Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Jose Hugo Sanchez: Transpoiesis at SD Mesa College Art Gallery

Article by Cathy Breslaw
October 13 – November 4, 2015

Multi-disciplinary artist Jose Hugo Sanchez lives in Tijuana but moves back and forth across the San Diego/ U.S. border regularly to teach and work.  His art, combining printmaking, sculpture, painting, drawing and performance, is a mix of current and historical imagery and cultural iconography of both the Mexican and American cultures. His current exhibition, Transpoiesi,  is dominated by several monumental 16 foot by 6 foot works on brown paper combining block-printed woodcut engravings of indigenous characters from mythology and abstractly painted backgrounds. 

Works are loosely rolled out from the wall from high-hanging wooden rods unfurled onto the floor.  Portions of each work remain rolled at the floor because of the limited height of the gallery walls but enough is visible to reveal Sanchez’s powerful emotional images block-printed onto the simple brown paper and arranged in various configurations. 

Also included in the show are several works generated from engraved woodblocks previously used for creating works on paper. Sanchez has carved into them, shaping them into sculptural wall compositions transformed into art pieces. In some of these works, Mexican and American icons including the Virgin de Guadalupe, the Statue of Liberty and Mickey Mouse are visibly intertwined with mythological primitive-looking human and animal faces and figures.   

Visible traces of the raw physicality of the process of carving of images into the wood reveals the artist’s intensity, energy, vitality and singularity of purpose.  We may surmise he is alluding to the conflictual and blending of cultures, as well as noting his own political views about them. With few exceptions, Sanchez limits his color palette to blacks, grays and earth tones.  Two sculptural works displayed on pedestals in the center of the gallery are carved from wood and cardboard and painted. One piece “El Quinto Sol” is composed of interlocking cardboard organic shapes painted with black and white figures and body parts. The other “Rayuela”, is a wood sculpture composed of many individual wooden parts pieced together including small animals, animal heads, and pieces resembling machine parts, all painted gold. 

Sanchez’s work follows in the tradition of Mexican printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada and the Taller de Grafica Polular, as well as referencing German Expressionism and the primitive figurative works of Rufino Tomayo. Visiting this exhibition, viewers can’t help but feel the impact of Sanchez’s bold strong imagery of the Aztec tradition and mythology, as he simultaneously explores both the tenuous and collaborative connections of cross border relationships.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

North County Arts Network (NCAN) Arts and Economic Development

By Patricia Frischer

The North County Arts Network (NCAN) convened for its fourth time this year and made strides toward a structure to serve the arts and cultural community of this part of our region. The meeting was held Oct 20 at William D. Cannon Art Gallery and Schulman Auditorium in the Carlsbad City Library Complex. We were beautifully hosted by Karen McGuire, Gallery Director and Vincent Kitch, Cultural Art Manager and had a chance to revisit the Food exhibition which is outstanding. 

After networking which was facilitated into groups for committee, there was a panel discussion on arts and economic development. The panelists were: 

Carl Morgan, Chief Exec. Officer, San Diego North Economic Development Council
Daniel Foster, Moderator
Jerry Kern, Councilman, City of Oceanside/Candidate for California State Assembly - 76th District 

Patricia Frischer, Founder/Coordinator, San Diego Visual Arts Network and San Diego Art Prize

Each of the panelist made a statement. Since the first two panelist Carl Morgan and Jerry Kern are not members of the arts and culture community, they spoke of the importance of the arts to business and government and told us a bit about their own roles.

Carl Morgan came from Long Beach and is now working to bring the business community of North County together. Since his arrival he has gathered 7000 new contacts and found that 980 companies in North County which have 50 or more employees. He mentioned that size is really a problem for the area as it is so large and distances are so great.

Jerry Kern sees the role of art as a way to give us a sense of place. With higher density housing coming to a number of cities, there are opportunities for the arts for branding and community service.

Daniel Foster filled us in on some North County statistics. Although we have about 40% of the total number of county non profits in North County, they are well below the average in budget and donations. He believes there are many untapped resources that could help boast those figures and bring more money into the region. 

