Patricia by Patricia

Patricia by Patricia
Patricia by Patricia

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Best Tidbits for the Twelve Months of 2010

Here is our picks of the best of the Tidbits that were recorded over the entire year of 2010 for you to re-digest and enjoy. These were first posted in our RAW gossip column.

Dec: "Painter of Light" Thomas Kinkade, MONTEREY, CA, loved and hated for his cutesy home and hearth paintings will go to jail in June for drunk driving. Read about his other debaucheries in the full article in ArtInfo. PS. Did you know that his production company declared bankruptcy? How the mighty have fallen.

Eyes in the back of your head department: Professor Wafaa Bilal had a digital camera implanted in the back of his head, in New York. Bilal, a performance artist, was commissioned by the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar and the work is titled The 3rd I which is on view from December.

The ultimate conceptual Christmas tree has been created by Giorgio Sadotti for Tate Britain The work, entitled Flower Ssnake, is an unadorned spruce with a bull whip coiled at it base. On 5 January 2011, the spell of Christmas will be dramatically whipped out of the tree in a performance art finale.

Nov: For the category of why can’t we have this in San Diego Harbor: Now in its second year, DRIFT is staged by Illuminate Productions with installations include waterfalls at two locations on the river which feature words from live news feeds falling through a curtain of water. The amazing technology used to create “bit.fal”l allows words to be displayed in mid-air in the droplets.

Oct: Documentary film, Waiting for Hockney is a mesmerizing true story about an artist who spends 10 years working on a portrait and wants David Hockney to have the honor of discovering him. As the documentary unfolds it weaves between the stories of how/why the artist spent 10 years making this portrait and his attempts to meet Hockney.

Sept: They are Eating Their Art Out in a big way in London with The Cake Britain exhibition. Held at The Future Gallery this show is sponsored by Tate & Lyle Sugars and produced by the Mad Artists Tea Party.

Aug: Young vandals are tipping 600 pound sculpture cows over in Burlington, Vermont. Those colorfully painted cud chewers are hitting the dust, but one of them managed to hit back and broke the foot of its attacker. The town has organized bartenders to watch out for the cow’s safety. They call them ‘cow tenders”. How come we find ourselves rooting for the vandals on this one?

July: Charles Saatchi just gave his $37 million dollar collection to the British government and his museum will be re-titled the MOCA London. Also from London: five members of the art activist group Culture Beyond Oil poured non-toxic black oil around the British Museum’s world famous Easter Island sculpture, in protest at BP’s sponsorship of the museum. They were careful not to get any oil on the art.

June: Marilyn Monroe's "Blondes" Dress Heads to Auction and the superstarlet's gown from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" carries an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000. Is this where Art Meets Fashion? Princess Diane’s racy black dress has already sold for $275,000.

May: Peter Schjeldahl (Man of the World, New Yorker, Dec 21, 2009), reminds us, “Pleasure is the only trusty teacher and guarantor of seriousness in art.”

April: The EyeWriter has been chosen as the winner of the first FutureEverything Award, a £10,000 prize set up to celebrate the creative imagination that will shape our future. The EyeWriter is a pair of low-cost eye-tracking glasses that allow artists and graffiti writers with paralysis to draw using only their eyes. Inspired by Tony Quan, a graffiti writer, social activist and publisher who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (AML) in 2003, The EyeWriter is the result of collaboration with five other artists and a production company. Tony Quan comments: ‘Art is a tool of empowerment and social change, and I consider myself blessed to be able to create and use my work to promote health reform…”

March: Check out these paddy fields in Japan that have been planted with various colored rice to create living murals. Definitely worth a click. Thanks to Deanne Sabeck for feeding our souls with this tidbit. When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination

Feb: Alberto Giacometti’s L’homme qui marche I (Walking Man I) sold for $104,327,006 and is now the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction which was reported by Sotheby’s.

Jan: Take a look at the really fun digital show at the Victoria and Albert Museum as reported by the BBC in London.The Digital Design Sensations Exhibition includes “eyes” that look at the viewers and gestures that result in flung paint.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Katherine Sweetman has a home at SDVAN

We are NOT thrilled at all to see that some wonderful writers are being given an opportunity to write a blog for the Union Tribune on the arts for NO PAY. Not all the articles will make it into the print edition that will be financially rewarded but the Sketchbook Blogs online are introduced by David Fobes and are giving space to Joe Nalven, Richard Geaves, William Parson, Drew Synder, and Allesandra Moctezuma.

