Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: Noon - 5 p.m.
Wednesday: Noon - 7 p.m.
More information: 442-339-2021. Admission is free.
Empty headingmpty headinEmpty he
Upcoming exhibitionartists showcase The ChairSept. 10 – Dec. 3, 2022
Opening reception: Saturday, Sept. 10, 5-7 p.m.
The Chair is an exhibition of one-of-a-kind chairs. “The chair represents the most sacred meeting of form and function; it’s a piece synonymous with support, the reliable foundation of our everyday lives. And yet the simple chair is in perpetual reinvention mode: it is the unending challenge for the artist and designer.” For this special exhibition, the selected works will range from fully functional examples to pieces of pure art and sculpture.
Artists: Erin Behling, John Cederquist, David Fobes, Matthew Hebert, Paul Henry, Roy Jenuine, Nina Karavasiles, Seth Keller, Adam John Manley, Wendy Maruyama, DeLoss McGraw, Christopher Polentz, Lee Puffer, Cheryl Tall, James Watts, and Gabriel Weise.
I have just completed the re-do of a planter surround for Coronado Senior Apartments on Orange Ave. I had been the artist for this affordable housing complex in 2007. The original bench was concrete, steel, woven copper and lights. It was attached to a very old tiny wall that contained the palm tree. The concrete was cracking, the steel was evaporating and the light and been cut by accident. There are a few stories/reason for all this, but I like this one the best. The normally quiet (and elderly) residents have a front row seat on 4th of July. The parade goes right down Orange Ave. They climbed up on the bench and jumping and cheering. Cracking occurs. Isn’t that the best reason to have construction issues?
The image below was the original planter surround with copper.
I loved the concept of ‘woven’ to describe a life interconnected, and so I didn’t want to lose that aesthetic in this renovation. I designed a new surround to fabricated in concrete and figured I would make a vertical stamp to imprint the woven texture. Sun Country Builders will do the big work, as they had built the complex 15 years ago. I didn’t want to burden them with the complications of an art aspect, so I designed it so there would be a strip of circumference design - 7 inches tall and 40 feet long that I would do after they left.
Thanks Gerry and crew.
In my studio I made a positive pattern. Then I built a dam to hold the urethane (Smooth-On brand). This was 7” x 16”. I used a Buddy Rhodes Vertical Mix so that the concrete wouldn’t slump and fall off and made my way around the 40 feet. This took 3 days and lots of involvement with the landscape plants including a broken sprinkler which made mud. All of my products were temperature sensitive and so I had umbrellas set up to deflect the sun. To make things more complicated, I had our brand new adopted dog in the van who was barking at every dog and person who walked down the sidewalk, of which there were many.
I stained the cured concrete to accent the the woven pattern and then sealed it. During that time I got to speak with many residents. While I often do projects for affordable housing, my work is always before people move in. Designers always have the end user in mind, but rarely do we get to meet them. They were very supportive and friendly as was the staff (that I don’t normally meet either).
The high top table in the library room now has a new light. It is made of varied rice papers and half round rattan. I used some old copper wire (from our new solar project) to connect the rattan and then paper-mached over the joints. You can see the copper wires poking through.
I encouraged the magic of haphazardness to make the form. There is also an orange glass temperature weight as a focal point. The light is soft and it holds my attention with so many details: wood pieces within the rice paper, the shine of the copper, the way the rattan line moves the composition.
The light with wire was purchased at Ikea.
It doesn’t hurt if you bonk your head into it, not a bit.
At the Tiny Fest in Del Mar, I had the privilege of meeting Annette McNamara who was in Atticus, a pink schoolie, taking photographs. She started www.Beautifulstrength.org. Ralf and I were blown away by her concept, energy and ability to get some amazing portraits.
After one’s photo is taken in the studio portion of the bus (a black background which converts into her bed at night) the subject collaborates by writing on a tablet around or over their image about themselves. There is also the person’s name, age and the location. The images are then posted on the website.
Below is the image Annette took of me and a link to that page so you can see all the others. This was an amazing experience, which I heartily recommend viewing, participating the next time Atticus comes to town, and supporting her concept. We did!
