Patricia by Patricia

Patricia by Patricia
Patricia by Patricia

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

State of the Arts/State of a Website 2017

State of the Arts/State of a Website 2017

In 2017, time will be my most valuable commodity. Taking care of my mother with the help of my husband is a precious job that needs more attention as she travels through the journey of her life. We all must choose how to use our energies, both physical and mental. We wasted so much emotion on the election last year, and I would not like that to happen in 2017. So I see an efficient website as a vital part of my life.

The San Diego Visual Arts Network still favors a front page layout to include as much information as possible about events and projects in the region. We know that many sites focus on just a few current events, but as we represent 2500 resources in San Diego, this just seems too restricted for us.

In 2016, we added an automated scrolling featured event feature on the home page which is now fully illustrated and can also be seen on a new featured event page.  We added a voting app for our New Contemporaries Exhibitions that can be utilized by other organizations as well. You have to be present to vote for an artist which helps eliminate stuffing the voting box, a concern for everyone in this election year. We made it easier for everyone listing on our calendar to add images which no longer have to be online.

Website design has changed constantly and we at SDVAN continue to evolve the website. We are lucky to have the help of Anand Bora of Determinant Studios when we make any changes on the site that involve coding. This has become a valuable relationship because it is so important to respect and trust a good partner for website re-designs. You need good communication and valuable input to help sort out new direction and solve glitches.  Working with this creative company in India brings some time change challenges, but this continues to be a very rewarding and successful relationship for us. Mr. Bora came to San Diego for the first time in 2017 and established some relationships with artists for projects and we applaud these collaborations. . A little know fact is that SDVAN started over 13 years ago with code written in India.

The same evolving nature is true of email and event companies. We are lucky to have found John Campbell whose newly launch Smorgborg is a development of his Campbell Network which has supported us for years . Still in beta testing, we so lucky to be already using this new system that eliminates the need to maintain multiple mailing lists on different platforms. Smorgborg will be launching all sorts of new features in the coming months. When we add back end mailing list improvements, it frees us to work on other projects, and that is vital.

We are also grateful to continue our relationship with IMhosted. When the site goes down as all sites do occasionally, they are quick and efficient in helping us to stay visible. Their generous support keeps our cost down and our spirit high.

We are very involved with the North County Arts Network. We see this new organization as a pilot for other regions which could eventually join together to form a much needed SD County Arts Council. The NCAN website needs to focus on aiding collaborations, which is the most important job of a council. These collaborations are what bring a community together. Watch for a newly launched NCAN site in 2017 which will be an exceptional venue for sharing and promoting our interconnectivity.

Finally I join with all of you to hope for a peaceful and diverse New Year with opportunities for all. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Can Falling behind put you ahead?

The following blog was written before the election results. I have to say that more than ever we need a way to pull the community together and art has enormous power to do just that. The arts are fabulous because they are diverse and because art is a great way to show respect to all people. Being inclusive and transparent are cornerstones of San Diego Visual Arts Network. Please remember us in your year end donations.

Falling behind puts you ahead

There are so many times in our high tech lives where we feel we are not keeping up. But I have two instances which demonstrate that sometimes, falling behind puts you ahead.

The San Diego Visual Arts Network (SDVAN was constructed in 2003 and the coding that was used for the site is very old fashion as 13 years on the internet is a lifetime. Even when the site was updated about 5 years later, there was still no drop down sub-menus attached to the top menu bar. Little did we know that drop down menus are not very accessible on smart phones.  So now even though the home site is not the most user friendly on a smart phone, you can access all of our information.

AND our brand new app at is completely smart phone ready and easy to access. So if you are wondering how to find wonderful art at any time, just access the app, it will locate you and tell you about events near by and locate them on a map for you with directions on how to get there.  

