Tuesday, September 8, 2020

This Way Out: La Jolla Playhouse Presents a Pair of Portals into Artful Worlds

By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt  

Sweaty, smoky, uncertain September. As if the pandemic were not enough, September swept in with record-breaking three-digit temperatures, state-of-emergency wildfires that spread smoke-filled clouds and flakes of ash around the county, and no lessening of social unrest and political dissension.
If you’re looking for a way out, La Jolla Playhouse is currently offering some solutions—a pair of portals into new worlds imagined by acclaimed local artists that are part of their biennial WOW Festival, which this year has gone fully virtual.


The first portal to open is Portaleza, created by award-winning scenic/costume designer David Israel Reynoso and his team of paranormal visionaries called Optika Moderna. You may have already journeyed through one of OM’s elaborate, immersive productions at previous WOW Fests—“Las Quinceañeras” in 2019 or “Waking La Llorona” in 2017. This one is a private experience you have in your own home, with the aid of your smart phone and the contents of a mysterious package mailed to you several days before your ticket date.

Portaleza will be on view through October 4. Tickets are $20 and must be ordered in advance at LaJollaPlayhouse.org

The Society of Wonder

Portal #2, The Society of Wonder, is the work of Bridget Rountree and Iain McGunn, aka Animal Cracker Conspiracy—a dynamic duo who combine ingenious puppetry, an array of visual arts, and offbeat storytelling in their productions. This one is a six-part series of videos about an ancient society that discovered secret portals to an underground kingdom of hope and inspiration in their own backyards and is about to come to life again—in a whole new way.

Exact dates have not yet been announced, but The Society of Wonder will be launching sometime in mid-September. And wonder of wonders—all six episodes are free. 

*UPDATE, September 18:  I have seen The Society of Wonder—Episode 1, at least—which just started streaming today. It’s only six minutes long and mostly introduces six unusual characters about to dig into a mysterious situation but the puppets are wondrous enough to make you want to follow them anywhere, certainly through the next five episodes. The settings are gorgeous too, and I can’t wait to see what comes next. The plan is to release a new episode every Friday. You can kick off your weekend with this one at https://lajollaplayhouse.org/wow-goes-digital/society-of-wonder/

For more information about both of these portals, see LaJollaPlayhouse.org

Lonnie Burstein Hewitt is an award-winning author/lyricist/playwright who has written about arts and lifestyle for the La Jolla Light and other local media for over a dozen years. You can reach her at hew2@sbcglobal.net

Gerda Govine and Luis Ituarte Miracle in the Midst

By Gerda Govine with photo by Luis Ituarte

We are posting this first hand account of the Valley fires burning right now in Jamul by local residents poet Gerda Govine and artist Luis Ituarte.  At this time over 17,000 acres has burned. The home of this dedicated art advocacy couple is still safe and we hope that the Blanca the Miracle Owl guards over the property until they can return. Gerda and Luis are both grateful to the Red Cross for taking such generous and considerate care of them both and their two dogs! Gerda always takes every challenge as an opportunity and we join with all those that know the couple to wish them health and happiness in the near future.
Patricia Frischer


This owl lived in a pine tree on the NE part of our property.  She belongs to a family that started at Gina's place which is at the SW corner of our property.  During the beginning of the fire she flew from the nest she had on our pine tree to her family's nest on Gina's property.  (This is when Luis took the picture).  During her flight she drew a line that is miraculously the line of demarkation for the fire not to cross and it happened.

"We were watching the movie, "Message from the King," on Netflix around 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 5, 2020 when our friend Robert, a Greek Orthodox Priest, called to say there was a fire headed our way and we should get ready to evacuate. We went to the highest point on the property and saw a gigantic black cloud of smoke and flames that had not made it over the mountain.  Luis took some quick photos with a "miracle” shot that he didn't look at until the next day. We left before the evacuation order was instituted. Luis and I packed our bags, two dogs, and two cars and went to the home of Wick and Robin in Dulzura about 35 minutes south of us. We spent Saturday night with them, even though there was no electricity in the whole area.  We went to bed, but did not sleep, not knowing whether or not our home was still standing--a truly gut-wrenching experience I would not wish on anyone.

