Wednesday, January 28, 2015

La Jolla: Bellows, R.B Stevenson, Quint Athenaeum

I can't be everywhere and see every show in San Diego county but at least once or twice a year, I like to do a walk about in La Jolla. This month I went to see  Astrid Preston at R.B. Stevenson Gallery (7661 Girard Avenue, Suite 201, 92037), Thomas Glassford at Quint Gallery (7547 Girard Ave. 92037) and Amanda Farber and Michelle Montjoy at Athenaeum Music & Arts Library   (1008 Wall St. La Jolla, 92037).  

Here is also a shout out to Joseph Bellows Photography next the R.B Stevenson with their show of photographs in black and white of homes. It was fun to see how each artist has a very subtle but different view of this exact same subject. The show is called Living Arrangements and is on until March 7. Reenie Barrow, Bevan Davies, Scott B. Davis, Douglas R. Gilbert, Charles Johnstone, Gene Kennedy, Michael Mulno, and Phel Steinmetz are featured with multiple works and I was drawn to Phel Steinmetz. These are multi-panel works that are of Southern California and very typical of homes in the 70's and 80's. I loved that black outline which was used selectively.


Astrid Preston: Coming to the Edge at R.B. Stevenson Gallery (7661 Girard Avenue, Suite 201, 92037) Showing until Feb 28

Don't be fooled by the first image below that was also the one used on their pr announcement. This artist has a very unique view of landscape in these perfectly painted oil on wood creations. 

This a more close up view of just one of the 15 or so bird surrounding the larger image.

Thomas Glassford Solar Plexus at Quint Gallery (7547 Girard Ave. 92037) Showing until March 7. The first of these images is from early work by Glassford. The hand bent plexiglas leaves are lit to shine on their edges and the shadow on the wall below was very dramatic. The rest of the works of the show take their shapes from similar botanical references. They are all 3-dimensional works and the mirror plexiglas is reflecting the viewer and a range of colors in the room. They also cast interesting shadows on the floor of the gallery. 

Amanda Farber: Here and Michelle Montjoy: The pit bull licked the baby's head and scented it with ham.  ( at Athenaeum Music & Arts Library   (1008 Wall St. La Jolla, 92037) Showing until Feb 14.   

Both Michelle Montjoy and Amanda Farber are local artists. Amanda teaches at the Design Institute and got her MFA from UCSD. My favorite work in Farber's show is the door which is purposely distorted and lures you in to look closer to see what is real and what is painted. This are ordinary objects but through the lens of Ms. Farber they become noticed and noticeable.

Michelle Montjoy has taken strips of 500 t-shirts and knitted them into shapes that could look like extremely long sleeves. This references her tiny delicate drawing that are also in the show and one amazing sculpture with a tiny sweater and a long sleeve dragged down by 1500 straight pins.  

 Bd4 bear hunt
 A few bonus shots - first this wonderful display of heart shaped cookies in preparation for Valentines day.

... and finally a little gathering of the clan on a bookshelf in the Athenaeum.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

North County Arts Network

North County Arts Network with Craig Watson CAC director is Thurs, Jan15, from 5-7 pm at the New School of Arts at Cal State University, San Marcos (333 South Twin Oaks Valley Road, San Marcos, 92078) Reservations required: 760-750-4324. 

Craig Watson, Dave Roberts, Daniel Foster

The first 2015 meeting of NCAN  (North County Arts Network....I consider this an homage to SDVAN!) was held this month arranged by Daniel Foster from the Oceanside Museum of Art at the new School of Arts at Cal State University, San Marcos. The goal is to arrange collaborations through networking and share best practices. I think eventually it could be an advocacy group as well. 

Craig Watson, director of the California Arts Council was the key speaker and his budget has doubled to $10 million, still small potatoes as California is 44th down the list of state funding of the arts.  One important point he made was that we need a SD Arts Council that serves the whole county. It needs one person who wakes up every morning and thinks about what is good for the arts community and how the arts serve the county. It needs three supervisors to approve the county wide council in order to get funding from CA Arts Council. 

The funding is only about $20,000 from CAC but we have also been promised money and an office from Supervisors Vice Chairman Dave Roberts who was present at this presentation. If we can get two more supervisors to agree we could at least get a part time position started. But that might be a long way off as things move very, very slowly in politics. Hopefully in the north county, Supervisor Chairman Horn, who was also present, will hear from these people in NCAN that that is what they want. 