Have you been as annoyed as we have with pop up ads on the internet? We have started to use ad blockers and that helps eliminate them. It turns out that so many people are using ad blockers that the advertisers are really worried about dropping sales and the sites that rely on their revenue may be starting to be in trouble. Although we don’t know what the future will bring, advertisers will probably find a way over this hurdle.  But on SDVAN, we never have put up ads to support the site. We raise funds through private donations, so you will never be annoyed by ads on our site. Nice to know we did something right, right from the beginning.

Help us continue this service to you and the community who knows how vital the arts are to the health of our region. We hope you will join in on Tuesday November 29, and give big to our 100% volunteer organization.

Art to Spare

In this season of giving, let’s think a bit about exploring the possibility of giving away some art. You might be thinking about this if and when your art storage is full to overflowing or if you have to downsize to a smaller space or maybe you are just worrying about what will happen to your art if something happens to you?

Two options have come to my attention lately. One is to announce to friends and family that you have art that needs a foster home. They choose which works to adopt and sign an agreement that they will give the artist two weeks notice if the space becomes unavailable. The artist will give a month’s notice if the work is needed.

The other option is to think about donating your art to a non-profit facility that needs enlivening. Art has the ability to change lives and placing your art in a care center of some kind could be healing not only for the residents but for the staff as well.

These schemes have pros and cons. The obvious pro is that larger numbers of people will see your work than if is stuck under a bed, in a dark closet or in an expensive storage unit. You could save money and even find new clients. There could be a possibility that when you want the work back, the fosterer will be willing to pay to keep it. The main con could be that giving away your work might undermine the sales value of the work you are still marketing.

So these options might be best for those artists who are at the end of their career and wondering what will happen to their life’s work, especially if they do not have a knowledgably relative to inherit. Or maybe for artist who are socially conscious and have the funds available to support themselves without sales. 

With thanks to Anne Mudge who told me about art fostering and Jan Phillips who reported on Ruth Westriech who has an art for donation explanation on her website. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Annual San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA) Workshop

I try to attend the Annual San Diego Tourism Authority  (SDTA) Workshop workshop about every five years to see how this powerful group evaluate and increases its goals to bring tourist to our region. In general the SDTA is SD City centric, but their remit is the whole of the county. The San Diego Tourism Authority is a private, non-profit, mutual benefit corporation composed of approximately 1,000 member organizations, businesses, local governments, and individuals. Members include lodging, dining, arts & attractions, shopping, and transportation i.e. any company even indirectly involved in tourism. It is funded in part by members and the San Diego Tourism Marketing District (City of SD Lodgings) with City of San Diego Tourism Marketing.(City of SD Economic Development) assessment funds. 

Tourism is the second largest segment of San Diego's economy and employs approximately 180,900 people. SDTA invests $25 million dollars in advertising and promotional programs. Tourists spend $9.9 million and the TOT (Tax on Tourist) raises $246 million of which $180 million in SD City Only. Tourism as revenue is second only to Research/Technology/Innovation in our region. This is another good reason to combine both in STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education. 

With 80 on staff a large part of their business is bringing large meetings and conventions into our centers and hotels. They do this by showing perspective decision makers, how fabulous the area is climate, hotels, restaurants and especially attractions like Sea World and the SD Zoo not to forget the 85 art institutions. A terrific program is called Kids Free in October. Over 40 museums are allowing kids 12 or under in for free with a paid adult for the whole month. 

The Brand they are promoting is San Diego Owns a Sunny Outlook and The People + The Place + The Climate = Inspired Optimism.  SDTA’s stance is that San Diego is different from LA because we are authentic and collaborative. Climate is important but also the people and the natural and built environment. What is surprising is that it is the we rate 5th in the county for programming which is a big part supplied by the arts. 

They very cleverly are starting an award program for hotel (Rancho Bernardo Inn) and sales person (Rachel Strong) who performs outstanding services for the quarter, sort of an Art Prize for Tourism.

