Tuesday, May 14, 2019

SD Art Prize at the Athenaeum produced by San Diego Visual Arts Network

By Patricia Frischer

SD Art Prize  Presented by San Diego Visual Arts Network at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library (1008 Wall St. La Jolla, 92037) with Anne Mudge with Erin Dace Behling, and Robert Matheny with Max Robert DailyThis exhibitions runs from Sat, May 11 to Sat, July 6  Words of support from Lynn Susholtz, Art Produce, Jacqueline Silverman, director San Diego Art Institute, Dave Hampton, curator for Robert Matheny and Jill Dawsey, PhD, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego now available for free download in the  SD Art Prize Catalog 2018  More info: Patricia Frischer

The 2018 recipients of the SD Art Prize were honored during the opening of their exhibition at the Athenaeum Music and Art Library on Friday May 10th. The show included new art work by all of these artists of excellence. As always, the Athenaeum provided a perfect showcase.

San Diego Visual Arts Network is pleased to announce that Chi Essary has been selected as the new curator of the San Diego Art Prize. Over the next year Essary will be streamlining and restructuring the prize to focus solely on emerging artists, increasing the prize’s visibility and building public engagement.

“I’m looking forward to streamlining the Art Prize and building its reputation and audience. It’s a valued milestone in the artist community and I’d like to build the general public’s interest in the prize and the emerging artists we have right here in San Diego.”  Chi Essary, new curator of the SD Art Prize

“We feel really fortunate to put the SD Art Prize into the capable hands of Chi Essary who will breathe new life into this time honored award for excellence.“ Patricia Frischer, founder San Diego Visual Arts Network which funds and produces the SD Art Prize 

Chi Essary

Anne Mudge creates ethereal environments of complicated wire works that looked amazingly fragile but turned out to be as resilient as its creator. Tension wire and physics keep these very organic works afloat. Mudge says there are challenges and, "...magic moments of discovery" in her process-based art. In this exhibition we see new works in delicate silver tones, but also some white works in this very large display. A whole wall is dedicated to darker pieces with more pronounced intersections. A favorite was one that transitions from earth to sky, dark to light. 
Anne Mudge 


Mudge works with geometry and repetitious patterning and shares these aspects of creation with Erin Dace Behling’s furniture design. They are both creating landscapes because they are arranging biological components into a sort of scenery, but Behling is using a wider variety of materials and her works are functional. She uses very familiar components of the natural world but in unfamiliar ways. Look closely at the variations in color on the handcrafted wood and concrete which reflect the magically colors of the Utah deserts and mountains. 
Erin Dace Behling

Max Robert Daily is a butcher and puppeteer and art installer by trade and the proprietor of Oslo sardine bar, really an art installation. After displaying last fall at SD Art Prize  at Art San Diego presented by San Diego Visual Arts Network, Max Daily still has one stop to make in Santa Fe before returning from a year of traveling to Art Fairs around the country sponsored by Redwood Media Group. He will be showing again at Art San Diego which this year moves to the convention center. The Sea Glass and Skipping Stone dispenser in this exhibition really works and for 25 cents, you could own a few pieces of this installation. The dispenser is set on a pile of books from the Athenaeum.  Go up to $10 and get your own package of sardines and crackers. A free newspaper hat/sailing boat comes with each interaction if you are lucky.  Daily really is a clown and  a piece we have not seen before is a box of clown death mask noses sitting on a stack of newspaper comics. Clown play a varied role in our community and the life blood of Max Daily's work is that variety. 
Max Robert Daily

outside of the box


Robert Matheny has played with every medium and combines strong conceptual art ideas with a tangible product which is almost never functional. He is a master trickster with a sense of humor of the cynical variety and the constant surprise of never knowing what he will do next. Matheny had a terrific retrospective this year at the SD History Museum (maybe he is not so Almost Anonymous anymore!) He reports that the "as usual, whatever I select to show will be spectdaculary." The tiny blue and gold glitter dot shown off in an elaborate frame is part of a new series of glitter works. At the start of his more than 50 year career he used metal flake paint surfaces on sculptures.  He recently posted instructions for a meditation by concentrating on one flake of silver glitter placed on grey pants until they catch the light of the reflected sun.  He asked the question, "which do you like best the "real" 2 dollar bill or the "fake" one?  Makes you think, doesn't it!

Robert Matheny 

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