  • 190 out of 429 arts nonprofits are in north county… 44%. 
  • 77 million in revenue's from North County arts organizations.
  • 192 million in assets in North County arts organizations.
I presented some figures from a report that Naomi Nussbaum (Synergy Art Foundation) and I created together: "According to Americans for the Arts, 4.3% of our GDP is derived from the arts, which is more than tourism, more than transportation, more than agriculture. Arts events affect communities positively by attracting cultural tourist who spend more per day and stay longer than other tourist. People who come to these events get an authentic cultural experience, the community is helped in branding itself and all this works to build a stronger local economy. California is rated number one in the USA as the top cultural economy, but only 44th in how much funding is has to support this industry. Arts engage 95% of the population in the USA and the economic growth potential is unlimited. In 2014, Art attendance by these visitors was up 3.4%, where general attraction attendance was down 2.7%."

Anything that doesn't change always stays the same. We know that art is the catalyst for change and has traditionally been a harbinger for great scientific discoveries. So we make a plea for change and that means that people have to come together and collaborate. 

Joseph Juran who is a business guru says, "Change happens project by project and no other way." We know you can't convert people with words. You need action. And that is why we are delighted to announce the next set of meetings will be on the committee level and I am happy to host the first NCAN
Visual Art Programming Meeting on Tue. Dec 1, 10 to noon at SDVAN (2487 Montgomery Avenue, Cardiff by the Sea, 92007)  More info: Patricia Frischer 760.943.0148.

Further NCAN committee meetings are held as follows:
Art Education Tue. Dec 1, 1-2:30 pm, Studio One Theater CCA, Escondido, Leah Goodwin
Civic Arts/Public Art
Wed. Dec 2, 2 - 3:30 Encinitas Town Hall, Jim Gilliam
Arts Funding/Economic Development Thurs. Dec 3, 10:30 to noon SD North Economic Development Council, San Marcus, Carl Morgan
Performing Arts Programming Thurs. Dec 3, 1 - 2:30 New Village Arts Theater, Carlsbad, Kristianne Kurner
Arts Marketing/Audience Development Fri. Dec 4, 1 to 2:30 Artbeat on Main Street, Vista, Margaret Chiaro 

More info:Daniel Foster 951.334.5677 

What follows are my other notes on the conversation stimulated by the panel.

What are the current relationship between corporations and the arts in San Diego? 

  • Hospital understand the value of the art in healing and we are lucky to have massive art displays in our local hospitals. Sometimes this comes as they purchase work, sometimes vast donation like the Wolfstein Sculpture Garden.
  • Exhibitions in corporate headquarters can sometimes be a benefit to the artist but more importantly offer a role model to promote the value of the arts for the employees and an opportunity to start a dialogue about corporate identity.
  • Employees often have a requirement for community involvement and corporations want to know about arts and culture projects that have a volunteer component.
  • Larger corporation are often philanthropic and want to engage in the arts

How is the arts community being heard by the county and cities in San Diego/
  • Project proposals must come with a very succinct request showing the economic advantages, the cultural advantages, the use of best practices and the way a project brings a solution to a problem or need for the community.
  • The arts are often considered to have their hands out for funding. We need to demonstrate how the arts are serving the concerns and needs of the community.

What are the arts economic development strategies that have been the most successful?
  • John Eger has prepared a document about  tax incentives to encourage business development within local cultural districts. Examples of state incentives include sales, income, or property tax credits or exemptions for goods produced or sold within the district; or preservation tax credits for historic property renovations and rehabilitation. Maybe a state will offer an amusement or admission tax waiver for events within the district.
  • Fallbrook Avocado and Citrus Festival that draws 100,000 people and we are have a number of breweries, restaurants and wineries that are gaining popularity and could draw crowds. 
  • Encouragement of all cities to have arts representatives and for cities with art commission to pool resources and share best practices.  
  • Here is a link to Developing a Cultural District: Americans for the Arts

What are the opportunities to partner with the economic development business leadership and community?
  • I believe the biggest take away for this evening besides the announcement of the subcommittee and steering committee, was the idea proposed by Carl Morgan to hold an Arts Summit to connect the business community to the arts and culture community. The fact that Mr. Morgan stepped forward to host the Arts Funding/Economic Development committee meeting on Thurs. Dec 3,  10:30 to noon at SD North Economic Development Council 950Broadwalk, Suite 303,San Marcus, 92078 is a true testament to his commitment and respect for the value of the arts.