Robert Pincus go was bad enough, but getting these artists to write on spec is outrageous. It is like the UT is holding the art world to ransom because if these writers do not write, how will we get coverage.

Katherine Sweetman
’s resignation from her blog duties at the UT was withdrawn from the UT site in 13 hours, but you can read it and register your protest on The SD Reader thanks to Don Bauder. There is talk of a boycott. The story has even made it to ArtInfo. Here is our cry to SD art writers: If you are going to write for free….write for SDVAN and serve an organization that gives back to the community and is 100% volunteer. Contact us at

You can read many of Katherine Sweetman's articles in our Picked RAW Peeled feature on SD Visual Arts Network.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Filling a Need

There are garbage men in New York who are Russian immigrant musicians unable to find work. Their talent is being ignored and thus wasted. One of the suggestions of President Obama’s Committee on Arts and Humanity was to turn around our views of those coming into the country and see them as an asset and not a liability. Founded in 1982 under Ronald Regan, this group is an independent advisory committee, 35 members strong. Many of them are artists this year, but Chuck Close is the first visual artist on the committee since its beginning. He speaks passionately about how the focus needs to stay on real art projects and not on policy. Close talked of not inventing programs, but finding the best existing ones and cross pollinating those ideas. He also views anyone who sees a need and does something about it as a role model. You can see and hear the entire panel discussion, and hopefully become inspired to start your own project of some sort.

One outstanding example of one of these projects is the TED Prize winner for 2011. JR. a photographer and artist whose work is based on his ability to remain anonymous. In other words, he's a guerilla artist. In 2007, he did Face 2 Face where he asked different religious leaders to make funny faces. He then displays these as large scale humorous photographic murals. In 2008 Women are Heroes, in Paris and in 2010 "Women Are Heroes in Africa are variations on that theme. He has made huge collaborations with thousands of volunteers that enable his work to be public. The TED prize is $100,000 and it will be interesting to see what he does with it. This is a perfect example on one man who sees a need, makes his own opportunity and takes action.

October is National Arts and Humanities Month in the USA. For many of us, every month is arts and humanities month. For those who might need a reminder, here are 101 Things to Do to Celebrate NAHM .

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Collectors Take Note

I was so proud to see the excellence of the art that was shown at the Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair particularly at the San Diego booths. This quality will hopefully be reported in stories taken back to Japan and Mexico City and New York by the other participants at the fair. We sold art to the valued of over $20,000 in our SD Art Prize display, met a huge number of new people and saw lots of friends and colleagues.

I hear over and over that there are not enough sales galleries in San Diego. I know why this is…. there does not seem to be enough people buying art to support those galleries. But I have noticed a few other bad practices that make it difficult for galleries to survive and for trust to develop between artist, galleries and collectors. So this is my plea: Break a few bad habits and create better ones. Then our galleries can survive and prosper in San Diego and support more artists and encourage more art collectors.


· Don’t go behind your gallery’s back to make a sales direct to a collector and cut them out

· Make sure your prices are the same for all

· Art work does not go on sale. Destroy the work you don’t like and don’t undermine your prices.

Art Gallery/Dealer

· Pay artists on time when you are paid

· Split your commission and work with agents and consultants and other galleries to build audience for your artists. Greed will restrict growing the reputation of the artists and thus hamper the rise of prices.

· If you discount the work more than 10% to make a sale, take the discount off your commission, not the artist’s share of the price.


· Use galleries…don’t cut them out to go directly to the artist. You affect the whole market with this practice.

· Don’t negotiate the price so that the gallery barely makes a profit. Pay full price if justified by quality, reputation and provenance.

So now there are so many wonderful visual art events in San Diego county that we are spoiled for choice. The San Diego Visual Arts Network has registered almost 6000 events since 2003 and you can find something to do almost every day of every month on our calendar.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Birthing Process

This last month I have challenged myself to think about the role SDVAN plays in the San Diego Community. We are unique in many ways and I am beginning to see how that uniqueness makes us innovative and helps us remain creative. I have a feeling that is why we draw so many volunteers and collaborators, find so many people attending our events and why we are so excited about the future.

We are lucky not to be the guardians of an established culture, the role so many museums have to take on in society. Instead, we can keep an ear to the ground, feel a buzz, and are able to respond to an idea. We do this on the grass roots level and it is those tender shoots that we encourage and try to nurture.

