Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Op Art Ceramics at Quiet Creek Gallery Saturday

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Op Art Vessels

This afternoon, Saturday, July 7, Quiet Creek Living Room Gallery in Idyllwild will host one of the final receptions of award-winning porcelain ceramicist Leslie Thompson of Ojai.

After three decades of decorating her ceramics with designs influenced by Op Art and pattern weaving from Native American and Amish cultures, Leslie will ‘retire’ from painting and focus on fine pattern weaving.

“We are privileged to host one of Leslie’s final ceramics exhibitions, featuring recent and  finally carved masterpieces,” said Mike Ahern from the Quiet Creek Gallery. “They are truly heirloom pieces.”

The intricate patterns on these hand-crafted “vessels” resemble patterns found on Native American blankets or wall hangings. What Indians have created with a needle and thread, Leslie has managed with a brush and paint. Each pattern creates an optical illusion, making her pots look multi-dimensional.

Op art works are abstract, with many popular pieces made in only black and white. When you look at them, there is an impression of movement, vibrations, swelling, warping and even “hidden” images. Some of the designs in Leslie’s work can look like an aerial view of a staircase, or the texture of a pine cone, depending upon the viewer’s perspective.

According to various web sites, Op Art was derived from the constructivist practices of the German Bauhaus School which stressed the relationship between form and function. Some better-known artists associated with the Op Art style include Julian Stanczak, Victor Vasalery, John McHale and Arnold Schmidt.

Leslie paints optical illusions onto her pots

To her credit, Leslie has won awards from all over the world, including Europe. She has shown in 30 galleries, but now has limited them to a select few, including Wellfleet, Massachusettes; Sedona, Arizona; Sausalito, California and Idyllwild.

“Leslie’s pieces are one-of-a-kind, last-of-a-kind, and will be collectable over time,” Mike added.

Mike said that he first met Leslie three years ago when she was staying at the Quiet Creek Inn and taking a Navajo weaving class at the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program. Since then, Mike has been featuring her pottery at the Quiet Creek Living Room Gallery.

“Leslie has been doing this challenging work for several decades and feels that it is appropriate to retire this media of her art,” Mike explained. “It has indeed put demands on her hands, wrists, eyes over the years, and now she’s ready to focus on her other chosen medium–weaving.”

There will be a champagne reception for Leslie Thompson’s work on Saturday, July 7 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Quiet Creek Living Room Gallery, located at 54300 North Circle Drive in Idyllwild. The event is free and open to the public.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Student Artist Shares Spotlight

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Josh and Vita before the Spotlight Awards Ceremony. Photo by Josh.

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Persistence pays off.  At least when it comes to high school art competitions.

For two years now, Vita, a Visual Artist from Idyllwild Arts, submitted photographs to the coveted Music Center of Los Angeles Spotlight Awards, but didn’t make the cut.

This year, however, Vita submitted a mixed media drawing and won an Honorable Mention. She was up against thousands of other art students from 100 other Los Angeles-area high schools.

“Photos are so subjective,” Vita said. “They can be interpreted in so many ways, so I submitted a drawing this year.”

Several of Vita’s paintings and drawings can be seen in the 2012 Spring issue of Parallax student magazine. You can pick up a copy for free at Bowman on campus.

Vita’s mixed media drawing that won the Spotlight Award is long and narrow, and architectural in nature. (Architecture is something Vita admits that she’s interested in). She couldn’t remember the name of the piece, because she only named it for the show.

As part of her winnings, Vita gets $250, and two tickets to the Spotlight Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 28, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. She brought her boyfriend, Josh, who is also a Visual Artist at the school.

“It looks like a building falling down,” exclaimed Josh.

Vita’s drawing looks like a skewed aerial view of the Los Angeles or New York skyline. How would you ever get that view? You’d have to take a helicopter that dives in between tall skyscrapers.

Vita's award-winning drawing was shown in a student show at Parks earlier this year

Vita said that she used several photographs as inspiration and put them together. The same piece was featured in an earlier art show at Parks Exhibition Center this year.

Before heading to the Spotlight Awards Ceremony, Vita and Josh ate outdoors at a Taiwanese restaurant. Both were dressed up, and Vita insisted that she wasn’t nervous.

“I hope they don’t make me go onstage,” she said.

At the ceremony, the two sat in the balcony, with hundreds of other supporters and well-wishers. In 2009, a caravan of Idyllwild Arts students and teachers took up two rows when Timmy Yu (piano) and Samuel Chan (voice) stole the competition.

Josh said he thought there might have been 5,000 people in the audience. After the music performances and videos, they showed Vita’s drawing on the big screen.

“That was a big moment,” she said, smiling.

Josh couldn’t take pictures because he said it was really dark in there and a flash wouldn’t go far.

“Vita deserves the recognition,” Josh said. “She works really hard.”

Vita mentioned that the other winners in the Visual Art category had shown their mastery of technique.

Spotlight Awards Ceremony was held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion

“In Asia, our teachers really emphasize technique,” Vita said. “But here I’ve learned to use my imagination and creativity more.”

She said the other winners’ images were deserving.

