The Monterey County Fair offers an opportunity for local artists to be seen.
Thursday, August 20, 1998
Upwind from the bulls and pigs and rabbits, and a couple oak trees across from the Garden Stage at the Monterey County Fair, is the Visual Arts Building. You don''t hear as much about what goes on inside there as you do about the cows and the carnival, and probably most people who attend this year''s fair won''t drop in to see the Fine Arts exhibition. But for some Monterey County residents, the fair''s art exhibition is as important as any of the better-known county fair staples.
In addition to the legion of local artists in Monterey County who pursue their work in hope of commercial success, there are many who craft their works for the love of doing it, and the fair offers an opportunity for some of them to display their works to a wider audience. Works exhibited are selected by jury panels, and being shown at the fair can bolster an artist''s self esteem. Just as the livestock exhibitions foster "family" feelings in participants, the art exhibition brings out a certain feeling of togetherness amongst the participants.
Patti Kreider has been working with the fair to coordinate exhibits and displays for "about 20 years." During the early years of her involvement, she also exhibited her weavings.
"I got involved because I was doing weaving pieces, and I was concerned about how they were being displayed," says Kreider. "There''s a joy in going out there and helping."
"It''s just people who come in with their little treasures, put them up, and get together and look at them," says 73-year-old Rosemary Poskus, whose papier mch creations have regularly won awards for the last 10 years.
Despite her success at the fair (and an exhibit at Monterey Museum of Art''s La Mirada gallery), Poskus says she has no aspirations for making money from her works.
In the beginning, Poskus says she began working with papier mch when she was teaching a kindergarten class. There was one student, she says, who created such beautiful works that Poskus began experimenting with the medium at home. Over the years, she graduated from "the usual horrible thing of putting soggy strips of newspaper on balloons" to blending her own papier mch recipes and applying the mixture over eggs (including those from emus and ostrich-like rheas). This year''s entry, "Aquarius Ball"--another blue-ribbon winner--was built on top of her grandson''s basketball.
After making the basic foundation for her works, Poskus painstakingly paints each of her sculptures. She says "Aquarius Ball" took her approximately six months to finish and that she''s already at work on her entry for next year''s fair.
Although Kreider no longer exhibits at the fair (she''s taken some time off to finish her training as a cranial/sacral therapist), she says she understands why people continue to exhibit at the fair.
"A lot of it is self-recognition," says Kreider, "seeing your piece on the wall. It gave me gratification seeing [my weaving] displayed in relation with all the other pieces on exhibit."
A similar feeling provides high school students in the High School Student Sculpture Competition with a sense of self-esteem, says local sculptor Eleen Auvil, one of the competition''s coordinators. In this year''s fair, approximately 15 bronze sculptures created by the students will be on display.
The sculpture competition is a year ''round project at high schools throughout Monterey County, partially sponsored by the Cultural Council of Monterey County. Students at participating high schools first create their works in wax, and competition winners are given the opportunity to cast their works in bronze. The finished works are displayed throughout the county--from Marina to King City--and finally at the Monterey County Fair. Auvil says the winning works from this year''s competition were chosen from amongst about 250 entries.
"The self-esteem that the kids get from showing their works is pretty wonderful," says Auvil. "These are all winners because their works were cast in bronze. It''s just gravy that they get exhibited at the fair."
Back Porch Fabrics "Quilts and Paintings." Works by Wilda Northrop. 157 Grand Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-4453. Reception: 8/23, 1pm. Through: 10/15.
Del Monte Center Gallery "First Anniversary." This Thomas Kinkade gallery celebrates its first anniversary at Del Monte Center. Del Monte Center, Monterey. 657-1560. Reception: 8/22, 2pm. Through: 8/22.
Monterey Museum of Art "Jo Mora: Artist and Writer." Collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures. Also: recent paintings by Marie Brumund. "Behind the Mask: The Textures, Shapes and Color of Folk Art," "Images of the West: A Romantic View." The Carmel Rotary Blues Band plays free concert on Thursday, 8/20. 559 Pacific St., Monterey. 372-5477. Reception: 8/20, 5pm. Through: 9/6.
Ansel Adams Gallery "Landscapes of the Spirit." Color landscape photographs by William Neill. Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach. 375-7215. Through: 9/15.
Bytes Internet Cafe "The Invisible World." Photographs by Helene Constant. 403 Calle Principal, Monterey. 372-2987. Through: 9/30.
Call for Artists Monterey Museum of Art is seeking submissions for a juried art show to be presented 9/26-11/29. Deadline for submissions is 8/24. Call for details. 372-5477. Through: 8/24.