Luis left early Sunday morning with Robin and he talked his way into Lawson Valley and was allowed to get into our home for a short time. Yes, our home and grounds are still standing with no fire damage. We decided to go back to Lawson Valley Sunday evenings expecting to just enter.  Cal Fire closed the road except for fire-related vehicles.  We kept waiting and hoping.  At 10:00 p.m. we left and spent the night in a “quaint” motel in El Cajon while the dogs had to sleep in one of our cars overnight. On Monday around 11:00 we went to visit Luis' brother Romulo who lives in an apartment complex in El Cajon that does not allow any animals.  We had a great brunch with them, good conversation and lots of laughter.

We went back to Jamul to find a kennel to keep our dogs since we did not want them sleeping in the car overnight.  A friend suggested that we contact the Red Cross operating out of the gym in the local high school.  We did not know what to expect.  We got there and Luis went into the gym.  A while later he came out and said they can help us.  A volunteer sat with us, we provided our ID’s, he asked some questions and filled out a required form.  The upshot, they offered us a hotel room that would accept our dogs and have parking space for both of our cars.  We were relieved.  Next step was for us to wait and within a couple of hours we would get a phone call from another RC volunteer to provide the name and address of the hotel. We were chilling out as children played and conversations with their parents kept popping up. It was comforting.

While waiting in the shaded parking lot with a cool breeze we saw a couple walking, one carrying a camera and another a hand-held mike.  They worked for Channel 10 News in San Diego and asked if they could interview us.  So, Luis motioned to me to do the interview. I grabbed my mask, got out of the car and had a 10-minute interview.  After this we got the phone call from the RC volunteer stating that they had a room for us at the La Quinta Hotel in Mission Beach where breakfast, lunch and dinner would be provided every day at no cost to us.  Our room is a pretty good size for the four of us.  Dinner last night was chicken strips, baked potatoes and broccoli from Denny's delivered to our hotel room. 

Monday night we turned on the News on Channel 10 during the 6 p.m. broadcast. They posted my picture along with shots of other families who had been evacuated and were waiting for word about their lodging. During the 7 p.m. news they aired my entire interview, with some shots of Luis  and I talking inside the car and Chicha and Azul our two dogs who are still trying to figure our what is going on.  How come we can't just run wild?  Why are we on a leash?  How come we can’t be outside all day? Where are the hills and neighbors--horses, dogs, pigs, goats, squirrels, frogs, and the Bobcat? 

This morning, Tuesday, the RC setup a food station in the hotel since more families were assigned late last night and this morning.   At 8:30 a.m. we got a phone call to pick up breakfast. This morning we had an Egg MacMuffin, coffee, water and some treats.  After breakfast we got a call from the RC and they said that as long as the closure of Lawson Valley continues we can stay in the hotel.  What a relief.  Tuesday night  Channel 10 broadcasted additional shots of Luis and I together in the car.

Writing all this out is very helpful.  My mind is full of new and mind-boggling experiences that I will never forget.  So my dear friends and extraordinary poets this is my life "as is."  We are indeed thankful, hopeful and pleased-- like "ducks out of water" but we just keep "quacking." My best to all of you and please stay safe. 

Momentum 2 presented by Vanguard Culture

 Summary Notes by Patricia Frischer

Gil Sotu
Please note: You can view the full zoom presentation for Momentum 1 and 2 at this link on Vanguard Culture: A Creative Industry Symposium.

Co-host with Vanguard Culture Susanna Pereda Swap
James Halliday
– Arts: A Reason to Survive. The arts are always going to be on the forefront of re-building and re-imagining our communities.  

Sean Cassidy – Cassidy International Business Growth Strategist & Futurist. It is important to know how you get access to people especially if you want to make a living in the arts. Now we have infinite opportunities and access to powerful people. Ecommerce is changing the way we live. Space X is putting up satellites to connect us all. The pandemic has accelerated our tech communications by 10 years. Ecommerce in the arts has lagged and to fix that we need collaboration to invent new strategies.  Strategically aligning ourselves means giving up ego. Digital currency is coming worldwide. Live entertainment will use that currency. We can bring ourselves into spaces all over the world. Integrated connections will make that happen. We need to share resources across all industries.

Jodi Cilley – Passionate Filmmaker, Storytelling about community. Young people are drawn to this area and will commit and solidify relationships to make community. Film making is a team sport. The bigger the project the bigger the circle of community that is needed. The audience needs to feel something and be changed. Film immerses the audience. Films shows you in a deep and vital way, how others are living. Watch 150 films they released during the pandemic. Quarantine Film challenge.

