Sara Friedlander, From Amsterdam to New Amsterdam, 2015, mixed media on 3-D panel
Sanchez Art Center begins the new year with three very strong exhibitions, featuring mixed media artist Sara Friedlander, the Sanchez Studio Artists, and a group show by Art Guild of Pacifica. The opening reception is on Friday, January 12, from 7 to 9 pm, with music by Jamey Brzezinski.
Following opening night, the galleries are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 1–5 pm, and by appointment, through Feb 12.
In American Women: Birds of im/Migration, curated by Susan Hillhouse Leask, Sara Friedlander combines her own photographs with vintage photos and paint to create compelling mixed media works that explore the lives and celebrate the valor of the brave women who left home, country, and family to carve out new lives in the United States. In the artist’s words: “Most of them spoke no English, and holding steadfast to their hopes for a brighter future, they faced daunting challenges in order to establish themselves in this new world.” Friedlander’s first work in this genre centered on her maternal grandmother, Masha Bornstein, who in 1908 at the age of 15 traveled alone in steerage to Boston from Belarus. Friedlander learned to know her grandmother through the process of creating this work. The artist invites us to delve deeper into our preconceptions, reminding us that we are a nation of immigrants: “At this critical time, when immigration is seen as a national and global threat throughout the world, these portraits can help us remember and reflect deeply on the reality that most Americans . . . are relatively recent descendants of immigrants or immigrants ourselves.”
Friedlander has explored many aspects of photography. Other bodies of work include Subway Reflexions, Rushing to See Art, Stonewalled in Jerusalem, and Blurred Landscape. She has exhibited widely in California, as well as nationally and internationally, and online, and in 2012 was awarded first place in the 2012 Annual International Competition held by the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel. To learn more about the artist and her work, come to the Artist/Curator Talk on closing Sunday, Feb 11 at 3:30 pm.
The East Gallery presents Earth Matters, an exhibition of work by the 30-plus artists who create their art at Sanchez Art Center. The word “Earth” actually holds or cradles within it the word “art.” One might say that “art” is at the center of “Earth,” and this small play on words highlights the deep value we find in all the arts that nourish and inspire our spirits. The exhibition also offers a chance to consider the beauty of the natural world and the fragile state of the Earth. Our planet is experiencing change. The majesty, beauty, and awe of nature are there for us to see, but so too are the impacts caused by climate change, sea level rise, pollution, and habitat and species destruction. The intention of the exhibition is not only to share with the public an insight into the artwork that is created here at Sanchez Art Center, and why art matters so very much, but also to highlight all that is astonishing about Earth and her creatures, how we have impacted her brilliance, and why protecting Earth matters for current and future generations as well as for our own souls.
Two special events will be held as part of Earth Matters. The public is invited to a Gallery Walk and Party, hosted by the Sanchez Art Center Board of Directors in honor of the studio artists, on Friday, Feb 2, 6:30–8:30 pm. Artists will talk about their work. Then on the show’s last day, Sunday, Feb 11, come tour studios and meet the artists from 1 to 3 pm. This event is followed by the 3:30 pm talk in Main Gallery by Sara Friedlander and curator Susan Hillhouse Leask.
In West Gallery, the Art Guild of Pacifica presents (un)Finished, a group show by AGP members The Art Guild holds four themed exhibitions a year, plus an annual members’ show, and a holiday show and sale each December. (un)Finished is an appealing theme for those of us who sometimes procrastinate, who end up with unfinished projects languishing in corners and closets, and who would rather move ahead to new visions than finalize existing plans. The word “unfinished” also can project a sense of curiosity and wonder. If a work is unfinished, how will it look once it’s done? Where will further development take an idea? This is indeed(un)Finished business, which should make for a very interesting and engaging exhibit.