Anne and Mark’s Art Party to remember!
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

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If you were among the few art lovers who did not attend the March 2 art party on South 16th Street, here are a few of the highlights: In not one large house, but two, every available space was used to hang 2-D art or display sculpture. Even the streets became part of the gallery, with art cars adorning the passage between the houses. In one backyard setting, art trailers with a “love nest” theme, red satin cushions, fur, twinkle lights and glitter prevailed. Hundreds of people (it appeared) mingled and enjoyed the art, drink and food. Canapes served on trays! Outdoor bars and barbques! Everything was plentiful!

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Ben Hunt donated his talents as a bartender and the works of Gianfranco Paolozzi, including Journal on Wood were seen behind the bar.

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Sara Cole’s large encaustic painting George/Virginia

There were art works by award winning multi-media artists – Robert Larson and Will Marino – who received Rydell Grants in Santa Cruz last year, and were featured prominently. Sara Cole’s rich encaustics, which we saw last year, were also abundant.

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North Dakota Wheat Fields - Assemblage by Will Marino

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Will Marino’s Quericus, made of “wound paper” and wood.

Sara Ratchye and Ben Alexi were repeat performers, as well, having been seen in the first art party. Ben Alexi’s Doves is a long horizontal diaristic panel of gray gestural painting, renderings of doves, diagrams and notations on paper. His previous paintings on canvas have featured animals and notations, as well, as if studying the endangered condition or habitat we all share. Yet Doves seems different, somehow. It is delicate, beautiful and represents a new level of challenge for an artist that likes to work large — making the monumental seem personal.

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Detail: Doves by Ben Alexi

Sara Ratchye’s two small oil paintings on panel, bearing enimagitic names like Blit and Fren were handsome and bold, and somewhat simpler than the many large complicated works we saw last year.

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A small oil painting on panel by Sara Ratchye, entitled Fren

The party featured the work of young and emerging artists as well. Some of the art came from the urban aesthetic of street art and graffiti, and some if it represented recent graduates from the academic world. Recent SJSU, MFA graduate Julia Jacobson’s jagged styrofoam sculpture was at it’s best in a site-specific bathroom installation where it seemingly grew out of the bathtub and sprouted ragged branches that reached out, and bounced around in many directions in the small room.

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Details of Julie Jacobson’s site specific styrofoam sculpture growing out of a bathtub.

Mike Oechsli is another young artist to watch. His abstractions in painting and print were complex and rewarding viewing.

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Cross Section, an etching by Mike Oechsli

Photography was well represented by half a dozen or more photographers – some of whom worked traditionally in portraiture or landscape, and others like Kathryn Dunlevie, whose large-scale, manipulated cityscapes create startling and curious effects for the viewer to wrestle with.

An upstairs bedroom was dedicated to the art of love. There were installations and performance works along with all the work hung on the walls. As an adults-only site, the art ranged from the sensual to the humorous, to the rather graceless and pornographic. The whole concept of the erotic revealed itself to be, once again, multifaceted and at least worth a chuckle.

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Think They Are Dreaming (Elephant) by D. Hooker

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Carondelet # D, an acrylic painting on paper by Suzie Idzik

An incredible array of names, styles, media and tastes were served up at the art party of the year! Nothing could equal this! Anne Sconberg and Mark Henderson deserve an ovation for daring, generosity, good humor and a demonstration of faith that art can lift our spirits!

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