Thursday, February 11, 2016

Art of the Open Air at SD Musuem of Art

By Patricia Frischer

Art of the Open Air:San Diego Museum of Art Plaza de Panama  
February 11, 2016 through February 13, 2018

"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot" are lyrics from Joni Mitchell Big Yellow Taxi. What we have here is a parking lot that got paved over to make an open air art gallery. 

Don't expect to do a drive by and see gigantic sculptures in the middle of the new umbrellas and seats in the plaza in front of the SD Museum of Art. These works, which have been rescued from storage, are very close to the front of the museum. Todd Gloria, city council member for District 3 in the City of San Diego made a special speech at the launch of this exhibition pointing out that no matter how lovely and artful the walls of the museum were, that having the art on the outside made it accessible to the public. Dana Springs was keen to remind us that this new plaza and the outside spaces of Balboa Park can be enlivened by new project of all kinds.
The San Diego Museum of Art  has now opened Art of the Open Air, a free exhibition located in Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama featuring seven modern works from the Museum’s  sculpture collection. . In October, The San Diego Museum of Art in partnership with the City of SD  launched a crowd-sourced fundraising campaign, #FreeTheArt, to help raise funds for the exhibition. The art needed to be freed from storage as it was not often on view.  .Buzz Kinnaird (Board of Trustees member) and his wife, Helen gave a lead grant of $20,000 and   #FreeTheArt raised $8000 of the $20,000 they were hoping but the Museum did raise 17% of its goal in a short time. The city did not contribute anything to the project from public funds. Money raised is funding conservation, installation, security and lighting for the sculptures
Anita Feldman joined the Museum as Director of Curatorial Affairs in May 2014 and is the curator for this display. This public art project is open to all, free of charge and includes  Auguste Rodin’s The Prodigal Son, Joan Miró’s Solar Bird, Lynn Chadwick’s The Watchers, Luis Jiménez's Border Crossing, Francisco Zuniga's Mother and Daughter seated, Jack Zajac's Big Open Scull and Tony Rosenthal’s Odyssey III.  The sculptures featured in the Plaza de Panama are in addition to the significant sculptures in the May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden and Panama 66 restaurant, both located adjacent to the Museum. A work by Alexander Calder will also be joining the Sculpture Garden, alongside the 19th- and 20th-century modern and contemporary sculptures by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, George Rickey, Louise Nevelson, David Smith, Alexander Liberman and Saul Baiszerman in total, fifteen sculptures.

I tried to take some photos that shows the incredable trees in bloom right now. 

Todd Gloria, Roxana Velásquez, Dana Springs posing for the photographers

Joan Miró’s Solar Bird, and Tony Rosenthal’s Odyssey III.

Jack Zajac's Big Open Scull and Tony Rosenthal’s Odyssey III.

Auguste Rodin’s The Prodigal Son

Auguste Rodin’s The Prodigal Son

 Lynn Chadwick’s The Watchers

 Luis Jiménez's Border Crossing, 

 Francisco Zuniga's Mother and Daughter seated.

Art of the Open Air is a collaborative project designed to make art more accessible to our community and visitors while turning the spacious Plaza de Panama into a source of creative inspiration,” said Anita Feldman“These sculptures are some of the most significant works from the Museum’s sculpture collection, many of which have not been viewed by the public in years. We’re thrilled to bring them back on display, where they belong, and hope visitors will enjoy a new experience with every visit to the Plaza.” 

Roxana VelásquezMaruja Baldwin Executive Director says,. “Making art more accessible for our community has been an important, ongoing objective of The San Diego Museum of Art, and we hope to continue working on more public art projects like Art of the Open Air in the future.”

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