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PATRICIA FRISCHER, the coordinator of the San Diego Visual Arts Network, writes these occasional notes. These blogs are now available at this link where you can comment back.

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Archived A+ Art Blogs

Current and Past 2014 A+Art Blogs

Mural by Paola Villasenor at SDAI and Art Fair Miami
Turn on, chill out and Pop up
Incubator for Innovation - final 9 teams for San Diego
London Journal 1: Tate Britain Folk Art
London Journal 2: Horst at the Victoria and Albert Museum
London Journal 3:Today's Special: Pace Gallery, Tate Modern Matisse
London Journal 4: National Portrait Gallery and Saatchi
London Journal 5: London Fashion Week and London Design Show at Tent and Super Brands

London Journal 6: Gilbert and George, Boyd and Evans, Anslem Kiefer and AI WEIWEI
A Call to Action
SD Fringe Festival Art Exhibition at Ten Street Art Center
ILLUSION: Nothing Is As It Seems at the Ruben H. Fleet Science Museum

Deborah DeLisi and One Minute Mandalas at SDVAN sponsored Mission Federal ArtWalk
DNA of Creativity Introduction at Oceanside Museum of Art
Notes on Aesthetics and Authenticity Symposium

SD Art Prize has its roots in the Turner Prize

Turn on, chill out and Pop up

In this time of holiday cheer, I am glad to pop a cork or two and celebrate the season and all for which we are grateful. Our pop culture seems to be pop crazy this year with pop up shows popping up all over the county. I have no idea what the difference is between a trunk show and a pop up exhibition or even a visitor curated display. But in each case, I think the shows just appear without to much advance notice even if the same dedication goes into their planning. Here is a list of three self declared pops to pep you up this month.

Noel-Baza Fine Art is doing a pop up at Art Produce Gallery called Render and featuring Marianela de la Hoz Bhavna Mehta and Lynn Susholtz Reception: Sat, Dec 13th 6-9pm and showing until Jan 14, 2015 (3139 University Ave, SD 92104) More info: 619-584-4448

Eric Phleger is popping up in Del Mar Plaza (street level, suite 106) on December 5th from 5 until 8 pm. It will feature the black and white photography of Carolyn Guild. Work will also be available for viewing Dec 6th and 7 th. More info: 760.415.1787.

San Diego Center for Jewish Culture presents Pop Goes the Culture, The first of three pop-up style art gallery exhibits of original art designed to encourage appreciation of San Diego's artistic community and to introduce the topic of art collecting. Theme: Tikkun Olam - a Hebrew phrase that means "repairing the world". Wine Steals in Cardiff. Free! Refreshments will be provided. The evening is geared for 21 - 40 year olds but maybe those young at heart can join in. Dec 4 at 6:30 pm.

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A Call to Action

The recent two part article by Kinsee Morlan in City Beat (Part 1 San Diego County's unusual approach to arts funding and Part 2 What more would we gain with an County Arts Council ) was a very fair handed report on the state of the arts in San Diego County. It clearly laid out the case of why San Diego County needs to step up and have a more professional administration to advise and organize the arts at the regional level. New funding from the California Arts Council will only be available to us if we get our act together and move forward.  Some of the biggest success stories are from regions that have embraced the arts as an economic driver.

The arts community has a united responsibility to aid and support the goals of our supervisors, most of which are very worthy. So the time is over to think of the county administration as a source of funding hand outs.  We need to start giving back to our whole community to ensure its health and prosperity.

Ron Roberts, supervisor of District 4 wonders what we would gain by having an arts council. This is a valid question. We don’t need a superficial layer of bureaucracy. We need a serious and committed look at how professional arts administrators could improve a system that is stuck in the status quo and refusing to be open to new ideas. He has even gone so far as to say, “It’s just not going to happen while this board’s in place.”  Is that really the attitude that an innovative leader needs to have to ensure success?

We are asking the supervisors to embrace the art community and recognize that it is an aid to economic growth and a better life for the entire region.  We make a call to all the arts in our community to see how you can come together to collaborate and design system that will help us to help them.

These are Dave Robert's (supervisor of District 3) stated objective (in bold) from his website and we think by giving these examples, it helps to clarify more how the arts are an aid to the system.

