Monterey Museum of Art

The Monterey Museum of Art did some winter cleaning and installed four new shows they’re launching with an opening reception Thursday, Jan. 16, 5:30-7:30pm ($10 for nonmembers) at the recently renovated Pacific Street venue.

The Ripple Effect: The Art of Education is made up of work by artists and educators hired by Robynn Smith, of Aptos, during her tenure at Monterey Peninsula College (1989-2018). The art comes from Angela Gleason, Howard Ikemoto, Ann Thiermann and about 20 others.

Richard Lofton: Portraits highlights a painter well known on the Peninsula in the 1950s and ’60s, particularly his portraits of his artist and writer peers. The show is culled from the Lofton family collection, supplemented by loans from MPC (more signs of cultural exchange between MPC and MMA).

Stretched, Strung, and Strewn is Jennifer Brook-Kothlow and Robert Armstrong together. Brook-Kothlow fixes seemingly random textures, shapes, lines and colors into loosely cohesive mixed media. Back in 2011, Armstrong told East Bay Express that although he has a small number of fans, “basically I don’t do anything to develop wider connections.”

Chronology is a solo show by Jim Kasson of Carmel, who’s taken pictures and exhibited since the early 1980s. The work is described as a survey of California and Monterey photographs, in black and white and color, taken from Salinas Valley to New York.

“Jim’s stop action and capturing of movement in his urban images are of particular interest,” MMA Executive Director Stuart Chase writes by email.

Center for Photographic Art

CPA’s executive director, Ann Jastrab, has found work that brings the world a little closer. The Kris Graves Project is an ambitious compilation of photographs from a diverse and talented crop of photographers from around the world, the subject being the places they live or know. It’s everything from photojournalism to conceptual art, stylish and local work from afar, assembled at the KGP team’s Brooklyn headquarters into limited-edition publications and archival prints asLOST.

“It’s kind of exciting to bring all those different locations to Carmel, from Lagos to London to the Ukraine and beyond,” Jastrab writes in an email.

Their goal is to find fine art focused on race, policy, feminism, culture and wealth. LOST I was a set of 10 monographs by 10 photographers; LOST II was 20 photographers. The latter is what caught Jastrab’s eye and convinced her to invite Graves to do LOST Carmel.

Graves’ own work looks reminiscent of the neon-colored portrait shots seen in Barry Jenkins’ eventual Best Picture Oscar-winning film Moonlight (Graves’ work pre-dates Moonlight). There are photography workshops on the itinerary (Saturday and Sunday), a scheduled lecture (4-5pm Saturday, Jan. 11) in which Graves and fellow artist and publisher Nelson Chan will talk about the LOST series, followed by an opening reception (5-7pm Saturday, Jan. 11). It will be a symbiotic treat.

“I’ve not been to the Center for Photographic Art before but am well aware of the organization’s incredible history in the photographic community and art world,” Graves writes by email.

Pacific Grove Art Center

The Children of the Sun are a loose collective of artists who have made their presence felt at events and happenings like the monthly live experimental music shows Sound Escape at The Dalí and The Lab, and Solstice Gatherings of ceremony and collectivism at a cabin in Cachagua.

The Children were born Sept. 21, 2019, at the Peace Day Gathering in Seaside, a free public event in Laguna Grande Park aligned with the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, and organized by local artists Jeddy Grant and Jake Padorr (the Cachagua cabin owner).

“We are a group of artists who believe in our youthfulness, wonder, curiosity and friendship, while also giving inspiration, warmth and light to others,” Padorr writes in an email. The vibe seems unabashedly hippie. Someone was blowing bubbles at the Peace Day Gathering.

Here is what they are doing 6-10pm Saturday, Jan. 11, at Pacific Grove Art Center ($5-$20 sliding scale).

They’ll start with a cacao ceremony to “activate” the flow, communication, creativity and respect. Hence the name of the event, Art Activation.

“One of the Collective’s members who feels called to it will set intentions of the event or give some awareness to a topic at the start of the ceremony,” Padorr says. He is 25 years old.

Steve Baker, founder of music tutoring company Stringstitute, will perform with “magikal alchemist” ValiAnna and registered nurse and reflexologist SkyyeSong. Padorr and Grant (aka Morticai) will perform experimental and echoey soundscapes, odd singing and looping instruments that coalesce into song. WUWU is a Monterey-based, indie, acoustic, psychedelic folk band headed by former Valley Soul members Tommy Howbert and Kristen Gradwohl. Lumiere Alchemical will cast a light show over the proceedings, and painters will paint live using the energy in the room. Some of the collective’s artists will bring work to show and sell, but it is ephemeral and will all be gone the next day. Like a hallucination.

Walter Ryce has been an arts writer, calendar editor, culture columnist, sometime photographer, and one-time web content coordinator for the Monterey County Weekly. He began working at the paper, which is based in his hometown of Seaside, in 2007.

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