Performance by Gill Sotu, who inspires through poetry with Lee Culture. “This is not the time to look away.”

Allison Andrews, Founder of Fashion Week San Diego and APA Business Consulting. History of fashion has led us from fashion mags to social media fashion blogs and influencers, from couture to prêt-à-porter, from dresses to pants for women, from thin only to body acceptability. We are now challenging the norms of the fashion industry. New trends include: Smart Fashion that helps to keep you alive with embedded healthy technology; socially responsible fashion for example upcycling and encouraging anti-child labor laws; and a wide range of alternative materials. Active leisure is now acceptable to wear out of your house. As brick and mortar is dying, online sales are thriving. The fashion industry is always looking for innovation and agents of change.

Ted Washington Publisher Puna Press and performing with Pruitt Igoe. All of his projects are about the people and the community and creating collaborations for communication. Music and poetry combinations for and with all ages and in all locations. Alternate venues are especially essential. Art can be a prompt for poetry. La Bodega has a new space in Barrio Logan but had to stop because of Covid. The pandemic and zoom opened poetry up to a much wider audience like Virtual Palabra. The word will not be silenced. The word lives on. The word travels fast. We are infinitely adaptive.

Performance: Jamie Shadowlight who is an electric violinist collaborating with sounds and sand artist

Matt Carney, he is an Executive Director of the San Diego Ballet. President of San Diego Regional Coalition for Arts and Culture. Dance means fun and funky and being part of something bigger and spectacular. Dance is an expression of being alive. Dance is for everybody and comes from the people. Dance is a body of work. There are social implications and advocacy issues within this medium. We can re-evaluate and think outside of the commercial aspect of selling tickets for example, Disco Riot has a message to vote.

Sarah Austin Jenness, storyteller. Executive Producer of The Moth podcast. In the beginning of The Moth were storytellers who called themselves The Moths as they gathered around a lamp on an outside porch sharing real personal stories told by people in the know. It started as small, curated event, but it grew and grew and became a collective effort. Because of the pandemic it is all virtual now in 30 cities and working with student stories as well as Community and Global workshops in prisons.  Before Covid they were already making podcasts and broadcasting by radio. They realized they are no longer just art, but a worldwide way to connect and deal with social problems. It is artfully presented but practices advocacy on social justice issues. Now it is not just story telling but an exercise in listening. Sarah urges us to hold space for stories and make the world a better place by sharing a story and listening with empathy.

Clement So, Director of Artistic Planning at the San Diego Symphony has a mission of changing lives with music. Listen//Hear is a Covid project to allow people to pay attention to listening. Musical combination from different cultures can bring us together. The music itself actually tells a story and not just with lyrics.  There is the possibility that listening can change lives. Ode to Spring has a message that all men shall become brothers. Music helps us remember the dream. His new directions and collaborations include pivoting to online presentations, more talk to educate the audience and showcasing more lesser known musicians and creating cross medium events in outside spaces.

Performance; Young Artists in Harmony - ARTS in partnership with Art of Elan  Kate Hatmaker mentors this group of young artists. Grateful for the empowerment of the community.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Marketing and Branding Workshop with T Hampton Dohrman presented by Vanguard Culture

By Patricia Frischer

Marketing and Branding Workshop with T Hampton Dohrman:  Tiny Opera House, for small non-profits, https://www.linkedin.com/in/thamptondohrman/

Please note: you can watch the entire session yourself at this link

These are my notes from a recent webinar sponsored by Vanguard Culture. The advice here seems to be geared to beginning business people. There were good links given to check out for inspiration but Mr. Dohrman did not deal with the question of how we define our own idea of success. His assumption was that selling = success and I have found that is not always true in the arts community. This is summed up neatly by his following statement: 

“It doesn’t matter how you think people will respond, only how they actually do. Your job is to be a good tester.

BRANDING is how it looks. The aesthetics and how people see your organization and how you have value.
Visual identity is logo and all of your graphics but also verbal. You are building trust and credibility. With the right branding you can look more established than you are and bigger! Consider consistency first and then repetition. Use the same colors and same fonts. You need graphics for decisions about logo and color palette, fonts, website, and in the recent past, business cards. You no longer have to hire an expensive graphic designer as you can buy these templates. For inspiration look for an established  company that you aspire to be one with similar values. www.Dribble.com is a place to find a selection of inspiration for logos and it is free. Try www.graphicriver.com for all sorts of templates. Other sites include https://www.fiverr.com/ and  https://99designs.com/

Colors: https://paletton.com/#uid=1000u0kllllaFw0g0qFqFg0w0aF allows you to take one color (you need to know the hex code which you can find with your medicine dropper or get one at https://pixlr.com/) and it creates a professional color palette to go with your colors.

