Patricia by Patricia

Patricia by Patricia
Patricia by Patricia

Saturday, June 17, 2017

I matter

I am a busy person. I don’t like to waste time or effort. I am also a person worried about funding cuts for the arts. So I gamely signed petitions, wrote emails, and even made the occasional call to help those trying to save the status quo for the NEA, CAC, SD Commission for Arts and Culture and the City of Chula Vista City when asked. But I was truly surprised when I learned that these efforts really helped. What I did not know is that there is a formula that converts every contact into a ratio. So each email, for example, represents 10,000 voters in the state. That makes a big difference to me. I like knowing that my time and effort is not wasted and that these seemingly small acts are relevant and can result in changes.

The City of San Diego passed the 2018 budget. It reduced the cuts to San Diego’s arts and culture funding from 31% to 3.5%. While less than ideal, this much smaller budget cut is great news for keeping most programs intact and minimizing job loss. This news comes from Rise Up for the Arts.

PLUS: the Chula Vista City Council voted unanimously to support a budget compromise that keeps the city's Cultural Arts program, and other important city programs, intact. The council’s action averts the potential layoff of 10 – 15 city employees, and other cutbacks, that would have eliminated the positions of the Cultural Arts Program Manager, the Marketing and Communications Manager, an Economic Development Specialist, two Code Enforcement officers and more. Thanks to Patricia Aguilar, Chula Vista Councilperson for this great update.

PLUS, PLUS: Grants totaling $15,032,837 have been awarded to various nonprofit organizations statewide this year by the California Arts Council. A total of 1,076 grantees will receive state grant funding for their work spanning the Arts Council's 15 unique program categories, benefiting California's students, veterans, arts educators, at-risk youth, formerly incarcerated individuals, underserved populations, and communities at large.

PLUS, PLUS, PLUS: it appears that the NEA and Public Broadcasting will not now be cut if the congress holds strong on these matters.  

At the American for the Arts Conference held in San Francisco this month, there were many wonderful sessions and they are all available via their YouTube page. I liked the presentation during Art and Politics in the Trump era by Sofia Klatzker,  Executive Director of Arts for LA in charge of art advocacy in Los Angeles.  I found her to do list for local action very concrete. She advocates for each community to declare an arts day, arts week and then arts month. Get out and do candidate surveys and post them online and then hold candidate forums in association with the league of women’s voters. Work to make non-profit art sites into polling places and add a performance or exhibition on the day. Do briefings about what is occurring and build local coalitions to mobilize when needed. And most importantly activate the youth. She has an 8 month training session that culminates with an advocacy project of their choice. And there is a program where volunteers actually walk young voters to the polls with slogans like “I matter”.


Finally, we are seeing many artist that are being activist i.e. artivist. Don’t Shut Up curated by Linda Litteral produced by FIG  (founder Anna Stump) is at City Gallery AH314, San Diego City College  (1508 C Street, SD 92101)  with an opening reception on July 8 from 5 to 8 pm and a panel discussion July 13 from 6 to 8 pm, and an artist talk on July 20 on 5 to 8 pm. Female-led art and activism  focused on raising women’s voices on an assortment of issues is featured. This exhibition includes an activist quilt featuring 40 blocks from all over the United States including San Diego. The opening reception will also feature a political postcard writing station by Lori Lipsman and spoken word performance by poet Stacy Dyson. This event runs until July 26.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Desert X: a close by way to see large scale art

For the past 35 years I have been visiting the Palm Springs area to visit and care for my mother. I was always happy to see exhibitions at the Palm Springs Museum and the large group of sales galleries. Although she is gone now I was really happy that the Inaugural Desert X project was launched.  I was able to visit a few of the many major installations in various media by a variety of artists. It ran from Feb 25 and I was able to visit it the last week of April 30th.

There were 16 different exhibits by both established and emerging artists. It covered area from Desert Hots Springs and Coachella west to the city of Palm Springs and just east of the tram. This entire project was curated by Neville Wakfield.

The website https://www.desertx.org/  is a bit confusing, but once I was able to find the right page and scan all the way down to the map. Then I discovered a place to click to get driving instructions to each of the site. Even with a smart phone, it is a bit of a treasure hunt. And it every site we visited was full of people. That was so impressive as the event was free and so attracted a wide range of people.