The media breakout was cancelled but the B2B (Business to Business) Social Marketing panel was interesting thanks to industry panelists including special guests Tyler Anderson, and Stephanie Liu well versed on facebook, Instagram, twitter, and SDTA's Ernie Rossow, National Sales Director  and Nick Karvounis, B2B Content Editor. Introductions for all the presenters below were made by Dave Mering. We were also treated to this video of him seeing all three attractions which was a real hoot. Here are a few tips I picked up:

  • In postings, be yourself, have fun, tell your story and your history
  • Drill down on your hash tags, from the large audience to the individual interest
  • Use video to go behind the scene for more interest
  • If you use paid ads on facebook, make sure your placement is not on the side rail but in the Newsfeed
  • Reach out for additional curated posted from others on topic

It was interesting to see that the attractions are all taking on cause marketing. Legoland Empowers Children. The Zoo save endangered species and Sea World is in the middle of re-inventing itself as an educational institution concentrating on the oceans. 

Here are links to the presentations followed by links to the info they gave us on flash drives for anyone who wants to dive deeper.
  • San Diego Tourism Authority, Kerri Kapich
  • Port of San Diego, Karen Porteous – great new resort projects in both National City and Chula Vista will be considered outside public living rooms.  The bridge lights on Coronado Bridge are back on track.
  • San Diego Airport, Thella Bowens  - yes, Terminal 1 is being upgraded and then replace entirely for $1.5 billion. She also acknowledged how much the art de-stresses the travel experience.
    * Airport Presentation
    * Thella's Notes
  • San Diego Zoo, Ted Molter  - The new Watering Hole at the Safari park will be promoted for weddings and parties. Africa Rocks is a brand new display.
  • SeaWorld San Diego, Barbara Drahl
  • Legoland, Peter Kock, director of marketing - The last time I visited, Logoland was rather small and seemed a joy only for 5 year olds. They have added attractions every year like Star Wars coming 2017 and now have a hotel like a proper resort and are building another hotel and expanding parking.  I was impressed that one of the three attractions presented was in Carlsbad. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Old Fashion or Out of Fashion?

I am well into my 6th decade and as I look around me I realize I could with no stretch of the imagination be considered cutting edge. But that quantity of age does mean I might deserve a second look.

I have to admire those who take responsibility for longevity, creating a concept that can last over time. An older generation has, through experience, developed a logical methodology. They have a proven track record. It is almost like the reassurance we gain from having a belief in an omnipotent being that has a plan

I also know that there is a wonderful freedom in consistently adopting change. With change comes a feeling of dislocation, but that is necessary for the new to happen. A less structured approach comes from the gut and from observation of the world around us. Nature has a magic way of evolving and adapting to circumstances.

We need the world to make sense when times are uncertain. We need to be disruptive when things become boring and staid.

I believe that I have experienced both of these extremes. So it turns out that I am old fashion and out of fashion now. I will stay old, but fashion does come around. And being both maybe is not such a bad thing.  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Art of Science Learning Proof of Impact..The Facts, just the facts

By Patricia Frischer

We have been waiting for several years for the final reports from the Innovation Incubation project from the Art of Science Learning. As you may remember this was a three city project with the hub in San Diego, but funded on the East Coast by Harvey Seifter through the NFS. . The project put together artists and scientist but gave both a crash course in collaboration with added thinking skills. The idea at the end of the project was to do a test to see if this learning actually affected the number and quality of the innovation outcomes. The report is now published. It confirms what many of us know, but these vital recording of the facts and figures are so important for future funding and to convince a wider audience of the worth of the arts in science learning. As you can read below and in the full report four major areas were tracked. Students gained creative thinking skills. Adults improved their collaborative capacity. Student had a better results in their STEM learning and there was a knock positive affect on their problem solving in everyday life.

