Friday, September 23, 2016

Old Fashion or Out of Fashion?

By Patricia Frischer

I am well into my 6th decade and as I look around me I realize I could with no stretch of the imagination be considered cutting edge. But that quantity of age does mean I might deserve a second look.

I have to admire those who take responsibility for longevity, creating a concept that can last over time. An older generation has, through experience, developed a logical methodology. They have a proven track record. It is almost like the reassurance we gain from having a belief in an omnipotent being that has a plan

I also know that there is a wonderful freedom in consistently adopting change. With change comes a feeling of dislocation, but that is necessary for the new to happen. A less structured approach comes from the gut and from observation of the world around us. Nature has a magic way of evolving and adapting to circumstances.

We need the world to make sense when times are uncertain. We need to be disruptive when things become boring and staid.

I believe that I have experienced both of these extremes. So it turns out that I am old fashion and out of fashion now. I will stay old, but fashion does come around. And being both maybe is not such a bad thing.

Friday, September 16, 2016

San Diego Mesa College Faculty Exhibition

Faculty Exhibition
San Diego Mesa College, San Diego
Through September 28th

Article by Cathy Breslaw

The faculty exhibition at San Diego Mesa College has a wide range of works including ceramics,oil and acrylic painting, installation, collage, mixed media, video, photography, photo montage, and pastel paintings. Some artists include self portraits, while others have differing intentions examining identity,  interests in archaeology, statements on the status of college costs, works that stem from the ordinary and the meaning of the mundane, observation and wonder over simple things, the communicative power of objects while still others examine the many ways materials can be utilized.

John Chwekun experiments with using white on white surfaces and creates a tiny scene of a playground with wire and post-it notes,  Georgia K. Laris transforms the support of paintings out of the ‘rectangle’, using acrylics on papers with cotton threads, Kraig Cavanaugh calls his works paintings but uses acrylic and wire to create 3-D sculpture-like forms that hang off the walls, and Nathan Betschart creates porcelain raku.  Wendell Kling exhibits an interactive ‘camp fire’ installation along with a stop motion animation. Juan Carlos Toth exhibits a large scale red painting and offers others to add their own marks to his canvas using colored oil sticks  he provides for visitors to use – encouraging free expression.   

If students ever wondered about all the ways art can be made, they won’t after seeing this exhibition – the possibilities are endlessly expressed with this show that are worth a visit.

Allesandra Moctezuma   Crushed Dreams      clay, mixed media
John Chwekun      Still Life      mixed media

Barbara Sexton    Common Denominator #2     photomontage

Christopher Ferreria    Hawk     pigment print

Georgia K. Laris     Unspoken     acrylics on papers with cotton threads

Cindy Zimmerman     Self Portraits     ink on paper

Thursday, September 15, 2016

SDSU Downtown Gallery Exhibits Work by Recent Grads: With Abandon

With Abandon
Group exhibition of former students, SDSU
guest curated by Ginger Shulick Porcella, Executive Director, San Diego Art Institute

