Archive for September, 2011

THE PAINTED WORD OF CONNER EVERTS

Posted by erin on September 20th, 2011

Collage Paintings at SJSU’s Natalie and James Thompson Gallery

By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

The Chinese General Writes, 29-11-05, Connor Everts at San Jose State’s Thompson gallery

 

It was worth a special trip from Seattle to San Jose on a Tuesday night to see the opening of the Connor Everts exhibition in the Thompson Gallery of San Jose State’s Art Department and hear his former student, Professor Patrick Surgalski, recall events of the artist’s life through decades of work as a teacher, baseball player, gallerist, and longshoreman.  Connor Everts’ was born in Bellingham, Washington in 1928, and became one of those charismatic artists to enter the art world after traveling, engaging the revolutionary politics of the late 50s and 60s, and attending art school on the GI bill.  He returned to teach at his alma mater, Chouinard, and  then at the San Francisco Art Institute along with the University of Washington and the University of Southern California, and finally at Cranbrook, Michigan.  Surgalski regaled the audience with stories of Everts’ wicked sense of humor and non-conformist approaches to teaching art, some of which resulted in severed relations with those academic institutions.  Connors’ wife Judy joined into the testimonial of life in the classroom with Connor Everts.  She described the sexual implications — for both male and female students  — of being asked to reach into a box covered with a pair of jockey shorts and draw what they experienced inside.  Everts left teaching in chilly Michigan in 1981 to devote himself exclusively to a daily regimen in his beloved Torrance studio.

 

In the late 50s, Everts founded the short-lived Exodus Gallery in San Pedro, California.  In a town where there was no art activity, he introduced important and controversial artists particularly in assemblage, who were destined to become Los Angeles legends.  Artists of Everts’ generation were often bigger than life, as he is still, indeed.  The visionary spirit of Exodus Gallery has been honored in San Pedro with the New Exodus Gallery, a site-specific program of inventive arts events in the old town center.

Connor Everts:  Layers of imagery, epochs of times of the artist’s life and the evocative reference: Exodus Gallery

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