·       To be an independent and honest representative, who restores government accountability and promotes job growth – CULTIVATING THE ARTS CREATES JOB OPPORTUNITIES to aid economic development in the new economy. In 2013, the nonprofit arts and culture organizations stimulate the economy with over $186.8 million in direct expenditures. This includes $108.8 million in salaries supporting a workforce of more than 6500. The arts not only create jobs, they provide a competitive advantage in attracting new businesses and a skilled workforce. In addition, 13,391 volunteers contribute time, talent and resources to this sector. In 2013, over 1.6 million visitors traveled to San Diego to participate in arts and cultural events and pumped more than $850 million into the local economy. According to the 2013 San Diego County Visitor Profile Study, tourists who participated in an arts and culture activity stayed longer, spent more and used more hotel accommodations.  The average was $561 per trip (up from 2009) as compared with the average tourist’s $235 (down from 2009). In fact all these trends are up. Always nice to know that there are 850 million visitors to American museums, more than all those that attend major league sports events and theme parks combined.
  • To promote neighborhood preservation – CREATING VIBRANT ART PROJECTS FOR NEIGHBORHOOD builds PRIDE through BRANDING and the creation of ARTS DISTRICTS in communities, like North Park, South Park, Oceanside, Carlsbad, National City, Chula Vista, Encinitas, NTC Liberty Station, Vista, Escondido, Fallbrook, Barrio Logan/East Village.
  • To strengthen fire protection -  EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PROGRAMS for artists for example those by Synergy Arts Foundation which supplies education and funding for artists affected by the fires
  • To promote public safety - ARTS PROMOTE SAFETY by keeping a dangerous element off the streets by giving them a purpose, creating after school, healing arts and veteran programs
  • To improve libraries and parks  - ARTS PROGRAMS in the PUBLIC LIBRARIES  throughout the district and PUBLIC ART in the parks are great enhancements to our community. LIBRARIES ARE THE NEW CULTURAL CENTERS in their community that utilize the arts (visual, performing. literary, culinary, healing arts). The Encinitas Library, Carlsbad Libraries and new downtown Library are a prime example, which uses the arts to increase attendance for all ages and for life long learning.
  • To protect our coastline and open space – ARTS TAPS INTO EMPATHY with Programs like Sea Changes: Act (Part of the DNA of Creativity project) to draw attention to areas that need improvement like plastic pollution and sustainable fishing.
  • To preserve and promote initiatives to sustain our environment -  ARTS PROGRAMMING for environmental issues includes recycling, food banks, and shining light on issues like climate change.
  • To promote quality schools and opportunities for all to succeed - ARTS EDUCATION is fundamental to prepare our students of all ages for the challenges of an innovation based economy

We don’t particularly care what this administration on a county level is called, but eventually is needs to be formed and it needs to be approved of by all five supervisors so that funds can be directly equally to the whole of San Diego county. But more importantly it needs to be formed so that once and for all the county recognized the valuable role the arts play in our community and so that the arts community can align itself with the goals of our citizens.

The call to action then becomes a call for collaborations to be set up in all areas of the county to investigate what each part of the county needs and how the arts can fill those needs. These collaborative groups need to share information among and between themselves. Then, when the time comes in the near future, when new or existing supervisors can open their minds, we will be ready.  

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SD Fringe Festival Art Exhibition at Ten Street Art Center

Our banner in July, 2014 was in support of the new Visual Arts component of the SD Fringe Festival . In most cities these festivals do include fine art but as San Diego is only in its second year, we were gratified to see them adding more visual arts this year.

There are two main displays, one at the Spreckles Theater SD Fringe Festival Lobby and one on the third floor of the Ten Street Art Center. As I was attending a couple of productions at the Tenth Street, I concentrated more on this exhibition put together by Gailee Walker Wells the director of Theater Arts West. This fledgling theater company is exploring a permanent location in San Diego but they have already put on several independent productions. One of those at the Encinitas Library asked writers to take their inspiration from visual artists. So it is not too surprising that Kevin Charles Patterson found Gailee to help mount this first foray. She also produced Off Broadway On Broadway, a selection of scenes from their repertoire, for the Fringe this year.