We are cutting edge in our strategic thinking and have evolved as logical incrementalist, a model put forward by James B. Quinn in his book Strategies for Change. This is a descriptive instead of prescriptive path which means we don’t always know what lies ahead. We are experienced enough and confident enough to know that the challenges of the future can be met. That gives us enormous freedom. So for example when a project for a dozen artists at one venue turns into 130 artists at 41 venues (Little & Large), we call on the troops to help and we make it happen. Art Meets Fashion is forming into a project that no one person could conceive. There are 13 teams, more than 15 fringe events, an online competition, a Mannequin project, lesson plans for teens…we are not sure where it will go or how many people will be included by the time the project ends in 2011.

All along the way we are networking and aiding new collaborations, watching life emerge as people and organizations pair up, birth new ideas and breathe life into creative whims. We hear people say time and time again how excited they are to participate, to have the opportunity to create and share. We have the privilege to see all that unfold and offer it the public.

And we are supported by and collaborate with organizations like Art San Diego Contemporary Fair and Synergy Arts Foundation, which are united in the joint effort to protect our local art scene and elevate it to reach it true potential. From Baja Norte to Fallbrook amazing things are being created and are waiting to be acquired and cherished. My own latest purchase was a fabulous work by the street artist Surge (Sergio Hernandez) from the Thumbprint Gallery, a small child dressed up as a James Bond spy, debonair in his mask and tux complete with a toy gun. He is poised for the fun of the chase. What adventure awaits us all!

Six Picks

The first week of September is full of Art San Diego Contemporary Fair events from September 2-5 at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel. Opening night tickets are $75 and include a donation to the SD Art Prize. Entrance on 3-5 is $15. .The following are my six picks.

1 .Join the volunteers of San Diego Visual Arts Network at Art San Diego Contemporary Fair as we celebrate the works of the SD Art Prize 2010 recipients Julio Orozco, Einar and Jamex de la Torre, David Adey, and Gail Roberts featured in Booth # 7.

2. Jon Block’s Sight & Sound, is presenting FREE concert on Friday Sept 2 from 7 to 10 pm at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel outside of Vela Restaurant and is in celebration of the 2010 SD Art Prize recipients and the emerging artist nominated for the prize in the San Diego Visual Arts Network's New Contemporaries III exhibition.

3. Come early to the fair that day and hear Lucía Sanromán, Associate Curator, The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, speaking about Between Here and There. Curatorial Strategies Towards a Regional Survey from 2– 3 pm.

4. A one-day conference titled: "Art in the City - Utilizing Art & Culture as Transformative Tools." is about how innovative arts/culture programs have added to the civic and economic life of cities across America. It is on Saturday, Sept the 4th. The fair organizers are offering non-profits a discounted rate of $25 to attend the conference.

5. Mimosas and discussion begin at 11:00 a.m. at L Street Fine Art, (Jian Wang's painting) followed by lunch at McCormick & Schmick's in the Omni Hotel at 12:00 p.m. for those who join Art Talk: Art Walk. This evenit is in collaboration with Art Expressions Gallery and a portion of the proceeds will benefit ArtsBusXpress,. Guest speakers are Ann Berchtold (Executive Director of Art San Diego Contemporary Fair), Peter Fehler (Publisher of Art Ltd. Magazine), Robert Pincus (distinguished Art Critic from the San Diego Union-Tribune). Then a shuttle will take you to the fair. $75 per person (in advance) $85 per person (at the door). For more info and tickets: Art Expressions Gallery 858.270.7577

6. A satellite to the official fair is Easel - A San Diego Art Af(FAIR) will be one week only from Sept 2 – 6. and features Dan Camp and up to 200 works by 85 artists. Organized by Alexander Salazar Fine Art in a rented space at the corner of 7th Avenue and C, the maximum price of work for sale is $2,000 and proceeds will benefit It’s All About the Kids Foundation. For more info: 619.531.8996. In 2011.

Monday, July 26, 2010

....And Three to go

In July, I was fortunate to interview Ed Fosmire, the new executive director of the Oceanside Museum of Art. I must stay I felt comfortable calling him Ed. He is quite young and extremely enthusiastic about his new position. His wife is an artist on hiatus as she raised their now 5 year daughter.