There were all sorts of subjects, but we concentrated on the a few that were reflective and merged the sky and earth into the work. It seems so appropriate for a city surrounded by mountains. A favorite was Doug Aikens who pulled off a ranch-style house covered inside and out entirely with mirrors located on Racquet Club Road west of North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. 

Mother lived around the corner from Sunnylands conference center and gardens which is part of the Anneburg Estate and which has hosted many many world leaders. It is pure mid century and the plantings are sculptural in their design. I had never been there before and it just goes to show that seeing art can open up whole new worlds for the visitor. This was the venue for the Lita Albuquerque installation and  I was able to see many areas that I had never noticed before because of this project. 


Will there be a second Desert X? This first one attracted tens of thousands of visitors and Susan Davis, the founder and board president of Desert X said it could return in 2019. They just need to fund raise but with all the good PR, and the wealth of the community, we have high hopes. 


Doug Aiken: so many fabulous opportunities for photos







Philip K. Smith gave us a whole ring of reflective post and some seem to disappear into the sky, others into the sand. 

Jennifer Boland created a series of billboards that looks like continuations of the landscape

Claudia Comte presented mind bending lines.


No I did not get to see this light sculpture by Tavares Strachan spelling" I  AM "from the sky, but the slots in the ground that were illuminated could be seen on high. 

The Lita Albuquerque women in blue set in a circle of crushed marble was only a memory of the dancers in the performance art that Ms. Albuquerque arranged at Sunnylands. 

You had to descend into a bomb shelter to see this President Kennedy statue by Will Boone.

Robert Pruit displayedlocal  garage sale "stuff" in the museum.

Sharon Guirguis was inspired by pignon structures from the middle east deserts

Richard Prince papered the inside and outside of this remote home with images and objects. 


Jeffrey Gibson  has used the blade of a wind turbine that generated energy in this work. These white blades are seen all over the desert around this area and they I have always found them to look like kinetic sculpture. 

Armando Lerma painted the whole side of a building and this is a detail was a favorite part. 

Gabriel Kuri gave us a sand ashtray on a large scale called the Donation Box. Some coins were also found in the sand. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Off with the new, on with the old

I wrote of my mother’s passing last month and now I find that I am breathing in the essence of my mother more and more. I thought it would be a letting go process, but it seems that it honors her more to let her be part of me. When we are young we separate from our parents, but as I become more secure in myself, I feel that I now am able to absorb them.

Each item that I kept of my mother's I made a concerted effort to let go something of mine that was no longer needed. Often this was an upgrade, sometimes it was just an edit. But there were also vast quantities of things that went out into the universe. Some to friends and relatives...I now have many girl friends who have a piece of her clothing that they felt was chic enough to give a second life. Jewelry and scarves will go into my annual SDVAN accessory exchange this holiday. A vintage flea market of the Encinitas Friends of the Arts has been given four large boxes of items to sell in July, with the proceed going to a public art project to which I am contributing.  Masses of things went to charity shops for animals or abused women.


For all the items left in the house after this clearing process, we held an estate sale. We made a few pennies but the house is now emptied which is a great lesson and reminder that things are very fleeting. No matter how much we as artist think we are creating for history, the truth is that most of our efforts should be appreciated for the joy they bring in our own life times. My house and my heart are now full. I intend to use what I now have to improve the art I have already made and use up frames and supplies while I am still able. Burn the good candles, lather up the good soap. Live in the moment as much as possible. Now for a nice whiskey with a pickle back. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Passing on a legacy

The passing of a loved one also means the passing of possessions. Yes, that means photos and china, glass and silver, but in my case it means the transfer of a collection of well chosen art works that were cherishes by those in my family who acquired them. 

As an artist myself, I have a visceral attraction to certain works. The feeling of their surfaces, their design and my imagined meanings of these objects are sacred to me. I feel the treasures are entrusted to me for my lifetime and hope they will always find a home as honored as the one I intend to give them. 

I think I feel  so intensely about this aspect of memorializing family because my whole life is about the visual arts. I hope to raise money to sponsor a public art mural of some kind in honor of my mother and father and eventually I would like to show the these pieces, which include pre-columbian ceramics, wooden African artifacts and contemporary works.  

My mother's ashes will be scattered on the ocean after she serves her final wish giving her body to science. But these things of beauty and her short stewardship of them continue to give me great pleasure and will be a pleasure for generations in the future. 