Carl Cherry Center
"Works on Paper." An exhibition of figurative drawings by Jeanne d''Orge, founder of the Cherry Center. Guadalupe Street and 4th Avenue, Carmel. 624-7491. Through: 8/31.
Carmel Art Association "Percy Gray 1869-1952." Exhibit of more than 90 paintings by one of the founding members of the Carmel Art Association. Various special events accompany the exhibit: Aug. 20, 7pm, "Percy Gray," a lecture by Don Whitten, Gray''s grandnephew. Free. Aug. 24, 7pm, "A Close Look at Watercolors," a lecture on materials, techniques, etc. $5/CAA members; $8/non-members. Dolores Street, between 5th and 6th avenues, Carmel. 624-6176. Through: 9/2.
Carmel Valley Manor "An American View of the Orient." Watercolors by William F. Stone. 8545 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. 626-4711. Through: 8/31.
Center for Photographic Art "Roadworks." Photographs by Linda McCartney, the late wife of Paul McCartney. Sunset Cultural Center, San Carlos Street and 8th Avenue, Carmel. 625-5181. Through: 9/11.
Chapman Gallery Works by SC Yuan, Hank Ketcham, Ron Elstad, Keith Lindberg and Colden Whitman. Also portrait artist Gail Reeves will be painting in the gallery every Saturday. 7th Avenue, between San Carlos and Mission streets, Carmel. 626-1766. Through: 9/6.
The Dome House "Big Sur Artists." Paintings, sculpture and furniture by James Wolfenden, Janice Rocke and Sofanya. Weekends only. Palo Colorado Road (at the 2-mile marker), Big Sur. 626-2876. Through: 9/6.
Galeria Tonantzin "Journeys Real and Imagined." Works by Ruth Fash and Kathy Vargas. 115 Third St., San Juan Bautista. 623-ARTE. Through: 8/30.
Gallery Artemisia Collective gallery exhibits "Hoop of Eight," works by Big Sur women''s painting group and "Assemblages," works by Gail Goodenow. Next to Big Sur River Inn, Highway 1, Big Sur. 667-2027. Through: 8/30.
Gallery Nash Exhibit and demonstration by bronze sculptors Ron and Sheila Ruiz. Ocean Avenue, Carmel. 622-9009. Through: 8/15.
National Steinbeck Center "This Side of Eden." Paintings that reflect California in the 1920s, ''30s and ''40s. One Main St., Salinas. 796-3833. Through: 9/13.
Pacific Grove Art Center "Four Points of View." Plein Air paintings by Delia Bradford, Mary Lou Correia, Geri Keary and Shirley Nootbar; "Future Memories," abstract paintings by Psy; "Day''s End," coastal sunset photographs by David Gubernick; "A Diary of Near and Far," paintings and prints by Kristin Hayward. 568 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-2208. Through: 8/21.
Searle Art Landscape paintings by Cyndra Bradford, Jeff Smith, Diane Howell, Barbara Norton and Dave Rojas; ceramic works by Rabun Thompson. 639 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey. 373-0126. Through: 9/4.
Shallcross Gallery "California Visions." Multimedia works by Claude Cirimele. In Galerie Monterey building, 499 Calle Principal, Monterey. 655-0642. Through: 8/30.
Valley Art Gallery "Travels With Steinbeck." Works by members of the VGA. 218 Main St., Salinas. 455-1706. Through: 8/23.
Vehicle Gallery "AutoRotica." Auto racing art photography by Alan Olmstead; "Otterly Motor Sport Surrealistic Paintings" by Lola Disco Volante; photographs taken at Laguna Seca by Lola Disco Volante and Spyder McLaren. 551 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. 373-0448. Through: 9/28.
Venture Art Gallery "Explorations." Mixed-media paintings by Arlene Vonnegut Nolan. 260 Alvarado Mall (in the DoubleTree Hotel), Monterey. 372-6279. Through: 8/31.
Vest Pocket Gallery "Photos by Larry." Photographs by Larry Meech. At Forest Hill Manor, 551 Gibson Ave., Pacific Grove. 667-5200. Through: 8/31.
Weston Gallery "Selected Artists." Photographic works by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Irving Penn, Yousouf Karsh, Paul Strand and Imogen Cunningham. 6th Avenue, between Dolores and Lincoln streets, Carmel. 623-4453. Through: 8/31.
A Woman''s Wellspring Recent photographs and paintings by Jody Royee. 575 Calle Principal, Monterey. 649-2320. Through: 8/30.
Zantman Art Galleries Seascapes by E. John Robinson. 6th Avenue and Mission Street, Carmel. 624-8314. Through: 9/11.