Fonts: You can buy an entire style guide or choose your own fonts. Always use the same fonts everywhere and always use a font everyone can read and is viewable on all devices or use a pdf so the fonts are not changed when you send a document. Google fonts are standard and free and websites all recognize them. https://fonts.google.com/

Your Website is there to drive an action. It needs to be secure and looks professional. Better to learn how to do your own to stay in control and to save money and so  you can use one of the website templates. https://www.squarespace.com/templates/start/topic Others are https://presswizards.com/, or Weebly, Wordpress, GoDaddy, etc. You can use stock photos that you can also buy. www.Shutterstock.com

WORDS: Mission Statement is a short paragraph and shorter still is Elevator pitch but the shortest of all is your tag line. Your origin story should be personal and relatable. Memorize all of these and remember consistent and repetitive.  

MARKETING is more nuts and bolts and all about action and to gain awareness. Start at being good at what you do and believe in what you do. Marketing is basically all about sales. Sales funnel from prospects to customers through a specific order: finding prospects, setting a meeting, submitting a proposal, proposal accepted. This the sales journey. The action might be to drive prospects to the website, click on more to read, sign up for the newsletter, send them a pitch.  Success is defined if they buy.  Write out your process.

Prospects: define your goals to determine how many you need. What is your call to action?  
Response: email list, attend meeting, and send out survey to find out how successful you have been, or try follow ups with phones calls or texts.
Proposal: Make sure this relates to customer i.e. what do they get of value from you.
Buying: This takes time. Repeat contact with prospect has to happen. Use the funnel approach to hone in step by step.

Strategies: Analytics are the cornerstone of this approach.
Email and email list, You can see the customer’s journey down the funnel. You should makes this as targeted as possible and as personal. Lots of statistics will enable you to see how well you are doing. A drip campaign, www.moutic.com  is pre-automated emails based on points to track how engaged the prospect is and these can be timed and trigger based.

Social media can be both branding and marketing. Each platform has a different audience so determine who and where your audience is. If you have a business account on your social media platforms, you can automate and schedule your whole week in advance. Paid advertising can be very specific. Make sure you have a call to action.

Public relations and the press is great as it is free. Create a reason for them to talk about you. Gather a press list. Get to know individuals. https://www.tinyoperahouse.com/how-to-write-a-press-release/
Please note: my own press release guide is mainly for visual arts.

Content marketing. Stories, blogs, podcasts, videos, photos make sure that you remain in front of your prospects. It should be given out freely and reinforce your brand. If you do this then do it regularly..

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Behind the Exhibition: Southern California Contemporary Quilts at the Oceanside Museum of Art

by Patricia Frischer

Marty Ornish: Abstracted Recollection, 2014 with part of seven abandoned quilts made into a ball gown. When you make new things from old bits it is suggested you freeze fabrics to rid them of any living creatures for about 2 weeks. 

Beth Smith, Curator (right) joined  Katie Dolgov, exhibition manager of OMA for a behind the scenes look at the newest exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art. 

OMA started showing quilts in 2002 when Beth was part of the staff. This show was chosen especially by Beth, Katie and the OMA director Marie Mingalone to represent what is going on today in the quilt community. Digital communication has made a big difference  not only in the creation of quilts but also in researching the artist for this exhibition.   Thirty-give artists were selected, some never shown before at OMA and all because they push the boundaries of the medium.  They all also represents the zeitgeist of Southern California. Seascapes, tide pools, mid-century homes, mountains, palm trees, birds and fires.

These are not traditional quilts but fit into the definition of two pieces of fabric that are stitched together. Traditional quilts are older and functional and use patterns passed down. Modern quilts are geometric and with sold colors. Contemporary quilts are those done all over America. They are very popular with the public and draw thousands of viewers. It is a large industry with professional and amateur quilters, regional shows and conventions.

The artist chosen for this show are at the top of their game and have real excellence. Beth Smith looked at websites and used the internet to make choices and with her long experience in this field, knew most of the artists she wanted to include. This was not an open call. Art that chosen was outside of the box, often with a new uses of materials or extremely complicated and precise techniques.

