Saturday, December 19, 2015

Developing our awareness - Robert Pendleton at Poway Art Center

Developing Light: Robert Pendleton
Reception Sat. Dec 19, 1 to 3
Twenty 20 Gallery at Poway Art Center
15498 Espola Rd , Poway 92064
More info: Rob Pendleton 760-212-4077 

Traditional photographs capture a moment in time. They shine the light of stop action for this one second. With the best photographers we find the ordinary converted to something much more. By adding qualities to the original images, Rob Pendleton has managed to make the images in this show all become more intense and sharpened our awareness of the world around us.  

Of course, my poor reproductions of this work do not do it justice. The works are perfectly presented, many mounted on acrylic giving those jeweled tones and clarity of detail or printed on canvas. Go and see it for yourself. 

This tree has upper branches that have a silver glow, reflecting the many layers of the images into one very complex composition

Subtle little touches of color remind one of when film was left too long in the camera before development. You got some accidental flashes red, blue, green.

This is an image of a plain  wall at the side of a Wendy's fast food restaurant. But look closely at the flowers in the lower right corner and below.  There are details of intense color throughout the cracks and stains

This scene from Stockholm looks surreal.

I stood in front of this image and imagined living in this charming community where pastel colors replaces harsh realities

Titled Escher's Place, you have no idea which was is up or down and what you are looking at, but that is the challenge of contemporary art: making you wonder

I simply enjoyed this selection of textures and colors which were so lush.
This final pick is my husband's . It is simple and rich and could be a landscape with very sparse growth, but you don't really know if it that or a closeup of a finger on a couch. All the upstairs works on display were more abstract but no less intriguing.

New Yorker in Exile

New Yorkers in Exile Tues. Dec 15 from 7 to 10 pm $25.00 online or $30.00 at the door. San Diego Art Institute (1439 El Prado, SD 92101)More info: Marina Grize 619-236-0011

"New Yorkers in Exile" was San Diego Art Institute's year-end gala, raising funds in support of their exhibition and education programs serving Southern California/Baja, with a focus on San Diego. This one-night event on December 15th  featured a "New York-style" party, complete with a hot dogs and, performing rats, and DJs (Permanence). The event will be hosted by local drag artist and personality Noah Michaels (Siren), and includes live music by Octa#grape. The raffle was only $5 per ticket  to win a free 3-night stay in NYC Attire: Black (or fuhgeddaboudit)

Sometimes you know you are just at the right place at the right time and this party was one of those times. There was the perfect mix of artists and patrons, eccentrics and clowns. Yes, we were all dressed in black but the vibe was red hot. I think that was helped by the strong and excellently mixed Manhattans served at the door.  Generous quanities of pizza, hot dogs and my favorite bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon were available to keep the engine running. The conversation and the art was stimulating. The band was danceable. SDAI as it continues to keep up this pace will be the place to party and see art for generations to come. 

The special attractions were as promised...this sweet man who trains rats for Hollywood movies brought his troupe...I actually saw an episode of bones where they were used when the body was discovered. He told me that he used peanut butter to give the appearance that they were feeding on the body which by the way as a real person in that scene.  The drag queen was very sweet and a very thoughtful MC and host Masses of fortune cookies all over the place were conversation starters as was the photo booth. Who doesn't like a photo booth which are amazingly popular even though we all have cell phones to take selfie shots. . The crowd was really cool and really into the whole New York thing including a huge inflatable Statue of Liberty. I  heard wonderful comments from many many guests about the new direction of SDAI. 

Noah Michaels (Siren) our MC for the night
The exhibition with this event was called Sinking, Sinking, Sinking and here are a few highlights.
Love this image but a bit to tipsy to realize that the name tag I photographed was too blurred to read. If you know that artist, please send name and apologies for not having the info.

Rachael Fischer

Danny Suhender - photo document of this women who died at only 75, a few weeks after this photo was taken. My husband just turned 75 so we were moved by this image.
Ben Darby gives us this deconstructed panda with images painted on the cut surfaces.

Melissa Beck gives us this chair but also a charming video of  someone trying to get comfortable using it.