Here is the article intro written by
Harvey Seifter

Arts-Based Learning Leads to Improvements in Creative Thinking Skills, Collaborative Behaviors and Innovation Outcomes
In 2012, with the support of the National Science Foundation, we set out to test the hypothesis that integrating the arts into STEM-related innovation training results in enhanced creative thinking skills, more robust collaborative processes and stronger innovation outcomes. 
Today, we are pleased to publish Audience Viewpoints Consulting's independent report of our four year effort. Its findings provide clear evidence of a strong causal relationship between arts-based learning and improved creativity skills and innovation outcomes in adolescents, and between arts-based learning and increased collaborative behavior in adults.
The full report, as well as an executive summary, can be downloaded from our website at:
Arts-Based Learning Improved Creative Thinking Skills in Adolescents
High school groups using arts-based learning showed statistically significant increases in a wide range of creative and critical thinking skills.
Arts-Based Learning Increased Collaborative Behaviors in Adults
STEM professionals using arts-based learning showed significant increases in sharing leadership, empathic listening, trust, respect and emotionally intelligent behavior. Control groups only showed an increase in emotionally intelligent behavior, and in that behavior the arts-based groups outperformed the control groups by a statistically significant margin.
Arts-Based Learning Led to Stronger STEM Innovation Outcomes in Adolescents
Expert panelists rated the STEM innovations created by the high school teams using arts-based learning significantly higher in terms of insight, clarity, problem solving and impact than those of the high school control teams.
Arts-Based Learning Helped Adolescents Apply STEM Learning to Their Everyday Lives
High school students experiencing arts-based learning reported a significantly greater rate of transferring their innovation learning to subsequent academic work, home life and extracurricular activities than did the control group.
We are grateful to Americans for the Arts, American Association for the Advancement of Science and Association of Science-Technology Centers, our national partners, for their advice and support over the years; and to Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and EcoTarium, who hosted our research.
We are especially grateful to the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning program, which made this research possible with its generous support.

Monday, July 25, 2016

August Challenges

August is the month that I look forward to every year. It is a time when my wonderful husband goes on a fishing trip to Canada and leaves me to wander the house on my own. I usually have a few days to wind down where I socialize, but I try to dedicate at least two week to myself and my own art.

Many people do not know that I have a master degree in sculpture from California College of Art and was a relatively successful painter in London for about 25 years.  No, I did not manage to make a living from my art, but I have sold over 300 painting and have a fairly reputable resume of one person and group exhibitions. I was head of an art department in an international school and also worked in an art gallery for a few years.

When I arrived in San Diego, I realized very quickly that the market for my type of work was not massive. I had trouble finding like minds at first, but now I am so happy to have a group of friends and colleagues who are stimulating and entertaining and loyal. I know that sometimes I am too busy, but I have a hard time saying no to an idea that supports artists and the arts in our community.

But these two weeks are a particular challenge as I try to come to grips with my own art. Ideas stream through my brain and most are dismissed. I have desires to make politically thoughtful work at a time when I find we are in a leadership quagmire.  I would like to speak about the changes happening to my 96 year old mother. I have an idea of making a series of portraits of muses from a project I helped with a few years ago. I have an opportunity to work with cast glass and want to make something memorable and unique.  

I put incredible pressure on myself and then I have just have to stop and remember to have fun. This is not opting out but instead a way to tap into less conscious ideas. I have to have faith that what bubbles up is meant to be.

I will miss my fabulous husband horribly while he is gone, but I can’t wait for him to leave!

Four banners I created for the Passport to France event in July

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Five trends in Social Innovation

I have decided to  pass on my summary of the five trends in social innovation prepared by Guidestar  and When we choose new programs, we should keep these trends in mind. 

1. Because of an increase in the financial influence of Millennial, fast-paced growth of crowdfunding and the increase in number of institutional funders focusing on investment on innovation, the continued trend will be growth in capital for innovation. 

2. The massive growth of mobile will continue and will emphasis self empowerment which means interactions using the smart devices instead of just viewing

3. Large non-profits will start making more funding available for innovation. They did not traditional see this as a priority, but they will more and more act as the catalysts of collaborations that support a healthy environment for social innovation.