Article by Cathy Breslaw

With Abandon is a group exhibition of fourteen former students of San Diego State University who graduated within the past five years, and one student working toward an MFA. The artworks include a fabrication of materials, metal and wood craft and the repurposing of found objects in the form of installation, sculpture, ceramics, video, painting, book-making and photographic prints. Though each artist offers varying perspectives in the nature and purpose of their work, there does appear to be a commonality of an almost obsessive attention to craft and detail.  Ainsly Buhl’s installation created with coffee straws, wood and wire, and Aren Skalman’s mixed media and found objects installation seem to bounce off of one another – the former lending an exacting display of layers of carefully constructed very long strands of two toned red straws emanating from the wall equally from a wood and wire central base, while Skalman’s work appears to be a randomly placed mixture of various short and long colorful shapes hanging from the wall suggesting some kind of communication system we are not familiar with. Chelsea Herman’s Artist book (Chiné-colle etchings, text handset Bembo and printed letterpress on Stonehenge paper) and Tammy Young Eun Kim’s 3-D printed sandstone, alumide, brass, steel and silver small sculptural forms share a quiet and poetic sensibility with a delicate and subtle sense of beauty and focus on craft. Lee M. Lavy’s installation of found posts are arranged within the gallery’s central space, each fulfilling a different size and character, mostly all weathered by time from their former ‘home’, telling a story seemingly marked by territory, allowing viewers to roam within and around each post, giving us access to a ‘close up’ view. Adam John Manley’s two 12 foot wood and acrylic installation works share Lavy’s marking of territory with his works’ pointing of ‘to’ and ‘from’ arrows giving directions to viewers within the landscape of the gallery space. The works of Maricarmen Olimón and Amanda Packer share a vulnerability in their more personal and intimate art pieces created from clay (Oliman) and copper, silver and brass with thread and paint jewelry (Packer). Kaiya Rainbolt’s minimalist sculpture(65” x 38” x36”) sitting only inches above the floor, uses twin mattresses twisted in a symmetrical ‘knot’ – This work seems to sit between a humorous and sober theme. Artist Phil Rowland uses the objects of hammer and axe heads, using ash, maple, oak and walnut woods to create his highly well-crafted conceptual works. Rowland’s pieces reflect a surprising sense of humor.

Michael Rybicki’s 8 foot concrete and wood installation leans on a central column adjacent to Lavy’s posts and while they relate to one another, Rybicki’s ‘sculpture’ seems to have the hand of the artist in it’s making. Marisa Scheinfeld’s chromogenic prints are both formally and compositionally very beautiful.  In contrast, the subject matter is of abandoned buildings reminiscent of old-school soda fountain seating in a restaurant that saw better days. There is a certain feeling of nostalgia and good memories in these richly hued prints. Kurosh Yahyai’s oil on canvas and adjacent installation of wood, steel and mixed media is a heavy themed work portraying a  prone female figure, in a dark environment with light shone on her face. Ashley Fenderson’s installation created in the loading dock area of the gallery is a huge roundish art piece dense with organic and man-made materials filled with the stuff we see along highways blowing in the wind. It is mysterious, and both visually appealing and raw in its presence. 

There are no hidden agendas in the works of this exhibition – with a range of materials, techniques and artist’s intent, the works serve viewers a fascinating look at nicely crafted, distinctive and personal works by artists trained at San Diego State University.

Chelsea Herman’s Artist book
(Chiné-colle etchings, text handset Bembo and printed letterpress on Stonehenge paper) 

Lee M. Lavy with his installation   Outposts          found posts

Kaiya Rainbolt       Aposiopesis #3 Confusion,     twin mattress

Artist Ashley Fenderson working on her installation         Ghost      organic materials, wire

Adam John Manley    Itinerant Landmarks        print

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Sergott Contemporary is starting its fifth year

Sergott Contemporary Art Alliance (SCAA) (Rancho Santa Fe) celebrates the beginning of Five Years with an Anniversary Exhibition from Sept 9 to Nov 9.  To commemorate this occasion, the exhibition features a selection of new works by sixteen artists who have exhibited at SCAA as well as two new artists. Erin Dace Behling and Robert Michael Jones both New Contemporaries for 2016. Other SD Art Prize artist include:  De La Torre Brothers, Belize Iristay, Jeffrey Laudenslager, and Deanne Sabeck. The opening reception is Fri, Sept 9 from 6 - 9pm with a performance by Amigos del Rep at 7:30pm. More info: 858.756.2377

A huge crowd turned out for this coming of age celebration for Sergott Contemporary Art Alliance. It was nice to see the support from the community with several newcomers lured finally by the longevity of Tom Sergott efforts to support mainly local artists in the San Diego area. 

This was a party as well as an education. The art was hung beautifully with space to honor the selected works. There were just a representation of some of those who have shown for the past four years in the Rancho Santa Fe space as well as featured in numerous national contemporary art fairs.  We were treated to fun food, wine and special cocktails during the networking early stage of the evening. There was  time to catch up with friends and colleague. We should never under estimate the importance of these valuable time to connect in our community. Great thanks goes to Tom and Anne Sergott  for giving us that opportunity. 

