Monday, April 7, 2014

2014 Southern California-Baja Norte Exhibition

by Joe Nalven

The San Diego Art Institute, one of San Diego's oldest art organizations, is currently exhibiting its 2014 Southern California/Baja Norte Juried Exhibition. 

The juror for this exhibit is Peter Frank, noted art critic and senior curator at the Riverside Art Museum. 

Peter Frank will be giving a talk at SDAI on Wednesday, April 23rd from 6 to 8 pm.  If you have questions about art, art criticism, art in San Diego, art in this exhibit, and other such topics, please join Peter Frank for what will be an interesting session on contemporary art.

The image that Frank selected as the Juror's Choice is a handcut paper by Bhavna Mehta, Losing is an Art. The Juror's Choice award was sponsored by the San Diego Visual Arts Network. 
Juror's Choice:  Bhavna Mehta, Losing is an Art

One of the special awards given at this exhibition is SDAI's Palette Award. This award highlights an artist who not only engages the community with inspiring art, but also supports events and activities in San Diego. Renata Spiazzi is this year's recipient. Past Palette Award winners included:  William Glen Crooks, Ken Goldman, Pat Sean Sullivan, Nina Karavasiles, and James Hubbell.  

Renata Spiazzi, Intensity
I don't want to spoil the enjoyment of seeing the actual works of art. The digital image sometimes fails to capture the wonder of the objet d’art. (The juror's selection, as is now commonplace, was done all online.) However, if the digital process is itself part and parcel of the artwork, there is a much closer correspondence of online image and the actual work of art. In this sense, it is worth noting the work of Jane Szabo with her digital in-camera art work:  a photo and a performance by the artist in the creation of the image. This tryptich received the Digital Art Guild Award. 

Jane Szabo, Sense of Self:  Gridding the Space Tryptich

I took the opportunity of capturing visual slices of the event -- people seen, artists encountered, musicians listened to -- with my magic camera (Samsung ST200F). One of the challenges for an artist is how to play the role of an event photographer without having to be confined to the expectations of staged images. True, many of the images can still be staged, but if one is using a magic camera, somehow the reality of the moment is transformed into a not-quite-art, but not-quite that off putting, image. And maintain the element of fun in making images. So, here are my magic camera selections from the SDAI reception. 

Scott Graham, Photographer - recently returned to San Diego from Beijing

Misty Hawkins, artist and a participant in the SoCal exhibit

Panoramic view of part of the exhibit - much happening, lots to see

Peter Rutman Jazz Band provided entertainment for the reception

The Jazz Singer

The Ritters, new admirers of SDAI
The exhibit runs through May 6, 2014. 

The selected images can be viewed online. An exhibit catalog is available and for those interested, please contact Kerstin Robers. 

Nb: Joe Nalven is the Chair of the San Diego Art Institute Board of Directors. 

Nb:  The Digital Art Guild Award is supported by contribution of Renata Spiazzi and Joe Nalven.

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