“But Dean would have blown them all out of the water,” Vita exclaimed of her classmate. “Dean doesn’t care about awards. He’s that type of artist who is so good all he wants to do is his art. Awards don’t matter to him.”

What they have in common is their love of perspective. Dean’s image on the April-June Idyllwild Arts Performance Calendar depicts a worm’s eye view (looking up) of an elderly African American woman smiling. Free copies of the calendar are available at Bowman.

"Dean's work would blow them all out of the water!" exclaimed Vita of Dean's painting (shown). "But he doesn't care about awards."

After her Cinderella moment, Vita was back to the studio getting ready for her senior class art show which opens at 6 p.m. tonight, (Friday, May 4)at the Parks Exhibition Center on campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The four other Visual Art students featured in Friday’s show include: Caine, Jimmy, Yoo Jean and Ji.

For more information about events at the Parks Exhibition Center, visit www.idyllwildarts.org or call Mallory Cremin at (951) 659-2171, ext. 2251.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

 

Closet Installation Defines Art Student’s Life

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Kevin plans to be part of an installation for his senior art show

By Marcia E. Gawecki

For his senior art show at Idyllwild Arts on April 20, Kevin is exposing a part of himself. In fact, he’s going to be part of an ongoing installation.

He’s showing some large, abstract paintings, but his installation showcases an unusual closet along with some track music that he mixed himself.

“Both of my parents work in the fashion industry, so it would be natural for me to follow in their footsteps,” said Kevin, who is from Korea. “It’s been a struggle for me deciding between fashion and art.”

Kevin is a 4-year senior, which means he attended Idyllwild Arts from his freshman to his senior year.

In Kevin’s closet installation, he’s selected only black and white clothes.

“It’s kind of a statement about human growth,” Kevin explained.

Kevin had difficulty deciding between art and fashion as a major

For example, white clothes would identify him as a baby, while black clothes would show him in old age. As the track music changes, Kevin plans to change clothes.

“I have to practice a lot to get it right,” he said with a smile.

Kevin also has some large, abstract paintings that together form a butterfly.

A few months back, Kevin got some encouraging words from Idyllwild Arts alum and street artist, Shepard Fairey. In fact, there’s a photo of the two of them on the Idyllwild Arts web site.

When he visited Idyllwild Arts on Feb 10, Shepard gave a lecture and held a Master Class for the visual artists (See “Welcome Back” Idyllwild Me post dated Feb. 16, 2012).

“He said that he liked my stuff, especially the figurative paintings,” Kevin said. “But he encouraged me to use different materials and take risks.”

(from L) Kevin and Cynthia before Shepard Fairey's art

Perhaps Kevin is taking Shepard’s recommendations to heart as he “performs” his closet installation on Friday, April 20 in the Parks Exhibition Center.

Also showing that evening are Visual Art seniors Bella, SoYe and Mia. Like all Idyllwild Arts events, Senior Show II is free and open to the public.

For more information about student art events at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus, visit www.idyllwildarts.org or call Mallory Cremin at (951) 659-2171, ext. 2251.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

Alumni Art Show Ends Friday

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

By Marcia E. Gawecki

“Past to Present,” Idyllwild Arts’ alumni arts exhibition, ends today, Friday, March 2 at the Parks Exhibition Center on campus.  Although most of the hoopla of the show was focused on Shepard Fairey’s work (’88), there were 19 other alumni artists in the show.

Yesterday, five of the artists from the show (who live in Idyllwild) participated in a panel discussion whose topic was, “Making Art After School: Creating Art as a Lifelong Pursuit.” Daniel Gray, Erin Latimer, Alison Yates, Paul Waddell and Youree Jin all work at the academy and fielded questions from students and faculty at 3:30 p.m. at the Parks Exhibition Center.

“Three weeks ago, the opening was so packed that it was hard to talk to the artists,” said Mallory Cremin, who curated the show.

She said that she was sorry that Jonathan Taube and Tada Kono (both from ’06) left without talking much about their work. Their work from WIKI Studio featured two installations of organic materials. “Chametz Roulette” featured loaves of bread “That may nor may not contain mortal shrapnel.” Loaves were $11.99 each.

Each piece of the WIKI cacti installation was for sale for $6 each

Taube and Kono’s other installation, “Within Limbo,” featured pieces of prickly pear cactus attached to a pole.

“Each cactus is intended to be a collectible living object,” the pair wrote in the information about the show. “They are for sale for $6 each.”

When Mallory opened the gallery several days before the end of the show, several of the cacti had rotted and fallen from the pole.

“This is not part of the installation,” Mallory said, as she scooped up the debris.

Since the students didn’t get to speak with Kono and Taube, Mallory said that she wanted to give the local artists the opportunity to speak about their work before the show ended today.

Erin Latimer (’02) and Alison Yates (’03) both showcased artist books. Erin’s books were small and portable (3 x 3 inches and 2 x 5 inches). “Mythology” and “Refugee. Evacuee. Survivor,” featured linobloc prints.

The images depict a profile of a woman with an oversized heart falling down to her feet. She is shrouded, so it could depict a Middle Eastern woman’s plight, or it could depict an American woman, for example, who is “cloaked” in darkness?

Erin Latimer's art book tells a story of escape

It could also be telling a story about work or even love relationships.