Friday, October 16, 2015

First Maker Faire San Diego celebrates inventive DIY-ers in Balboa Park

by Lonnie Burstein Hewitt
First posted in La Jolla Light


Steampunk is alive and well at the faire, where Jeb Haught and Bob Mogg show off their Flying Machine and a pair of wings at Maker Faire San Diego, held Oct. 3-4, 2015 in Balboa Park. Maurice Hewitt

Maker Faire was created to celebrate the joys of inventiveness. It’s a two-day, all-ages fiesta showcasing the Maker movement, an amorphous community of tech-savvy do-it-yourselfers that has been growing wildly over the past decade. The first Maker Faire took place in the Bay Area in 2006; there are now annual faires around the world, attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees.
On the weekend of Oct. 3-4, San Diego’s first full-scale Maker Faire turned Balboa Park into Grand Central Station for techies, hobbyists, science clubs and entrepreneurs sharing their projects with makers-to-be. Sponsored chiefly by Qualcomm, which had its own Thinkabit Lab activities in the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the Faire was produced by a partnership of 12 non-profit organizations happily using the event to honor the Panama- California Exposition’s centennial. Tickets included admission to 10 museums, in and around which 200-plus local and bi-national exhibitors showed their works.

Scott Parenteau poses with his Tin Spider during Maker Faire San Diego, held Oct. 3-4, 2015 in Balboa Park. Maurice Hewitt
One of the notable locals, Lindsay Lawlor, has been involved in Maker Faires since the very beginning. His day job is fire alarm systems engineering, but his passion since childhood has been making cool things out of whatever is on hand. He first began work on his life-size robotic giraffe in 2003, thinking it would make a good rolling art cart to take to the Burning Man Festival. Since then, Lawlor’s ‘Raffe has gone through years of refinements, and is now a showstopper, after catching the eye of president Barack Obama and national media at last year’s Maker Faire in Washington, D.C. In Balboa Park, kids and adults followed the ‘Raffe as it made its way from Plaza de Panama to the Fountain.

A life-size robotic giraffe is one of the crowd-pleasers during Maker Faire San Diego, held Oct. 3-4, 2015 in Balboa Park. Maurice Hewitt
And there were other impressive robots on display, like Robot Resurrection, a 28-foot-tall, fire-breathing colossus built by Colorado-based Shane Evans, and the Tin Spider, a massive, one-eyed, dome-headed arachnid that moved back and forth on spidery legs. All of these giants are portable, and break down into segments that can be trucked from faire to faire.
But as Sacramento-based Spider-maker Scott Parenteau pointed out, it takes 15 hours to put his creation together for a showing, and 6.5 hours to take it apart again.
Many booths offered hands-on activities, but the faire’s best moments involved meeting the makers, and having a chance to chat with them.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer kicked things off on Saturday, introducing VIPs from both sides of the border, including Maker Faire founder Dale Dougherty, who emphasized the faire’s reason for being. “We are all makers,” he said.

Hands-on activities include using lengths of PVC pipe to make ‘marshmallow shooters' during Maker Faire San Diego, held Oct. 3-4, 2015 in Balboa Park. Maurice Hewitt
Apparently, Sunday’s rainfall didn’t dampen spirits: used to improvising, makers moved outdoor exhibits inside the museums.
Over the weekend, an estimated 15,000 visitors came to the faire, which promises to be an annual event.
Next time, it would be nice to see fewer projects involving guns and rockets, fewer “Star Wars” spinoffs and drone battles, and more quiet spaces that encourage artful, individual creativity. But thanks to the participation of numerous maker-backers, this was a great start. Interested in becoming a Maker? Visit sdmakersguild.org

Dominating the Plaza de Panama is ‘Robot Resurrection,’ seen here with maker Shane Evans during Maker Faire San Diego, held Oct. 3-4, 2015 in Balboa Park. Maurice Hewitt

Latinidad at Sergott Contemporary Art Alliance

By Patricia Frischer

Oct.16-17. Fri 2-7 PM & Sat 10-4 and by appointment
Sergott Contemporary Art Alliance
RSVP and directions: scaainbox@gmail.com

The night was warm and the music hot, the food delicious and the art divine. 