Ed Coonce has experience in working with the community to create aspects of a larger work that he then composes and polishes. The results are unique to his style but still collaborative.  David Cuzick takes line drawing in a new direction in some very original works. He is showing with Gabriele Bitter whose works are abstract and Noreen Ring who used mixed media to create little worlds of wonder. Those four artists made up this special exhibition for SD Fringe Festival

But the adjoining room at the Ten Street Gallery space was also packed with goodies as well. James E. Watts delights with his 3-d assemblages, Sean Brennan’s stripes and strangely intense especially considering their small size. Frances Love revels in lush color and Kelly Kincaid was a favorite of mine with the solo figure. Also in black and white were wood cut like faces by Brett Barnett.

Bonus play rave is for Ira Bauer-Spector and her/his performance of Miss M saves the Universe. Great voices, fun story and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Watch for other productions of the Breakthrough Workshop Theater

Bonus exhibit this month was a display at the SD International Airport in the new part of Terminal 2 Gallery. A series of works by Judit Hersko were stunning displayed showing the evolution or maybe the ruination of a fan coral called Seven Days of Dissolution. Acrylic tanks are filled with black sea fans with Capiz shell sculptures of human hearts and lungs in a carbon dioxide. We are big fans of Jusit’s work and know she is also participating in the Innovation Incubator project This will be one of the last shows of Constance White who is moving on to a lofty position as City Art Administrator of Charlotte, North Carolina. We will miss her more than we can say but know that when you eventually ends up running the NEA she will have fond memories of her time in San Diego.

Read more about the Fringe Art The San Diego Visual Fringe - Part of Successful Unjuried Festivals by Joe Nalven

See illustration to this article SD Fringe Festival Art Exhibition

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ILLUSION: Nothing Is As It Seems, which runs until Jan 11, 2015 at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Museum (1875 El Prado, Balboa Park, SD 92101) is a mind-bending new exhibition that combines science and art to deceive the visitor through optical, perceptual and audio illusions. It shows that what we perceive is often radically different from the reality of what we observe by playfully allowing visitors to experience concepts used by magicians and explored by neuroscientists. Click here to see a video about ILLUSION and click here to read about it in the New York Times.

The Illusion exhibition at the Fleet was traveled to San Diego from the Science Gallery at Trinity College in Dublin with 21 installations. This is a variation on one of the most unusual museums in London. Kinetica. For several years Kinetica has aimed to encourage and promote collaboration and cross-over between artists, scientists, technologists, engineers and academics in order to promote the development of this advancing multi disciplinary field. So what I saw first when I attended the super opening reception for this show .is art.  The idea that science is involved in creating these works and that the science is explained does not take away from the mystery of what I experienced. If it was only science, I don’t think that would be the case.

The photos in our blog are not as informative as the video even though all the pieces are not in our show here in San Diego. I recommend that you click the link and enjoy as it will make you want to see the show even more. We loved  the oil can work which uses a strop light to make it look as if the water is going up into the can instead of the reality which is that it is dripping out and down.  Animatronics by Gregory Barsamian are always mind blowing and use the same strop light affect based on the same idea as a drawings or photographs watched through a slit in the zoopraxiscope. As it spends the images appears to be moving. By making a large 3-D spinning sculpture with repeated imagery, that same motion can be created in three dimensions.

One digital work by Chris Sugrue  looks like little bugs on a screen which swam in the direction of your hand touch. But when those same bugs starting climbing up my arm, it really did give me the creeps even though I knew they were projections of light. I adored the reflected image of a real running record turn table, superimposed with the image of a running man created by Pierrick Sorin.  Jonty Hurwitz uses forced perspective and a very simple focus circle in a work that leads you from 2–D outlines of head to a fully realized 3-D bust

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Deborah DeLisi and One Minute Mandalas at SDVAN sponsored Mission Federal ArtWalk

Deborah DeLisi presented her One-Minute Mandalas in the SDVAN sponsored Mission Federal ArtWalk participation booth on Sat/Sun, April 26/27 from 11am – 6 pm on India at Cedar. The weather was a challenge but the crowds were huge, friendly and happy.  We are very grateful to Deborah and all the volunteers that helped her. Contact Deborah for more information on these workshops. Below you can read her report on the event in her own words, followed by an appreciation from Sandi Cottrell who is the managing director of the Art Walk organization.

Deborah DeLisi:
I estimate that during Mission Federal ArtWalk we inspired about 800-900 artists who stopped by the SDVAN booth to create a unique mandala. We were paid in priceless smiles, and I know at least one little girl who is going to decorate her bedroom with the mandalas she made. She is Taylor, the daughter of Angie from Mission Federal, who was on two local morning TV shows with me last week. Taylor made about 5-6 mandalas and so did her brother Cody. They were my best 'customers' and a delight.

