||The Oceanside Museum of Art presents Commesso: Made in America "Gemstone Fine Art" The exhibition will be on view March 2 - May 1, 2009 in the Parker Gallery. Commesso: Made in America is the first art museum exhibition of the American made fine art of creating commesso di pietre dure e tenere, stone mosaic pictures. The artwork is made from precise placement of hand cut rocks and gemstones, with an occasional shell or other hard material. Pietre Dure means hard stone, such as agates, jades, jaspers, quartz, sugilite, and chalcedony. Pietre Tenere means softer stone such as marbles, lapis lazuli, malachite, coral, opal, and turquoise. Each stone has to be hand cut and placed into the mosaic painting without grout, requiring countless hours of intense concentration and skill. The American style of Commesso started in the 1930s and reached its peak in the late 1960s – 1980s. Today Commesso is a nearly extinct art form with few American practitioners and is rarely exhibited. To learn more about the American version of this art form, please see: www.americanmastersofstone.com.
Guest Curator Dennis Paul Batt highlights the finest contemporary American Commesso artists in Commesso: Made in America "Gemstone Fine Art." The exhibition features the work of William Grundke, one of the most celebrated Commesso artists; his son Conrad Grundke, an award winning Commesso artist who currently teaches Lapidary and Intarsia at Saddleback College; and San Diego artists Dennis Paul Batt and Johnny Johnson. Batt will discuss the process and history behind Commesso and how he shapes stones to fit into an intricate design during an informal "Meet the Artist" on Saturday, April 25th at 2:00 p.m.
The Parker Gallery is located on the 2nd level of Oceanside Museum of Art and is designed for special projects. Artist and Curator Dennis Paul Batt will talk about the exhibition at Oceanside Museum of Art Saturday April 25th at 2:00 p.m. Admission to "Meet the Artist" is free with museum admission and complimentary for members of Oceanside Museum of Art as a benefit of membership. For more information about "Meet the Artist" or other museum programs call the museum at 760.435.3720. The museum is located at 704 Pier View Way in downtown Oceanside, within walking distance from the Oceanside transit center with Amtrak, Coaster, Sprinter and Metrolink stops. The museum Web site offers photo galleries of recent exhibitions as well as a calendar of coming events, www.oma-online.org.