Just A Memory Photo Booth 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Innovation Incubators are proved great success

We have been waiting for the results of the study made about the  Innovation Incubators by Harvey Seifter, head of the NSF funded project and founder of the Art of Science Learning. The study was headquarters in San Diego but also took place in Wooster Mass and Chicago. 

He says, "We found a strong causal relationship between arts-based learning and improved creativity skills and innovation outcomes in adolescents, and between arts-based learning and increased collaborative behavior in adults." 


• The high school students who had arts-based learning showed large and statistically significant pre/post improvements in such creative thinking skills as idea range (13%), problem analysis (50%) and number of solutions generated (37%). In many cases, students who had traditional STEM learning actually declined in these aspects of creative thinking -- so the overall differentials between arts-based and traditional learning was even more dramatic (idea range = 22%, problem analysis = 121%, solutions generated = 43%). Thus, it appears as though arts-based learning may be an effective way to "inoculate" learners against the collapse of creativity that may sometimes accompany traditional forms of high school learning.

• Arts-based learning had a far more powerful impact on the collaborative behaviors of adults than traditional learning, based on actual observed behaviors. Examples from the final week of the study: arts-based teams exhibited 56% more instances of empathic listening, 33% more instances of mutual respect being shown, 119% more instances of trust being demonstrated and 24% more sharing of leadership. All differences cited here are statistically significant. 

• The innovation outputs of high school student teams who had arts-based learning showed 111% greater insight into the challenge, a 74% greater ability to clearly identify a relevant problem, a 43% improvement in problem solving, and their innovations had 68% more impact. All are statistically significant. 

• 120 days after the study, high school students who had arts-based learning were 24% more likely to have been able to apply the learning to school, extracurricular, work or volunteer activities, than students who had traditional learning. They were also 44% more optimistic in their belief that the training would prove helpful in those realms in the future. 

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced its grant agenda in art and science. Proposals that demonstrate how both subjects can be woven together in an artwork, or play, demonstration or lab experiment or even an educational effort costing no more than $10,000 to $100,000 were welcomed. A Congressional STEAM Caucus was formed last year led by Representatives Suzanne Bonamici and Elise Stefanik. The STEAM caucus “aims to change the vocabulary of education to recognize the benefits of both the arts and sciences and how these intersections will benefit our country’s future generations.”

Friday, December 4, 2015

Shipload of artists team up for event at Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego

By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt
First posted La Jolla Light.

Hugo Crosthwaite’s ‘Siren Song 2015’ illustrates the story of Odysseus and the Sirens on the white columns made from old ships’ masts that stand at the entrance to Cabrillo Visitor Center. L-R: A Siren, Odysseus and Hugo, Man chained to mast. Maurice Hewitt
WSOHOIDPS: it stands for A Ship in the Woods. If you don’t get it, don’t feel bad; it took me awhile. (Hint: first find the SHIP, then the WOODS around it.)

But the artful nonprofit, which stages inventive, interactive events combining art, music and science, didn’t take long to win me over. 

For the past five years, WSOHOIDPS has been based in a sprawling, midcentury home in the hills of Del Mar, a rental they turned into a cultural crossroads where they welcomed the public to meet a changing cast of visiting artists and immerse themselves in thought-provoking installations. 

Now their lease has ended, and they’re moving toward Ship in the Woods 2.0, and a new, permanent space whose whereabouts are still unrevealed. But first, they engaged in a grand-scale collaboration with the Conservancy and Artist-in-Residence Programs at Cabrillo National Monument — an ambitious group show they called “Convergence.”
Hugh Davies and Joanne Hayakawa inspect her sculpture, ‘Dead Bird,' at the WSOHOIDPS (A Ship in the Woods) artists event at Cabrillo National Monument on Nov. 14, 2015. Maurice Hewitt
For the event, more than 45 artists responded to Cabrillo’s convergences of land and water, history and ecology, with a panoply of site-specific artworks. The seven-hour opening, from 4 to 11 p.m. on Nov. 14, had more than 1,000 visitors, and included kinetic sculptures, video projections, performance art, live music, and many opportunities for audience participation. It was impossible to see every one of the pieces, but it was part of the adventure to roam around the park with a map and your flashlight and make your own discoveries.
Ruben Ochoa with ‘No Man is an Island,’ his homage to migrants, stalked by searchlights, but walking on toward the beacon of a better life. The piece was inspired by Eadweard Muybridge’s 1872 photographic series ‘Horse in Motion,’ the first representation of movement in still images.
Perhaps the most stunning artwork was the place itself, and the chance to see it in daylight, at sunset, and then with the lights of downtown and Shelter Island twinkling in the distance. An additional perk was that visitors had an opportunity to climb the narrow, winding staircase up to the top of the lighthouse, past the giant, diamond-like lenses of the light and out onto the tower’s parapet for a truly awesome night-time view. 