During ArtWalk, I recognized some kids who came by BOTH days, and that was nice to see that they enjoyed it so much they wanted to do it again. What I love about this project is that EVERYONE SUCCEEDS at it. There are no mistakes, and everyone is amazed at what they can create, and the simplicity of the process. Seeing the reaction of the attendees as they unfolded their paper and watched their art develop was something of which I never tired.  

One attendee was a grandpa who was looking for something to do when he watches his grandkids. He loved making his mandala, and can't wait to do it with his family. I had at least a dozen art teachers, school teachers and art enthusiasts who volunteered for after-school enrichment programs for kids. I spent a bit more time with them, going over the steps, telling them where to buy the stencils and bling, and why this is a great activity for kids. One teacher was so excited after making her mandala that she is going to have her class make them for Mother's Day gifts. One young girl is going to make the folded-paper mandalas with her friends at her birthday party. How fun! My booth helpers all said they had so much fun too. 

I want to THANK each of my volunteers so very, very much for giving up their time, energy, and coming to Little Italy, to pitch in for non-stop art activities with kids of all ages. There were fewer breaks than I had hoped for, and any lunch breaks we had were later than I wanted them and shorter too. But my amazing volunteers rolled with it, and gave 1000% and I appreciate it so much. I'd like to personally thank: Destiny, Vicki, Olaf, Hector, Steve, Dani (Danielle), and Carmen. They were AMAZING, ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. 

Sandi, thank you for responding to all my texts and calls when I needed things at the booth. My calls for help came fast and it was much appreciated and made things flow smoothly. I'd like Angie at Mission Federal to know that the sponsorship of ArtWalk created so much joy for others. I hope ALL the artists did well. I didn't get to walk around but what little I saw was inspiring. 

Patricia, thank you for approaching me last year with the idea to lead this activity at the SDVAN booth this year. I had a blast. It reminded me how much I enjoy working with kids. I was 11 years old when I started a business I called "Art School". I wrote advertisements on pieces of paper and placed them in the mailboxes of parents on my street that had young kids. I didn't like babysitting, but I liked doing things with kids (it was more fun.) I charged $1 an hour per child, and I supplied all the materials. We sat around a picnic table in my basement and made things with popsicle sticks, paper plates, and other kid-friendly materials. Until this weekend, I forgot how much fun I had with "Art School".
Thank you for giving me the opportunity for such fun and joy during ArtWalk. 

PS- there were plenty of leftover materials for many, many Art Reach projects. 

Sandi Cottrell, Managing Director, ArtWalk San Diego to Deb DeLisi

The weekend got off to such a rocky start.  Having said that…your area was AMAZING!  I saw so many happy people walking away with their artwork, and you had it beautifully organized. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for making this happen. From the beginning you were so organized and professional, I can’t imagine a better project or more lovely person to lead the project.  I greatly appreciate the countless hours you spent on this.

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DNA of Creativity Introduction by Patricia Frischer, coordinator, San Diego Visual Arts Network  

The DNA of Creativity was initiated in 2011 to put together teams of artists and scientists. We had very high goals. We hoped to make the complexities of art and science accessible while showcasing the aesthetics of both. We intended to enhance the viewing public’s perception of creativity and its role in our lives as thriving, positive, empowered and fun. We wanted to re-enforce the idea of San Diego as an Art and Science destination. Invigorating students of all ages to support the arts and sciences either as participants or beneficiaries was essential.

We had a stellar selection committee who chose the four grant recipients: Harvey Seifter - Art of Science Learning Director producing the nationwide Innovation Incubator. Ron Newby - Bronowski Art and Science Forum and Ruth West Research Associate, UCSD Research in Computing and the Arts and now Associate Professor and Director, xREZ lab at University of North Texas.

When you take on projects that take over three years to produce, you know you have to have a passion for the subject. My first reason for calling together teams, with both artists and scientists, was very simple and quite selfish. I am an artist and my husband Darwin Slindee is a physicist. I wanted to make sure we could spend time together. But my passion turned into my privilege. I have learned so much from the more than 50 participants that crossed the finish line and are showing, have shown and will continue to show the results of their investigations.

