What I Did on My Summer Vacation:

Part II

Mario Schjetnan
Mario Schjetnan's "A Small Tribute to Immigrant Workers," installation at Sculpturesite gallery, Sonoma, CA
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My summer vacation ends this week as I head back to school for fall semester classes (Greco-Roman Art and Modern Architecture) at California State University, Sacramento.  I will continue, however, blogging about art, architecture, design and everything related.  Hopefully all of you will continue reading these posts and forward your comments.

Over the past two months I’ve been enjoying visits to art museums and taking in a variety of major exhibits.  In June Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum hosted one of its “Member Mornings” where members were treated to an exclusive viewing of Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism.  The exhibit was the second in a series of three exhibits titled The Summer of Impressionism.  As I strolled through the exhibit I saw wonderful impressionist paintings filled with natural light, undulating landscapes, elegant flowers, and shimmering streams.  Among the artists represented were such well-known painters as Frederick Childe Hassam, George Inness, Gustave Courbet, Camille Pissarro, John Singer Sargent, and Claude Monet.  Although none of the paintings exhibited were on the blockbuster level, those on display did not disappoint.  I like Impressionist art because it seems soothing to me, with dream-like qualities.  I’m attracted to the light color paints, the visible brushstrokes and the plein-air subject matter filling the canvases.

Everyone attending the exhibit seemed to have an opinion about the art.  Here are a few of the anonymous comments I couldn’t help but overhear: “The legs are too long from the hips to the knee.” —   “The flowers are too big but I like the colors.”  —  “John Singer Sargent was the darling of Europe.”  —  “Not quite impressionistic, but it’s fabulous.”  —  “Ah, look at the lavender in there.  Isn’t it gorgeous?”  —  “I don’t understand it but I wish I did.”  —  “The water looks shallow like the tide was going out, or he faked it.”  —  “If you went back to that area now, you’d probably find a shopping center.”  —  “You know, you have to stand away from this one.”  —  “Very subdued color.  Well that’s all they had.”  —  “Monet.” Yes, very confident.”

In July I listened to artist Daniel Douke talk about his iconic computer boxes, pop art and his career trajectory.  You can read more about this on my July 19th post, “Daniel Douke Talks Boxes Pop Art and More.”  On July 15th I stopped by Sacramento’s Verge Center for the Arts (VCA) to drop off unused art supplies for their annual Jumble Sale fund-raiser.  Liv Moe, VCA Executive Director, graciously gave me a tour of the expansive art facility.  Housed in a 22,000 square foot warehouse VCA is home to 30 contemporary studio artists.  There is definitely a lot going on at 625 S. Street and I encourage anyone interested in Sacramento’s contemporary art scene to visit VCA.

July was capped off when I toured the Buehler House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, in Orinda, CA.  You can read in detail about this fabulous home on my post, “Touring A Frank Lloyd Wright Home.”

The month of August found me visiting two major art shows in San Francisco.  First I took in The Stein’s Collect at SFMOMA (which you can read about on my post “The Stein’s Art Collection: Ahead of the Curve and Shockingly Modern”).  Next I went to the de Young Museum for the phenomenal show Picasso featuring masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris.  Watch my blog ARTjabber for an in depth post about this exhibit in the near future.

"Bai Yun"

Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot's "Bai Yun (White Cloud)", Crystals and Chicken Wire, Installation, Sculpturesite gallery, Sonoma, CA

In August I also visited Sculpturesite art gallery at Cornerstone in Sonoma, CA.  The SculptureWALK wends its way through several acres dotted with over 70 pieces of sculpture.  Among the pieces that impacted me, was Mario Schjetnan’s “A Small Tribute to Immigrant Workers.”  Schjetnan, one of Mexico’s leading landscape architects, prepares the viewer with the following: “Upon entering this garden you have crossed one of the most dangerous imaginary lines in the world.  You have crossed into a garden called California.  The garden, like the state itself, is cultivated and maintained by Mexican immigrants everyday.”


Jean Pierre Rives' "Ribbons," Steel Installation, Sculpturesite gallery, Sonoma, CA

Other highlights from Sculpturesite included “Bai Yun (White Cloud)” by landscape artists Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot.  The cloud is made out of thousands of clear-cut crystals and chicken wire and hovers above a surface of compacted granite, crushed glass and oyster shells.  Truly mesmerizing.  I also enjoyed “Garden Play” by environmental artist Topher Delaney, “Ribbons” made of steel by Jean Pierre Rives, and “Trout” crafted in ceramics by Wes Horn.

And finally, the other highlight of the month of August was my one-on-one interview with fine art photographer Jesse Bravo.  You can read the entire interview on my blog post, “Q&A With Jesse Bravo, Fine Art Photographer.”

Snippets of these adventures are featured in photos appearing in ARTjabber’s “Photo Diary.”


4 Responses

  1. Judi Flynn says:

    I love reading about your experiences, interviews and tours, Lesley. You have such a gift of expressing yourself through your writing.

  2. Rosemary says:

    What a wonderful mini vacation I just had reading your lovely blog. Keep up the good work. Some of us do not get out enough

  3. Sally Malik says:

    I also share your love of ART. I enjoy your BLOG and will continue to follow, as you write it. While on a trip this summer I found a bumper sticker that is now on my painting table. ART SAVES LIVES, from Port Towsend , Washington.

  4. Ellen Masucci says:

    What a beautiful website Lesley with and ey! I still remember walking around DC with you, always a camera around your neck.
    Great that you are doing something that combines all your passions.
    Keep up the good work!

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