It was a fine idea to choose Cabrillo as the setting for Convergence, and find so many high-level artists willing to take part. Kudos to WSOHOIDPS curator Lianne Mueller and all those involved for pulling off this great convergence of nature, history and art. Let there be more! 

For more information on Convergence and future events, contact
La Jolla artist Becky Guttin in the garden she enhanced with repurposed sculptures made of cornhusks, glass, tools, compacted radiators and other detritus connected in some way to the area’s history. Maurice Hewitt
= = = =
••• Convergences: HUGO CROSTHWAITE is equally at home in Mexico and the United States; his grandfather was one of San Diego’s founding fathers. In “Siren Song 2015,” he converges the ancient Greek tale of a hero’s journey with the journey of contemporary immigrants to our shores. The Visitor Center’s white-painted masts/columns, near the point where Cabrillo’s ships landed, suggested the theme. 

In Homer’s epic, Odysseus, knowing his ship must sail by the Sirens (whose sweet song lures men to their death), orders his crew to plug their ears but has himself tied to the mast so he can experience the singing. Modern-day immigrants struggle to make their way here, despite all deterrents and dangers, lured by the siren-song of the American Dream. 

“The piece represents restraint and opportunity, free will and the idea of being bound to your fate,” said Crosthwaite. “At the end of the exhibit, the painting will disappear. Once the story is told, it’s gone, remaining only in memory.”

••• Convergences: NEIL KENDRICKS had never been to Cabrillo before he was invited to create a video for Convergence. He joined forces with Carlos Pelayo, a longtime friend and collaborator, and on his first visit to the park, was immediately attracted to the great white wall of the lighthouse — a perfect screen. Voice and Video sent someone to help with the set-up; it turned out to be an old friend, Jim Geary. “I went to his wedding in Maine,” Kendricks said. “This is a real, unexpected convergence!”
Neal Kendricks, film curator at MCASD-La Jolla, partners with Carlos to create an evocative video that was projected on the wall of Cabrillo’s Lighthouse. Maurice Hewitt
Jenna Ann MacGinnis with figures from ‘Kinfolk,’ her installation inside the Lighthouse Maurice Hewitt

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Your Donations make a differnce - Web Wonders

Over the years, we have been collecting a list of certain improvements that need to be made on the site in order to remove glitches and simply make it easier and more efficient to use the site. In 2015, we hired Anand Bora a web developer from Determinant Studios  in Bangalore, India. Anand was part of our DNA of Creativity project working on the PAMM project (Poly Aesthetics: Mapping of the Muses). We had a great challenge for Anand as the original site was constructed in 2003 in India, which is ancient history in web terms. He has performed miracles to sort out our code, clean up the site and make some wonderful improvements for the user and for the administration of the site.

We highly recommend Anand Bora for any web design needs you may have, and will be continuing to use his services for even more improvements to the site, especially with your kind end of the year donations to SDVAN.  We would like to add more search capacity especially for collectors looking to make commissions, added categories for mediums and locations for artists, continuing safety features, and a rating system for events by the public.  

Just in the last year we have added: 

Lots of back end admin changes have been made to make is easier to use and for the site to be more safe from virus and robot attacks. 

A print function on the top left of each page.

The resource search function has been repaired and you can once again search for a type of resource in one part of the county.

There is now an alphabetical search possible for Art Resources divided into first letter categories.

There is a new easy way to upload image for event listings. You can just browse your own computer for an image. The image no longer has to be online. Images up to 500kb can be used.

Every page for the search is now properly branded and linked with our menu bar.