Alison’s artist’s book title, “Housework,” was understated. It was actually wonderfully crafted paper cuts on wood panels. The palette of her paper cuts was limited to only three colors, red, black and white. Which was telling because they are the colors of ashes, fire and smoke.

Note that she used uniform square wood panels as pages for her art book. Threads loosely bound them.

“Sweeping crumbs or sweeping ashes,” was the text that Alison repeated on several panels, yet her compelling images in red, white and black showed a housewife going from brushing up crumbs to turning into toast.

On one of the panels, Alison asks, “Was it intentional?”

Alison Yates' art book was done in red, white and black on wood panels

The threat of fire is part of the Idyllwild fabric, even for the students who live on campus. Matches are banned from the dorm rooms. You can’t even light candles on a birthday cake. Hopefully, during the panel discussion yesterday some of the students asked Alison if her art book told a true story?

Youree Jin’s installation of small, framed etchings of “Closet,” showcased how she took one image and used various materials, including glass, paper, fabric, ink and thread, to create totally different effects. Some looked like collages, while others looked like x-ray negatives (if that’s possible!) of a closet!

More text to come

Yuree's closet has taken on many different moods

 

 

 

Welcome Back to Idyllwild, Shepard Fairey

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Shepard Fairey is a 1988 Idyllwild Arts grad. Photo courtesy Sidney Morgan.

For the first time in 24 years, (Frank) Shepard Fairey, a now famous graphic designer / street artist, returned to his old high school, Idyllwild Arts Academy.

During an hour-long lecture on Feb. 10, Shepard showed slides and told how he raised hell, worked hard, believed in causes, got arrested, got lucky and gained some fame from his 2008 Barak Obama poster and 2010 documentary, “Exit Through the Gift Shop.”

Students, faculty and Idyllwild town folks packed the IAF Theatre and mobbed him for photos at the art show afterwards. It was his “Welcome Back, Kotter” moment.

“This is the best thing that’s happened to visual artists,” said Kevin, a senior visual artist from Korea, as he stood in front of Shepard Fairey’s posters at the show. His friend took his picture with Shepard Fairey, which likely was later posted on Facebook.

“I’ve got one of his stickers,” beamed Bella, a senior fashion design major from China. “And it’s signed!”

Back in 1987, when Shepard Fairey attended his senior year at Idyllwild Arts Academy, he was “stagnating” (according to his parents) with interests only in punk rock and skateboarding. When he got kicked out of North Carolina School of the Arts during the summer, he came to Idyllwild Arts.

“When I met one of my art teachers, David Amico, he was wearing biker boots and a Ramones (punk rock) T-shirt,” Shepard said during his slide presentation/lecture. “For the first time, there was no adversarial relationship with my teachers. They treated me like one of their peers.”

Ellenie, his former 2D design teacher, said that Shepard was an average art student.

“But being average at Idyllwild Arts means that you’re among the top three percent of young artists in the country,” she clarified. “He also had to be reminded about the rules a couple of times.”

That year, he studied black-and-white photography, but then used color photography to make fake California Driver’s Licenses with his friends. Later, he used that same fake ID to get into LA clubs to post his “Obey” posters.

"He's the best thing that's happened for visual artists," exclaimed Kevin, with Cynthia, before Shepard Fairey's posters.

Shepard also told how he jammed the color printer at Kinko’s with a paperclip and printed off hundreds 11 x 17-inch posters in black and red, but only paid for six copies.

He’s not saying that it was right, but it’s what he had to do to as a struggling arts student to get his message (of questioning authority) out to the masses.

A the Rhode Island School of Design, he remained active in the skateboard /punk rock culture. One day, he was showing a friend how to make stencils, using a newspaper photo of Andre the Giant. His friend refused thinking it ridiculous, but Shepard’s interest in the wrestler took off. And so did the popularity of his art.

He stylized the image, and put it on buildings and walls around Providence. It made the local news.

“I realized that the only things occupying the public space were government signs and advertising,” he said.

It all started with a crude sticker of Andre the Giant, Shepard Fairey said.

He filled that public space with his “Obey” campaign.

“But then I realized that scale was important,” Shepard told the crowd. (After all, Andre was over 7 feet tall and weighed 525 pounds).

He saw an opportunity to paste over a large billboard featuring a local politician in full scale pointing his finger. The headline read: “He Never Stopped Caring About Providence.”

The next day, Andre the Giant’s face covered the politician’s, who also had mob connections. The billboard ‘makeover’ made the news again, but Shepard had to apologize.

“It took him about four minutes to figure out who did it,” Shepard said, shaking his head.

That incident didn’t stop Shepard from promoting his “Obey” campaign all over U.S. cities and towns, and getting arrested 16 times along the way.

This wasn’t your average street artist “tagging” for his own fame, but a serious conscious objector using his art to bring issues to light.

Shepard Fairey with iconic Obama poster and student.

Some of them he showed during his slide presentation, including anti-war images featuring then-president George Bush with a Hitler moustache, and a young girl carrying a grenade in her hand. Other issues included the oppression of the Tibetan monks, air pollution, and water pollution. Yet, his anti-war slogans were most prominent.

