In the Main Gallery Sanchez Art Center will host an exhibition of work from the three artists chosen as 2014–15 Rydell Visual Art Fellows: Jody Alexander, Jim Denevan, and Elizabeth Stephens. The exhibition is curated by Susan Hillhouse Leask. An opening reception will be held Friday, March 4, 7–9 pm, with music provided by Kathleen and Henry Salvia of the Flying Salvias.
The Rydell Visual Arts Fund was created by Roy and Frances Rydell to promote Santa Cruz County artists and arts organizations. Eligible artists are nominated by regional visual arts organizations, and final selection is made based on artistic merit by a panel of arts professionals from outside the Santa Cruz area.
Jody Alexander is
an installation artist who is fascinated with books, especially
old or discarded books. She listens, hears, and then captures the
tales they still tell about who we are and our heritage. Alexander’s
installation is titled KEEP: Modern Library. It was inspired
by withdrawn library books, Japanese textiles, the art of mending,
and a KEEP stamp that was discarded from a library. The installation
contains materials that were culled from a library in its regular
pruning and updating process. To Alexander, these discarded objects
are fascinating, and she weaves them into an appealing narrative
about “the different ways we keep things (physically and emotionally),
the importance of keeping things, and the equally important process
of letting them go.” Alexander has exhibited her work throughout
the U.S. and internationally.
Jim Denevan works with the earth, including the sand in deserts and on beaches, where his painstakingly drawn patterns are certainly doomed to disappear with wind and tides. But they are beautiful to behold, and we can see in his photographs that it’s a slow and arduous process requiring intense concentration as well as physical strength and stamina. The artist creates gigantic spirals, and concentric rings of circles within circles, like dancing mandalas. Indeed, Denevan likens his compositions to music and dance because of their ephemeral and temporary nature. His materials are sand, earth, grass, ice, snow, water, and fire, and his “drawings” are made in large open areas with simple tools. Denevan’s work has received national and international recognition, in exhibits, commissions, and in film and television.
is a new-media artist who wants to inspire empathy with and compassion
for the Earth. Her projects include visual art, performance, photographs,
video, costumes, and installations. With her partner Annie Sprinkle,
Stephens has created numerous performance art weddings, in which,
along with their guests, the couple married the Sea, Sun, Rocks,
Sky, and other nature entities. These explorations of the metaphor
of “Earth as Lover” have been performed internationally, including
in Mexico, England, France, Spain, Finland, and Canada. One such
event, Wedding to the Appalachian Mountains, evolved into
a feature documentary about the environmental devastation and social
justice issues caused by mountain top removal coal mining in that
area. This brilliant feature-length film, Goodbye Gauley Mountain:
An Ecosexual Love Story, will be shown in the Mildred Owen
Concert Hall, courtesy of Pacifica Performances, at 8:30 pm on the
exhibition’s opening night. (The film may not be appropriate for
all audiences, as it contains some explicit material.)
Come to the
free Artists’ Talk
Sun Apr 3, 3:30 pm.
Sanchez Art Center is located at 1220 Linda Mar Boulevard in Pacifica, about a mile east of Highway 1.
Following opening night, the galleries are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 1–5 pm, and by appointment, through April 3.