The first piece that greets you on entry to the lovely estate in Rancho Santa Fe is a boat reminiscent of a Robert Roschenburg combine by Silfredo La O Vigo. The title  Please don't shoot  is an instant connection to the story of Silfredo's arrival from Cuba to the USA.  

All the works are by Latino artists but the show is as varied as the experiences of it's artists. This is only a selection of the works on view, so do make an effort and email for an appointment in October. Watch for the Sergott booth at Art San Diego. 

Silfredo La O Vigo. Please Don't Shoot, 2015
Closer view of these painted tires and bits of wood lashed together for survival

Silfredo La O Vigo. This collages work depicts figures in back of a chain fence.

Omar Pimienta presents a series of boxed framed Passports to Freedom

Oma Pimienta close up view

Claudia Cano is starting a new series of explorations of fabric including shawls and table clothes.

Claudia Cano is exploring complex pattern and textures, but her over riding theme is the dignity of labor and the importance of each stitch made.
Tania Alcala's long thin painting on a stand with it's resin finish almost reads as a sculpture.

An amazing work by Marianela de la Hoz whose impeccable technique never overwhelms her message.

Marianela de la Hoz detail

These massive new works by Becky Guttin are evidently light as a feather, but they have the look of heavy metal. This is not really a departure for this talented artist, but a continuation of an exploration of materials that are often discards.

Becky Guttin

What a delight to see these fresh work by Becky Guttin's father Raphael Mareyna. We understand he took up painting later in life and  now works side by side with his daughter.

Vladamir Martinez Avila is one of Tom Sergott discoveries from a recent trip to  Cuba.  He brought the works back unframed and they are now  honored by their frames so that the richness is celebrated. .

Finally a small work which combines hand stamped leather, wood burning and stitchery, all traditional Mexican crafts. This artist Tanya Herrera from Costa Rica.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bhavna Mehta: Gush plus Oceanside Museum of Art taster

By Patricia Frischer

We are excited and pleased to see the final project of Bhavna Mehta: GUSH  the Paper Pattern Story project supported by the Creative Catalyst Fund Grant from the SD Foundation opening Sat Oct 10 at Oceanside Museum of Art (704 Pier View Way, Oceanside, 92054) More info: Bhavna Mehta  760 435-3720
Bhavna Mehta: Gush
Bhavna was a recipients of the SD Art Prize given by the San Diego Visual Arts Network. . She brings such a fresh and honest view to our world. Her work is made from cut paper and in this project, she helped groups of students make their own cut shapes. These are on display in clusters in the perfectly sized small space for this show. Her own work is a series of shadow-like boxes that show the actual students being instructed and aiding and making these works. Bhavna is a story teller in pictures and you if you look close you can see her voice telling you how art brings people together. 

Ann Mudge has made a wonderful video where you can learn more.
To view a video by Anne Mudge on Bhavna Mehta’s exhibition, please click here! - See more at: http://oma-online.org/?portfolio=bhavna-mehta-gush#sthash.S6SnP64J.dpuf

To view a video by Anne Mudge on Bhavna Mehta’s exhibition, please click here! - See more at: http://oma-online.org/?portfolio=bhavna-mehta-gush#sthash.S6SnP64J.dpuf

There are four other large shows at OMA right now to enjoy.. I choose one image from each to encourage you to go and see them all.
BB Bastidas: Altering Altars
Baby Tattoo: Carnival of Astounding Art
BB Bastidas
This is a perfect exhibition to get you ready for the Day of the Dead Holloween celebrations. Basstidas is local to Oceanside, self taught and involved with the skateboard and music communities. The image above is a small part of a show that is more like an installation.
Artist Alliance at the Museum 2015
I am sorry for the bad quality of this image. but I loved Red Hot Toasters by L. Ford Neale
The call for submissions to this juried summer group show at OMA had  a response of over 850 artworks submitted from more than 200 talented artists. In order to showcase the maximum number of stunning artworks created by OMA’s Artist Alliance membership affiliate group, the exhibition was be presented in two groups: The first group was on view from July 11–October 04, 2015, and the second group which you can see how from October 10, 2015–January 03, 2016
Baby Tattoo: Carnival of Astounding Art
Thomas Kuntz animates this lovely lady to turn the crank.