This information was gained during a virtual presentation and we are hoping to see the actual exhibition in the future. You can watch the entire conversation at this link. 

Website: www.oma-online.org/quilts
There is a further streaming event .
SmallTalk: SoCal Quilters Roundup with Beth Smith

Thurs, Sept 24, 7:00 – 8:00pm
The exhibition will be up until Feb 21, 2021.  

Charlotte Bird: Southland Odyssey, 2019 is a nine foot quilted book with different scenes of Southern California.

Neldra McComb: Homage to David Hockney, Palm Springs, 2019

Jane LaFazio: Red 2015, hand felted and hand stitched has a huge variety of stitches and textures. You want to touch it but of course, you can’t. 

Gillian Moss: We Came, We Liked, we Stayed 2019 is a Californian bear in flip flops. Very auto biographical with symbols from her life. 

Libby Williamson: Burn Cycles, 2019 Lots of materials burlap, cheesecloth, zipper, measuring tape. Heavily layered and textured.  102 inches tall. 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Medium Remix - Interview with Alanna Airitam and Wayne Martin Belger

by Patricia Frischer

August 22, 2020
Presented by Medium Photo hosted by scott b. davis

This interview was arranged with Alana Airitam asking questions of Wayne Martin Belger and vice versa.

Alanna Airitam left corporate work at a time when there was so much news about police brutality. Trying to process the frustration of not being able to do anything about these issues, she challenged herself to use her camera everyday for 3 months. Friends came over to be photographed as a way to keep her on her mission. She added costumes and then tried to step out of the way of the development of the process. This developed into a series with a nod to the Golden Age but very much connected to the present. When she was young, she never saw anyone at the museum or on the museum walls that was black. This made her feel that she did not belong, so she created this work that places people who like her and do belongs in museums. She was 47 at the time and felt that young kids should not feel the way she did when she was a child. The Harlem Renaissance came out of a troubled time as well, so the image titles reference that period.

Her process is quite minimal and stays that way as she wants art to be accessible and available to people. Using only two lights and a balance reflector which she bought as a used light kit, she simply says she paid attention to light and shadow and is self-taught by looking at master paintings.

She is trying to correct an eraser in history. Truth has been switched and changed on a regular basis. So now it is hard to know what is true and what is fact. For example, she object to slaves were referred to now as immigrants. She has re-imagined the lives of four girls killed in 1963 to show what their lives might have been. The intention and passion during the shoot is very authentic and important. 

The Cross Roads series turns around the vision of the Golden Age when the black subjects are looking you directly in the eye. In Cross Roads, they are looking away from the camera. She is trying to get her audience to see something new. Allowing these black subjects to find their own way, not be pushed in a direction set by others.  These are large 24 by 46 inches encased in resin so they become objects.

The cotton from the Betsy Ross flag came from the work of slaves. So, she recreated the famous portrait with a herself as the seamstress and called it How to make a country. This is generated directly from the emotions she feels about how American is formed by the blood, sweet and tears of the African Americans. The remote control to shoot this shoot was pushed with her toe!

White Privilege was made during the pandemic and during the Black Lives Matter support marches. Most privileged people are not aware of their privilege and that lands heavily on those who are not privileged. This triptych is all about symbolic messages. The Pig has a silver spoon. It is in front of mirror so has no self-awareness. It sits on a flag so above the law. A black ribbon stands for black deaths and as the still life set up decayed and eroded in the heat of Arizona, it was photographed in three stages.

Because of the pandemic, work from the Golden Age has been borrowed from collectors for the SD Art Prize exhibition at Bread and Salt presented by the San Diego Visual Arts Network. Also one piece by Alanna from the Exquisite Corpse which was curated by Chi Essary will be included.  

Her next project will be on a family piece of land owned by her aunt so she can gather history of her heritage.

Alanna has collaborated with Wayne on a new work, American Decay which combines and alters images from both. They both now live in Tuscon.

Wayne Martin Belger – As a machinist, tools were alwaysvery important to him. His first camera was a commission of a pin hole camera. He loves chemistry and the science behind analog process of photography. He studied comparative religion and that aesthetics plays into the work. Each camera is made for the portrait subject. This makes a bridge between the artist and the photograph.