Two special presentation of dance evoking the anguish of those crossing the border was followed by two more letters from the border, a carry on from those read at the last opening (Neo-Kitsch: A New Old Latin America at Sergott Contemporary Art Alliance). 

After the performing arts part of the event, we were treated to short presentations by many of the artist in the exhibition who were in attendance. The open arrangement of the gallery allowed for a large group to be able to follow this walk through. Learning more about the artists and their work is an essential part of feeling comfortable admiring and hopefully obtaining these creations. We were especially glad to hear from new artists we had not met as well of many who have been recipients of the SD Art Prize or included in the New Contemporaries series of exhibitions produced by SD Visual Arts Network.

Show entry

Dia Bassett with her art

Dia Bassett "Matters of the Heart"

Erin Dace Behling: hard and hard stool

Erin Dace Behling was asked if her work is functional and she very intriguingly commented on  how tables are used to bring us together and to separate us

Erin Dace Behling

Fred Ploeger

Jee Yoon: very delicate works made from paper and displayed in plexiglas boxes
Jieia Rufeh: her mother also is in this show and it was interesting to compare their works

de la Torre detail which is the only way to photograph this light  box of  three-d images

de la Torre brothers also displayed some of their glass works.

Jeanne Dunne "Garden of Delights" inspired by getting lost during a trip to France

Jeanne Dunn with her work

Emily Halpern with her  painting that emerged from her sub conscious with partial plane images, perhaps because of all the war news we are now bombarded with currently.

Heidi Rufeh speaking about her art with Ralyn Wolfsten in rapt attention beside her

Heidi Rufeh
Joseph Caroff is Tom Sergott's first artist and this image actually comes off the page.

Echo Lew

Deanne Sabeck with a work that changes as you move around it and is able to move itself into numerous positions.
Belize Iristay and her "Valise" which is a brick covered with Turkish designs which have been glazed.....added handle is real making this a mixed media work.

Robert Michael Jones outside with his large monkey on a cycle sculpture.  You can see more of his work at the blog:

New Contemporaries at City College: Emerging Artist nominated for SD Art Prize

The following is a taste of the dance performance in the gallery space"  

 "We all have stories of where we came from and where we want to go. Letters from the Wall  is an ongoing series of vignettes based on  actual letters and real life stories of those affected by the United States/Mexico international border wall, immigration, deportation and  separation. Originally written as a bi-national theatrical event by Dave Rivas, it was first performed on both sides of the border wall in San  Ysidro, California and Playas, Tijuana, Mexico, with actors performing simultaneously on the United States and Mexico side in English and  Spanish. Each “letter” is woven together from the true stories, letters, emails, and even bedtime stories that Rivas has collected.  And more content is being added all the time as –with each performance—audience members share their own stories or experiences.  It is an ever growing and changing series that seeks to address the human experience in pursuit of a better life."

The two stories in tonight's performance high lighted the work done by Border Angels, founded by Enrique Morones in 1986.  this is a non-profit organization supporting humanity. The organization consists of extraordinary volunteers who want to stop unnecessary deaths of individuals traveling through the Imperial Valley desert areas and the mountain areas surrounding San Diego County, as well as the areas located around the United States and Mexican border.

The first story was read and acted out about a family split up during the struggle through rain and mud to cross the border. The young daughter wore the only pair of shoes while the son had to make do with bits of carpet strapped to his feet. These weighed him down and even his father could not drag him the last few step to safety. The father died from injuries suffered during their quest, only the son was able eventually to see his sister for three minutes when the gates were briefly opened for them to re-unite before he, too, died. The second story was an homage to the 10,000 who have died crossing the border who have been buried as John or Jane Doe back over the border in Mexico. Many, many more deaths have occurred since the wall was built although the number of illegal crossings has not changed much. We live so close to this distressing situation which can only be stopped when the politics have been played out. 

Border Angels brings families together at Friendship Park by City Beat by Alex Zaragoza tells more and has a real video of the opening of the door and three minute visits.