This huge Thomas Kuntz sculpture, opens its mouth to reveal a stage of ladies waiting to perform.
I choose these two sculptures by Thomas Kuntz as 3-D representation of this show of often outrageous imagery. His work is called Automata as it does move and visitors had to be patient to see as they each came alive at different time. the show is curated by Bob Self as a spin off of the Baby Tattoo publishing company. The works include low brow, outsider art, pin up, pop surrealist and illustrator art. It presents like a carnival, but look close to see some amazing fine art.
Lowbrow, Pop Surrealist, Illustration, Pinup and Outsider Art - See more at: http://oma-online.org/?portfolio=baby-tattoo-carnival-of-astounding-art#sthash.5k5zCpyS.dpuf
Lowbrow, Pop Surrealist, Illustration, Pinup and Outsider Art - See more at: http://oma-online.org/?portfolio=baby-tattoo-carnival-of-astounding-art#sthash.5k5zCpyS.dpuf
In the Abstract: Midcentury San Diego Painting and Sculpture
I choose Jim Sundell to represent this varied group of Abstract mid-century local artists. It is actually very 3-dimensional as the shapes sink into the surface. But there were so many good works in this show that I can only say this appealed because of the erotic nature...surely I am not the only one who see a giant dick and mouth!
Baby Tattoo: Carnival of Astounding Art
Baby Tattoo: Carnival of Astounding Art

OPEN STUDIOS SAN DIEGO produced by Studio Door

by Patricia Frischer

OPEN STUDIOS SAN DIEGO Sat/Sun Oct. 10/11, Preview: Sat Oct 3, 6 to 9 pm. Produced for FREE by The Studio Door  (3750 30th Street, SD 92104). For Maps/Smart Phone App and more info: Patric Stillman 619-255-4920

The last  Open Studios events that I remember were the COVA Open Studios that grew very large and impressive. They were three weekends per year and stretched from Fallbrook to Baja Norte.  Patric Stillman is making a brave start to re-introduce that county wide event. I have always thought of Open Studios as a progression from Art Walks. At an Art Walk you have the general public taking a day to stroll in front of art (instead of taking a ocean, lake, or mountain hike). It is an introduction to art and if the artists are lucky they will find a few new clients and also reconnect with those they know.

An Open Studio event takes much more effort on the part of the viewer. But it is much easier to plan a day long road trip now that we have GPS and Map Quest to help with routing. This is a bonus for The Studio Door which could becomes the main delivery system for connecting artist with those who are prepared to drive from place to place and scout out new talent.  This is the first year, but we wish them luck in involving more artist and expanding the event. 

There are many artists with work spaces at The Studio Door and a lovely exhibition space for curated shows. They had a selection of works by all the artists participating. It was hot, hot, hot on this weekend and I only managed to visit The Studio Door artists.

Ann Blessing Gallagher is a painter of children's delights. This is a great place for any parent to start to introduce their own child to the visual art world.

Patric Stillman is the director of Studio Door and a passionate artist himself. I think this image portrays the vision he has to enrich the visual arts community.

Christina Ilene Thomas has started a journey into abstraction and has a wonderful touch with color and texture. She is hoping to achieve a connection to the universal spirit  in this work and she has the enthusiasm and courage to go on that path.

Chrisinda is a glass artist who is experimenting with shapes and colors.

Kevin Greeland has a studio full of Golden Acrylic art supplies. He is a representative for them and  teaches artists how to use combinations to get all sorts of effects.  They are available to buy as well and you can see samples of Kevin's own work.

