Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Happenings at the De Young, Ft. Mason & "Cream" Opening

From Golden Gate Park to Ft. Mason, the city is full of great art-related things to see and do. 

 De Young Museum: Jennifer Ewing: Spirit Boat Directions, January 5–30, 2011,

Ms Ewing is finishing up a month as part of the Artist-in-Residence Program in the Kimball Education Gallery. Since 2005 she has used the theme of “Spirit Boats” as a metaphor for her own journey in paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures and installations. Ewing started the Spirit Boats series of mixed media paintings after her father passed away. Creating the paintings made her feel closer to her father, and helped her grieve over losing him.

She has divided the gallery into the four elements of water, air, fire and earth. The west wall is symbolic of water and supports a spirit boat harbor. Boats hung in space to the north represent the element of air. The east wall features paintings and drawings with the spirit of fire, while the south represents the element of earth and hosts a sculpture that connects the earth and the air. 

Ewing explains, “For me a spirit boat represents healing, as a vehicle for passage into a more peaceful and comforting place, hope, as a life boat in a storm, and taps into universal mythologies and archetypes of this powerful symbol that can serve as an ark or totem for reclaiming the spirit. The boat is an easy form to recognize as a metaphor of transformation and working with it keeps me lighthearted and buoyant.”

Visitors are encouraged to explore their own paths by making boats in the form of a drawing, collage or sculpture. 

The closing reception for Spirit Boat Directions is Friday, January 28 from 6–8:30 pm. Ewing is available to provide assistance and instruction during gallery hours.

At the Artists Gallery, Ft Mason:  Mirang Wonne, Jenn Shifflet, Kathryn St. Clair (through February 24). Three Bay Area artists who observe the world around us but interpret it using very different media.
 Mirang Wonne, Sunlight 2602, 2010; burnt stainless-steel mesh on top of acrylic paint on paper; 26 x 26 in.; photo: Don Felton, Almac Camera 

Mirang Wonne creates drawings on stainless-steel mesh by burning the surface with a torch. The silver-colored metal surfaces, with colorful acrylic paintings just below it, bear some resemblance to Asian calligraphy and brush painting created on long paper scrolls. She favors motifs from nature and has developed her own style of execution that distinguishes the work.

Jenn Shifflet, Blush Petals, 2010; oil on panel; 36 x 22 in.; photo: Dana Davis; courtesy Chandra Cerrito Contemporary 
 East Bay artist Jenn Shifflet's work could also be compared to Asian art, but with a decidedly Pop art twist. Her rich and developed palette and her interest in a very contemporary kind of line make the paintings fresh and irresistible.

 Kathryn St. Clair, Abstract Wetlands, 2008; oil on canvas; 36 x 36 in.; photo courtesy the artis
Kathryn St. Clair also looks at the landscape, rendering it in colors that both convince and soothe the eye. She is adept at spotting idyllic scenes that are abundant near her home in Sonoma County. 

Opening tonight: CREAM from the top: through March 5, 2011

Now in its ninth year, the enormously successful CREAM from the top exhibition will be presented in January 2011, for the first time at the Performance Art Institute. CREAM from the top draws from the thriving communities of nine Bay Area MFA programs, gathering those candidates who have risen to the top of their respective classes. Creator and curator, Kathryn Weller Renfrow, consistently selects the strongest and most compelling emerging artists, allowing the Bay Area to discover them for the first time. This year's exhibition features the largest number of artists to date, and will expand throughout the spacious galleries at 550 and 575 Sutter Street.

The Performance Art Institute is located at 575 Sutter Street in downtown San Francisco. PAI's The Library is located across the street at 550 Sutter Street.

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