“We spend a lot of money on the military in the U.S., rather than education,” Shepard claimed.

He showed a poster of new parents proudly cradling a bomb. Another one featured a gas mask with bold text: “I don’t want my taxes to pay for the new world order.”

After showing the last slide of a giant tyrant boot ready to crush masses of people, he softened a bit.

“All I’m saying is that you can use your art to speak up,” Shepard told the Idyllwild Arts students. “Few people have the courage to do the heavy lifting. Be brave, OK?”

He spoke not just to the visual artists, but to young musicians and writers as well.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect,” he said. “You could build music on your laptop or write a blog.”

He’s doing what we’ve always told our students to do, said Ellenie. Take something that you believe in and show it through your art.

Although Shepard became most famous for his 2008 Barak Obama poster, Shepard didn’t spend much time on it. He said he was impressed with then-candidate Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention and decided to create a poster. He was lucky that it was sanctioned by the Obama campaign by a former skateboard friend.

“That poster rose to the national spotlight like none other,” he said.

Early in Obama’s campaign, Shepard was identified as the artist who created the iconic poster. When asked if he was mad that others were taking his image and profiting from it, Shepard said, “no.”

On campus, Shepard Fairey was approachable and congenial. He allowed Sidney M. to take these pictures.

Since then, Shepard has become disappointed with some of President Obama’s politics, but said that he’s the best candidate around.

Shepard’s work has appeared in galleries and museums around the country. He illustrated Time magazine numerous times.

Even with all of his success, Shepard was “at home” among the artists at Idyllwild Arts.

“I saw him sitting in the cafeteria eating lunch,” exclaimed Peter. “This was my big moment! So I sat down next to him and told him what a big fan I was.”

He allowed Sidney, a photography major, five minutes before his lecture to take several portraits of him.

(from L) Eric, a film student, with Shepard Fairey. Eric offered to be an extra camera man sometime.

“He was so nice and casual,” Sidney said. “You can see how natural he is in the pictures.”

View the pictures that Sidney took on her blog, www.sidneymorganblog.com.

Eric, from Mexico, spoke to him about filming him in the future.

“I’ve been saving up for my own video camera, and told him that if he needed an extra guy to shoot, I could do it,” Eric said.

Shepard gave Eric his contact information, and since he was hanging around, he was interviewed by Gail Wesson for her Feb. 11 Press-Enterprise article.

When asked if he had seen Shepard Fairey’s lecture before coming to the alumni show, Hubert Halkin of Cafe Aroma replied, “Of course I did! I saw it in the comfort of my own home–on UStream!”

Shepard Fairey’s posters, including the 2008 Obama poster, remains on display at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus. Call (951) 659-2171, ext. 2251. To hear his one-hour lecture in its entirety, visit www.idyllwildarts.org, and click on UStream, or visit the latest issue of the Idyllwild Herald at www.idyllwildherald.com.  For Shepard Fairey’s art, visit www.obeygiantart.com.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Published on: Feb 16, 2012 @ 12:39

 

 

Shepard Fairey to Speak at Idyllwild Arts Friday

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Poster shown on campus

By Marcia E. Gawecki

His iconic ‘Hope’ poster of Barak Obama united a fractured nation, and help send the first African American to the White House.

Before then, Shepard Fairey, a successful graphic designer, was better known for his Andre the Giant ‘Obey’ posters that would “appear” on buildings around Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

This past year, Fairey’s work was featured in a 2010 documentary about street artists called, “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” which was nominated for an Academy Award.

However, this Friday, Feb. 10, Shepard Fairey will be returning to Idyllwild Arts for the first time since his graduation in 1988.

His 3:30 p.m. lecture at the IAF Theatre is a much-anticipated event, especially by the Visual Arts students. Some of them have been seen wearing “Obey” T-shirts and sweaters to class. Peter, a visual artist originally from China, was grinning from ear to ear when discussing the upcoming event.

“I never thought I’d get a chance to meet Shepard Fairey in person. He’s kind of my idol,” Peter said. “And now he’s coming to our school.”

Peter was trying to think of a good question to ask Fairey during the Q&A portion of the lecture on Friday.

“I was going to ask him what it was like to be a student here,” Peter said. “But that was way back in 1988, so that was a long time ago.”

Even though Shepard Fairey’s Obama “Hope” poster was popular with supporters, the Associated Press (AP) whose photo Fairey used as inspiration, was not. AP sued over copyright infringement, but they came to a settlement. That’s what prompted Peter’s question:

“With the availability of images all over the internet these days, how does copyright fit into an artist’s work?” Peter will ask. “Otherwise, no artist can create an image of a famous person unless he takes the picture himself. That would mean we could only paint portraits of our family and friends.”

Obviously, controversy doesn’t scare Fairey. After all, his “Obey” images are spray painted and stenciled on office buildings all over Los Angeles, Chicago, and other cities. Some start on the rooftops, so he can’t be afraid of heights or getting caught.

“I think he was arrested once,” Peter added with a gleam in his eye.

Shepard Fairey is a 1988 graduate of Idyllwild Arts

You can bet Fairey is revered even more now.