Julia Reasor is an artist living in Fallbrook which is a long way from all the other artists, but she is enthusiastic about the idea of Open Studios. She has created a sculpture garden at her home and there is an amazing variety of artists in Fallbrook so it would be wonderful to see them all opening their studios with a county wide promotion.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Self Reflection: Youth Exhibition of Self Portraiture at Museum of Photographic Arts

article by Cathy Breslaw

Last week  the Museum of Photographic Arts held its Annual Auction in Balboa Park. This combination live and silent auction comprised photos collected over the past year by the Collectors’ Salon and Photo Forum members who through traveling the world,  located the beautiful photographs and limited edition publications.  The partnership with Sotheby’s helped generate a successful auction. The live auction featured photographers Flor Gardufio, Bill Armstrong, Josef Fischnaller, Tamas Dezso, Yao Lu, Ysabel LeMay, Kevin Cooley, Henry Diltz, Yoko Ono, Doug  and Mike Starn, and Hendrik Kerstens. The silent auction represented the work of sixty-eight photographers.  Both auctions are expected to help fund three major learning programs at the museum for children, teens and seniors. Through the Exposure school programs, MOPA teaches underserved youth throughout San Diego how to view photos, how to make their own images and to share their views with others. MOPA’s Teen Voices Collaborative promotes real world problem solving skills by involving them in the museum and encouraging their viewership and participation.  Through Seniors Exploring Photography, Identity and Appreciation, the program seeks to build  confidence with digital photography and 25% of the program is designed for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  These highly valuable programs highlight MOPA’s important connections to the San Diego community.

Alongside the professional photography auctions is an ongoing accompanying exhibition Self Reflection, the 10th Annual Youth Exhibition, which runs through January  24th.  This juried exhibition curated by the museum includes the work of children of all ages in San Diego County and Tijuana.  The theme of self reflection asked for self portraiture, asking students to turn the camera back on themselves. The result is a remarkable display of 121 talented K-12 personalities, and their struggles and perspectives.  Kids as young as five to eighteen year olds participate with works that represent a very young generation of  people who have a tremendous comfort level with the medium of photography – all due to the ubiquitous nature of camera phones. There is a certain freedom, authenticity, and uncensored emotion in the overall feel of this show.  These children are laying their hearts and feelings on the line in a way that most adults don’t have the courage to do. The result is a powerful mix of images that can take your breath away.  The work of these young amateur photographers are worth a visit to MOPA. The student artist opening reception is Friday, November 6,  7:00 – 9:00 pm.  This reception is free to current members with a valid card and each member can bring one guest.
Jennifer Alejandra Perez Romero

Amatur-Raheem Khadijah

Angel Magana

Naves Xcaret

Olivia Reynolds

Aiden Taylor

Friday, October 9, 2015

ART MAKES THINGS STRANGE: Looking at and Talking About Art

by Patricia Frischer

I had the pleasure on being on a panel in early October at SDAI. I made a presentation but I came away with lots of new ideas as well delivered by the other panelist and audience.We were all delighted with Jennifer DeCarlo's  (jdc fine art) idea of an art participation pyramid.  It is built on a strong base of community involvement with art writers and curators, art administrators, gallerist as you climb to the peak. Artist are too free to be part of the structure but hoover all around. 
Jennifer DeCarlo's Cultural Consumer Pyramid
 One of the most interesting things about the evening was the comment that San Diego only needs sun, tech and the border. Maybe we do put too much energy in cultivating the general public. But my belief in the power of art is so great that I see it as a necessity like food, water and shelter. If art is this powerful in a great many lives, it does seem as if everyone would benefit from it. I admire communities that know and practice their daily involvement in the arts.They are richer for it.

Funding For The Arts Month @ SDAI Oct 8 Looking at and Talking About Art (Jennifer DeCarlo, Director of jdc fine art; Larry Baza, Chair of the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture; Patricia Frischer, Founder of the San Diego Visual Arts Network; Alessandra Moctezuma, Professor of Fine Art and Director of the Mesa College Art Gallery)

Here is my presentation for the evening:

I have chosen to speak about the young or newly interested potential art gamer. This is someone who might have gone to the meet up at one of the museums like TNT at MOCA or Night Owl at Athenaeum or Culture and Cocktails at SDMA or Art After Dark at OMA. They might be tempted to attend by the possibility of picking up a date. But Art is not an everyday occurrence in our lives. It is a strange thing that makes us notice ordinary things in a new light. What we need younger generations to realize is that when you look hard and talk about a work of art, you are actually defining yourself. You reveal yourself to others and if you are lucky to yourself.  