The Pezzoli family lost their daughter Alyssa last year in a terrible surfing tragedy. Her mother Marjorie who is part of the Sea Changes: Act team said, “It really hit me tonight why jellyfish will always be important to me...I was thinking about Alyssa, tears streaming down my face, I looked up at the lights, the distortion caused the sight of a jellyfish. They are an indicator of climate change and plastic pollution. The ocean and the beaches have always been playground of Alyssa's, that's why I want to protect them for all generations.”

This strong belief in the value of being connected is a theme that runs through all the teams. Jason Rogalsk, leader of the Urban Succession team, realized that his project to shine a light on urban wildlife by providing artist made homes for them was not just about the wild creatures living amongst us, it was about ecosystems. David Lipson thought that debris from gutters was probably toxic waste, but found that within Jeremy Gercke’s inventive Soil Blind sculpture it is a rich source of life.

Both projects go further than just using art to make people care or to illustrate scientific facts. They worked on the Inner-connectivity of art and science. As a result artists increasingly became more scientific, while the scientists embraced art. This is nowhere more clear than in the PolyAethestic Mapping: The Muses. The DNA of Creativity changed lives. Kaz Maslanka through hours and hours of team work discovered the muses which made his very abstract process of exploration of complex concept more accessible. He says, “ It was as if all I had done was throw a bucket of paint into the air and the muses just appeared.” Vicki Leon has embraced the muses which came out of the polyaesthetic system. She says that their influence has expanded her areas of focus and allowed her to call upon their creative inspiration to explore new territory.

Yes, there are challenges of managing large teams. Meetings over time helped members to gain respect for each other and eventually become friends. Groups had to be flexible in order to expand their ideas, Everyone learned new facts like how photographer’s strobe lights hurt live coral and ultimately how to make what was examined safe from direct human contact. Michelle Kurtis Cole’s experiments using glass instead of other coral as a substrate to regenerate coral could change the way the ocean is being helped to help itself.

Working together as a team with personal passion for the subject and some financial support had advantages. These included greater production rates, opportunities to work on a larger scale, gaining new audience and learning and using new techniques. Team members could learn as they go and were fearless once they trusted that they could make mistakes and still move forward. Jeremy Gerecke said he found, “…anartistic direction that incorporates more that pure aesthetics. Work that can have a life after being on display, it can be studied and have a life of its own.” 

In many cultures that we admire, art and culture are woven into the everyday fabric of life. This manages to happen without the art losing it status, power or affect. We are grateful to the Oceanside Museum of Art and our curator Danielle Susalla Deery and the Museum of Monterey for acknowledging this merging of art and science on a scale equal to the efforts of our DNA of Creativity team members.

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Notes on Aesthetics and Authenticity Symposium March 8/9, 2014
Presented by Constance White, Arts Program of SD International Airport
at the New Central Library

Art and Culture Symposium: Aesthetics & Authenticity on Sat, March 8, at 9:00 AM - Sun, March 8 at 3:30 PM is presented by San Diego International Airport Art Program (book now $65) at the Downtown Library (330 Park Blvd, San Diego, 92101) but will start on Fri March 7 with a tour of all of the new art in the new Terminal 2 West. More info: Airport

Photo by Marti Kransberg

These are my personal notes on most of the presentations and panel held on Sat and Sunday. I missed some and I admit prejudices of my own interest are reflected in these notes. It should not serve nor pretend to be a summary of the symposium.

We were kindly welcomed by both Mel Katz, chair of the Library Commissioners and hugely responsible for the fabulous library where this symposium was held and Robert Gleason, Chair of the SD County Regional Airport Authority who funded the symposium Both agreed that the arts contributes to the quality of life in the city. The arts can make you feel safe and softening the hard edges of a cityscape.

Todd Gloria x-interim mayor and now city council president gave the key note speech. He started strongly with a statement about collaborations and how we need arts and culture to make a statement that differentiates our city from others. We are in competition worldwide and we are competing to WIN. This is about place making and the city as a brand. Balboa Park is unique and that is an anchor. North Park is the contemporary anchor as an ecodistrict.

We need our Innovation labs to generate ideas. Even the idea of the labs needs testing. Once ideas are pioneered they need to be replicated. SD will have a $38 million surplus, at least 1% of that should go from the Tax on Tourist for the arts under the agreement made last year in the Five Year Blueprint for the Arts. The difference between finest city in the America and greatest city is art. We need cutting edge projects from young and older organizations.