Mark your calendar for April 116, July 16 and Oct 15 for future events this year held in CA Center for the Arts Escondido, Lux Art Institute and Oceanside Museum of Art. Daniel Foster is spearheading this new organization with help from Jim Gilliam, Patricia Frischer, Naomi Nussbaum, Marilyn Huerta, Jacquelyn Kilpatrick, Jerry Van Leeuwen, Reesey Shaw, Vincent Kitch, and Jerry Kern.

In the Studio at CCAC Escondido

In the Studio: Artist Dialogs  curated by Wendy Wilson
plus Contemporary Constructions: Matthew & Iris Strauss Family Foundation
 Showing until Feb 22 at California Center for the Arts Escondido Museum
340 N. Escondido Blvd Escondido, 92015 More info: Megan Thudium 760.839.4125

Getting a behind the scenes view of the art making process is always fascinating. We know there is new project to bring a video network to us called  The Artist Odyssey,
which intends to deliver premium art programming including this type of insight. Until that time, we have a special opportunity to see a set of local artist who have been gallery assistants or had the privilege of working in the studios of some of the masters of our time.  The gallery immediately draws you in with an assortment of interesting sculptures but you have to slow down and read to understand what is being presented.
This is a studio shot of the process in Sam Francis's studio that Raul Guerrero used to make the spiral drawing below

Under this stroud is a body cast of Raul made by Edward Kienholz

Here is the view of a tower of a house of card strung along the wall by Raul Guerro

Peter Phillip early work with Eleanor Antin

Eleanor Antin

David Rogers demonstrating his kinetic sculptures

David Rogers: close up looking down into a tiny intimate world

 Many of us have visited the Strauss home to see their impressive collection which now spreads across multiple properties in Rancho Santa Fe. But lifting the works out of the home and showing them in the superb white space of the CCAC in Escondido was like a breath of fresh air. The works seem to breath and expand. This is a visual treat and because the works are multi-dimensional they work very well with the other In the Studio exhibition. The museum looks wonderful and reminds us that this could be a premier space in the county. Escondido needs help to make this happen and hopefully, some sort of SD County Arts Council or the newly developed North County Arts Network could help them by adding collaborations with many more professional like those involved in this show. 

Fred Wilson

Raul Guerrero

Jean Lowe

Nelson Leirner
Chema Alvargonzales

Sam Taylor Wood

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Balboa Park Centennial Art Surveys

Back in 1915 the Panama Exposition in Balboa Park presented work by some of America's finest artists.  San Diego benefited from this effort because it attracted travelers as well as new artist residents. There are a number of group shows in 2015 exploring those artists or duplicating that effort of 100 years ago.

San Diego Keeps Its Promise: Balboa Park at 100
San Diego Art Institute presents this show organized by Executive Director Ginger Shulick Porcella and Francis French, Director of Education at the San Diego Air & Space Museumwhich  is a collaborative exhibition, exploring the past, present, and imagined future of Balboa Park. This is the only multi-sensory approach which includes smells, sounds and compressed time. 

Several artists take a multi-sensory approach to addressing Balboa Park, as in Brian Goeltzenleuchter & Charmaine Banach's self-guided tour of the smells of Balboa Park, and Suzanne Thorpe's soundscape based on the wind speed in Balboa Park. Artists Vincent Mattina and Will Given create images that compress time, simultaneously allowing viewers to experience the past, present, and future of the park, while artists such as Beliz Iristay and Ruben Franco Notch have focused on the physical architecture of Balboa Park as a point of entry to discuss historical and social implications of the 1915-California Exposition. Finally, Kate Clark and Hermione Spriggs explore the history of unique events in Balboa Park's past, such as the Zoro Garden Nudist Colony, while Scott Polach explores plumbing and water conservation in  the park.Other participating artists include: Alex Young,  Bianca Romani, Carlos Castro Arias, Cat Chiu Phillips, Chuck McPherson, Dave Ghilarducci, Denise Strahm, Diego Leon, Francisco Eme, Jasna Gopic, Joe Nalven, Kathleen Kane-Murrell, Paul TurounetSaulo Cisneros,  
Vincent Mattina
At the SD History Center  the original works are on display of the 1915 era. The co-curators, Bram Dijkstra and Derrick Cartwright, working with Harry L Katz, the SDHC Visual Culture Curator,  reconstructed a representative selection of the major works of both the East and West Coast painters who were part of the 1915 exhibitions. This is a extremely impressive display of landscapes by masters and to see some of the original works on display in 1915 was very moving and made you feel the string of history stretched right to the present.  Showing until Jan 3, 2016.