Two of his cameras are made from human skulls. A Tibetan skulls was but only because it was a match for the theme of the work.  The pupils which are gold have a tiny pin hole, this is surrounded by silver and then bronze. These skulls can literally see again.  Because of the two eyes, a 3-d image is created. All the photographs are put into detailed installations. Each one has a plum bob which is machined with his blood in a Pyrex glass container held within.  He dives into the subject completely and fully and gathers artifacts about that subject.

One of his other subjects was for a friend of his who had aids. The camera has a circulatory system with a vial of blood which is matched exactly to a certain red filter. He ended up photographing about 80 patience with aids of all ages. The photos come out tinged red. He makes a personal arrangement with all of the collectors to be able to borrow the camera back if he ever wants to continue a series. A larger theme is “us and them” where a certain group of people is labeled lesser than. This fits into his new series on a transgender American Indian called Walks in Two Worlds.

Many of you might remember his show at the San Diego Art Institute as well as seeing work by Alanna at SDAI.

Friday, August 21, 2020

ArtsVote - A Call to Action to Artists and Arts Advocates

by Patricia Frischer
Poster by Shepard Fairey

Having a plan to vote and voting early is the most important thing we can do in America right now.  I attended a live stream organized by Americans for the Arts (AFTA) on this subject. They are tasked with advocacy for the arts and it was an interesting panel that was convened. The arts contribute $763.6 billion to the US economy—4.2 percent of the GDP—more than agriculture, transportation, or warehousing.

You can watch this recorded version for yourself and or join in with the next ArtsVote live virtual event on Thursday, August 27, 2020 

Nora Halpern explained that all are participants of the panel were part  of the AFTA arts committee or board. Americans for the Arts are 430,000 members strong

Robert Lynch: Americans for the Arts, President and CEO, told us how the Democratic National Committee has an art plank in their platform. AFTA works to make sure that all the candidates for the presidency are educated about the arts. Many of these candidates will be part of the next administration or are high ranking elected officials.  There are 16 Platform points designed by 85 different organization with needs including Creative Economy, Education. Charity Giving, Veterans, $1 per capital, Funding, and the COVID response.  Biden declared this week that, “The Future of who we are lies in the Arts “. The Democratic platform on the Arts, "The arts are essential to our free and democratic society, to our culture, and to our local economies. Democrats are proud of our support for arts funding and education, and will continue policies and programs that promote the creative arts. We support public funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and for art and music education in public schools. We recognize that federal grants supporting nonprofit cultural organizations, artists, scholars, and state and local governments help increase participation in the arts, enhance appreciation, and strengthen our nation's cultural heritage. We value the arts and art education for developing imagination, creativity, innovation, and critical thinking skills in students and for building bridges between people and communities across the country and around the world." Republican were contacted but they said there was no change in their platform from last year. However, the word “arts” appears nowhere in the 2016 Republican Party platform. 

Ben Folds: Singer/Songwriter became an activist for the arts with the idea not so much how we can help the arts, but how to put the arts to work for us. We in the arts industry are ideas animals. That makes us cool. Arts and Entertainment is a massive part of the economy. We have unique voices as citizen. Arts for Healing is vital. American reputation for ideas and creativity is still alive and well. His message to young people through music is: don’t assume that this privilege will always be there. He is in Australia right now where it is required to vote. He urges everyone to Vote and do it now! Time is now speeding by. His latest songs conveys the message that If you create something in June, 2020 is it already old fashion in August. 

Nina Ozlu Tunceli: American for the Arts, ED. We need to make sure everyone can vote to assure federal arts funding is increased and that the arts are recognized.  There is a complicated and varied process to vote state by state and you need to know the requirements in your state. So, follow the steps as soon as possible. Don’t wait.
1. Make the pledge to vote.  You can check California (or your state) requirements on the Americans for the Arts website. Check on the status of your voter’s registration.  2.Request your Absentee Ballot information.
3. Cast your vote: by mail, or drop off, or go to the poll in person on the day.  4. Spread the word by social media using free Shepard Fairey art work.

Shepard Fairey: an artist activist, who believes that beautiful things comes out of the arts and out of passionate feelings. Making his work accessible and free is important. as he feels open access to art is a national right. His work is not just for the elite. His art does not have to recognized as art, as long as the message is heard. He started as an outsider but he now also works from within the system.