According to web sites, Fairey has been arrested numerous times. In 2009, he was arrested in Boston for “tagging” two properties with his “Obey” image, including a railroad trestle. The police grabbed him on his way to his “Supply and Demand” show at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

So the rebel artist is coming home to Idyllwild for the first time in 24 years. After graduation, he attended the Rhode Island School of Design and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration.

At the Friday show, Fairey be featuring 16 pieces, including serigraphs and one print that also includes works by Nate Lowman and other Visual Arts alumni.

Fairey’s pieces were picked up Tuesday from his Los Angeles studio on Sunset Boulevard., down the street from Disney Hall. The studio also houses a gallery of Fairey’s work that he’s created over the decades.

Mallory Cremin, an arts teacher who also runs the Parks Exhibition Center on campus, invited Fairey to speak at Idyllwild Arts more than a year ago with no definite plans. This past September, however, she and her printmaking students visited his gallery.

“Afterwards, the students were so excited, they couldn’t wait to get back and try making their own prints,” Mallory said.

She was persistent in emails with Fairey’s associate, Dan.

“Until one day, our schedules finally came together,” Mallory said.

While wrapping and loading up the artwork, Dan said that Fairey owns the original Obama “Hope” image, but a rose print is featured in the National Portrait Gallery (in Washington, D.C.) He said Fairey also got to meet the president.

The 16 pieces, which were created by Fairey from 2001 to 2010, with prices ranging from $500 to $1,000 each, are not for sale, Mallory said. Those who are interested in his prints can buy them online.

16 pieces were picked up from Shepard Fairey's studio in LA

“I don’t think we’ll be selling the smaller prints because we just have a limited amount,” Dan added. “But if someone is really interested in the bigger prints, maybe we’ll sell those.”

The Alumni Show should remain up in the Parks Exhibition Center for several weeks.

Fairey’s work can be found at the Irvine Contemporary Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

“I just hope the students don’t mob him afterwards for autographs,” Mallory added as she assessed Fairey’s framed prints. “We’ll have to make an announcement.”

Shepard Fairey’s lecture at Idyllwild Arts begins at 3:30 p.m. at the IAF Theatre. Like all Idyllwild Arts events, it is free and open to the public. However, arrive early to get a good seat. At 6 p.m., there will be an artist’s reception at the Parks Exhibition Gallery on campus.

For more information on the event, call (951) 659-2171, or visit www.idyllwildarts.org. Shepard Fairey’s artwork, clothing and collectibles can be purchased online at www.obeygiant.com.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me.

Published on: Feb 8, 2012 @ 6:49

 

 

Friday: Final Day for Student Art Show

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Dean's painting shows color, texture, detail and refection“I think this is the best first Visual Arts show that we’ve had,” exclaimed Peter, a senior art student at Idyllwild Arts. “A lot of new students came to our school, and they were already good.”

Today (Oct. 28) is the last day of the “Parents Weekend Student Art Show” at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus. The show is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jane's teapot and cup feature fingers as handles

Jane agreed with Peter about the show.

“Last year, we weren’t ready, and kind of rushed our projects during the last two hours or so,” Jane said. “This year, we all planned ahead, and it shows.”

Jane’s tea pot and cup aren’t your garden variety set. Her green, multi-layered glaze draws you over. At closer inspection, you see that the handles of the cup and pot are made up of human fingers. Even the spout is a finger.

It’s a little unsettling since we’re getting so close to Halloween. But my guess is that Jane was not going for the grotesque, but something deeper about the human condition.

Some of the new students that Peter and Jane might be talking about include: Yixuan known as “Maisie,” a 9th grader; Neil, another 9th grader and Niger and Dean, both 10th graders. Each has shown early mastery of their particular mediums.

Maisie's dinosaur drawing in drag show promise

Maisie’s drawing of a raptor or a large lizard in drag “pops” from the center of the page, while newsprint and a line drawing of a mother and child are in the background.

This was likely a drawing exercise using established media, such as newsprint or magazine cut -outs. Yet, it’s more than the raptor from a book coming to life before them.

Why is the raptor hostile, and wearing a black suit? It could be a commentary on a teacher, parent or other adult figure.

You have to look for subtleties to get the bigger picture of what Niger is trying to say. His black-and-white photo of a young Asian woman is physically appealing. It shows good composition and contrast. However, it’s attached to white paper that’s been crumpled and smoothed over.

Niger's photo may be a commentary on violence against women

And the woman is shown licking a cut on her knee.

Is Niger trying to tell the story of violence in this young woman’s life? Or is he talking about violence against women in general?

Another promising young visual artist is Neil, whose father works in the Transportation department.

Neil’s drawing of Bob Marley, the enduring symbol of anti-culture is also compelling in its composition. It depicts a portrait of the musician’s face and hands, yet it is placed off center.

“I should have trimmed it off,” Neil said later.

Yet, his use of excessive white space is interesting. In any given picture, your eyes automatically go to the light, or the whitest part of the painting. Like looking at a candle in a dark room. However, when you have more white space than dark, your eye is drawn to the dark. Sort of like seeing a bowling ball in the snow.

