Sunday, March 26, 2017

Passing on a legacy

by Patricia Frischer

The passing of a loved one also means the passing of possessions. Yes, that means photos and china, glass and silver, but in my case it means the transfer of a collection of well chosen art works that were cherishes by those in my family who acquired them. 

As an artist myself, I have a visceral attraction to certain works. The feeling of their surfaces, their design and my imagined meanings of these objects are sacred to me. I feel the treasures are entrusted to me for my lifetime and hope they will always find a home as honored as the one I intend to give them. 

I think I feel  so intensely about this aspect of memorializing family because my whole life is about the visual arts. I hope to raise money to sponsor a public art mural of some kind in honor of my mother and father and eventually I would like to show the these pieces, which include pre-columbian ceramics, wooden African artifacts and contemporary works.  

My mother's ashes will be scattered on the ocean after she serves her final wish giving her body to science. But these things of beauty and her short stewardship of them continue to give me great pleasure and will be a pleasure for generations in the future. 

My mother Florence was a great supporter of SDVAN. She proofed many of my articles for years and encouraged me in this project. She even left a mention in her will that if all of her children and descendant were to pass before her, then her worldly good would go to the non-profit SDVAN.

Florence Meyerson Frischer, age 96, passed away on March 5, 2017 in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California. Florence was born on June 28, 1920, in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  She was the daughter of Mary Falk and Herman Meyerson.  She was married to George K. Frischer for 34 years until his death in 1976.  She lived in Kansas City, Missouri, during her marriage, and later moved to Cathedral City, California. Florence attended Abraham Lincoln High School and the University of Nebraska, where she was a member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority.  She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and her sisters Mildred, Gwendolyn, and Pearl. She is survived by her daughters Dion Frischer (husband Robert De Young) and Patricia Frischer (husband Darwin Slindee), and by her granddaughter Marissa Frischer Sisk (husband Joseph Sisk), as well as by many nieces and nephews and friends.  Florence had a passion for golf, the French language, cooking and entertaining, bridge, mah jongg, and watching NFL football. She dedicated many hours to volunteering at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert in Rancho Mirage, California, and created there an innovative donation program. Florence was an intelligent, generous, and lively woman, who taught us to live and love well. The family wishes to thank the caring and compassionate staff and caregivers at Belmont Village, Cardiff, California.  Florence donated her body for medical purposes to the University of California at San Diego Medical School.  The family requests that any memorial contributions be made to the San Diego Visual Arts Network.

Michelle Montjoy at OMA

by Patricia Frischer

Oceanside artist Michelle Montjoy and Oceanside Museum of Art  were selected as one of five recipients of a Creative Catalyst grant from the San Diego Foundation in 2016. 

"Her exhibition River is the re-imagining of traditional techniques and attitudes of knitting into a contemporary role that connects communities through comfort, inspiration and empowerment. Over a six month period hundreds of community members contributed to the project by knitting with used t-shirt material on large, handbuilt table top looms. These resulting abstract fabric forms embrace the connection, fluidity, and vitality of the many hands of the community involved. Not nostalgic or sentimental, the artwork is a translation of domestic form to cultural object. It is a retro-revolutionary approach to engagement and art making."

Each person while participating is documented and video recording are on view of the whole process. All the energy of creation is thus caught, one stitch and one moment at a time to make these shapes become more than a sculptural objects, really a true focus of spirit.  

River is funded by a grant from the Creative Catalyst Fund of The San Diego Foundation. Montjoy is also the current artist in residence at Art Produce Gallery and Garden in North Park and is one of the 13 emerging artists (10 of which are women) nominated for the SD Art Prize. Her work will be shown at  at basileIE + CMCuratorial from Sat June 3 to Aug 5. Her show at OMA opening March 25 and is showing until July 9th. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Intergalactic Dreaming Exhibition Opens at San Diego International Airport

All images of Irene de Watteville's  Art can be viewed at the new west terminal in baggage claim.

Airport-wide display inspired by space exploration and the cosmos
San Diego International Airport (SAN) has unveiled Intergalactic Dreaming; the Airport Arts Program’s 2017 temporary exhibition. This year’s exhibition explores notions of celestial phenomena and astronomy, and uses past, present, and speculative depictions of the galaxy and space travel as inspiration. 
“A key goal of the airport’s Arts Program is to find creative ways to showcase the talent and cultural community of San Diego, and one way we accomplish that is through our temporary exhibitions program,” said Thella F. Bowens, President/CEO of the Airport Authority. “By highlighting collections and original artwork developed around a relevant theme, travelers and visitors through SAN are taken on a unique visual journey.”
The year-long exhibition features 15 distinct installations displayed throughout the airport by 15 different artists and organizations, including: Irene De Watteville; Adriene Hughes; Don Porcella; student artists from Southwestern College; Joshua Krause; Carolina Montejo; artists working with NASA/JPL-Caltech; objects from renowned science fiction collector, Edward Marsh; Matthew Bradley; San Diego Air & Space Museum; Sheena Rae Dowling; students from High Tech High Chula Vista;  Lisa Blatt; Melissa Walter, and Michael Giancristiano.
Exhibition highlights include:

  • A ceramic galaxy of fantasy figures where the mythological meets storybook by Irene de Watteville. 

