Artist Spotlight focuses on interesting artists, upcoming exhibitions, and articles about art and those who love it or create it.

Discover new ways to stretch your imagination, be introduced to new artists, their exhibits, and books to read about them. Expect to excite your mind. Comments are very welcome! -- Rosemary Carstens

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Inside My Head Excites the Mind . . .

The California African American Museum is showcasing work by 32 contemporary artists of African descent, May 7–September 27, 2009. The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, collages, assemblages, photographs, videos, dolls, garments, and jewelry. It’s FABULOUS!

These images will excite your imagination as the artists have applied their considerable technical virtuosity and expertise to explore their connection to ethnicity. If you are in the Los Angeles area on business or pleasure during the run of this show, treat yourself. You’ll come away supercharged by the unique range of ideas, styles, and intuitive creativity.

Exhibiting artists: Jaami Abdul-Khaliq Abdul-Samad, Donna Angers, Floyd Bell, Patricia Boyd, Angela Briggs, Tracy Brown, Yrneh Brown, Ronn Carrington, Chukes, Madi Comfort, Charles Dickson, Dorothy Elliott-Taylor, Graham Goddard, Deidre Greene, Mamie Hansberry, Stephen Hardy, Sy Hearn, Elton Henderson, Ronald Jackson, Michael Massenburg, Bridgitte Montgomery, Dominique Moody, Anne Myatt, Elliott Pinkney, Noah Purifoy, Aydeé Rodríguez, Toni Scott, Karen Seneferu, Malik Seneferu, Cola Smith, Teresa Tolliver, and Timothy Washington.

A number of programs associated with this exhibition offer opportunities to create art with some of the featured artists. For more details, check their website or call (213) 744-2024.

Images: Left – Earth Mother 2007, Cola; Right – Wild Thing 2008, Teresa Tolliver

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gallery without a Ceiling Opens at San Francisco MOMA

At last, the long-awaited ROOFTOP GARDEN at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art opens on May 10th. Providing space for large scale works, this “gallery without a ceiling” offers an inviting open-air venue for experiencing art. With the city by the bay spread out around you, there will be plenty of room to relax, reflect, enjoy a coffee, and to view sculptures spanning the last five decades by some of the best-known artists of our time.

Artists to be featured in the Rooftop Garden's inaugural exhibition include Robert Arneson, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Luciano Fabro, Ellsworth Kelly, Mario Merz, Juan Munoz, Barnett Newman, Joel Shapiro, Ranjani Shettar, and Kiki Smith (see image to left). Sculptures will comprise works from the museum's collection that were either recently acquired or that are rarely seen. Also on view will be recent gifts of artwork donated specifically for display in the new space, including The Lens of Rotterdam (1988) by Mario Merz and Joel Shapiro's Untitled (1983–87).

"The garden will act as an entirely new kind of gallery, adding a fresh dimension to the museum experience," said SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra. "The grand scale of this remarkable space will enable us to exhibit large works—and even to extend and play off of the special exhibitions on view in our fifth-floor galleries."

The Rooftop Garden is partially covered but primarily open air and adds 14,400 s.f. to the museum. On its western side, it shares a panoramic glass wall with the museum's fifth-floor galleries, providing them with natural light and views of the garden. Access will be via an enclosed glass-and-steel bridge, where the reinstalled contemporary painting and sculpture exhibition Between Art and Life will be on view along with a specially commissioned project—an evocative painting depicting draped fabric reminiscent of marble sculpture—by former SECA Art Award recipient Rosana Castrillo Diaz.

For more information: San Francisco MOMO, 151 Third StreetSan Francisco, CA 94103
415.357.4000 -

(Photo of Virgin Mary by Kiki Smith, 1993; Collection Vici and Kent Logan, fractional and promised gift to SFMOMA; © Kiki Smith)

Friday, April 3, 2009

2nd Annual Taos Art Glass Invitational – Summer of Love 2009

Fast becoming a tradition collectors don’t want to miss, the Taos Annual Art Glass Invitational, a juried show featuring the works of national, regional, and local artists working in glass will take place July 18 through August 16th in conjunction with the Taos Summer of Love Festival (May through September). This year’s invitational theme is “40 Years of the Studio Art Glass Movement.”

The studio art glass movement emerged in the US in the late 1960s with the advent of scientific advancements in glass that enabled studio artists to work in the medium as never before. Artists such as Harvey Littleton, Marvin Lipofsky (his image at left), Edris Eckhardt, Dale Chihuly, Mary Shaffer, Jay Musler, and so many more over the last forty years have created a plethora of techniques and have paved the way for later artists to begin working in the medium by generously sharing their discoveries. The hottest contemporary medium around, this summer’s events will showcase stunning pieces by masters and emerging artists alike.

Throughout the run of the show, the Taos Institute of Glass Arts will present a comprehensive series of workshops, lectures, and demonstrations in glass arts in the newly revised studios first set up by Dale Chihuly.

Due to the success of last year's show and the expansion of the event, this year's invitational will involve several top Taos galleries. Travel packages, including gallery, artist, and educational experiences will be available to travelers, and special events and walking tours will be available to locals and Taos guests alike.

The entire event is sponsored by GLASS ALLIANCE – NEW MEXICO and the Taos Institute for Glass Arts. For more information on the event or to receive the call for entries prospectus, contact the Taos Institute for Glass Arts at 575.613.6484.

-- Rosemary Carstens
Twitter: @tweets2go