Brian Stokes Mitchell: singer, leads a variety of artist convenings and is a survivor of COVID-19. A recording of his song of thanks to First responders went viral. He views the arts as Second responders. He formed Black Theater United during this time. We need to realize how important the arts actually are as they can connect us to our joy. The performing arts are a $9.6 billion theater industry, which affects airlines and transportation industry as well restaurants and hotel/motels.  Large and small concerts give a boast to a whole area.  This industry and its economy have been devastated by the pandemic. The arts are the first to shut down, last to recovery. Coming out of this isolation and being able to gather in large numbers might not happen until there is a vaccine. There are definite challenges of working at this time, but it is a collaborative challenge that the entertainment industry always has had. The needs of our arts community are vital to the community as a whole. The Arts has to be seen as an economic sector. Census is so important as it is about money and power and how it is distributed. So, fill in your Census!

Annette Bening: Actress, It is important to have an understanding that artist and art educators are at the core of the economic value of the arts. It is crushing that so many jobs have been lost. The Arts knit us together and reveal us to ourselves. Voting is non-partisan and is when we are at our best. Make your voice heard so make a pledge to vote. It is a privilege to vote. First responders are the backbone of the country but the Arts are the heart and soul. Arts Education needs to serve everyone including the underserved who need the arts so much. All children need to be able to know themselves and the arts helps them to define themselves.

Megan Beyer: part of the Obama National Arts Policy Committee and will be part of Biden committee. Her husband is in the house of representative. America now has a crisis of Identity. But that is an opportunity for the Arts. There are 200 people on this advocacy committee who are helping to face a moment of racial reckoning. WPA programs are needed to put artists back to work perhaps by integrating Art and Design in the rebuilding. Plus, we need the arts for healing and we need the tax laws to make it easy to fund the arts not more difficult. In 17 battleground states they are removing postal services which is another reason to know exacting how to vote. It will have to be a very decisive vote because even with a 6 million majority of votes, the balance could be wrong. Art and Artists should provoke us…wake us up.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Momentum Part 1 presented by Vanguard Culture

Summary by Patricia Frischer

MOMENTUM: A Creative Industry Symposium Part 1, August 17, 2020. Part 2 will be on Sept 7
Watch it yourself  and read the Chat Stream

Susanna Peredo Swap, Vanguard Culture co-host, hopes this crisis reveals the best in us. Her message was to stay inspired.

Jonathon Glus, Executive Director, SanDiego Commission of Arts Culture, co-host explains how before Covid- 19, we were all running to keep up with technology, cramming everything into our daily lives, concerned about the global condition of the world. When the pandemic hit, we were paralyzed but this then gave us an opportunity to reset. This is a collective stop to spiritually think about who we are. He is not just concerned so much about the data right now. We inherited 20th century thinking even through we are two decades into the 21st century.  Now we have a moment to pause and think about 2020 and beyond. Arts are always on the vanguard, the front edge. We can take on that challenge because the future belongs to artists and creatives. One of our biggest assets in SD is the border. It makes us unique globally.

David Malmuth, I.D.E.A., Developer/ Partner at I.D.E.A. Partners, LLC; Former VP/GM at Disney Development-West. https://www.ideadistrictsd.com/ https://www.davidmalmuth.com/  There I.D.E.A. development in San Diego came after a life time of creative placemaking and revitalization in New York and Hollywood. Now they are making a proposal for the old Sport Arena. How do you activate a community, not just build brick and mortar? Arts and Culture is a major component of that activation.

Tara Graviss she is an Expressive Arts Therapist. Arts for Learning, https://www.artsforlearningsd.org/ , https://www.youngaudiences.org  She advocates using the arts to go inward to develop coping therapy. There is nothing shameful about asking for help. Turning to nature for inspiration in order to speak our truth. Sexual trauma is a grief that consumes us. There is power and healing in the connection from sharing our stories. Especially using art filled with intimacy can be ever changing.

David Bennett, Managing Director for the San Diego Opera. https://www.sdopera.org/  The voice is able to put us in touch with deep emotion. Perhaps because we all have voices. We all have this instrument which we share.  Opera is both grand and intimate. Uses ensemble and can show subtext through acting. Uses all the art forms visual, music, dance and voice. We can see other cultures and wider our world view. Opera supercharges brain power. It is good for your heart and stress as is can lower blood pressure. It can improve memory and right/left brain power. Opera makes you happy.