Sketchbook classes at Shipley Nature Center in Huntington Beach, CA
Learn your way around this native plant preservation area by means of your sketchbook. Shipley has lots of variety and lovely places to sit, take in the view and draw. Different times of year, the plants are different. We will embrace the 'down times' beautifully.
Sketchbooks are important as a way to work out many aspects, like compositions, perspectives and mediums, even if the finished art is ultimately painted and not drawn. It's what you have on hand quickly during the day. It's what you take with you on vacation to document your travels. It can augment photographs. A quick sketch can capture a visual thought that isn't literal. Sketchbooking is not just for professional artists.
Who can resist a blank book of your own?
There will be focused observations and a moment to Take Time in nature.
Link here to Eventbrite to get tickets for the class.
I like chairs.
I even curated an exhibit about chairs, well many were mine, and I was hoping to justify my not so small collection.
This chair is made of tubing and has been outdoors for at least a decade. It fits my body nicely, so the fact that it was a wreck didn’t matter to me.
The metal mesh that formed the seat and back was rusting away. The layers of paint were peeling in bubble shapes.
I stitched some seat belt webbing on for extra support. I had some spring cushion samples and put that on the seat part. I had some memory foam that should have been tossed out, but now I had a use. A friend had given me old feather pillows to use in my compost- I used one in the chair.
I had many old pairs of jeans that I use for other projects. I laid pieces on and hand stitched them onto the previous layer. I didn’t concern myself about its longevity nor aesthetic, but kept sit-trying it for comfort.
This chair is small enough to go in my barn office and not make a bulky flow-block. It is great for grabbing a book and reading. This can be done even with dirty work cloths on! It is wonderful way to relax or research. This chair and library is now ready for art classes that I want to teach.
Please watch for upcoming schedules. ‘Take Time’
I found this empty sign on the side of the road.
I had seen it for years. Most of it still swirled steel glinting. Driving and thinking that what ever I could say on this sign had to be a short word to be seen while driving. Corner and big view is vying for a viewers attention.
I wanted a word that would describe itself and its location.
It would cause me to turn around and come back to see it up close.
If you are traveling from Warner Springs to Temecula it will be on the right side of the road near Emerald Creek Winery, Highway 79 south.
The bathroom re-noodle is complete! I had such a great time making this concrete sink with a one of a kind mold. This sink has heft, an inverted sculpture. Cool linear designs actually aid in water removal.
It has a resin-suspended glass balls filler (very tiny and blue). It has been double sealed and has a coat of carnuba wax. I have not seen any seeping or dripping.
It just feels like there are so many possible designs, that I have decided to offer a custom concrete sink as a commissionable piece of art for you, the home remodeler. Contact me for details!
Please read the next blog post for info on the entire bathroom.
My design emphasizes the existing structure by making lines and forms more evident. Paint, some plaster and a custom sink that reflects those lines.
I was challenged by my instigator friend, Robin Brailsford - “Oh sure, we can all remodel. Now let's see you use only the things you already have”.
That comment made me decide to cast my own sink out of concrete. An inverted sculpture.
I decided that two sinks were just in the way, so I made one big one instead. I purchased one faucet because that was just sensible (although in another bathroom design, they were all handmade and had rocks as the handles).
My friend Anna Cabo made the amazing fused glass tile. They are luminous jelly bean beauties and all different.
Seems we are all clearing our studios in the lull of the virus and perhaps considering the fast paces we used to have.
Personally, I now drink coffee in bed while doom-scrolling the news. Never, never have I done that sort of decadent laziness! This remodel took longer than usual.
Some things I designed are ruff, deliberately. The Ikea dresser that my friend's kids ditched got a new cover skin that was made from an old desk I made 19 years ago. I liked the contrast of brown shiny melamine and thin tan skin on 2 sides, held in place with copper washer/screws.
The floor is the same from the time that flooring contractors owned this house and sampled all manor of oddities here. I could have installed some something snappy, but this floor has cracks and stains. Fine enough. I don’t have to change my body movements to accommodate anything ‘good’ and can just use what I have in that country sort of way.