Neil's drawing of Bob Marley has interesting use of white space

Dean’s painting of an older black woman shows great use of color, texture, detail and reflection. The detail on her gray hair looks nearly like a photograph. And the reflection in her cat-eye glasses show good handling of the paint. Oftentimes, you see reflections in glasses in photographs, but they are omitted in paintings.

It’s hard to say where he got the photo. If he took it himself, or found it online. Yet, the closeness of the taker to the subject shows intimacy. Even the elderly woman’s smile was just starting to form when the photo was taken. It was as if the photographer was young or inexperience in taking photos. Yet, the image is sweet, typical Americana from the 1950s.

Yep, the new visual artists are good, but the seniors still need to be reckoned with, namely Jimmie and Delaney.

Jimmie's nude composition looks like a Michelangelo

Jimmie’s image of a nude woman looking towards the light in the heavens looks like the church paintings from the Old Masters, such as Caravaggio. He was known for emotional depictions of humans using dramatic light.

You can tell that Jimmie spent many hours adding layers of charcoal until it looked like night.

It’s interesting that he used only black and shades of gray to depict this image. If it were the Old Masters, there would be all kinds of colors, and about 40 other people in the picture, including angels.

Later on, Jimmie said that Caravaggio wasn’t so much an inspiration, but the drawing started looking like one of his, so he made the lighting more dramatic.

Yet, the way that Jimmie does it, makes you want to spend a few hours looking it over.

“I like Rei’s painting because it looks simple, but it’s really complex,” said Peter.

Rei’s black-and-white image engulfed in blue looked abstract to me at first. Such as a rock or a crumpled piece of paper.

Yet, at closer inspection, I saw women’s legs in heels, and remembered that Rei is studying fashion. Then it looked like the woman in heels was walking towards the viewer, and was putting on or taking off a large cape. But then attached to the top of the cap was an animal head, such as a Halloween costume.

Knowing that Rei is a deep thinker, I doubt if he did a painting of a woman taking off a Halloween costume. Perhaps his painting is also a commentary on the human condition.

Delaney's drawing depicts turmoil

Delaney’s drawing of two heads in distress was intriguing. How she accurately portrays her subjects looking up and looking down is amazing. If you’ve ever tried to draw them, its difficult to get the perspective, and make it look realistic, yet Delaney makes it look easy.

The final image that I looked at in this show was a headset on a pedestal. Next to the disc player was a list of five student names, including Peter, Jimmie, Jessica, Kevin and Rei.

“It was selections from our ‘New Genre’s’ class,” Peter explained. “We just mixed some music from a software program according to a title, such as ‘summer’ or ‘winter.'”

Rei's fashion image shows a deeper meaning

Most of their music selections included new age music with some sound effects. For example, Kevin’s “summer” selection featured kids laughing, while Jessica’s “winter” had footsteps crunching in the snow.

But how does the music tie into visual art?

“Do you know sometimes there’s a part in a painting that looks like a piece is missing?” Peter said. “Well, you can fill that void with music.”

Student Visual Art Show ends today, Friday, Oct. 28 at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show is free and open to the public.

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Published on: Oct 28, 2011 @ 12:38

 

Labor Day Art Fair in Mountain Center

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Dore's Art Garden in Mountain Center will be hosting an Art Fair on Sunday, Sept. 4

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Labor Day Weekend in Idyllwild is known for its hundreds of yard sales. People come from all around to get great year-end deals on furniture, electronics, collectibles and housewares.

Mountain Community Patrol and Animal Rescue Friends (ARF) are among the local community groups hosting sales this weekend.

However, on the way up to Idyllwild, visitors can stop by the Labor Day Art Fair at Dore’s Mountain Metals in Mountain Center for a fun-filled day of art, crafts, music, theater and food.

Metal sculptor Dore Capitani and his wife, Trish Tuley, a photographer, are hosting the annual event on Sunday, Sept. 4. Doors open at 7:30 a.m.

Art from 30 local artists are for sale like this Billie Holiday painting by Marcia E. Gawecki

Dore said that he’s expecting more than 30 artists who will showcase their work, including paintings, sculptures, photos, drawings, crafts and more.

“There’s still room for more artists,” Dore said on Saturday. “You really don’t need to bring an umbrella because it’s shady under the trees. Just bring a table and your art.”

Besides fine art, the Labor Day weekend event will feature live theater, writer’s recitals and music performances.

“Folks from the Isis Theater and Inlandia will be performing, and Tricia Pilkington will be playing music,” Dore said.

Moreover, the Idyllwild Writers will read original works from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The writers from the group include: Richard Mozeleski, Myra Dutton, David Calvin Gogerty, Jean Waggoner, Joy Sikorski, Don Lenik, Emily Heebner-Young, Joan Koerper and Christina Lee Nordella.

Nature’s Wisdom, a health food restaurant in Idyllwild, will be offering food and drink.

Teresa Brouwer, the town librarian, showed her button art at Dore's two years ago

Ten percent of all sale proceeds will go to benefit ARF, Dore said.

Teresa Brouwer, the librarian at the Idyllwild Library, showed her button crafts at the Labor Day Art Fair two years ago. Teresa creates small framed collages with buttons and antique lace.

“It was a great time being outside under the oak trees talking with the other artists,” Teresa said. “A lot of people stopped by.”