Community in put from creative people is essential. Gloria sees his job is to make neighborhoods better. That includes the point of entry to the USA from Mexico which should be a welcome mat and not a vewi of dumpsters.

County wide collaboration spearheaded by supervisor Dave Roberts. When young people start to want families they move to better neighborhood and then it is hard for the old neighborhood to improve. So the question is how do you give those budding families what they need to enrich the existing neighborhoods?

With the population growth expected (and this is just from new birth rates and not people moving to SD) we have to build up instead of out. Not all city council people are onboard with that yet, but they all know they are in competition and have to do something. We will have street cars again even if it takes years to happen.

Balboa Park Celebration is now under his supervision at least for the city funds. Mistakes were made for example no one ever asked what potential funders might have wanted for this celebration. It appears that they want us to looking forward, not backward. And the ideas should be those that are scaleable if they are funded. The Institutions of the park will have their own ideas and some money might be forthcoming to help them, but the question is how to have this celebration In the public spaces. Decisions will happen about this very soon. One question is how to frame to see the park in a new way?

He addressed education needs saying we must re-introduce the arts and harness the young who already have a strong service ethic. But they need to go beyond serving meals to homeless and try to solve the problem. The arts must spearhead specific action item solutions or ideas and must learn to speak the language of government and not confuse the public and politicians with art speak.

We moved on to a series of presentation and panels.

Who am I, where am I?

Tom Borrow author of the Creative communities handbook

We describe our identity by claiming it, creating it or manufacturing it. It takes 12 years to establish an identity. Who, when, and where all have to be defined. Neighborhoods are shared space, Community is shared ideas.

Seyed Alavi stated that multileveled complex ideas have better chance of being relative now and in the future. Find the fundamentals that lie within and let the surface be contemporary. Audience needs to be encouraged to be curious. When they slow down they notice details of something that has been done on purpose. Aesthetics just means Perception. Instead of necessity being the mother of invention, it is aesthetic curiosity. The word aesthetics is just a placeholder. We need to bring together risk adverse and risk takers.

Question raised in this session included. When did art become separate from the public and need a bridge? Site specific resulted from that disconnect. Who should make decisions...policy makers or artists? Can they work together? When is an idea a program and when is it a project? If you are the artist asked to make an art work about a community in which they do not live, can it be authentic?

Airport artists – combined thoughts from Stuart Keeler, Jim Campbell, Norie Sato Po Shu Wang, Erik Carlson and the Merge Conceptual Design team.

Challenge drives the creative process. Controversy brings clarity. Art is made for the public and becomes part of the public domain. Let the public become involved in the work and then that becomes the art. Goals are fuzzy so hard to judge success. Public art can teach artists something that they may have not have gained otherwise. This is not art by committee. Instead, it is an opportunity to think out loud and with an audience of possible contributors. If a work is good it might end up defining the place, even if not site specific in the beginning.

Margie Johnson Reese - Cultural Economy

Ms. Reese runs a arts program for students with hundred of collaboration to make sure art in available before, during and after school. She recommends you acknowledge abundance, cut red tape, build on what you have, find constraints, address barriers and deal breakers, and release failure. Relevant plus exciting equals engaged. Access plus quality equals equity. Middle school at 12 years become sponges, but they unfocused and can be a real challenge. Parents were one asset present in all categories. One of her most important messages was to listen to the stories of others and honor them.

Cultural Provocateurs

Werc is the first new muralist at the airport and he used the letters SAN-just like the tagging used in graffiti art. These are temporary digital works.

Michelle Hyun - USCD curatorial fellowship used the gallery as anything but a place to show and/preserve art works. The space became a 24 hour study area, lab, performance stage, etc.

Stuart Keeler - Public art can take three forms: plop art that is preconceived and is just resident in the space, art which is fully integrated in the site and art which serves the public interest, Keeler described his life as a self appointed artist in residence. He promoted his book: Service Media. The message here was don’t wait to be asked, involve yourself.

Dan Springs continues to work with other libraries now that the New Downtown Library art is installed and to administer public art when funding is available.