We have fixed the am/pm confusion and now all listing for month, day and year are on pacific standard time.

San Diego Visual Arts Network  is a  database of information  produced  to improve the clarity, accuracy and sophistication of discourse about San Diego's artistic and cultural life and is dedicated to the idea that the Visual Arts are a vital part of the health of our city.

Did you know:

The SDVAN  connects almost 1,000 organizations and nearly 1500 artists and is  the largest resource ever brought together to support the visual arts community in the entire region of San Diego.  Its potential for influence within the entire community is great.

SDVAN is a nonprofit  entity which provides representation and support for the entire visual arts community through its directory and calendar services and is FREE.

How you can help:

$100 pays for updates for the directory for one month
$500 covers the cost of making feature event banner status for five exhibitions
$700 prints a flyer for the year
$1000 makes possible additional improvements on the site like posting images
$2000 will create a rating system for our new View Art Now App
$5000 supports the SD Art Prize

Support SDVAN and you receive more than the gift of art.  You support that which binds us together that goes beyond religion, race, or gender. You support our freedom to express ourselves and to gather to celebrate our creativity. 

Donate to SDVAN online, by phone or by post. Those of you who can give $25 of more will be listed on the permanent sponsor page
Thank you so much for your tax deductible donation to our 100% volunteer non-profit. 

For more information: or contact  (760) 943 0148

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

North County Arts Network Visual Art Programming Meeting

By Patricia Frischer
North County Arts Network Visual Art Programming Meeting
Tue. Dec 1, 10 to noon  

SDVAN ( 2487 Montgomery Avenue, Cardiff by the Sea, 92007) 
More info: Patricia Frischer760.943.0148

This was the first time that the large North County Arts Network organization, which has in the past year held 4 huge gatherings of 80 to 120 art professionals, convened individual committee meeting in six different subjects. I was happy to host the Visual Arts Programming Meeting. Other meetings held were Arts Education , Civic Arts/Public Art , Arts Funding/Economic Development, Performing Arts Programming  and Arts Marketing/Audience Development

Daniel Foster gave a brief overview of NCAN including how we had met for a year which was a vital community building aspect of the project. We are now in the stage of moving forward with committees in six areas and working toward establishing a more formal steering committee/advisory which will work toward non-profit status with a board. Funding needs to be solidified for a full time admin role. 

We choose to hold a guided fantasy focusing on prioritized projects (collaboration, pr/website, registry, audience building, artist clusters.) The projects need to include limitation on volunteer hours, advocacy message, leveraged possibilities, education outreach, mentoring, funding, audience development and participation, pr attractiveness. These ideas will be presented to the other NCAN committees and hopefully several projects will be chosen as cross committee endeavors. There might also well be individual committee projects that will call on a whole range of collaborations.  

A guided fantasy uses a right brain stream of thought technique to relax the participants and allow a vision to surface without editing or critical thinking. It is especially effective with the willing brains of visual artists and we got great results when we shared our experiences.   

Guided Fantasy results:

I have divided the conversations after the guided fantasy into two categories: aspects of the projects and project ideas.

Aspects of project
One night event creating a sense of urgency to attend
Spectacular – not average
Food related
Mentoring aspect
Communal spaces that are multi-purpose and fluid
Balance of entertainment and popular versus solitariness of art

Project Ideas
Billboard preferably electronic and able to change images often
Open studios
Art Exhibition that rotate in business spaces
Artist of the Month program
Art along the freeway and/or sprinter line
Uber for art – instant on demand
Arts Summit to business community demonstrating the value of the arts
Eat Your Art Out – Matching one organization to one restaurant county wide on one day, this could include open studios, galleries, museums, theater, any cultural gathering
Defining the new Art Patron Seminar/Conference

There was great support and enthusiasm  for the vision and mission of this new organization which hopes to unite the arts of north county thus invigorating the quality of life in our region. We hope the arts are recognized as vital and know this will take an innovative approach and vast collaboration by not just the arts community but with interactions from the business community and government. 

We are all excited to experience the next steps in bringing our passions to life with this new venture. 

For more info and to join in:
Daniel Foster or  Patricia Frischer 760.943.0148