The 2010 strategic planning process was almost at an end that when he arrived in April, but Ed has managed to have some influence already. He wants to redirect fundraising (one of his strength) away from the capitol campaign for the plant expansion toward philanthropic support of the museum’s programming. When asked the secret of his previous success (over $1.5 million at CSU in Long Beach), he said it was “an honest and forthright” approach. He further explained that each patron has to know what is needed and then has to express what their needs are. Then it is a matter of creating a win-win situation for the museum and the donor.

He does want to bring a Contemporary Asian exhibition to the museum as his own special interest is India, Tibet and Japan. He is working toward that goal for 2012 but knows first he has to beef up the local Asian audience. Of course, the core supporters of the museum will not be neglected but a younger demographic will also be a continued goal. The outreach will concentrate on 5th graders and the NEA grant process is underway to supplement the museum needs in that direction.

He spoke of his support for local artist and their important in the community but there are no plans to build a contemporary permanent collection at this time. But there are signs that Ed Fosmire is a risk taker. The fifteen foot nude bright yellow baby created by ceramic artist Matt Wedel and placed at the front lawn of the Long Beach Museum of Art was controversial and his responsibility.

Ed Fosmire replaced Skip Pahl, and joins board president Beate Russe and vice president, Carolyn Mickelson. He is one to watch along with the new Roxana Velásquez Martínez del Campo new executive director of The San Diego Museum of Art who takes Derrick R. Cartwright’s job and Kathryn Kanjo who has been appointed the new Chief Curator and Head of the Curatorial Department of the Museum of Contemporary Art, SD and replaced Stephanie Hanor.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Willing to Fail

Work of Art: The Next Great Artist
on Bravo TV (channel 42 in North County, Wednesday at 10 pm) Reality TV comes to Fine Art

Here Not There: SD Artist Now exhibition until Sept 19 at The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla.

What does a crass TV reality program have to do with an emerging art show in San Diego’s modern museum? Simple. Both are showcasing artists who are willing to fail.

Being willing to fail is more important than one would think. In fact, I would say it is the cornerstone of creativity. It means attempting something in a new way, trying to break out of the box, going where no one has gone before.

The frontier of the new is not for chickens. No matter how lame the artists on the American Idol twin might be, they are taking that chance and we could all benefit if it is a success. Imagine if a mass audience dared to support the arts by buying it and displaying it on their walls. What if the general population started talking about the latest fine art talent? What if this quest to find the great raised the bar for the normal?

That could mean that a show like that at the MCASD became a sign post for all those new patrons. The artist would benefit from art sales and the museum with more community support. And it would happen HERE not there, yes, right here in San Diego.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Life, Luck and Survival

The airplane rolled and pitched as it neared closer to earth. The land grew from small to large at an alarming rate. The wings leveled slightly as we held our breath and the motor quieted. But then a huge surge of power and at less than 20 feet from the ground, we swooped back up into the sky.

No, not a cut scene from LOST, but a real scene from my life last week. A reminder of how everyday of our life is about survival and survival can depends on luck and occasionally some skill and instinct. The week before, after being diagnosed with pneumonia and put on antibiotics, I was not happy with my mother’s progress. I took her off to the ER at Scripps Encinitas and she was rushed off to a hospital room with a pulmonary embolism. She is recovering now and has discovered drugs and the will to play golf again. I am planning her 90th birthday next month with glee.

How much do we dare to do? How much do we dare not to do? As it appears to be mainly in the lap of the gods, why not dream big and see what happens. So why did I spend far too many hours working on a grant proposal for emergency preparedness for artists. Maybe I was dreaming that this process would open doors for more grants and the ability to help artists in the future. But there is no doubt; I would rather be working on the programs themselves and in my own art studio. Sometimes the lap of my god seems a little hard and I wonder how prepared am I for an emergency.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Arting: are we consuming the right art?

Ok, I know there is no new thing in art ever…it has all been done before. But that does not keep us from trying to identify what is going on right now in our society. In the April 5 issue of The New Yorker magazine, there was an article No Rules about Le Fooding by Adam Gopnik. Le Fooding is the latest cuisine craze and started in France ten years ago and has finally reached our shores. The most notable result of Le Fooding is the restaurant guide in competition with Michelin (traditional high cuisine) and Gault Millau (nouvelle cuisine). Le Fooding includes a few fast food joints of exceptional quality which is heresy to Michelin. Le Fooding is about food that is passionate, provocative, and spontaneous.

