Green Chalk Contemporary Gallery opened last Saturday in New Monterey on Lighthouse Avenue in a sliver of a building squeezed between Hula’s Island Grill restaurant and Bamboo Reef scuba shop. It completes a nice four corners of culture with neighboring Book Buyers Monterey, Recycled Records and Paper Wing Theater.
Its grand opening introduced not just the space – a long corridor with high ceilings and concrete floor – but a deep roster of nearly 20 artists in the show, called GCC1. Ruth Bolduan is one of them.
Four of her “paintings,” plein air landscapes of the Peninsula that are actually laser prints burned into canvas, look like faded-memory amalgamations of every local plein air painting you’ve seen.
Indira Martina Morre shows three pieces: clean, dot-matrix-like patterns of graphite and gesso on linen that look celestial from afar and orderly and mathematical up close.
Many artists currently on exhibit skew to Japan. Local graphic designer and photographer Jerry Takigawa, and his plastics-in-the-ocean series, is there. Rob Barnard was a Marine in Vietnam, but after training with master Japanese contemporary potter Kazuo Yagi, remade himself into a top steward of Yagi’s style.
The gallery is a family business, run by Ami-Sue Lawless, who, on Saturday, was working the room, doling out drinks and in-shell peanuts to urbanely-dressed visitors. Her mother, the curator, is art dealer Gail Enns, who owned the Anton Gallery in Washington, D.C., for 30 years, and the Anton Inn in Pacific Grove for five. More recently, Enns curated Transcendental Vision: Japanese Culture and Contemporary Art in Sand City, and Joseph Campbell: The Artist’s Way at Carl Cherry Center.
Primarily a video, drawing and installation artist, Gwazda has one piece up now. It’s slips of paper tacked up in the shape of a diamond, assembled from the drawings of random people in a gallery in Oakland – a sort-of variation on a theme as a participatory exercise.
Lawless suspects the skinny building her gallery inhabits was once an alley. She encouraged Saturday’s guests to toss the peanut shells on the floor. It added to the stark space a crunch underfoot, as if the place were literally being broken in.