Art Guild of Pacifica's 60th Annual Members Show & 59th Annual Awards Artists
Art Guild of Pacifica’s 60th Annual Members Show 2018 marks the 60th year since the founding of the Art Guild of Pacifica, an achievement that AGP members can proudly celebrate. The AGP began when Postmistress Juanita Lombardi became aware of how many talented artists lived in the newly incorporated City of Pacifica, and decided to bring them together. In September 1958, twenty-two artists became charter members of the Art Guild of Pacifica, electing Juanita Lombardi as their first president. Through the years, Guild members kept the faith and worked to nurture their vision of a community of artists dedicated not only to their own art, but also to bringing art and art education to Pacifica and the coastal region. With the creation of Sanchez Art Center in 1996, the AGP at last had a place to call home, and Sanchez Art Center is delighted to host the 60th Annual Members Show this fall. The 60th Annual Members Show opens Friday, Oct 12, with a reception from 7 to 9 pm, with music provided by Jamey Brzezinski in the West Gallery, and musical duo Vivacé in the East Gallery, with Rob Hughes (flute) and Alan Lee (piano). While Art Guild members display their work in the East and West Galleries, the previous year’s award winners exhibit in the Main Gallery. The 59th Annual Awards Artists, Laura Lee Green, Alice Kelmon, Andrew Leone, and Rick Lucia, were selected by Tiffany Schmierer, artist and art professor at Skyline College, who also curated their exhibit. Both the 60th Annual Members Show and the 59th Annual Awards Artists will run through Nov 18. Laura Lee Green is a mixed media artist who works with the old, the threadbare, the flotsam and jetsam of discarded things. Each work is like a story that develops from some object she finds herself attracted to, a story “in the language of things.” Her “stories,” however, are not pretty fairytales. Instead they present us with realities that we might prefer not to face. Says Green, “I like to make harsh art. Maybe things that are unpleasant or hard to look at. I like the boldness, in your face, screaming truth of things.” The artist describes her process as an unplanned journey of inspiration into the heart of wherever her chosen materials are taking her, ultimately reaching a new relationship with the truths of life by, in her own words, “embracing my fears, hopes, and everything in between.” Alice Kelmon is drawn to line, color, and fluidity. Her primary subject is our fragile and troubled relationship with nature. Wetlands are a frequent theme in her work. She says, “We need it and love it, yet we encroach, pollute, and put it in danger.” For this exhibition, curator Tiffany Schmierer has selected Kelmon’s watercolors, a medium at which she excels. Says the artist, “I love the translucency, immediacy and sense of impermanence of watercolor.” Her images are abstract but informed by nature. The artist muses, “While painting I frequently think about uncultivated, wild habitats.” Kelmon loves to see “the hand of the artist” in artworks, and her own work is graced by her gestural, expressive, and experimental approach to working with her materials. Andrew Leone is showing a group of works under the rubric “Unearthed,” a grouping that includes oil paintings and mixed media. Leone has delved into and reworked a number of his older artworks, a process he likens to an archeological dig, as he uncovered hints of past images and layers of his earlier artistic life with the help of an electric sander applied to the artworks’ surfaces. For Leone, the process was like “wandering through a dark mist. Fleeting images, shrouded and obscured, peer back resurrected, but not in their entirety; worn, partial and aged, a rich loam of textures and tricksters come haunting where the old meets the new, and a fragile friendship is found.” Rick Lucia’s work celebrates the whimsical side of life. He began making art by drawing in pencil and then in pen and ink, before moving into photography, which was his preferred medium for many years. Now, however, we are the lucky recipients of his return to pen and ink with a looser, less detail-oriented style. As he says, he draws “damn near anything,” using a newfound freedom of movement that he describes as a “semi-continuous-line approach.” His pen and ink drawings are therefore simple, fluid, elegant, graceful, and generally humorous. Says Lucia, “I’ve given my style of pen/ink drawing the name of Fischymbolism—therefore I’m a Fischymbolist.” This artist sees the ineffable gifts in life and, thankfully, is drawn to share them with us. At 3 pm on closing Sunday, Nov 18, the four award-winning Art Guild artists will talk about their work, along with curator Tiffany Schmierer, in the Main Gallery. On Saturday, Nov 2, 6–9 pm, Sanchez Studio Artists invite the public to a Preview Party for Open Studios, which will continue on Sunday, Nov 3, 11 am–5 pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore the studios, engage with the artists, and ask questions about their work. Another upcoming special event is the Oct 19 fundraiser for Sanchez Art Center. The evening begins with open galleries at 6:30 pm, and at 7:30 pm moves to the Mildred Owen Concert Hall for a screening of the documentary film, Plastic Man: The Artful Life of Jerry Ross Barrish, portraying the remarkable story of SAC’s Artistic Director. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com. Sanchez Art Center is located at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd in Pacifica, about a mile east of Highway 1. Following opening night, galleries are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 1–5 pm, and by appointment, through Nov 12. For more information call 650.355.1894 or visit SanchezArtCenter.org. To learn about and join the Art Guild of Pacifica, visit ArtGuildofPacifica.org.