Friday, April 12, 2024

Allied Craftsmen of San Diego: Hands On Design at Oceanside Museum of Art

 by Patricia Frischer

Cheryl Tall - Japanese guardian lion dog, a fierce protector from evil spirits

Guusje Sanders, the juror of this exhibition Allied Craftsmen of San Diego: Hands On Design at  Oceanside Museum of Art from March 30 to August 18, 2024  has chosen what she thinks if the best of the works submitted. She is a curator at Mingei International Museum, an institute that is based on craft. The display of the work is not solely based on a grouping of materials, but it also lends itself to certain themes. The order that I have presented them below thus jumps a bit back and forth.

We are long past the discussion on craft as art. It is a non-issue. These craft-persons  are members of the Allied Craftsman (founded in the mid-century) are all highly skilled artists who communicate through their given mediums.


I started with animals – a dog, a phoenix bird, a polar bear, a horse and a butterfly. I traveled to works that are using light, then those that are wood and containers for other things. Some textiles next, then two figurative works, telephone poles and a literal ceramic rug which led me to more patterns. Finally to works that are suspended and last work that typifies the reference to all sorts of found and upcycled objects. The most prominent but not the only theme was the environment, a easy band wagon on which to jump. 

The display was well thought out and the signage informative with artists statements about their creations. There were old friends and new discoveries,  plus these additional artworks by artists not illustrated here: Beston BarnettSandra Berlin-KrollDavid BrowneLevi CasiasEllen Fager, Erik Gronborg, Joanne HayakawaAshley KimYC KimLisa Maher, Ross Stockwell. 

Irène de Watteville - a dreadful kitchen fire inspired this phoenix rises from the ashes with an array of vegetables adorning its survival.

Jeff Irwin - Polar bear as ice flow rug becomes a strong case for climate change.

Mimi Levinson - Using a peach pits to embellish this primitive ceramic horse. 

Norma Pizarro (detail) - tiny leaves make up these butterflies
as they emerge from  or return to a mirror crack in the multiverse

Norma Pizarro

Cheryl Nickel - Medical glass test tubes are illuminated
 with the motion of your body

William Leslie with Alessandra Colfi - Paper and bent wood take wing.

William Leslie with Alessandra Colfi (detail)

Paul Henry - Modern meets regency
with a special little drawer for an M&M

Adam John Manley -Rescued wood if finely balanced

Warren Bakley - It takes less than the usual 24 minutes to go from distraction to connecting the dots in this ceramic work

Gail Schneider - The epitome of the title hands on design
or are there bodies trying to get out. 

Kathleen Mitchell - subtle carved indentions enhance these profound shapes

Viviana Lombrozo - no not ceramic, but hand painted quilted cloth
and not a vessel but a twist of fabric. 

Charlotte Bird - An unfold cloth book hangs from a towel rack

Kathy Nida - A proper rant again the waste in the world,
even at the expense and to the glory of the arts

David Cuzick - The most compelling of the works in this exhibition, with the tiny hands feet and legs
and the bulbous body. Is is floating up or falling down? We share his distress. 

David Fobes - Cross concentric circles make this paint by numbers soar into another realm. 

Terri Hughes-Oelrich - An ode to the power in our lives. Will we miss it when it all goes wireless?

Mary Cale Wilson - Terracotta carpet - nope, this is not a magic flying one, but with its earthenware fridge and raised motifs, it is much more than just a rug. 

Jason Lane - Hand made module forms create a strong pattern of interlocking shapes

Judith Christensen - Coffee filter lined up to educate us about so many scientific subjects.
We should also be this dedicated to further our knowledge of the world. 

Judith Christensen (detail)

Polly Jacobs Giacchina - Tiny loops of wire holding rocks and raffia weaving
somehow evoke peace and contemplation. 

Linda Litteral - Childhood memories on house with no windows hiding who know what. 

Kerianne Quick - A smell and a look extended on telescoping wands
help us avoid contact during the COVID year. 

Allied Craftsmen of San Diego: Hands On Design at  Oceanside Museum of Art
March 30 to August 18, 2024

March 30 to August 18, 2024

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