Archive for May, 2010

“3 Great Shows in 30 Minutes or Less”

Posted by erin on May 31st, 2010


by Anna Hygelund
Got 30 minutes? Take in 3 great art shows in downtown San Jose…yes, in 30 minutes or less.

Alfred Saheen’s flavor of Hawaii, at the Museum of Quilts and Textiles

The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles’ current exhibit is “Hawaii’s Alfred Shaheen: Master Innovator.” Alfred Shaheen was the cornerstone of which Hawaii’s garment industry was built and was pivotal in its development. The show is well curated with impeccable examples of Shaheen’s approach to the fusion fashion design aesthetic he pioneered. I was interested to learn that this approach is now recognized worldwide as a visual market-not only of a transnational Hawaiian culture-but of a West Coast “American” lifestyle that is informal, environmentally aware and multi-cultural. Shaheen is considered the most important aloha wear designer and manufacturer in Hawaii’s history and his aloha shirts and women’s wear are the most respected and sought-after of all Hawaiian clothing.

Dimitri Drjuhin’s colorful icon0graphy at Anno Domini



Posted by erin on May 27th, 2010

42nd Annual Textile Exhibition, Olive Hyde Art Gallery
April 2-May 15, 2010
by Jane Przybysz

Perhaps it was the fact that I’d just finished reading Glenn Adamson’s Thinking Through Craft (2007), a provocative book that makes the case that “craft, as a cultural practice, exists in opposition to the conception of art itself….as a conceptual limit active throughout modern artistic practice.”  In a chapter that teases out what Adamson refers to as the “laudable idealism and tragic self-deception” that can be commonly found in crafts’ invocation of the pastoral, I couldn’t help but reflect on how many artists seem to find their inspiration in apparently unproblematic and totally decontextualized experiences of the natural world.  So I entered the Olive Hyde Art Gallery on the look out for artwork with content that engaged a specific context.

Art quilt Hong Kong Taxi by Jean Renli Jurgenson

I found just three artworks that met the admittedly unformulated criteria that served as my lens for viewing this show and held my attention with the questions they asked or issues they posed.  “Hong Kong Taxi,” an art quilt by Jean Renli Jurgenson, takes a dizzying aerial view of a lone red taxi cruising along a deserted urban landscape of high rise buildings that overwhelm small patches of green at their edges.  Seen from this angle, the taxi reads something like a wildflower whimsically disrupting the grids formed by buildings and pavement, more alive than the nature tamed by cement borders.


For San Jose, a Memorable Evening – Part Salon, Part One Day Art Fair

By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

Graduating from their spacious home, where three previous art parties have showcased local artists and lavishly hosted the art community, Sconberg and Henderson moved this year’s event to their vacant warehouse off Alma Street. Although the “art party” is officially a party for friends and family, that features the art of friends and family, most would agree that the Sconberg-Henderson network has grown exponentially since the first festivities a scant four years ago. This unbelievable extravaganza, perhaps even better than a Bienale, featured tons of art in numerous galleries, bands performing on several stages with ample dance floors, lots of fire, outdoor sculpture, and catered food and drink.

At least a thousand people jammed in to see the art, to be seen (many in the costume theme “Moulin Rouge meets Mad Max”), to party and support the Arts Council Silicon Valley, to the tune of $15 to $50 on a sliding scale. There were over 900 works of art, a lot of it grand in scale, and around 120 artists. It is rumored that artists sold from 30 to 50K of their work. Sconberg and Henderson did not keep track nor take any percentage, as they emphasize, “This is not a gallery operation, and we have no desire to get approach the party as a commercial vehicle. Everyone did it for fun and for free.”



Fire, art cars, dancing and outdoor sculpture colored the night outside the Alma Street Warehouse.

Guests ride an Andrew Hedges kinetic sculpture entitled Big Pig


Two individual artists visiting the Nathan Oliveira exhibition in the Natalie and James Thompson Gallery at San Jose State University, in the School of Art and Design came away with very different impressions of the show. Both were asked to comment on the way Oliveira’s work connected to their own artistic direction. Dana Harris focused on the formal and technical aspect of the monotypes in the show and Robbie Sugg related to Oliveira’s content and the development of a relationship to the meaning of the image.

Site Specific

Nathan Oliveira

By Dana Harris

I remember seeing Nathan Oliveira’s work in a book I found while attending college. Entitled Bay Area Figuration, I remember being very intrigued by his use of gestural marks in paint. I don’t remember seeing any of his monotypes until the show here at San Jose State University. They blew me away. His prints have a presence that drew me in immediately. It wasn’t the scale of the pieces that captured and held me, it was the sense of light emanating from within the work.


Nathan Oliveira’s monotype with mixed media, Douro Valley #1, at the Natalie and James Thompson Gallery, San Jose State University

Across the room I saw Portuguese sites, Douro Valley #3. I had to investigate. The rich earthy rust color seemed to be taken from the land itself. The layering of graphite drawing over the color field enriched the image, making the physicality of the “site” Oliveira was conjuring come to life. Upon entering the gallery, at first glance, I didn’t notice the surface drawing on the the monotype. The color grabbed me, and only upon closer inspection did I perceive the intricate map-like drawing. I really love the way detail can come and go in an image. Oliveira makes this look so easy, but I’ve struggled with just how much detail to include in a piece, and how to achieve a sense of the ethereal while keeping a solid ground upon which to rest.