Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Jul 27th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Exhibitionist

ane_bernsteinartFLUID LINES Eva Bernstein’s “Estuary” is a knowing portrait of a place and season.Rich Harvest at Pajaro Valley Gallery

Landscapes lushly compose themselves of fog and sedge and water while an ocean hides beyond the trees. Irrigated fields march in all directions in bold grids while bees make their way through dramatic clouds. A perky crop of houses erupts on a hillside; birds stalk and stare and rise in flight everywhere and a pantheon of noble vegetables pose for their close-ups. “A Harvest of Images: Pajaro Valley Impressions by the MPC Printmakers” at Pajaro Valley Arts Council Gallery serves up that promised harvest in 100 fine art prints by 48 artists in an exhibition curated by painter Howard Ikemoto.

The humble appearance of the PVAC gallery is all part of the act of the quietly essential powerhouse hidden within a converted bungalow on a residential street in Watsonville. PVAC uses the homey feeling to relax viewers into a receptive relationship with the art, then in room after tiny room builds a story around powerful social or educational themes.

“Harvest” exhibits nearly every technique of fine art printmaking including variations on woodblock, intaglio, lithography, silkscreen and mixed media.  Accompanied by an informative booklet, “Harvest” serves as an excellent primer on printmaking. The story the exhibit tells of the Valley, however, is curiously detached.

The few humans portrayed are turned away, faces hidden, seen as shadows behind curtains or as patterns on a distant field. A rare prominent figure is the subject of Bob Rocco’s masterful linocut, “Strawberry Fields,” a large, fluid, nearly monochromatic image of a laborer walking away through a horizon-less expanse of fields. In Rocco’s “Early Morning, Strawberry Fields” a team of workers bend over the crop, becoming simply a texture. The most intimate human is “Farmer Juan,” a warm, charming monotype by Wendy Moore, tightly framing a man digging in the garden, face hidden under a wide-brimmed hat.

Lynne Simpson’s eerie “Undocumented,” a shadow seen behind a curtain of agricultural netting, may hold an answer to this consistent turning away; or Yvonne Gorman’s “In Sight Out of Mind I” and “II” with spidery-faint workers patterning the foreground.  In fact the most intimate portraits in “Harvest” are both of owls: Pamela Takigawa’s riveting “Brujo,” recalling the deceptive simplicity and emotive power of a Morris Graves, or a breathtaking “Owl and Trees” by Mary Warshaw, all dynamic lines spiraling around the face of this night creature.  No boundaries effect such views of the natural world of Pajaro Valley.

“A Harvest of Images” continues through April 17 with a reception March 13. See details at pvarts.org.


Maureen Davidson writes about the arts in her column, “The Exhibitionist.” This column and her radio spot and blog at KUSP.org are funded in part by a grant from the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Binding of Edmund McMillen

How a Santa Cruz designer created one of the most unlikely hits in video game history

 

Sun in Leo, Rosy Star, Venus and Uranus Retrograde

Three major celestial events occur this week. Wednesday, the Sun enters Leo, highlighting the heart center of everyone. Leo is a sign of deep sensitivity (along with Cancer). Wednesday is also the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. Saturday, July 25, Venus turns stationary retrograde at 0 Virgo (progressed Regulus, the Law, Hall of Records). Venus retrogrades for 44 days and nights, forming one petal of a five-pointed rosy star (pentagram) in the sky (five retrogrades over eight years = star). Venus retrograde turns values upside down. Our usual sense of beauty, values, the real price of things, relationships—all turn into a bundle of confusion. We don’t seem to know anything. Luxury goods are mispriced, values are jumbled, we wonder who that person is we’re in relationship with. We don’t know where our money is or where it’s gone. Venus, in daily life, represents values (resources, money, possessions and quality of relationships). Venus retrograde asks, “What do I value?” Venus retrograde puts us in touch with what has changed and what is truly of value in our lives. Venus retrogrades from 0 Virgo to 14 degrees Leo (July 25-Sept. 6). Leo is about the self and our creativity, which is how we come to know and value ourselves. We “know ourselves through what we create.” In Venus (values) retrograde (inner focus) we will ask, “What are values (not just money and finances)? What are my values? What do I create? How do I value my creations? Do I value myself?” Sunday, Uranus—planet of all things new, revelatory and revolutionary—also retrogrades (from 20 to 16 degrees Aries) until the full moon of Christmas Day. Five months of Uranus retrograde. In July and continuing on through the following months we have many planets retrograding. Things therefore slow down. Everyone’s focus becomes subjective, hidden by veils and curtains. A time when inner reserves of strength are available. A time of protection.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 24

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

AJ’s Market

Local cult fave keeps getting bigger and better

 

What do you think of Bernie Sanders?

He’s what we need, more hardcore Democrats. Old-school, ’70s-style Democrats. Tony Dolan, Santa Cruz, Freelancer

 

Hunter Hill Vineyards & Winery

Calling all Merlot lovers—Hunter Hill has released its 2013 estate Merlot ($25)—and a superb one it is, too.

 

Turn Up the Beet

Golden beets with buffalo mozzarella, plus single-malt whiskies and award-winning local Chardonnays