Saturday, June 17, 2023

The Artist at Home at the La Jolla Historical Society

 by Patricia Frischer

Joey Herring photo of Irene de Watteville


The Artist at Home exhibition at the La Jolla Historical Society running from June 16 to Sept 3, 2023 including Irene de Watteville,  Jean Lowe, Kim MacConnel and irmaSofia Poeter.  Curated by La Jolla Historical Society Executive Director, Lauren Lockhart, and Independent Curator, Joey Herring. 

I feel incredibly lucky to have been in the homes of Irene de Watteville and Jean Lowe and Kim MacConnel and experience how wonderfully both homes reflect these terrific artists that live in them. When artists are your friends, you are almost guaranteed to have wonderful food, great surroundings and even world class parties. That is why life style is so much more important than money and more importantly why being in an artist community is such a benefit in so many ways. 

This show gives you a taste of that through photographs and with actual furniture, decor and arts works from these artists. Most of these images have been recorded in photographs by Joey Herring except those by Grant Mudford of Lowe and MacConnel. Extra artists' homes images are included for Merisol Rendon and Ingram 0ber, Einer and Jamex de la Torre and Johnny "Bear" Contreras. 

I have not been to irmaSofia Poeter properties in Tecate, but besides the photographs and video, there is an artist embellished map on the wall and even more cleverly reproduced in the artist's signature style in a very sculptural  textile map! An elaborate shelf packed with her fabrics...maybe some already made into tapestries like the one on display and a fabulous dress plus a collection of objects directly from the studio, transform the small space into a living embodiment of her studio. 

Irene de Watteville's ceramics create a miniature world straight out of the artist's vivid imagination. There is a backdrop of blue and white hand painted tiles (make sure and look for the secret tulip at the back of the display) with graphic clues to a life well spent. Bathing in a flower shaped tub, is our heroine with her slippers carefully placed on a bathmat. Photos of her studio show the enormous range of inspiration ready at hand for this French mistress of Jeannot m lapin. 

Jean Lowe and Kim MacConnel live in a house like that in Alice in Wonderland. Her height is reflected in some of the tall beds and counter as if you have drunk from the make me large bottle. His painted furniture, curtain and her paper mache reproductions of plants and books and rungs seem right out of the pages of a book, pristine as if they have never been touched, colorfully illustration with bold designs and rich details.    

Joey Herring photo of irmaSofia Poeter with sweat lodge. 

Grant Mudford photo of Jean Lowe (bottom)Kim MacConnel (top)

Joey Herring photo of de la Torre brothers in studio

Joey Herring photo of Chi Essary and  Einar de la Torre in studio

Joey Herring photo of studio of Marisol Rendon and Ingram Ober

Joey Herring photo of Johnny "Bear" Contreras in studio

The Artist at Home  at the La Jolla Historical Society
Wisteria Cottage Gallery
Open Wednesday - Sunday | 12noon - 4pm | 780 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037 | Admission is free 
LJHS After Hours every third Thursday, 4pm - 6pm

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