4. We want to use massive data analysis to help us solve our most critical problems in a way that is sustainable for the future. This year, we will see an even more aggressive adoption of data intelligence for guiding social solution design

5. Corporation are trending toward innovation in  social issue and away from simply growing profits from shareholders. This is the kinder side of big business. 


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Today San Diego, Tomorrow the World

William Feeney,, Sasha Koozel Reibstein, Shinpei Takeda
2016 New Contemporaries.

I so much believe in the quality of the art in San Diego, that I just can’t believe that no major art institution here has made it their mission to make sure that the artists of our region are recognized world wide. It seems to be a concept that has slipped through the cracks of our vision leaders.

The SDMA and MOCASD don’t have missions to feature local artists. But they are probably in the best position financially to fund exhibitions that reach out to other cities. I do believe that to be a world class museum, you should be creating exhibitions and traveling them even if the subject is not contemporary art. But I believe it is actually the quality of the living artist in our community that is our most valuable asset.

Other visual arts institutions in SD probably don’t have the budgets for this expensive exercise, but it should be a long term goal. If you don’t have a dream, how are you going to have a dream come true.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

1000 words! Where is a picture when you need it?

 When I got home from London this year, five New Yorker Magazines were waiting for me. I learn and am inspired by these journals, but read only selected articles that seem to reach out to me. So far, I believe the following articles are helping me to see the world in a different way.

Shut Up and Sit Down by Joshua Rothman, (New Yorker, Feb 29, 2016 p. 64) is a critical essay about leadership. Leaders are held on high and we hear a lot about training the leaders of tomorrow, which means there is presumed to be a science of leadership. It turns out a USD scholar Joseph Rost discovered over 200 definitions of leadership. At the two extremes are the leaders with magnetic personalities and the ones who are brilliant bureaucrats. Some rare examples combine the two. A charismatic person can learn the process of being a great bureaucrat, but maybe not the reverse.

If we feel we are in crisis we can be tempted to choose a charismatic person with no track record.  This is a big risk. If the crisis is perceived as large enough, that risk may be worth it. But Rothman points out that “a leader must cross paths with a crisis” to achieve greatness. It turns out that many politicians dramatize crisis to garner favor.

Leaders used to be the decision makers, now they tend to be seen as inspirational. The attributes we look for in leaders are more moral than administrative such as trustworthy, courageous, authentic. This means we look now for leaders in non-traditional roles. For example, I like to think of myself as a reluctant leader. I am in the story but, for example right now, I am also the story teller. Rothman might say I feed the need “to have and present a coherent version of the world”. In my case, that would be one which has a county wide arts council to aid our arts community. 

In the next article I am challenged to be the critic of that story above. Says You by Nathan Heller (New Yorker, March 7, 2016 p. 62) explores three requirements of a critic: “expertise, eloquence and attention”. Not so surprisingly, lots of bloggers now have those abilities….so the days of the professional critic may be numbered. Some may say this is a good thing, but I think that critics are wonderful because they are so devoted to whatever types of subjects they are reviewing that they spend hours learning and thinking about it and they are prepared to take a stance.  Yes, they should be knowledgeable, the writing should be very high quality but just having your attention guided to a certain subject is extremely valuable. It is validating just to make a work that someone deems interesting enough to spend the time to review.  

Heller says that critics fall into three categories: those who notice first when something important is happening; those who are so incredibly knowledgeable that they can floor you with context; and those you simply fall in love with as you imagine accompanying them to exhibitions. I can look at some of my purchases and see how the prices have escalated, but will that hold over centuries? Could I ever become learned enough to back up my choices very long term? I don’t want to be critical for the sake of a good read or send someone off to see something I could not recommend. I guess I might fall under the category of “seducer.” I want you to have a good time reading what I write. I want to tempt you to see for yourself and see more and more until you become as addicted as I am. When I make art, I want you to spend a bit of time with it and have a relationship with it. When I write about art, I really want the same thing to happen. Of course what I am doing now is writing about the writing about art. I hope you are still there!  