Most viewers have an inferiority complex and think you need an art history degree for the ability to understand art. This is compounded by many artists not being able to speak about their work. But a viewer can start by describing exactly what is viewed. Start with size, color, line, content and before you know it ideas will start to flow about content and meaning and you will bring yourself into the experience. Simply by describing a work you can start the process and once started here are some questions to enrich that dialogue.

What one art works would you choose to give as a gift and to whom would you give it?
Which artwork speaks to you and what does it say?
If you could meet one of these artists which would you choose to meet?
If you could walk inside one of these works in miniature, which would you choose?
Can you imagine this artwork in your home and where would you put it? Why does it relate to that place?

How did you think the artist got the idea for the piece?
What is the media used and why do you think that was chosen to fabricate it?
What do you like most about it?
What does it remind you of?
What did you learn looking at this art work?
Did this work remind you of another work?
Why do you think you like or dislike it?

Artist can do the same thing:  
Start with a paragraph description of an art work of yours you like best.
How did you get the idea for the piece?
Why did you choose that media to fabricate it?
What do you like most about it?
What does it remind you of?
What did you learn by doing this art work?
Did this work lead you to make another work?
Who bought or expressed a liking for the work and why do you think they bought or liked it?

Artist can interview themselves as a way of preparing to create a dialogue

When did you first start creating artwork?
What media do you use? 
Is there a reason you choose that medium?
Do you start out with an idea of the end in mind?
What inspires your work?
When you conceive or set about executing a work of art, do you think you're guided mostly by a constant driving inner aesthetic?  Or do you think you're in some significant way reacting to the world around you - to culture or the economy, say?
Do you think that you actually see the world differently than other people?
Does religion, or any sort of spiritual belief, play in the creation of your work?
Who would you say are your greatest influences? Or is there a particular historical period from which you draw inspiration?
What's your history of working in San Diego?
Does your work sell well in another geographical area?  If so, why do you think that is?
Is it ever hard to part with a work?
Did you ever consider expressing yourself in other art forms?
What do you think art is really about today?
Do you have a favorite art work among your creations?
How do you know you've finished a particular art work? i.e. How do you know when to stop working on a piece?
When it comes right down to it, what do you like best about making art?
How can people see your art and buy it?

Or an artist could:
Keep a diary - write up notes during the creation of the work and pull information from those notes.

Or an artist could
Interview a good friend about the art work and borrow the best bits

Yes, I do mean you may have never said, "I'll buy that one, please."

1.       When the lights are on in an art sales gallery after 5 o'clock and a crowd has gathered, it means you can walk right in, have a drink and a bite to eat and look at the art.  No invitation is needed.  You don't have to pay to enter and you won't be pressured to buy anything.  Gallery openings are listed in magazines and newspapers and you are welcome to attend.
2.       One of the pleasures of owning a work of art is meeting the artist.  There are many opportunities for this to happen.  Go to an exhibition opening and the artist is often present.  Most cities have an open studio tour or an art walk (San Diego has both). An art dealer may be able to arrange a meeting and most artists welcome a call from you directly to arrange to see more of their work.
3.       Celebrate if you fall in love with an artwork.  This is a totally valid reason to buy.  Like in any good love match, if you treasure it, it will reward you. Give yourself permission to own the work. Long term you will learn more and more about it and about yourself.
4.       It is also OK to buy a work because it fits the d├ęcor of your home.  Just make sure you have an emotional and/or intellectual connection to the work as well.
5.       Don't hesitate to buy a work of art to commemorate a special event or to remember a favorite place or feeling.  Many famous collections were started in just this way.
6.       If you do happen to like one of the works but you are unsure, ask if you can take it home to see if you can live with the artwork.
7.       If you are nervous about buying or even looking at art, seek out a friend, an art collector, an art dealer or consultant to mentor you.  Some artists are excellent mentors and can speak well about a whole range of artwork.
8.       If you buy art, you may eventually outgrow it.  This is all right and you can sell the work, give it away or put it in the attic and see if it can tell you more later.  Just make sure and replace it with a new work.
9.       Once you buy an artwork, share it with friends and let them experience the joy, insight and pleasure from the works that surround you. Your art defines you and is another way to show who you are.