*My new years resolution is to visit one art gallery per week in 2014.
Headed to the coast yesterday, warm sun and no wind. I visited two galleries in different coastal towns, making up for some very lax resolutioning this summer.
In Half Moon Bay, I visited the Coastal Arts League, a non-profit volunteer organization of artists started in 1979. The photography in particular was outstanding, as many of the photos shown were recently selected for a juried international art show. By international show, I mean a show in Half Moon Bay, with many many California photographers competing against a handful of international photographers. When you look at the number of Californian winners, it seems a bit skewed. It seems like a nice way for local artists to compete in an ‘international’ art show. That may be a bit negative, as the show is still less than a decade old. It is just my first impression. Regardless, its a beautiful collection of photography.
"Tibetan Flags 5" - Larry Louie. Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Louie’s work really drew me in. It is a shot of Tibetan prayer flags staked into the ground, waving so quickly in the wind they appear blurred. It is said that the spiritual prayers placed on these flags are dissolved into the wind. There is certainly an aspect of dissolve in the photo. Even though the flags are meant to be a symbol for peace, there is an ominous presence. The work reminds me of Rob Sato’s illustrations of banners and marches. (See below). Both artists brings imagery of heraldry, marching for war. Though Rob Sato’s are set on the most idyllic days, green grass underfoot and blue skies overhead.
The Mad Guard, Rob Sato 2012
I drove down the coast to Santa Cruz. On the main drag, I walked into Artisans Gallery, a great collection of local artists. Along the walls are many great artists working in ceramics, found art sculpture (steam punk-ish stuff), oil painting and photography. While some of it had coastal or beach references, it didn’t feel trite or overdone.
I appreciated Laurie Longnecker’s work. Formerly working in textile design and living in New York City, she must have taken up some of my favorite characteristics in her art. Blotches of bright color against darkness, romanticizing houses set on the water, street corners with telephone wires crossing. Her view of Santa Cruz is that from a 1950’s diner and a seaside mediterranean village.
Capitola Village - Laurie Longnecker
After gallery going, I went to a cafe and ranted for about five pages on my computer. Always good to get things off your chest. Then I took a walk along the boardwalk, loving the flashing bulbs and carnival typography. Summer! Ahhh!