Performance:  Jamie Shadowlight electric violinist. https://www.instagram.com/jamieshadowlight/

scott b. davis, Founder of the Medium Festival of Photography. https://www.mediumphoto.org   https://www.scottbdavis.com  Now in its eighth year and housed at Lafayette Hotel, Medium offers a large portfolio review. This photography Fest is where audience can view the works of the artist, listen to Keynote speakers and lecturers, and attend book signings and workshop. It offers an opportunity to connect emerging artists to a larger audience. Some examples are modern tin types bringing back an old technique, self portrait of morbid obesity, and a cross border scholarships. Our locals get national and international experience.

Herbert Siguenza, Playwright in Residence @ San Diego Repertory Theatre; founding member of Latino Theatre Troupe CULTURE CLASH https://sdrep.org  Chicano issues were communicated through theater and Siquenza has followed a long path through a variety of subject to communicate a life time of issues.

Performance:  M A L U classical electronic musician https://www.instagram.com/malu_live/ and Contemporary Dancer Pita Zapot. https://www.instagram.com/pitazapot/

Bradley Tsalyuk, Exhibit Developer at The Natural History Museum. https://www.sdnhm.org/.  The Nat is a 143-year-old institute which concentrates on unique species from our local biologically diverse areas. They showcase both utilitarian and aesthetic values that encourages inquisition. He wants visitors to fall in love with the nature world. This is choreographed and curated exploration to establish an understanding of place. Although a goal is to education, they are also trying to measure a change in attitude. They are trying to learn from visitors how that works. Place attachment means people will care and protect. Streaming lectures are available on their site during the pandemic.

Flor Franco, Award-winning Chef; Franco Group & Berry Good Food Foundation. https://flor.florfranco.com/ https://berrygoodfood.org/  is a huge advocate of plant-based cuisine. She lets food be her medicine and recommends an interval diet (no food for 16 hours) with raw plant-based foods. She also highly recommends Specialty Produce as a source of vegetables.

Performance:  Gill Sotu, poetry. https://www.gillsotu.com/

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

San Diego Virtual Art Videos for March

by Patricia Frischer

We are gathering these videos of San Diego Visual Arts and will try to update this group for the entire month of March.

Ludicrous Tales: A Topsy Turvy Quartet at Mesa College Gallery ceramic installation by Beliz Iristay and Irene de Watteville, paintings by Gloria Muriel, and sculptures by Aida Valencia

Michelle Montjoy Live Stream Artist Talk at Lux


Linda Litteral / Pathways - Walkthrough from Sparks Gallery on Vimeo.

Linda Litteral / Pathways - Walkthrough from Sparks Gallery on Vimeo.

Griselda Rosas  interview with Thomas DeMello from Bread and Salt

Here are some of my favorite virtual video tour of exhibitions outside of San Diego.

Leon Spilliaert at the Royal Academy in London

Monday, March 9, 2020

Griselda Rosas at Lux Art Institute until March 14th

by Patricia Frischer

Griselda Rosas  is showing her work at Lux Art Institute in Cardiff by the Sea until March 14th so there are only a few more days to catch this show. This is the largest quanity of this artist's work that I have seen at one time and that is because all this art was commissioned for this show. Bravo Lux and their new director Andrew Utt. 

Rosas gave a very charming talk about her work which gave me much greater insights not only to her process but to the layered meaning of this art.  Like most students who went back and forth across the border for some years, she has the weight of that border crossing upon her. She has also extensively researched  colonial connection to Spain through customs, art and fashion. For example, she presented a paper on the development of the ruffed collar from Queen Elizabeth 1 and Bloody Queen Ann in England to Spain and then to Mexico. 

Griselda Rosas giving her presentation at the Lux Art Institute

That is where the complication starts to form. A lover of everything beautiful, a tactile person who loves color and stitchery has to combine this with the history of her people. This history is not just the colonization of her home country but runs right up to the drug overlords and their liking for ostrich skin boots and silk Armani shirts. 

You have to look closely to see parts of all these subjects merging in the art. Sometimes images are enhanced sometimes they are covered. The resulting art is actually subtle but with the flare of hanging fringes luring you in to look closely. 

You can see more of Griselda Rosas's work in the upcoming San Diego Art Prize 2020 at Athenaeum Music & Arts Library with other finalists Alanna AiritamKaori Fukuyama, and  Melissa Walter from May 9 to July 3. Rosas currently also has work currently at: 

Detail of above: Notice the Armani swatch of material found by Rosas at a garage sale and the faux ostrich skin used as a background for some of these works. 

Details of above

Details of above: Bloody Queen Ann face

Details of above