Bennett Feji , principal of Peji Deign firm was an enthusiastic leader of the final exercise when tables worked to present new ideas for collaboration. It was another opportunity to network with the participants. Just as Ms. Reese urged us to do, we were given some time to listen to the stories of others and honor them

A conflict in scheduling prevented me from hearing presentation from Ed Abeyta,Judit Hersko, and Oscar Romo lead by Xavier Leonard from the Civic Innovation Lab

You can read about the Global Culture Districts Networkin a report on Re-imagining Cities by John Eger. In it he announces a meeting June 17-19 in Dallas, Texas, The New Cities Foundation expects to attract over a thousand leaders from cities around the world, most of whom will hear about creative place making, technology innovations, new transportation schemes, sustainability, financing and audience building.

There is now a gallery at the Library and we enjoyed seeing the works of Gail Roberts, Ernest Silva and Philpp Scholz Rittermann.

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SD Art Prize has its roots in the Turner Prize

The SD Art Prize is entering its 8 th year and I thought it might be fun to hear a history of why we have an art prize in San Diego. The story starts in 1973 in London.

I arrived in England at that time, worked as a receptionist and then ran an art gallery in the west end. It was a time of miner’s strikes causing black outs and letter bombs from the IRA. I zigzagged my way to work in the west end to avoid mail boxes with suspicious letters hanging out of mail slots. We lit the gallery by candles every other day during electric shortages.

Old master still ruled at Sotheby’s and Christies and Bonhams was a tiny auction house but the oldest started in 1793 and is now merged with Phillips and they also bought the west coast Butterfields in 2002. Impressionist painting were on the rise but very few contemporary artist came up in auctions.

This was all to change when the first Tate Turner Prize was awarded in 1984 to Malcolm Morley, an English artist living in the United States. Receiving awards in the next four years were Howard Hodgkin 1985, Gilbert & George 1986, Richard Deacon1987 Richard Long, 1989. All four were nominated in the first year. It was a private award, but the shortlist was announced. It was controversial from the start.

The Tate now called Tate Britain, in 1988 was the just the Tate Museum. It housed all British made art only. The appointment of Tate Director, Nicholas Serota led to many changes such as the introduction of an annual re-hang and giving priority to modern and contemporary art. During this period the future of the Prize was uncertain. The Turner Prize was modified to have no published shortlist and a solo exhibition was awarded to the winner, Tony Cragg. But in 1990 there was no prize as there was no sponsorship for it and it only sprang back to life in 1991. All four short-listed artists got a show and the audience became more involved. The award ceremony started to be televised. The Notional Lottery system was set up and the arts benefited. Only smokeless coal could be used and the city started to clean all its buildings. The Tate expanded to become Tate Modern and now has several other campuses in the UK. The Tate Prize now rotates to other venues.

Some other artists who have received the prize included Bill Woodrow., Anish Kapooris, Lucian Freud, Richard Hamilton, David Mach, Paula Rego, Sean Scully, Rachel Whiteread, and Anthony Gormley.

By 1995, the Turner Prize got more and more controversial and more and more attention. Damien Hirst presented his shark tank, Tracy Emin got drunk during the award ceremony, Chris Ofili's used balls of elephant dung to prop up his works. Modern Art prices at the auction house were on the rise. Charles Saachti had loaned work from his collection for the Sensation show and started his own private museum.

When I left England in 1996, contemporary artists were getting prices for their work as high as those of modern art. I discovered that San Diego has wonderful artists but not too many people knew about them. When I formed SDVAN in 2003, I decided that an Art Prize might do something similar for the arts in SD as it had done in the UK. Making artists into art stars and reminding people they could obtain art of excellence in SD were some of the goals. When Ann Berchtold joined the team in 2005, the idea of an art fair was a tiny seed, but we started working toward the SD Art Prize and in 2006, I got a grant from a foundation on the East Coast to fund the first years of award money. In the context of the Turner Prize we are babies. But now in our eighth year and with the help of Erika Torri and Debra Poteet together with Ann Bertchtold I have hopes that Contemporary art and artists can affect the public in San Diego County, someday, on the same scale as the Turner Prize helped catapult contemporary art into the major leagues in the United Kingdom.

