The Topanga Canyon Gallery (TCG) is a collaboration of more than 40 local artists, where new shows are curated monthly. These shows feature one to three artists, or are themed group shows. But twice this year, the TCG artists abandon their own walls to host two other art events: the Juried Open, as well as Love Fest, a fundraiser for Topanga Canyon Elementary School that features student art.
A juried show is one where artists submit their work for selection by a juror for entry into the show. Every year, TCG chooses a different outside juror (often an art professor, gallery owner, or curator) to select the pieces for the exhibition, and then to consider all the work and select prizewinners. This year the Juried Open ran from January 11th through January 29th with juror Franklyn Liegel. Liegel, an MFA from Otis Arts Institute, has been a faculty member at Otis College Continuing Education for thirty years. Liegel chose work that he felt reflected “the fullest possible range of work and style.” He states that he chose the awards on “a glistening day” when “nature oozed. As [he] walked the room over and over and over, [he] asked [himself], ‘What will nature be like when we are gone?’” This is when he said the pieces “began to speak to [him] with their own vulnerability and beauty.”
Awards were announced at a reception on January 22nd. Liegel states, “The top awards were absolutely the ESSENCE of this particular exhibition.” Wine and refreshments were served to a packed house, where Liegel mingled among the artists and guests, discussing work, and explaining his selections. 1st place went to Tracey Harnish’s Dysthymia 2, 2nd place to Arthur Kraft’s painting The Apartment, and 3rd to Mara Thompson’s Note Tree. The show also featured two stunning pieces of jewelry: United by One by Fereshteh Fatemi and Evolving Creations II – Pink by Laura Silverman. The pen and ink drawing Octopi by Bridget Klappert was an audience favorite: a colorful intricate image of two intertwined octopi that looked almost digital. Above The Apartment hung Self Portrait: Transformation by Veronica Winston, a romantic painting featuring a child and mother-figure.
The 12th annual Topanga Elementary fundraiser Love Fest runs February 1st through February 4th, with live music, bake sale, and raffle on February 3rd 4 to 7pm. Then it’s back to business as usual with a monthly show Dreaming, featuring two TCG artists, Joel Harris and Farideh Azad running February 8th through March 4th. The public is invited to join the artists at opening and closing receptions throughout the year.
TCG: http://www.topangacanyongallery.com ; (310) 455-7909
Tracey Harnish: www.traceyharnish.com/
Mara Thompson: http://www.mythmara.com/
Arthur Kraft: http://cbsartcollections.com/artists/arthur-kraft
Fereshteh Fatemi: www.ferangelika.com
Laura Silverman: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtiZenBeads
Bridget Klappert: http://bridgetklappert.com/
Joel Harris: www.joelharrisstudio.com
Farideh Azad: www.faridehazad.com