In the last of my three articles this month, Learn Differently by Rebecca Mead (New Yorker, March 7, 2016 p. 36) there is an exploration of a new alternative schools appropriately names AltSchool. Basically this is a school that aims to give students as much individual attention as possible to bring out and challenge their interests. The difference in this attempt from other schools is the data gathering systems that are put in place to leverage a new learning systems that AltSchool is developing. The teacher is made over into “a data enabled detective”, and these educators are backed by a large infrastructure of technologists.   Not only is the learning enabled by online sources, but students are tracked by digital reports and by still and moving images. The teachers give the software designer requests on how to make the system better. They work together to create programs and platforms. These schools are the prototypes for hundreds of schools that could be created and the programs could eventually wind up in public schools as well.  All this recording and reporting will generate tons of information. That is time consuming so they need new technology to make this more intuitive, but also to create the interpretation of such a huge amount of material possible. The computer which has the capacity to exceed that of a human better come PDQ. What we at SDVAN do know is that arts are vital to the learning process and this data might finally prove how valuable they are to our society.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

London Journal March 2016

We completed another adventure in London. We go about every 18 months and this is a short trip of only three weeks this time. We were so lucky to have our exit gate next to the West End Gallery in Terminal 2 of SD International Airport. Their focus right now is Point of Entry.

Olivia Vivanco (photo)

Olivia Vivanco

Michael Ruiz (altered photo)

Michael Ruiz

Ivan Diaz Robledo (split screen video)

Ivan Diaz Robledo

We arrived in London on March 6 after a riotous few days drinking far too much whiskey in Scotland with old friends. So we took a few days off to settle in to our charming rental flat in Lisson Grove near the Church street market. 

Although we have a flat in London, it is rented out but Darwin was able to find a great place on AirBNR.  Here is our recommendation Flat 2, 5 Plympton St, London NW8 8A. 

Plympton Street is quite tiny and a bit hidden and I could not believe the cabby even could drive down it. It is one lane and I was surprised it was not one way as two care simple would not fit. Some one would have to back up. There are several flats done up like this one on the street but you would never know from the outside what is hidden away. 

This flat was so cleverly designed to be bright and even with a smallish square footage, it looked huge. High ceilings, and the patio seen through huge windows and the open plan made this a light and cheerful place to live for our stay in London. It is masculine with red brick walls and black leather, but also clear acrylic and natural woods touches and the fresh flowers delivered by our host made it warm and gracious. The American bright yellow fridge and red lacquered cabinet gave the flat even more personality. There were masses of books to choose from and a starter basket of breakfast treats.

We found every thing we needed to hold a dinner party and to store and cook food for ourselves. Fresh vegetables from Church Street market and the closeness of the buses and underground made shopping super easy. We enjoyed especially exploring the hundreds of antique stalls open all week just a few feet from the front door. Very close to the flat is excellent Indian  (tandori) Lahore, Chinese (dim sum) Phoenix Palace and (skate wing and chips  Sea Shell restaurants. Ozz got outstanding reviews but we didn’t have time to try that….maybe next time.

Our host hired a company to manage the flat and they were responsive to our every need. Plumbing in the UK is not quite as reliable as that in the US and we are aware of that so the adjustments that had to be made during our stay were handled efficiently and with minimum intrusion.

We would recommend this flat for anyone who wants a stay in London and wants to experience living like a native. At less than £100  a night including cleaning and AirBNB fee, you would never find a hotel to match this experience in London.

Our bed is in back of this wall.

No large dinner parties from this wee kitchen but it does have all mod cons.

Glad to have a big yellow USA refrigerator in the dining room.

