Sunday, December 5, 2021

For art-lovers this holiday season, there’s no place like OMA

By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt. Photos by Maurice Hewitt 

Wallpaper Ghosts (Watcher). A drawing from the Neil Kendricks: Temple of Story exhibit, illustrating the artist’s audio recording of his eerie Covid-time New Year’s Eve tale titled Wallpaper Ghosts.

There are half-a-dozen shows well worth seeing at Oceanside Museum of Art this month, and you may find yourself spending quite a bit of time with them. The first-floor gallery Temple of Story features artworks and recorded works of fiction created by Neil Kendricks, accompanied by softly evocative soundtracks from composer/musician Mike Mare. The drawings and video projections are visually arresting on their own, but the storytelling component—accessed with accompanying QR codes—adds an extra dimension that will have museum visitors feeling that they have truly entered into another world. (On view through Feb. 20, 2022)

One of the inked-in drawings on secondhand books from Temple of Story.

A still from the video projections.

Also on the main floor is a what is called “a museum store feature exhibit”—The Beauty of Science, by molecular biologist Beate Mierzwa, who is also an artist and fashion designer.  She translates complex scientific information into aesthetic visuals, turning images seen through a microscope into wearable art. (Through Nov. 28, 2022)

From The Beauty of Science: An unusual depiction of the final step of cell division.

The ESCRT Dress: Another look at cell division. When animal cells need to split up, “they put on a corset and call in an ‘escort’…which forms a spiral shape…and constricts its waist to separate the emerging cells.”

Walking up to the second floor, you see birdlife—beautifully detailed versions of sandhill cranes in a series called Migration by aptly-named quilt artist Charlotte Bird. Fascinated by their ability to make annual journeys from Arctic nesting grounds to California, Texas, New Mexico and Mexico—and back again, she is also troubled by how modern disturbances like climate change and habitat destruction are changing their lives. Migration continues in a small gallery upstairs. (Through Jan. 9, 2022) 

Quilted cranes along the stairway.

Duke Windsor: A Tall Order with Monarchs.

Then you go from birds to burgers: Duke Windsors Burger Series, where he elevates the American fast-food favorite to iconic status with 17th-century Dutch still-life painting techniques and more than a little imitation gold-leaf. (Through March 13, 2022)

Part of the Birds of a Different Feather installation.

Close-up of the dolled-up but head-less motorcyclist and his bike.

But the stars of the second floor are Saki and Marty O, whose eye-popping fashion extravaganzas—with socio-political overtones—share the main upstairs gallery. Both were award-winners at OMA’s 2020 virtual Night of the Living Art event and now have the space to really show their stuff. (Through January 23, 2022)

Saki: Birds of a Different Feather is a shout-out for men to step up to the fashion plate. Male peacocks and parrots “get all dolled up…to prove themselves worthy of a mate,” says the artist. This dazzling installation features rock-star looks inspired by the birds

For years, Marti O has been creating high-impact wearable art out of worn-out quilts and old clothes. Now, in her Social Security installation, she considers the price of feminine fashion, and some of the dis-empowering roles women have accepted in the last century as they dressed for success with husbands and homes.    

A Dressing Shame: The featured character in this tableau from Social Security is a mannequin in an altered wedding gown covered with graffiti that reveals family secrets.

Another part of the installation.


The Teeny Tiny Art Mart is now open until Dec 20 and a chance to pick up a 5" by 5" artwork for only $25. Artworks are by novices, professionals, civic leaders, and local celebrities. You will not find out the name of the artist until you purchase the work! This is a fundraiser for the education department of the museum. 

Lonnie Burstein Hewitt is an award-winning author/lyricist/playwright who has been writing about arts and lifestyle in San Diego County for over a dozen years. You can reach her at

No comments:

Post a Comment