The light for reading while on the can (toilet): I did not want to put in new electrical lines, no, that would have stopped my creative forward-moving flow. Jerry-rigged discards and a puck light. Little chains support the hinge connection. Yes, you have to push it. Yes it wiggles when you do, but it has a nice mellow, directed light and cost nothing - I already had it in the barn.
There had been an electrical outlet from the past, now only a hole in the drywall from the former outlet. It's bugged me for a long time, it was so different and yet so close to the other one, but not a "just right" match. A few years back, I changed it’s location, leaving the hole. I have never been a symmetrical designer, but there you go, the plug was somehow unacceptable to me. I made a little sculpted box and painted the interior the same color that dashes around the bathroom - a flamboyant electric turquoise. I still believe I gave the elderly paint mixer guy at the store a different color on the poetic-named paint strip. That mis-color and that he used a too big hammer to place the lid, thus smashing the can 1/3 down, well, I almost just left the store. Of course everyone loves that color and now it has grown on me. It ignited the mood of buoyancy and its insistence has kept me engaged - it's interior now matching the ceiling of the shower. The window trim sports the same color. All the other paint was from the storage.
The little bling-thing was a big mess of a necklace that was my mothers, something I "yard sale" bought for her years back because she likes blue. I rewired it and hung it to an old plant hook. The plant died years ago, and yet the hook remained.
The washing machine was purchased used and remained in that used category because this Maytag doesn’t drain well and molds up. At least the machine keeps on going. There is a dance of getting it to dry after every load. I can’t get rid of something that is still working.
I use no dryer. I have a clothesline in this chaparral (high desert) climate, it very much so "does dry for a living". I just love a stiff, exfoliating towel!
I'm stuck with a white particle board dresser that I would never have purchased. It came when my parents, moved in with me. I won’t give such a non-desired item to a landfill until it collapses.
The toilet makes a weird dripping sound. Two plumbers couldn’t find the issue. I had dreamed of getting rid of it in this remodel. It is mineral stained. Me, with my multiple pee per flush policy, - its just ugly. Maybe someday I will get a new, low flush one, but not this time - that wasn't part of the original challenge by Robin.
The cabinets; original, made of dark wood that had an oily something on it. I tried lightening them by sanding, tried new crazy handles, I tried painting them. These were all failures that I even sent photos to friends. I finally pulled off the covers and painted the gnarly particle board shelves white. Then used a gauzy white cloth that I had just sorted in the studio (and thus able to find). Not wanting to buy a curtain rod, I used PVC water pipe with the print turned to the ceiling and made some wall hangers of scrap wood. There is silver chain, sewn to the cloth and a bamboo rod to slide the fabric and reveal things. All that white feels clean. I’m certain it's not clean, but I can live with that illusion.
The plastic baloney sandwich on the toilet tank always reminds me why I’m a vegetarian.
At the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, where the exhibit of Public Address artist are having the show called DesEscondido- a group of us were doing a special talk. Doris Bittar, Ruth Wallen and Nina Karavasiles. Gerda Govine was doing a poetry project just after our talk. The back story (scroll down) is that Gerda and I worked on the Rosa Parks Transit. We had a group of students in a life sized photo with roses over their hearts. I mean, scroll down and coincidentally the photo is just perfect, okay so I see this guy who looks familiar and I ask Gerda if its the guy from the image. She's not sure. I finish my talk and ask him. Indeed, it was Hermes Castro! Like a homecoming we were so happy to see each other again.
Welcome to Nina’s Blog. I am quickly classified as a public artist, generally meaning art for the public realm. It is different than a gallery/museum way of thinking. My way of making public art has manifested more traditionally as a site specific sculpture for a fire station. It encompasses some gorilla installations, some home and environmental designs and most recently many apartment developments. Usually having a theme, like; solar powered, low income, green, and educational. Apartment complex art is not interior design. The viewing audience is a hybrid of the general public and private art in a public space. I enjoy the variety.