Let me begin by saying that when you visit a place every 18 months, you do see changes. The biggest one so far is that technology has grabbed hold of all communication and transportation modes. We have been encouraged to use Uber instead of black taxis. Our phones plot our routes by foot, bus and tubes from destination to destination.  We read reviews online instead of in print.

So to get out on the streets and just walk and look and listen is a nice change. It is colder than I remember London being, so I am wearing all of my layers. It takes twice as long to get dressed here as at home...underpants, bra, slacks and t shirts and I am done usually. Now I add sweater, jacket, coat, gloves, scarf and a hat!

Our first real day out was to scope out the antique markets next to the flat and also score some fresh food at the market. Alphies is a block that actually almost extends over our roof with 300 stalls. We got lost in the maze of staircases and levels. There were also about 15 shop fronts that we didn't get to yet. A huge number specialized in 50's Italian modern and I felt like I was walking through a Felini movie….lots of chrome and glass and cast metal. And then all the silver you could possible want. There was a roof top cafe with great views but too cold to eat outside.  We had pear cider and a tuna filled baked potato and a yummy orange poppy seed cake. The rest of Church street market is fresh vegetables and fish and I got a very large box of blueberries for 2 pounds. Trying to keep my antioxidant levels high. Mainly middle eastern shoppers but nice to have that fresh items just around the corner every day but Sunday. Not a gourmet market, but well priced. 

It appears that the entire nations antic was held in these 300 stalls. Got to love that CAT!

And how about this sculpture that must have been an unwanted wedding present for some poor couple.

This amazingly thin gold chairs must have been used at a fashion show in the 60s when tiny models were all the rage.

These two tall columns of glass were so outrageous.I could see them at the entrance to a home theater.

Loved this round sectional table when the matching round chairs fit neatly under each circle.

A pair of glass dogs...might have to go back for these!

half a baked potato with tuna and fresh tasty stripes of carrot.

Pear cider

An orange poppy seed cake as good as the one I make myself.

Darwin overlooking the outside roof top

View on a cloudy cold day.

Royal Academy: Painting the Modern Garden Monet to Matisse I think the most interesting thing about this exhibition was realizing that the garden is a relatively new invention. When a leisure class developed gardens thrived.  As cities grew, the idea of an oasis was very alluring. Artist made their own gardens and Monet was of course, the most inspiring of these creators. This was a chance to see the late works of Monet when he made the leap to remove ground and sky and let the works exists as abstracts (almost). One large water lily painting from Kansas City, Cleveland and St. Louis were re-united in this show for the finale triptych. 

With the very larg Monet pictures you can stand very close and be absorbed into the paint. This was a real treat.
Gustav Klmt's pryamid composition, draws you into the path of light.

This charming scene with children has a perfect composition

Gustave Caillebotte was a new artist for me.After I researched him, I discovered this was the only image I liked!

Emile Nolde's bold compositions were a relief after all those pretty pale garden views.

The Age of Giorgione upstairs at the Royal Academy was so interesting....all those "pretty boys" painted so long ago...and one very phallic religious painting. Am I the only ones that sees these as sexual?

Anyone for a bit of rough?