My mother Florence was a great supporter of SDVAN. She proofed many of my articles for years and encouraged me in this project. She even left a mention in her will that if all of her children and descendant were to pass before her, then her worldly good would go to the non-profit SDVAN.


  
Florence Meyerson Frischer, age 96, passed away on March 5, 2017 in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California. Florence was born on June 28, 1920, in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  She was the daughter of Mary Falk and Herman Meyerson.  She was married to George K. Frischer for 34 years until his death in 1976.  She lived in Kansas City, Missouri, during her marriage, and later moved to Cathedral City, California. Florence attended Abraham Lincoln High School and the University of Nebraska, where she was a member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority.  She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and her sisters Mildred, Gwendolyn, and Pearl. She is survived by her daughters Dion Frischer (husband Robert De Young) and Patricia Frischer (husband Darwin Slindee), and by her granddaughter Marissa Frischer Sisk (husband Joseph Sisk), as well as by many nieces and nephews and friends.  Florence had a passion for golf, the French language, cooking and entertaining, bridge, mah jongg, and watching NFL football. She dedicated many hours to volunteering at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert in Rancho Mirage, California, and created there an innovative donation program. Florence was an intelligent, generous, and lively woman, who taught us to live and love well. The family wishes to thank the caring and compassionate staff and caregivers at Belmont Village, Cardiff, California.  Florence donated her body for medical purposes to the University of California at San Diego Medical School.  The family requests that any memorial contributions be made to the San Diego Visual Arts Network.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Empowering Advocacy



by Patricia Frischer

I was at a meeting recently and the chairman was absent. When asked for a progress report on an upcoming event from one of the staff, the response was that they were waiting for direction from the chairman. He was told that was not necessary and that he has the committee permission to design and implement the project himself. This galvanized him into action and within 24 hours the event was more or less organized and being promoted.

The staff member was fully capable before this empowerment. He had all the skills necessary to complete the task although the rest of the staff made positive and encouraging suggestions. So what held him back from moving forward?  I believe it was a lack of belief in self, coupled with the daily interruptions that draw our attention away from a task that might be more important than we realize. In other words, this event needed to have a priority in his mind and he needed to bring his considerable skills to this task,  decisions he had to make himself.

We can all find ourselves in this position at various times in our lives. But I think right now, it is particularly important to make decision on a personal level about how we can move our community forward. Yes, we need to all work together, but each of us has to make a decision about how we can individually lead an effort. I would love to see people taking initiative and coming forward with ideas that we can all support and promote. I believe there is a leader in each and everyone of us.

So now I make a call to empower everyone in the arts community to lead a project that support public art policies and helps to increase the awareness of the value of art. Small or large, a single effort or a partnership, I want you to feel that you can make a difference and, in fact, it is only with your own advocacy for the arts, that we will survive at a time when arts funding might be increasingly under attack. 

March 20–21, 2017 is Arts Advocacy Day and we are celebrating it with a banner on the home page of SDVAN. Each year arts advocates from across the country convene in Washington, DC for the annual Arts Advocacy Day,  This effort brings together a broad cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 500 grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts.



Sunday, January 22, 2017

Walker Art Center, Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis and The Broad in LA

I was very lucky this year to have my entire holiday season repeated in January when I went to Minnesota to visit my husband's family. We celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve on three consecutive days and packed in a months fun in four days. PLUS I was able to stop at the Walker Art Center (architect  Edward Larrabee Barnes),  Weisman Art Museum  (architect Frank Gehry) and The Broad (architect Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler) on my travels in and out of this tiny snowy cold city of Austin which is the Spam capitol of the world. 


Walker Art Center Minneapolis

Weisman Art Museum University of Minneapolis

The Broad, Los Angeles
I found this visit to three museums in a short period of time quite stimulating as I was impressed by how each one of them interacted with the art in different ways. The architecture at the Walker Art Center was stunning, but I ended up paying more attention to it than to the art on view. Everywhere you looked was a stunning view of snow covered hills, trees, buildings. The was a top floor room for events and a city scape bar, a crowded restaurant near the entrance. The Weisman Art Museum was completely different. Outside it was stunning, but you could see none of that inside. The art was the feature and you can no real sense of the shape of the building at all. The Broad was a good compromise between the two...small glimpse of the building's structure added just the right amount of texture and natural light to enhance the works.  