  •  Photographs taken exclusively with a cell phone from Adriene Hughes’ DREAMING OF YOU series, challenging viewers to question the presence of extraterrestrial beings;
  • Oil paintings featuring interstellar nebulas by Sheena Rae Dowling, as well as a piano adorned with her artwork, available for the traveling public to play;
  • Sculptures embodying alter egos of students from High Tech High Chula Vista, made from pipe cleaners as part of an artmaking workshop with artist Don Porcella. 

To download hi-res images of various installations, visit
In addition to temporary exhibitions, the Airport Arts Program includes public art and performing arts components, aimed at engaging travelers and creating an ambiance unique to the culture of San Diego. For more information about the Airport Arts Program, visit
Irene de Watteville

Irene de Watteville

Irene de Watteville

Irene de Watteville installation view

Friday, March 3, 2017

Making Communities: Art and the Border at UCSD Art Gallery

Making Communities: Art and the Border
University of California, San Diego, University Art Gallery
And SME Visual Arts Gallery, UC San Diego
Curated by Tatiana Sizonenko, Ph.D

Opening Friday, March 3rd,  5:30 – 8:00 pm
Show runs through April 13th, 2017

Article by Cathy Breslaw
David Avalos   Donkey Cart Altar   mixed media 1985

Making Communities: Art and the Border, features artists who are alumnas of the University of California, San Diego, with artworks created from 1978 to the present.  Wide ranging in its mediums including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, installation, video, and film, this exhibition is timely in its focus on Mexicans living and working in the Tijuana/ San Diego border regions as our country faces the challenges , complexities and controversies over our immigration system and policies.  

Through their art, these twenty artists examine immigrant communities, in both celebrating cooperation and engagement with both sides of the border and as a source of creativity, as well as highlighting the struggles people of this region endure. Yolanda M. Lopez’s lithograph “Who’s the Illegal Alien, Pilgrim?” is the oldest of the works(1978) using the familiar army poster “Uncle Sam Wants You” to question whether we are citizens of the U.S. or merely illegal aliens imposing ourselves on a land originally occupied by Aztecs and other Native American groups. 

David Avalos used his work “Donkey Cart Altar”(1985) as a political statement when he placed it in front of the San Diego Courthouse, serving to express the belief that immigrant laborers, working to feed their families were being treated as criminals. Judge Thompson ordered the work removed as a “security risk”, while many viewed this as removing Avalos’s right to free speech. 

Elizabeth Sisco, who photographed life along the U.S.-Mexican border for 15 years(1986-1988), exhibits thirteen silver gelatin prints, which are part of an ongoing documentary project that began in 1978, revealing the raids and policing activities of U.S. Border Patrol agents in neighborhoods and on public transportation, as well as examining biased stereotypes of Mexican workers. 

Ruben Ortiz-Torres’s combination videos (in collaboration with Eduardo Abaroa) and sculpture(1991, 2002), uses humor to explore contemporary culture influences seen from both Latin America and the United States, morphing one another in a pop-art style to speak to debates about blurred boundaries and how Mexican and North American identities are constructed. Through use of a combination of Speedy Gonzales and Mickey Mouse cartoon characters he makes a statement about first and third world media, the political economy of free trade, tourism, Mexican labor and immigration. 

Artist Victor Ochoa’s painting “Mestizo” (2010) expresses his concerns over the misrepresentation among Hispanic people, identifying “mestizos” meaning “mixed” combining indigenous and white Europeans who have historically populated the regions - but who do not choose a racial category, and many consider being Hispanic as part of their racial background, not just an ethnicity. 

Deborah Small’s “The Ethnobotany Project”(2009-2017) is an installation of plants, herbs, books and materials -  part of an ongoing collaboration that promotes the cultivation and restoration of native plants, to bring awareness of cultural practices and to improve health and well being of Indian communities on both sides of the border. Highlighting Baja communities, Small’s work serves to educate about practices of the people of Baja, as well as to stimulate cultural exchanges and sustain traditions. 

Other artists included in the exhibition are those of the Cog’nate Collective, Collective Magpie, Alida Cervantes, Teddy Cruz, Ricardo Dominguez, Louis Hock, Las Comadres, Fred Lonidier, Jean Lowe, Kim MacConnel, Iana Quesnell, Allan Sekula, Perry Vasquez, and Yvonne Veneges.  Curator and alumna Tatiana Sizonenko Ph.D. Art History, comments “For artists represented here, the border is not a physical boundary line separating two sovereign nations but rather a place of its own, defined by a confluence of cultures reflecting on migration and cross-pollination.”

A good companion piece to this blog is The Most Memorable Acts of Protest Art at the Border Voice of San Diego by Kinsee Morlan