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Archived A+ Art Blog

2013 Past A+Art Blog including
State of the Arts: The Rise of the Living Artist, 2013
New Art at the SD Airportt: Flying High
San Diego Incubator for Innovation
Arts Leaders Motivations
Politics and Art in San Diego
Art Eats Food
Alternative Materials Panel Discussion - Sparks Gallery
London Art Newsletter 2013

San Diego: Identity Crisis or Identity Opportunity? March 2013
Palm Springs Art Fair, Feb, 2013
Corporate Collecting Book Review, Jan 2013

2012 Past A+Art Blog including
Art of Science, Science of Art
Holistic Education
San Diego Steps It Up
Art Spaces for Art Places

Curated Exhibitons/OMA New Director
TED Speak: Introducing SDVAN View Art Now App
Augmented Realty
Big Art Big Bucks
Three Things You Can Do to Help the Art World

United Councils of San Diego?
Thank you to Dennis Paul Batt

New Horizons in SD Art

2011 Past A+Art Blog including
Is La Jolla coming back as a center for the visual arts in San Diego?, Dec 2011
Audience Engagement, Nov 2011
London Part Two, Oct 2011
London Part One, Sept 2011
Drink, Mate, Art, Aug 2011
Too Brave to Fail, July 2011
Out and About In June, 2011
Putting our Tax dollars to Work
The Birthing of Art Meets Fashion
DNA of Creativity
Los Angeles Contemporary Art Fair 2011 in under 2 minutes!

2010 Past A+Art Blog including

Best Tidbits for the Twelve MOnths of 2010
Katherine Sweetman has a home at SDVAN
Filling a Need
Collectors Take Note
Birthing Process
...And Three to Go
Willing to Fail
Life, Luck and Survival
Arting: are we consuming the right art?
Cliffnotes: One Month Condensed into One Week
Allison Renshaw Discovered
Dreams and Visions: MOvers and Shakers 2
State of the Arts 2010 - the Future of Art Publications

2009 Past A+ Art Blogs including
London and the Venice Biennial, 2009
Meet the Press
Beyond the Borders International Art (BTBIAF)
Interpersonal Theory of Art: Little & Large community phenomenon and the museum exhibition, Calder Jewelry at SDMA
Little and Large Launch
Little & Large Introduciton
The Recycling Buzz
Economic Realities for the arts in May 2009
Seven volunteer Inspried Visual Arts Projects
Snapshot – One women’s personal views on Changing Perspectives in the San Diego Art Scene: Notes from the panel discussion
The Economy and Affordable Live/Work Spaces
State of the Arts 2009

2008 Past A+ Art Blogs including
State of the Arts 2008
Hungry for Chinese Art?
Eat Your Art Out plus John Baldessari conversation with Hugh Davies
London Burning: A Damien Hirst Update
SD Flash Forward; Movers and Shakers Speak Out
Museum Trends: NY Times Cliff Notes
London Newsletter 2008
Art Collecting Clubs Part II
Artcentric Interiors
Poopielickles for All: attending Art Fairs in LA
Reading the Zines for Good Ideas, Feb 2008

Changing Power Base: State of the Arts 2008

2007 Past A+ Art Blogs including
Burnished by Fire: Stories of Firestorm, November 2007
The What and the How and the Wow, October, 2007
Careerist Artist,
September, 2007
Non-Profit is not a Free Ride, July 2007
Crowd Control at Museums, June, 2007
May and It'sDarling Buds - May, 2007
Cruelty Free Art Zone - April, 2007
Critical Issues Facing the Arts, March, 2007 – The James Irvine Foundation, September 2006 summary
Letter from London Dec 2006 - Feb 2007
State of the Arts Jan 2007

2006 Past A+ Art Blogs
Crossover: How Artists Build Careers
Art and Wine Tour of Northern CA- October, 2006
Web Heaven- August, 2006 Advice on Websites for Artists
Vacation Art-July, 2006
Art Critic Revealed: Robert Pincus - June, 2006
Artistic Freedoms- May 2006
Art and Science, Progress and Mystery - April, 2006
Building Market Share - March, 2006
Glass to Go - February, 2006
Collectors on Show - January, 2006

PATRICIA FRISCHER, author of "The Artist and the Art of Marketing" has lectured extensively on marketing for artists. She is a trainer of artists’ agents, art dealers, consultant and collectors. Frischer has taken on the roles of gallerist, curator, writer, teacher, website coordinator and artist. Her many metamorphoses make her difficult to fit into any of the usual art world categories. She is a founding member and coordinator of the San Diego Visual Arts Network, ( ) which funds the SD Art Prize, directory and events calendar and SmART Collector features. Her own artwork  ( ) has been shown internationally and her most recent one person show was at Oxford University.

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