The private collection at the Broad was just that, not a survey of contemporary art but a personal choice with big names. The show at the Walker had some wonderful stars but quite a few misses and seemed very experimental. Weisman contained what appeared to be a study collection suitable for a university with many modern masters. The Broad gave a first impression of glitz and glamour with shiny works in bright colors. When you got to the modern works by Jasper John and irk, they almost seemed dull and dated. That was the same feeling you got at the Weisman. But the work at the Walker has that same slickness to it which lifted it from looking to immature. .

Walker Art Center

Walker Lobby with video screen


Frank Big Bear gave us a whole wall of collaged images and this is just one tiny section. It is displayed on one side of the restaurant in the lobby. 

Claes Oldenburg

more second floor lobby views

more lobby views
Questioning the Wall Itself

Question the Wall Itself is simply an exhibition about space. But it is human space and we relate to it. There were  23 artists who gave us rooms either full or partial or works that made us reflect on public and private interiors.  Featured in the exhibition, which includes several new commissions, are works by Jonathas de Andrade, Uri Aran, Nina Beier, Marcel Broodthaers, Tom Burr, Alejandro Cesarco, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Theaster Gates, Ull Hohn, Janette Laverrière/Nairy Baghramian, Louise Lawler, Nick Mauss, Park McArthur, Lucy McKenzie, Shahryar Nashat, Walid Raad, Seth Siegelaub, Paul Sietsema, Florine Stettheimer, Rosemarie Trockel, Cerith Wyn Evans, Danh Vo, and Akram Zaatari. 


This first piece by Nina Bieir set the tone with a giant break (beautifully crafted) in the dog who looks like he would love to break the vase in front of him. The floors that these works were set on seemed very deliberate.
Nina Bieir

Nina Bieir

Nina Bieir

Nina Bieir


I was most impressed with this room of walls by Walid Raad. There seems suspended and lit from within. Closer inspection reveals that the darks were actually shadows. These are "restless" shadows as they change constantly as you move. This was one of the themes of the works at The Broad as well especially the Ellsworth Kelly (seen below) which completely changes shape as you move around it. 

Walid Raad

Walid Raad - the dark lines here are shadows that
change depending on where your look. 

Walid Raad

I have not noticed, until a guard pointed it out to me, that Walid Raad had real hand laid woodwork at the bottom of each panel...the sort of faux floor turned out to be real floor technique and execution. 

What you can't see in this picture of Rosemarie Trockel's room was the tiny toy birds that moved back and forth or turned side by side in the case on the left. 

Rosemarie Trockel

Janette Laverriere/Nairy Baghramian

Janette Laverriere/Nairy Baghramian

Jonathas de Andrade
Jonathas de Andrade



Unpacking the Box

Also at the Walker was Unpacking the Box  anchored by the Marcel Duchamp Boite en valise. But there were mulitlpe modern and fluxus takes on this theme as well.  Everything was small, portable and limited editions. These works were all meant to be touched but of course now they are safely displayed behind glass. However a little video with a museum handler in white gloves did demonstration how they could be played with as these works do rather looks like toys. Curators: Jordan Carter and Victoria Sung


Ben Vautier

Marcel Duchamp


Weisman Art Museum


Frank Gehry giant fish sculpture made from slabs of glass and steer structure. This work rises into the antrium of the space. 

The Talking Cure


 WAM’s Target Studio for Creative Collaboration is a special space in the museum and this show was one where the artist encouraged you to come up with your own stories to add meaning to her works.. Sometimes this seems like a sort of cop out, but the works were so visually strong that they encourage contemplation. If the artist has there own personal story about each peace, even if we don't hear it, there does seem to be an honesty about the work and these works felt that way. 


Melissa Stern

Melissa Stern

Melissa Stern


The Broad Los Angeles

The Broad is a new contemporary art museum founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles which opened in September of 2015. It is home to the 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection. The 120,000-square-foot, $140-million building features two floors of gallery space. I wonder what a person from the future would think of our civilization by viewing this art. 


Ellen Gallagher is one of my most favorite artists for this series of work.



Ellsworth Kelly play with your visual senses in this work that is totally flat but seems to change shape as you walk in front of it from side to side. 

Sharon Lockhart work also does the same thing if you concentrate on the diagonals. These are photos of the same scene from different angles but with some variations. The are full size and fill one whole room. 

Malcolm Morley was one of the first artists to win the Turner Prize which begun which I first arrives in the UK over 40 years ago. 

Jaspar Johns




This was my husband's favorite work: Jeff Koons