Friday, September 2, 2016

db Foster at the start: Outside In at Southwestern College Gallery

by Patricia Frischer

db Foster: OutSide In

Sept 1  until Sept. 22, 2016
Southwestern College Art Gallery
900 Otay Lakes Rd., Chula Vista,  91910
Monday to Thurs. 10:30 am to 2 pm Wed and Thurs. 5;30 to 8 pm More info:Daniel Foster or Vallo Riberto

Aesthetics is supposed to be a collective shared appreciation. It is not supposed to be based on prejudice or one’s background. But we are attracted to what other people like and we do seem to
like things more the longer we like them. These contradictory beliefs set up an on going argument in the art gallery world.

The art world has become a decider of what content belongs where. As soon as art is shown inside in an exhibition space, then someone has decided they like it. And if we have seen that work more than once and enjoyed it, we are likely to continue to admire it. Admiring sometimes leads to acquiring, and the art market is born. This is a closed system, very insular and profitable, but has nothing really to do with life aesthetics or some sort of decision about artistic taste which every single person is allowed to have individually. Nor does it really help us to see if there is a collective consciousness which is primal and fundamental to us all. These are some of the issues that Daniel Foster contemplates in his life. He has declared that he sees his whole life as an art work.  

Daniel Foster used his education in philosophical studies to help him follow an organic, non linear multi-faceted path in life. He happily traded a great income for great freedom. He started to make art when he discovered a voice within himself that could only be expressed creatively. He has kept this voice very private for over 30 years, filling a number of storage containers and over 30 journals. Now he finds it unnerving to share this spiritual part of himself and we are only beginning to glimpse some of the truths he has discovered.  

When Foster was in charge of the Riverside Museum and Oceanside Museum of Art, he saw his creative self as the artist using the organization as his medium. Vallo Riberto, Southwestern College Art Gallery director, shares the artist role using Daniel as his medium. He has excavated and collaborated with Daniel to put on a show that has space which leads to clarity. If the Susan Street Gallery show was claustrophobic, this one breathes easy. Like works are grouped together in this large space and your eye balls have a chance to see many things, rest and see one thing, rest and see many things again. There is also a created rhythm between large and small and between black and white and color.

Both men recognized the power of scale for this show, and several large pieces are not only site specific but were constructed in situ. Most of the work in the show uses found objects, upcycled into fine art. Much of it was photo-documentation of works that are ephemeral - carved into sand, chalk on asphalt – but elegantly reproduced on metal substrate so they became objects themselves.

Foster is a man of words. They flow easily from him and he is also a self confessed poet. It is surprising then, that the works in this show do not have titles except for one of the very colorful series of reflective vinyl, acrylic and colored pencil items called “Horror Vacuii” from 1997. Some of the art does contain words and they are be dark and disturbing. As he points out, “Not all beauty is truth and not all truth is beautiful. “

If Art deals with notions of beauty and truth, Foster relates nature to beauty very strongly and his primal shapes are his designed attempts to capture that beauty. And design is the optimal word here, as Foster is a true life designer. He has designed a focused life style. He has designed a philosophy of living, and he is constantly now designing shapes, which in the future will certainly gain life as 3-dimensional objects. When that happens, will 4 storage garages be enough? We know that he has enough art to fill hundred of exhibitions, but the true “be here now” devotee will evolve at his own pace, revealing his truth and beauty to himself and if we are lucky to us as well.

Daniel Foster can be reached at or visit his new developing website at

Large entrance work

Daniel Foster lecturing

Site specific used cardboard attached directly to the wall

Series of photo documentation of chalk works outside

Design on children's flash cards with pull tape texture

Series of photo documentation of sand works, this one with  rubber bands

Series of works done with reflective tape that shines in the dark when illuminated with a flash light

Each of the 29 strips in this composition was created on a different day in February leap year. It then reads as a visual diary of the month
Shapes of things to come, with cut outs, perhaps soon to be three dimensional. Dimmer switch is incorporated into the work....shadow is my head, hands and phone.