( left to right:) parital images: Anna Springs,Detlef Sammann, Charles Fries, Maurice Braun,
Alfred R. Mitchell, Hanson Puthuff, William Wendt.
Alice Klaubber

Charles Fries

Guy Rose

William Wendt
Maurice Braun

Alice Klaubber

Under The Same Sky
Noel Baza has a new space at SD History Center and they are celebrating the tradition of San Diego landscape art with a look at what our artists today are creating under the same roof in this cleverly titled show. The space is adjacent to the Masterworks but does not attempt to compete with these works. Instead it is a something for everyone type of landscape show with multiple styles, sizes and prices available for sale.

Duke Winsor

Work bought by Bram Dijkstra for their collection

Gallery view
Also at the SD History Center, this is the definitive commemorative film of the exhibition of the 1915 Exposition showing several times a day so make sure and check the schedule. It really gives you a good idea of how the exposition was formed and the intent and how it was extended into 1916. There was a big honky tonk component which was fun. Actually in many ways they were less conservative and more daring than we are now.  Opening as the end of the month will be  a vast collections of historic memorabilia, photos, and artifacts as well and showing until March 2016.

Landscapes of Balboa Park
Lemon Grove Historical Society (3001 School Lane , Lemon Grove, 91945) is presenting Ed Roxburgh works from Feb 10 to April 10, including pastels by his grandmother, Margaret Kyle Roxburgh, who painted in the park in the first half of the 20th century.  On Feb 4th, Film Night in the Lemon Grove Library (all at 6:30 pm) features a rare screening of Jack Ofield's Emmy awarded PBS documentary (the first ever) about Balboa Park. Remastered and beautiful, the origins of the park and a day in its dazzling life are adroitly guided by host, the late Lionel Van Deerlin. There is an art talk with Ed Roxburgh and Helen Ofield on Tue. Feb 10 at 2 pm. and then Feb 18 Jack Ofield's second documentary about Balboa Park, the captivating and amusing "Postcards from the Fair," which details the 1935 exposition through vintage footage, archival photos and eyewitness accounts. Finally "Balboa Park: A Living Legend," Jack Ofield's third documentary about the park, will open the 50th Annual Congress of History Conference devoted to the centennial of Balboa Park. Two-day event in the Balboa Park Recital Hall. For tickets go to More info: Helen M. Ofield 619-463-0823
Ed Roxburgh
I believe in coincidences and so when Ed Roxburgh sent me this image of him painting a mural using Dr. Seuss images, I thought I would also make a comment about the show
Ingenious! The World of Dr. Seuss which is also at the SD History Center until Dec 2015. Ed's work is not in this show but maybe it should have been. I found the show confusing. It is fun for children definitely, with lots of hands on activities and cute furniture so it looks like a series of playrooms. But the work is all reproductions, nothing original where you see the hand of the artist Theodor Geisel. There are  sculptures that are bronze instead of multicolored as you might expect for children to enjoy. But these works are not by Geisel himself  but by his step daughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates. I found out that all the works are in editions and for sale through outlets so there is a well developed  market for the art.  Although I have no problem exploiting the talent of Geisel, the show sent mixed messages. I guess they want adults and children to both enjoy the collect the work. But I would have enjoyed it more if this was clear and if they had included some original art as well as the reproductions and the work influenced by Geisel. 

We can look forward to two other survey exhibitions at the Oceanside Museum of Art  later in the year. One covers the history of the San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild curated by Mark Lugo-Smith and the other will cover the Robert Pincus years at the Union Tribune with a selection of artist he reviewed and is now  curating.

Although there will not be a huge showy spectacular, that does not mean all the money for the Balboa Park centennial celebration has disappeared. Lots of infrastructure has been put in place to improve and make a more united park with all the advantages of collaboration. Read about that in the following articles.

A saved Balboa Park centennial? City Beat by Kinsee Morlan
Saving the Centennial Union Tribune by James Chute

Plus there are some fun events in the pipeline: The new lighting will be featured in the White Nights Celebration with late night opening for all the museums. The new hot spots in SD are the marker places and  a Makers Faire is scheduled. Coming up on Valentine’s Day is 100 Years of Weddings an with a chance for all those who were married in Balboa Park to come together.