Teresa said that she sold several of her pieces, and netted more than $25. She can’t show this year because she’s going to her daughter’s wedding shower.

“Everyone should go, it’s really a great time,” Teresa said.

Besides the art booths, visitors can see many of Dore’s metal sculptures on the sprawling nine acres.

Sculptor Dore Capitani is hosting the event. See many of his large sculptures on the nine acres of art garden.

The Labor Day Art Fair at Dore’s Mountain Metals is easy to find. Just look for Dore’s crash sculpture with the “Ouch!” sign just beyond the curve on the right at 28815 Hwy. 243.

There’s ample parking and no cover charge, but 10 percent of the sale proceeds go to benefit the Animal Rescue Friends (ARF) of Idyllwild.

For more information, call Dore at (951) 659-0791.

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Art Showcase of Faculty & Staff Talent

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

'Nate' by Rachael Welch

By Marcia E. Gawecki

At the final Idyllwild Arts Faculty & Staff Art Show on Aug. 9, there was an eclectic mix of pieces. There were more paintings than pottery compared to the last show, prints from the new headmaster, some “shocking” paintings, and friendship nudity.

The three prints from Brian D. Cohen, the new headmaster of Idyllwild Arts Academy, were a perfect selection, given the natural surroundings of Idyllwild. Brian’s black-and-white etchings showed a pear-and-apple arrangement, a closeup of tree bark and a mystic silhouette of a pine tree in the distance. All showed his command of the print medium, and a keen sensitivity to nature (But they don’t photograph well!)

I especially liked his relief etching, “Tree Trunk,” although it was likely a tree from Vermont, and not Idyllwild. A teacher once told me that you could see wars in the bark of trees, if you look close enough.

'Fatherless Bride 2' by John Brosio

The two “shocker” paintings came from John Brosio. “Fatherless Bride 2,” was a medium-sized oil painting that featured a young woman in a long gown. “Carrie,” the 1976 horror movie based on Stephen King’s first novel, comes to mind.

In the movie, Sissy Spacek was doussed with pig’s blood, and appeared shocked in all the trailers, to say the least. However, in “Fatherless Bride 2,” there is the same amount of blood splattered on the young woman, with some drooling from her chin, but she has more of a “hunted” demeanor.

When several people looked at it, they marveled at Brosio’s technique, but didn’t understand the premise.

“Some artists just like to shock,” one woman said. “But he can definitely paint.”

The second of Brosio’s two paintings showed a close up of a fish head with a cigarette in its mouth. Everyone knows that fish don’t smoke, so this couldn’t be a preachy commentary about that.

“Just look at the way the head was cut off,” exclaimed Tressa, one of the attendees, pointing to the sharp diagonal.

'Stefania' by Jacqueline Ryan

Everyone was searching for the artist, who had just left.

Next to his paintings however, was a single portrait by Rachael Welch, who has taught painting many summers at Idyllwild Arts. She also works at Cafe Aroma, and showcases many of her paintings in their library/gallery.

Moreover, some of her jazz portraits have graced Cafe Aroma’s house wine labels, namely Marshall Hawkins, Barnaby Finch and lately, Casey Abrams.

Rachael’s single painting in the show had a predominately green and salmon palette. It was a portrait of “Nate.”

It wasn’t your typical portrait pose. This young man held his fingers up to his face in a sort of a “bugaboo” fashion, like he was mugging for the camera. There was also a faraway look in his eyes.

'Jackie' by Stefania Ford

“Why did she use salmon for the background color?” one woman asked her friends.

The others were trying to figure out what Nate was doing. Was he high on something? Was he playing a video game? The colors and the composition made it compelling.

Jacqueline Ryan, a painting assistant, was the one who convinced me to enter the faculty show.

“There’s never enough paintings by staff members,” she said. “Keep trying.”

However, this young woman, who just graduated from college, had a command of the medium. Her painting of a nude woman was connected to another sculpture in the show. Jacqueline told the story:

“This painting is of Stefania, the ceramics teacher,” Jacqueline explained. “She finished this sculpture of me that she started last year, so I decided to do a painting of her.”

(From top) Jazz greats Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday by Marcia E. Gawecki

“Jackie,” Stefania’s ceramic sculpture, featured a Rueben-esque kneeling nude, which captured Jacqueline’s energy. Stefania wasn’t around to comment on her piece.

She also had several organic pottery pieces on a pedestal next to her sculpture.

Next to “Stefania,” was my larger-than-life banner of Barnaby Finch, a local jazz musician who has played with some big-name jazz musicians. (I drive for Idyllwild Arts, so I’m considered a staff member.)

The banner measured about five feet across and nearly seven feet long. Cristie Scott, the gallery assistant, had to hang the banner by herself, which is quite the feat and without the slightest irritation.

Last year, the banner of Barnaby hung outside Cafe Aroma’s deck during the Jazz in the Pines event. It served as a backdrop for many jazz performances.

“It’s definitely the largest piece in the show,” Cristie said.

At first inspection, I noticed that the perspective was off. Barnaby’s head was much larger than his jawline. Most of my painting was done on my kitchen floor, so it was hard to get a perspective. Yet, I should have hung it over the porch railing before hanging it in the gallery.

