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“WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW”
May 1 thru July 3, 2010

What’s Happening Now? The Elverhøj Museum of History and Art answers that question in its latest exhibit, opening May 1. On display are new works by artists who came of age in the Santa Ynez Valley.

A reception for the artists will be held on Sunday, May 2, from 4 to 6 pm. There is no charge for admission.

All the artists started their art-making in the Valley and went to local schools. Some still make the Valley their home base, but many have also traveled widely: to Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, China, for example; to a Kibbutz in Israel; to an art internship in Italy.

Their biggest journeys, however, have been their enthusiastic explorations of art as well as their self-discovery and development as practicing artists. The art works, no matter how different from one another, share the qualities of freshness, enthusiasm, innovation, risk-taking, and thoughtfulness.

Especially noticeable in this exhibit are the creative choices and combinations of media. One artist experiments with small images in encaustic (melted wax on wood panels). Another artist uses heavy manipulation and deconstruction in PhotoShop. Still another creates a diptych shadow-box out of found wood, a window, light, and paper. An installation piece allows viewers to look through a stereoscope to view hybridized or remixed vintage stereographs in 3-D. Artist’s Books invite the viewer to read and interact with them. And more.

The artists express their individuality through various approaches to art. They are very articulate in explaining what and why they create. “[I] cultivate patterns and narratives that explore the Faustian deals people make.” “My current body of work is about the longing of home and the characters that make home possible.” “Art features the beauty of mark making.” “I consistently find myself focused on mythic themes and optical sensation.”

On exhibit is recent work by artists Dawn Cerny, Ryan Claytor, Barrett Colvin, Kari Crist, Kristen Johnson, Callie Martin, Alissa Massey, Zoë Nathan, Karina Puente, Luis Ramirez, Joanna Beatrice Shultz, Ethan Turpin, and Chelsea Ward. (Note that nine of these artists also participated in the 2007 Elverhøj exhibit of emerging local artists, “On the Edge.”)

 
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