The other side of the cultural equation: Full of free fine arts, outside and indoors.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Though the film component of the Carmel Art and Film Festival wields heavyweight names like Oprah Winfrey (executive producer of Precious) and film composer Alan Silvestri, the art and photography portion was conceived first.
“We wanted to mirror the event into a likeness of [Artworks] magazine,” says festival organizer and magazine publisher Tom Burns. “We wanted it to be inclusive of all the arts.”
For the photography portion, Burns enlisted renowned photographers Kim Weston, whom Artworks had recently featured, and Big Sur’s Bruce Haley as jurors. Burns allowed a wide-open call for photographs – no boundaries or themes – triggering all manner of photographs to pour in.
“There are animals, contemporary portraits, landscapes, anything and everything,” says Burns. Which sounds fun for viewers, but plays havoc with a juror, says Weston.
“Bruce and I had to apply some criteria,” he says of the judging process. “You can’t compare social commentary photos with personal, artistic photos. It’s not fair. So we divided the categories along those lines.”
Weston gained valuable experience from a Denver show in which he whittled 1,500 photographs down to 70. The Carmel Art & Film Festival saw “hundreds” of submissions, which Weston will hang with his wife Gina.
“Hanging is important,” he says. “I choose photos based on how the overall show will work, how it will flow. You’re building something.
“Cream rises to the top. Bruce and I did our best to pick the best.” And of that best – which include locals like J. Wesley Brown and Kody Edison and others from as far as Paris and Mississippi – Lucie Awards founder Hussein Farmani will choose 10 for a show at his FARMANI Gallery in New York.
As for other visual arts, dozens of artists, juried by the staff of Artworks (“The panel is basically our masthead,” says Burns), will gather in Carmel’s Devendorf Park, supplied with uniformly colored tents under which they will display sculptures, acrylics, oils, multi-media, even some photographs.
“Anna Choi does really interesting work,” says Burns. “Paxton Mobley’s stuff is surreal. Kathy Sharpe of Carmel is traditional, though she sticks out, too. She does oil on linens. We’ve got a really nice mix.”
All the artists at the park are required to man their own tents, inverting the recent Monterey County Artists Studios Tour – instead of the patron traveling to the artist, the artist assembles at the leisure of the patron; instead of spying works in progress, visitors get the finished product.
Together, the photography and art shows make accessible loads of new works – both are free. And Saturday’s cleverly timed “The Art of Wine” starts up 5:30pm, just as Devendorf and Marjorie Evans close up shop, marshalling 10 galleries to host different wineries, adding a heady swirl of libations and foot traffic to the festivities.
Lectures, parties, films, food and art – it all adds dimension to a festival that was already multifaceted.
“It’s a mammoth undertaking,” says Weston. “Tom’s exposing underground artists. This is what Carmel was about.”
The Carmel Art and Film Festival photography exhibit runs free after Thursday, Oct. 8, through the end of October, at Marjorie Evans Gallery in Sunset Center, San Carlos between Eighth and Ninth, Carmel. The art in the park runs 10am-6pm Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10-11, at Devendorf Park, Junipero and Ocean, Carmel. 620-1648, www.carmelartandfilm.com.