Venison Picks: Best of 2015

Nazish Chunara’s Picks:

Nora Ruzsics Emmerich Weissenberger opening at 18th Street Art Center in Los Angeles, CA.
April-May 2015.

SIGNALS are artworks that are being created during this journey and will be brought to Austria and other countries as the ART EMBASSY, a documentary film recorded of the journey. It is important to the artists, that current messages will be constantly brought to cooperating partners in Austria and Europe during the journey by communicating with fixed cooperating organizations, via radio broadcasts (interviews, reports etc.) and an online blog to bring the messages to the people. The journey, which is being conducted like a pilgrimage, ends in Los Angeles in May 2015 with the art exhibition SIGNALS, representing  the spirit of equality, freedom and brotherhood

Nora Ruzsics and Emmerich Weissenberger, are currently working on an international and intercultural art project which started on October 9, 2014. They travel along the migration line, starting from Colombia northwards to the “promised land”, ending in the US/California. They have been visiting villages of peace, social welfare projects, scientific camps, cooperating museums, as well as artists along the route. Through the exchange with local people artworks and art interventions on a peacemaking and scientific basis will be created.

Candice Lin’s opening at Francois Ghebaly Gallery. Los Angeles, CA. September 2015.

Candice Lin recently finished a residency  at the 18th Street Arts Center, an organization I volunteer with and absolutely admire. So of course I had to go to the opening of Lin’s You Are a Spacious Fluid Sac at François Ghebaly Gallery, where she is a returning exhibitor. I came upon so much more than I’d expect and can’t stop thinking about what I saw. Lin has filled the gap between art and anthropology in such a straightforward and beautiful manner. Neither her website, or Ghebaly’s website do it justice; I highly recommend heading down to the gallery to see it for yourself.

Amber Imrie-Situnayake’s Picks:

The Paseo Taos. Taos, NM. September 2015.

I was lucky enough to be part of this happening. It blew my mind! There were so many impactful pieces. I can only give a little glimpse into the experience but if you have anyway of making it to Taos next September, I highly recommend checking out this contemporary art event in small little Taos.​Right:  Sabrina Barrios: How to Build a Portal to a Hidden Dimension
​Bellow: Flinching Eye Collective: performance sound

Danielle Schlunegger’s Picks: 

Crystal Morey, Edge of Time at  Antler Gallery. Portland, OR. November – December 2015.

Excerpt from Crystal’s Statement:
“In my most recent work I am using clay to build figurative sculptures of humans encased in animals. I use delicate and emotive gesture, rich texture, and subdued, sepia tones to create telling, intimate objects that capture current psychological, environmental, and cultural feelings. The figures are contemplative and inward thinking, seeing a future outcome that is uncertain. The animals I use are either extinct or have become endangered due to human impact in this era of “great acceleration” since the Industrial Revolution. The concepts behind the work are about our contemporary environmental issues while the visual structure pursues a totemic feel. I am looking at visual material including Native American ceremonial masks and regalia, Byzantine and Renaissance devotional painting, secular portraits and altarpieces, and Egyptian antiquities.”

Brad Woodfin Claire Johnson at Roq La Rue. Seattle, WA. September 2015.
Brad Woodfin studied printmaking and painting at The Evergreen State College before moving to Massachusetts, and eventually, Montréal. Painted in rich dark tones, Woodfin’s animal studies emerge from the blackness like ghosts, appearing to us for a brief moment before they fade away. His painterliness articulates itself in a nearly hyperrealistic presentation, but upon closer look the soft expressiveness of his brushwork reveals the hand of the artist in each carefully painted hoof, fin, or feather. While exploring an academic style of painting that reminds us of Dutch Golden Age masters, Woodfin’s ability to convey a somewhat supernatural narrative for his figures surpasses their academic appearance; allowing us to muse on their mysterious and eerie manifestation in the dark.

Adriana Villagran’s Picks:

Adriana’s picks are Instagram accounts that had a big impact on her in 2015. Here are some of her top recommendations for a small Instagram exhibition. (All the images are links)
​Clockwise from top left:

Lucy Wonsower’s Picks:

“Up in the Air” by Bernie Lubell at Southern Exposure. San Francisco, CA. June 2015.
Southern Exposure is a staple for Mission dwelling artists. Their community outreach and work with children has turned their headquarters into a library of information. Their shows are always a
personal must see for me.One particular installation was truly memorable. Bernie Lubell, a Bay Area resident and artist of more than 40 years, built a wooden mechanical airship with the help of his audience. Lubell’s work often includes mechanical features, a parallel between humans and machines. The piece was built through several workshop sessions, the community involvement also a common theme for Lubell. The finished installation truly had a human quality to it, something like an organ, moving with a rhythmic quality not unlike a heartbeat. I was absolutely floored by this piece and would love to participate in a Lubell installation in the future!
“The Naked Ladies Show” at Alley Cat Books Gallery. San Francisco, CA. June 2015.
Alley Cat books is an essential 24th street boutique and a thriving bookstore in our ever more digital world. Along with poetry readings, musical events, and workshops, the bookstore has a gallery space that often features local artists. In June and July of 2015 “the Naked Lady Show” was a curated collection of work primarily portraying, you guessed it, naked ladies. I think this show is worth mentioning because the private gallery space is often overlooked, and the artists that showed work ranged from teachers, to street artists, to authors.Community involvement in the arts is essential to maintaining San Francisco’s shrinking art scene. Additionally, although you may call me old-fashioned, I just can’t help but love a classically inspired Nude. Artists showing work included Julia Kay, Michelle Mongan, Annice Jacoby, Ana Rivero Rossi, & Hawley Hussey.

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