Mr. Gopnik uses all sorts of art analogies to explain Le Fooding. I immediately thought what characteristic of cuisine might apply to the visual arts.

If hor d'oeuvres traditionally tempts us to eat more at the beginning of a meal, what can we do to sell more art? This is especially important at a time when the art world is anxious about the stability of the market place. Will new art lure established buyer to start buying again? We want it all: fresh ideas, tempting visuals, and superb craftsmanship. I think we are getting lots of those qualities with our local artists. I am constantly astonished by the wealth of talent we have and you need to go no further than the New Contemporaries emerging artist exhibition in its third year, to see the menu of starters for 2010.

The main course or entrée is the surprise. It is not the newness of the art, but developing the new audience, which should be our current focus. How the viewers enters the art world, are engaged and become patrons, buyers or even simply supporters is the dish du jour. What are we doing to take the art walk attendees (all 300,000 of them) up to the next level? Is our audience ready to participate and are we making that easy and fun for them? Social media is everywhere, and a good idea can rise in an hour like a soufflé. Are we working together to take the best of the good ideas, stuffing, basting, and grilling them until they are ready to consume? The SD Art Prize in it’s four year, Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair in it’s second year and San Diego Art Month (click to request details) this coming September and Art Meets Fashion in 2011 are certainly taking us in the right direction.

The desert is definitely a la mode. No, not art covered with whipped or iced cream, but described in the words of today that we all understand. Gone is the art speak of ancient historians, and even the double speak of some conceptualists. We want art that nourishes us, provokes and challenges us into discussion, maybe a palate cleanser of pleasure between courses occasionally.

We seek art that can go on the walls of our homes and into the permanent collections of our museums. We want to gather in real (not virtual) spaces to celebrate that art. We also wouldn’t mind going directly into the kitchen now and then to see what is cooking and maybe stir a few pots.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cliffnotes: One Month Condensed into One Week

I would hate the pressure of having to post a monthly diary of my art activities. But I am going to give you a brief outline of what it is like to be me compressed into 7 days. Excuse my further liberties with the sequence of these events. Hopefully it will be insightful to some of you and it may help me to prioritize my time in the future. Remember that some of these projects might fall through the cracks. But there seem to be a dozen waiting in the wings.

Day 1

Lunch with Julio Orozco where I learned about his exciting art projects including story boards for sleazy movies and I gave advice on galleries and choice of work for the New Contemporaries III at Project X: Art. That night we previewed the new work by David Adey; John Henry at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, which was a stunning “flat” bridge of books. Negotiations were finalized soon after to hold the SD Art Prize shows at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library with the help of Erika Torri the director. Adey’s show is the first, followed by Gail Roberts and in April of 2011, we will collaborate on the Einar and Jamex de la Torre exhibitions. We also found out that Larry Poteet will be manning the Beyond the Borders booth at Art San Diego. All four SD Art Prize artists will be featured in our two booths at the fair which will be next to the BTB Art Gallery booth. It should be a great 4 days of partying at the Hilton Bayfront Sept 2 -5. I finished setting the panel where the nominators will speak on behalf of the artists at Project X on May 15 and the catalog for that show is very near completion and will be posted by the time you read this. We are holding on going discussions with the Omni Hotel to find them a new curator for their exhibition space. We are so thankful to them for hosting the prize for the last three years and want to make sure that space stays one primarily for local artists.

Day 2

We were off in a rain storm to the Mingei International Museum to see Tempering Memory, by Julio Rodríguez, which complements the exhibition ¡VIVA MÉXICO!. ¡VIVA MÉXICO! — Heroes and Artisans. Lovely photos and display of historical artifacts and always a pleasure to be in the beautiful Mingei. We confirmed with Julio and Cecilia that we will try to bring 2-3 bus loads of patrons to the opening of EntijuanaArt at the end of Sept. This is also the opening of the Tijuana Movers and Shakers exhibition that features TJ artists making portraits of TJ VIPs in the art world. Wow, we have gone international.

