousands of strands does seem to contain a space, but it is high up and appears to be an enclosed work.  But this work also displaces the air in the room, like a boat displaces the water it occupies. The letters on the outside seem to need to be deciphered. They are perhaps a cry for help and a clue to further meaning.
Shinpei Takeda

Shinpei Takeda - a small metal model reminiscent  of some of some of his other large stranded works.
Shinpei choose Irma Sofia Poeter and these two artists both use soft fabric materials, but their themes are quite different. In this very large work below, Poeter started with a sort of ink blot fold to create a balanced duplicate side to side. She populated this with a rich embroidered menagerie and sequined patches. This creates a tree of life that is a delight and represents a positive ecology that is flourishing. You can see evidence of this in the smiling  picture of health of her family celebrating at the opening. This detailed art work needs to be seen to be appreciated. The works by the three men in the show use muted colors, but Poeter jolts us awake with this pop of color and joy. 
Irma Sofia Poeter

Irma Sofia Poeter
I was immediately drawn to what I thought was a hairy fish by William Feeney.  I am always attracted to his work and enriched by talking to him about it. This is a hand carved wooden female sperm whale. You can see the fearsome teeth of this predator but look more closely and from profile and then from underneath you see human female breasts. Then what you thought was some sort of hair, are actually harpoons scaled to size. Feeney was inspired by the Moby Dick tale. He titled this work 2016 and says it represents the political will of women, fiercely swimming forward no matter has much it is attacked. I take off my pink pussy hat to William Feeney. 
William Feeney

William Feeney

William Feeney -  the self amplified  voice of  a self serving speaker

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cultural Districts: OMA and Barrio Logan plus Passport to the Silk Road

by Patricia Frischer

The California Arts Council has chosen semi-finalist for the California Cultural Districts pilot program throughout the state. Three areas in SD made it including Oceanside, Barrio Logan and Balboa Park. 

I attended the presentation in Oceanside at the Oceanside Museum of Art and the chair of the commission for art Ann Worth put on a very impressive package showcasing the area's arts. Maria Mingalone spoke elegantly about the communities need for one unified factor that this designation could supply. Oceanside is a diverse city where 14% of the population lives below the poverty level. It has an excellent transportation system, wonderful cultural assets. But most important it offers opportunities for growth because of empty building, under used parking lots and a pier that could be activated for the arts. It is important for the community to stay authentic and real and not a theme park version of culture. The CAC representative asked searching questions to access the local situation and did a tour of the proposed district.  

Maria Mingalone

Ann Worth

CAC accessors
Later that week I did my own little walk about in Barrio Logan with Marla Mossman the photography famous for documenting the Silk Road in her Peace Caravan project.  I was impressed as ever with the wonderful murals and wall art. Hopefully a Cultural District designation will help contain the fear that the area will become gentrified. It would be progress if American Mexicans and Mexican American can live in harmony in Barrio Logan, and this might start if  muralist, taggers, scripters and panel painters can fine some common respect. 

While in Barrio Logan,  I was lucky to be at the first of Ted Washington's new speaker series held at La Bodega. Palabra is every second and fourth Thursday from 7 to 8:30. His first guest was Jim Ruland, designer and author who also has a local shop Godondrina. Jim is one of the writers and nominators for the San Diego Art Prize 2016 and 2017 New ContemporariesHis reading was charming, funny and sexy, just like his shoes!

Marla Mossman's photos were shown Passport to the Silk Road held by the Encinitas Friends of the Arts at the Community Center. This is one of a series put on by the charming and inspirational leader Naimeh Tahna. 
Marla making  a short presentation

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Reuse Recreate Reimagine, Second Time Around: The Hubcap as Art at CCAE

By Patricia Frischer

Larry and Debby Kline, the Alchemist and his Junks. 

This is the third time I have seen the oversized "The Alchemist and his Junks" by Larry and Debbie Kline and this time he is given a proper home and space to breath in the exhibition Reuse Recreate Reimagine from April 8  and extended to May 28 at California Center for the Arts Museum (340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025 Gallery hours: Thurs – Sat: 10AM – 5PM Sun: 1PM – 5PM) 

The show not only includes work by Cheryl Nickel, Betty Guttin and features Federico Uribe, and old friend but newly minted artist Mark Title, it is also paired with Second Time Around: The Hubcap as Art. This collection of re-imagined hubcaps is a choice of the best from Landfillart.Inc a project out of Philadelphia but includes a selection of our own David Avolos's work. 

No recycled themed show would be complete without work from students and Sherri LaPorte did a great job of helping students make fused glass medallions which became the center star of their hand painted hubcaps. A corridor of these proved that the sum is greater than the parts. 

But it was the work on the Student Gallery Wall, a space dedicated to showcasing the work of Escondido’s students, where I found the most delight in the cardboard portraits. This is only a small taste of the work in these exhibitions. 

CCAE is one of the very best spaces to show in Southern California and you still have time to support the museum which has struggled to stay open. Now under the leadership again of Leah Goodwin, it is looking it's best again. We understand Larry and Debby Kline stepped in when a curator dropped out for the Reuse Recreate Reimagine and they did a stunning job of pulling together an exciting group of artists in this museum level exhibition. 

It was wonderful to see all the junks surrounding the Alchemist including stunning drawings and beautiful sculptures in this installation by Larry and Debby Kline. (SD Art Prize recipient).

Roberto Salas took rubber soled shoes and made them into stamps like lino blocks and then appears to have walked them into wall paper.

Roberto Salas 

Roberto Salas 

This was the first time I have seen so much of the work of Cheryl Nickel's all in one place. She has been working with leftover medical devices and this re-imagined wheel chairs, as a rickshaw with crutches is glamorous and clever. 

Taking a portable pottie  and elevating it to a honored sedan chair could be suitable for the emperor with no clothes. Thanks for the laugh, Cheryl Nickel.

A test tube delight from Cheryl Nickel

More test tubes and crutches from Cheryl Nickel to light up our lives. 

Becky Guttin has been working with recycled materials since she used stale tortillas from her husband's factory. 

Close up of Becky Guttin's  giant bracelet and earrings

Mark Title uses glass and light in his inaugural museum exhibition. 

My favorite Uribe is this one made of telephone wire

Uribe made of all used books

Uribe with colored pencils cut into various lengths. 

Mustang Sally by Kevin Carson called out to me in the Hubcap part of the exhibitions. 

The best of the painted hubcaps has to be this self portrait by Robert Beck

Susan van Blanken with her glass mosaics transformed and hide the hubcap. Maybe not showing off the recycledness of the show but so pretty and so well done. 

David Avolos was the highlight of the Hubcap show, really elevating  and intergrating the hubcaps into the compositions. 

Hubcaps like punctuation  marks on the wall. 

close up of one of my favorites by student Jade Vanderwarker age 12

Recycled cardboard portraits: Julian Pena age 13

Leslie Hernandez age 14

Ana Valdez age 14

Oscar Cornajo age 12

Brianna Reyes age 13

 My last choice is a mother's day gift of art for all my readers from Angel Palmer. 

Angel Palmer is 18 and in grade 12. He did not a portrait not just of himself but of a women like his mom. He said, "She cared, pushed me to do my best and never gave up."