'Paint the Black Hole Blacker' by David Delgado

“I want to disappear!” I thought to myself. “What was I doing showing a piece with an off perspective?”

I was grateful that Barnaby himself hadn’t showed up!

So when a young woman in a bright orange dress started dancing in front of the Barnaby banner, laughing with her friends and mugging for the camera, I was convinced that she was making fun of it.

“No, she’s just wearing a bright orange dress, and reacting to the colors of your piece,” explained Cristie.

She was right because I followed the woman around the gallery, and she wasn’t dancing in front of other pieces, including”Fatherless Bride 2.”

(From L) 'Double View Evening' and 'Tree Shadows at Sue's House' by Jessica Schiffman

All of the pieces are for sale. Part of the sale proceeds go to the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program.

This faculty show will remain on display at the Parks Exhibition Center until this Saturday, Aug. 20. The gallery will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Cristie at the gallery at (951) 659-2171, ext. 2251

EDITOR’S NOTE: Technically, I should not review an art show that I have pieces in. It would never fly in a standard newspaper–conflict of interest and all that. But, for now, a biased perspective is better than none at all, right?

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Published on: Aug 13, 2011 @ 21:41

 

 

 

 

Jeweler Transforms Art After Loss

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Amanda Taylor shows off her Iowa-inspired wall hanging

By Marcia E. Gawecki

When jewelry artist Amanda Clark Taylor closed Artisans, her art gallery in Idyllwild, it wasn’t her only loss.  Family members, including her beloved mother, had died all within a short time period. To cope, Amanda found solace in her jewelry making.

“I had lots of time on my hands when I was closing up my father-in-law’s house in Iowa, of all places,” Amanda said. “But I fell in love with the area and the people.”

At first, Amanda was frustrated because she couldn’t find her normal bead supply stores, or even the brighter colors in her artist’s palette. So she began working with square beads in earth tones and took a few classes.

“I drove to a bead class in Iowa City, which was four hours away,” Amanda said. “The trip wasn’t so bad because there were frozen custard stops along the way.”

The result was an impressive wall hanging made out of square beads.

“It started out as a 3-by-7-inch bracelet,” Amanda explained. “And then I just kept going, and made it into a square. Well, that didn’t look right, so I made it into a larger rectangle.”

Right now, she’s in the process of making the 26-by-13-inch sculpture so it can hang on a wall. She’s weighted the bottom and is attaching a backing to the top so that it can take a hanger.

“Ribbons,” the Iowa-inspired wall hanging is shown on her personal web site, Bead by Bead by Bead, but there are no prices listed—yet.

“I didn’t put any prices on my web site because they were all for sale at Artisans Gallery,” Amanda said.

The beaded wrap for this sculpture broke three times before Amanda perfected it

At her gallery openings, she was famous for wearing her own large, colorful jewelry with the price tag hanging out. When well-intentioned people would tell her to hide the tag, she’d laugh and tell them it was for sale.

“I sold a lot of pieces that way,” Amanda joked.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, Amanda and her friend, Tawny Crist of Banning, were selling their excess bead supplies at Oh My Dog Gallery in Idyllwild, which is right next door to where Artisans Gallery used to be. It’s now The Hub, a new bike shop.

Amanda has no bitterness about being so close to her former location.

“I miss the artists, but not the business end of running a gallery,” Amanda said.

But she talked about her transformation as an artist.

“I am now an artist who uses beads, instead of a beader who did artwork,” she said.

Tawny was sitting cross-legged on the floor of Oh My Dog Gallery looking at several of Amanda’s necklaces. The two she most wanted were made of Venetian coils about 15 years ago.

“There’s just something so special about the colors that she uses,” Tawny said. “She’s a true artist.”

"Amanda is a true artist," said friend Tawny Crist, with dog, Mick.

Amanda’s new art emphasis will not be on the beads, but the sculptures that she creates with the beads.

Another piece that she had created during a workshop last year depicted a round, dark stone in the middle. The “wrap,” or beaded attachment, was a challenge, Amanda said, because it broke three times.

“The first time, the thread wasn’t strong enough, and then the stitch wasn’t right (too open),” Amanda explained. “Now the wrap is made with 14-pound fishing line with a peyote stitch.”

She said that the stone, which has a natural white line carved into it, weighed about 10 pounds.

Amanda plans to use more organic material like stones into her future work. Right now, she’s working on a beaded nest for a large ostrich egg. And she’s also making a patchwork quilt with 2 1/2-inch squares made with her leftover beads.

Amanda sold her excess beads to help pay for a class with Betsy Youngquist in Chicago

With the money she made by selling her leftover beads, Amanda is planning on taking a class with Betsy Youngquist of Chicago, whom she met through a friend.

On her iPhone, she showed us a picture of “Otto,” an octopus Betsy created with beads. (You can see the image on www.byart.com).

“Isn’t that wonderful?” Amanda said with glee. “Of course, we won’t be making octopuses like that right away. They’re starting us off with spoons.”

Taking this class will help Amanda move her art in a new, and more challenging, direction, she said.

To view Amanda’s art, visit Bead by Bead by Bead at www.beadbybeadbybead.com.

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

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