Day 3

We may have been the oldest folks at the Glashaus but this was our opportunity to see this relatively new space (the party was for the one year anniversary and the dress was mustache masquerade. Device Gallery and Matt Divine both have cornerstone presence in the space and we also loved the work of Michael Mass and discovered many designers including Trista Roland and Allison Neumann. This would make a lovely venue as a hub for the Art Meets Fashion Project. (Launching this week with a meeting for all interested in know more on April 22) We are also considering the new space4Art building and the NTC. We finally launched the application and guidelines for this collaboration after weeks of working on the logo design (stunning even if it was made by committee and not my preferred way of making design decisions.) The visit to the SD Airport with our host Constance White (to see the stunning new works by the de la Torre’s) will result with luck in a further collaboration in their new WestEnd Gallery and maybe even a fashion show in baggage claim in 2011.

Day 4

Lunch with Felicia Shaw of the SD Foundation and Naomi Nussbaum of Synergy Arts Foundation was held in Cardiff to discuss a project to give grants to artists to help them prepare for emergencies. Synergy is the perfect fit for this project and working with Felicia is a joy. We hope to give away Studio Protectors and give a workshop to help artist to apply for the grants and learn some of the things they can do to prepare for the unknown natural or man-made disaster. Lunches like this confirm my belief in the Eat Your Art Out projects which gives artists and art patrons a chance to break bread and get past the starter and into the meat and potatoes of the art world. We have three of these in process for the summer of 2010.

Day 5

Reading the new Public Art Master Plan (Draft) for the Port of San Diego with a bunch of new recommendations for a clearer vision of how all the artwork should work together to build a collection and fulfill their vision was heavy going as it was 74 pages. Comparing it to the beautifully illustrated 28 page master plan for the SD Airport was interesting. The SD Airport plan is full of inventive wishes such as curbside canopies and an observation platform, a performance venue and meditation area and even a chill zone. Even more heavy going was the workshop for the SD Women’s Foundation and then the speech by the new director of the NEA, Rocco Landesman held at the La Jolla Playhouse. Mainly I am just tired of hearing how important art and culture is to the health and vitality of the city. Hell, we all know that. But I never hear any creative and exciting plans that the powers that be have to allow the arts to perform that role to its fullest. There was no explanation why San Diego received only $75,000 out of the $5 million that came to California. The good news is that Rocco is trying hard to raise money for the arts from the budgets for housing, education, transportation and health and environment agencies. By making the arts the fulcrum for getting funds, he hopes his Art Works (triple entendre) campaign produces results. There were some networking opportunities at both. However, I especially enjoyed hearing and meeting Vicki Estrada from Media Arts Center. We hope to expand by using interns into the video world much more in the future especially with the Art Meets Fashion project.

Day 6

We were able to help the Bronowski Art & Science Forum with non-profit status through our fiscal agent program and they will be holding their first panel on Thurs. May 27 at The Neuroscience Institutes auditorium with a Conversations with Roman De Salvo and Dr. V.S. Ramachandran. They will be making lots of improvement to the forum with the help of some wonderful volunteers. Likewise, we hope to assist the Contemporary Art Committee from the San Diego Museum of Art with some strategies for getting new members….maybe in the future a website of their own to high light the excellent programs that they put on with an emphasis on meeting local artists. Their last meeting featured Lea de Witt who gave a marvelous video presentation of her glass process. They will all be treated to a private showing of the New Contemporaries III show in May where I lined up a selection of artist to make presentations.

Day 7

Even my rest day is all art all the time. I was happy to visit Becky Guttin’s studio on Silverton Avenue to see new work before she jets off for her show in Israel. Five other artists have opened their studios in this same location in Mira Mar and we were told that rents are cheap and I can testify that the studios are large and airy. More artists should consider this area. They hope to put on regular open house and this would be a great location for group shows as well. Which reminds me that I finished the power point presentation for my lecture on March 23 at SDAI on how to curate a group show. This is an old soapbox for me as I would like to see more thought put into exhibitions to raise the standard of shows that we see. I also saw a play at the Encinitas Library which was FREE and filled to capacity…very heartening and Jim Gilliam is to be endlessly commended for bringing the arts alive to our community. I was treated by Irene de Watteville to a performance of Aurélia's Oratorio, which was charming if a bit light weight but beautifully performed. I spent time in my own studio working on a new line of sculptures We zipped over to Kansas City for the 125 anniversary of the KC Art Institute and saw the new wing of the Nelson Aitkin Museum. It was the most beautiful landscape and thrilling to see snow falling and white blanketing everything. We visited with Debbie Glassberg , my friend who has just finished building a house out of ship’s containers, which was stunning and environmentally as green as you can get. We dined with Bruce and Cheryl Tall and saw her latest paintings, which are starting to surpass her ceramic sculpture. She is teaching Jean Lowe how to make small ceramic works for the Specimen gift shop at Lux.