I attended a Zocalo Public Square panel in Encinitas before I left for this trip and it was interesting to compare and contrast this event with one we attending in London. Encinitas was packed to the rafter with people who really wanted to discuss the subject of the evening…was San Diego ready to be a city of culture? The panelists were not exactly experts but they were passionate about the arts. The venue was a little classroom at Lux Institute. There were carrot strips in plastic cups at the reception after the panel. Darwin and I attended a Zocalo Public Square produced Smithsonian sponsored panel discussion at the British Museum on the relationship of America as a colony of Great Britain. (click to hear the discussion) Panelist Adrian Wooldridge, of The Economist, feels that fundamentally America remains British. But panelists Craig Calhoun, director of the London School of Economics and Political Science; author and former Penguin book editor Erin Moore; and moderator Brooke Masters of the Financial Times—all dual citizens see America with a very distinctive path since those early British days. Panelist Loyd Grossman, a broadcaster (you may remember him as the first presenter for Master Chef), born in America but with the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire, was somewhere in the middle and kept the discussion light and humorous. The venue was amazingly impressive but only about 1/2 full, the panel very articulate and clever. The reception was elaborate with selection of drinks and nibbles in lovely glass container. There were printed coasters and ball point pens as give aways.  Zocalo started in 2003 out of LA and is an affiliate of Arizona State University. It is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends free live events, conferences and humanities journalism that is syndicated to 264 media outlets worldwide.  It maybe that there is never another Zocalo in Encinitas or even San Diego, but the idea of organized public discussions not based on an election year, it a worthwhile idea. If you want to join into more arts events in North County San Diego, then sign up for notices from North County Arts Network. There next meeting will be coming up in April 2016 and the topic is arts education. 

What a thrill to see really good artists who are dear old friends showing this March in London. My two favorite shows were:

Overland: Boyd and Evans at Flowers Gallery Cork Sta smashing show of photographs that perfectly capture that perfect moment of sky and land. Boyd and Evans are dedicated appreciators of the American terrain and they go on safari in the southwest as often as possible and have documented our topography over many years.  This brilliant show focuses strongly on  the sky pointing its drama to earthy concerns. No one that I have ever seen does this better that the duo of Boyd and Evans.Not just absolutely stunning, phenomenally stupendously stunning. 

Sporting Chance: Nancy Atakan, Sporting Chance at Pi Gallery, Eastcastle St. This exhibition of digital drawings also includes the original pencil work and embroidered handkerchiefs. Atakan knows the world is full enough of the stories of raped, abused, discriminated, and down trodden women. In this series she has concentrated on an enhanced story of a women and her quest to bring gymnastics to Turkey. She chooses to see her fictionalized character as a heroine who aids the county into seeing the benefits of physical exercise. The story is told in a lovely but un-passionate dialogue written in Atakan’s own hand.

Nancy Atakan

GRAD Gallery for Russian Arts and Design: Unexpected Eisendstein The film Battleship Potemkin is the most well know work by Eisendstein, It is a fierce, aggressive compelling telling of a harsh story. That is why this exhibition of Eisendstein visit to London, fascination with Sherlock Holmes and Nick Carter and modernist costumes designs not only came as a surprise but showed a very human and charming side to this very real person.  




Unfortunately, I took a bad fall on a hard pavement and the rest of my visits to art shows was curtailed this trip. I did manage to see my friends, which was a great joy, but I missed the following planned exhibitions.

Evelyn Yard: Neo-Pagen Bitch Which
Wellcome Collection: States of Mind
Gogosian Avedon and Warhol
National Portrait Gallery:  Vogue a Century in Style
National Gallery: Delacroix 
V&A: Botticelli Reimagined
Tate Modern: Calder 
Somerset House: Venturing Beyond
Barbican Curve: Imran Qureshi
Marlborough: Joe Tilson, The Stones of Venice

I also recommend a quite different choice of exhibitions visited by Doug Simay. You can read about these when he post his next picks in April.

Abraham Cruzvillegas at Tate Modern
Giacomo Manzu (1908- 1991) at Estorick Collection
Gino Severini (1883-1966) at Estorick
Umberto Boccioni (1882-916) at Estorick
Chantal Joffe at Victoria Miro
Chillida at Ordovas
Paul Winstanley at Alan Cristea
Joan Miro at Bernard Jacobsen + William Tillyer
Arnaldo Pomodoro at Tornaduoni
Tom Wesselman at David Zwirner
Yamashita Kikuji at Sadie Coles HQ
Harmony Korine at Gagosian Davies
Alighiero  Boetti at Ben Brown

I will be back in London in 18 months and hope to be fit again long before that time.