I truly believe in the power of art. It fills my life in so many ways. I just hope it doesn’t bury me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Allison Renshaw Discovered

One of the greatest pleasures for an art addict is to watch the progress of an artist as they grow and develop. I got that opportunity retrospectively when I visited the studio of Allison Renshaw and was allowed to paw through some of her past work. It was there I found the clues to her latest creations. I soon started to recognize the visual language she has developed including egg forms, water shapes and flesh tones but it was the collaged element developed from mail art to her friends, which stood out for me.

Compositionally these almost abstract works are quite formal. You see balance, movement and a layering of space we expect form the best of all 2-D work. But she managed to use the unique masking of the collaged work to create a mystery in the subject matter that is tremendously intriguing both visually and conceptually. Allison uses acrylic and lately air brushing to give us endless mini landscapes within the painting which helps us have the mandala-like experience of meditation. In other words you can get lost in the details. I am a sucker for art titles and many of Renshaw's works are named after lipstick shades. She passes the number one criteria I have for art. It is honest and reflective of who she is.

The only trouble I have is how to sum up the work. Is it where dumb and pretty get to live happily with intelligent and ugly? Or Is it where Intelligent and pretty get to live happily with dumb and ugly.

Patricia Frischer

Allison Renshaw: Plastic Fantastic is showing her work at Oceanside Museum of Art, (704 Pier View Way , Oceanside , 92054). Gallery Walk and Talk with Renshaw, Thurs. Feb 25, 7 pm. Show until June 20.
She is also one of the artists in
New Contemporary III, 2010 at Project X: Art: Greg Boudreau, Kelsey Brookes, Stephen Curry, Steve Gibson, Brian Goeltzenleuchter, Wendell M. Kling, Heather Gwen Martin, Robert Nelson, Julio Orozco, Allison Renshaw, Lesha Maria Rodriguez, James Soe Nyun, Stephen Tompkins
Opening Reception: Sat. April 24, 7 – 10 pm, Panel discussion Sat. May 15, 5:30 pm, Show from Sat., April 24 – Sat., May 22, 2010 (320 S. Cedros Ave. Ste. 500 , Solana Beach, 92075). For more info: Chris Martino 858.792.9685

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dreams and Visions: Movers and Shakers 2

I have a feeling I am not the only one who was thrilled by the storms of mid-January. The lightning electrifying the atmosphere and the thunder and pounding rain filling my senses was so exciting and reminded me of my Wizard of Oz roots in Kansas. Over 500 people amazed me by filling the gallery for the reception of the Movers and Shakers 2 exhibition at Art Expressions Gallery (2645 Financial Court, Suite C, SD, 92117 Link for map to gallery) in the middle of that onslaught of weather. I prefer to think they braved the storms because the draw of good art and the energy of the arts community when it comes together create the same excitement.

January reflections and predictions are still on my mind when I look at the two Movers and Shakers exhibitions (2008/2010) together as a whole. We set out to mark a cross selection of those who help the visual arts community depicted in a wide ranging portrait format by some of those artists who are aided by their efforts. On line, you can learn about the start of this project, a couple of introductions to the show Id, Ego and Superego, Movers and Shakers 2, and a forward by David Lewison or find all the information in our catalogs one and two. In both exhibitions those VIP s were asked to state their vision for the future of the visual art in our region.

SD Flash Forward: Movers and Shakers Speak Out is a summary of those visions in the first exhibition by Kevin Freitas and myself. It is interesting to see how some of these visions have progressed. A way to promote San Diego outside of our geographical area has been started by the Beyond the Borders International Art Fair by bringing an outside audience to the city. Perhaps September, when the fair is scheduled for the next three years at the new Hilton Hotel Bayfront, can become the month for all galleries to concentrate on promoting local art. Massive collaborations were made to put on the Little & Large project with 41 local galleries and over 120 artists included. We are so cheered to see the Space4Art project with the possibility of an art center in Barrio Logan/East Village.

We hope you will think about these visions and those of your own and then create some real action to make dreams into reality.

Now hear some live chat about last year and the future on Art Rocks! Interview with Philly Joe Swendoza

Patricia Frischer