Posts Tagged ‘Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery’

Equal Pay Day

March 24, 2017

The next Equal Pay Day is Tuesday, April 4, 2017. This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.1

I just got this email from the American Association of University Women:

April 4 is Equal Pay Day, and to mark this powerful day of action AAUW is offering a discounted introductory membership rate of just $21, of which $19 is tax deductible.
Right now the pay gap is so wide and closing so slowly that women will have to wait 135 years to receive equal pay. If we don’t step up now, the gender pay gap won’t close until the year 2152! I know you think that’s unacceptable, so please join.

This link has my code for your discount:

Seen This Month

A woman driving a small silver BMW convertible with the top down, a tiny gold glitter Mickey Mouse cap at the top of its aerial.  It is cool and threatening rain yesterday, but a few days ago, when the weather was in the 90’s, I also saw two other convertibles with their tops down.

Then there was the young man leaving the Y with his two-year-old daughter on his arm, explaining why the car in the parking lot had no roof.  Why doesn’t it have a roof? He replied, So the wind can blow through your hair.

A dove made a typically flimsy nest near my kitchen window.  It laid two eggs and now has two young’uns.

I’ve been here a month and the lizards are just coming back into the yard.  The previous renters had a dog and the lizards have just figured out that the dog’s no longer a threat.

Lambert Lane, my east/west artery, is closed for three months, to widen it from two lanes to four.  But before they closed it, we were driving 25 mph as construction workers played in the dirt on each side, scraping away any plant life, moving dirt, concreting a hillside, and so on.  Was checking out a house right next to the construction – three coyotes were on the steep driveway, checking out something in the lot further on.  Usually when you see three together, it’s a mother and two pups.  These pups were well-grown.

There were a few items in this “new” house that had not been cleaned in a while.  One was the small storage shed.  Found, in addition to all of the screens that had fallen off the windows (’cause they had been velcroed on, and the velco had dried up), three desiccated pack rats, what looked like a mother and her pups.  Plus all of the stuff they had chewed up, along with the droppings.  Yuck!  (No – I did not take a photo, but here is one of my potted flowers, grass, and herbs, very happy to have morning sun.)


The Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, at the Pima College West Campus, had a showing which ended at the beginning of this month, STILLNESS. Our Contemporary Art Society went to the reception.  I love these descriptions from the Tucson Weekly.  (My photos were just taken with my phone.)

Kate Breakey, an internationally known photographer, lives in the desert outside Tucson. She makes gorgeous photos of desert moons and of the ocean waters of her native Australia, but most often, as she does here, she zeroes in on lifeless animals.

Constantly trying out new media, this time she has used waxy encaustic paint and pencil atop the black-and-white archival digital prints of her new series, Taxonomy of Memory, a wall-full of 34 works. The encaustics add a creamy texture to her views of the desert’s dead… a vermillion flycatcher…  She lays out small corpses that she finds on trails, and makes haunting pictures of them, blowing them up to grand proportions. As she writes, “A thing fills with exactly the radiance you accord it.”

Colin Blakely, newish head of the UA School of Art—he started in 2015—makes his community debut with an elegant suite of landscape photos…  Blakely’s “Yosemite Valley” is after an 1875 oil by Bierstadt, who painted Yosemite over and over. Both painters helped mythologize the monumental landscapes of the new American nation; in their art of the sublime, the grandeur of a thundering waterfall or a soaring western peak suggested the greatness of America.

Blakely contends that these mythical place exist in some ways only in “our collective cultural imagination.” To “disrupt” those familiar landscapes, he switches the medium from classic oils to archival pigment prints spit out by a computer printers. He ratchets up or tones down the color, and even shifts some elements in the compositions.

…a fairytale forest of golden trees.  In this dazzling installation by Sean-Paul Pluguez, no fewer than 100 “trees” are lined up neatly, row on row, planted into low birch platforms. Bending slightly, as real trees do, they curve upward toward an imagined sky, reaching about six feet into the air.

The trees are actually grape stakes, rough wooden posts that normally would be used to hold up grape vines in a vineyard. But they’ve been transformed by glimmering 24-carat gold leaf, painstakingly applied by the artist over the course of a year. The gold catches the light, and it’s thick and textured, dipping into hollows in the stakes or pushing outwards into lines and patterns.

“The Genetically Modified Forest” is a thing of beauty—who can resist the allure of gold?—but it carries a warning. The stakes are sharp and pointed at the top. And as many fairytale heroines have found, all that glitters is not really gold.

As Pluguez notes in an artist statement, the piece “speaks of man’s limited abilities to deal with his own planet.” We may think we can clear-cut our real forests with impunity or that we can dump coal dust into our streams, a practice lately authorized by our new leaders in Washington.

We can’t disobey the laws of nature for long. When we pollute our rivers, we lose our drinking water, and when we ax our trees, we lose their life-giving abilities to filter out carbon dioxide from the air and provide us with oxygen. A pretty fake forest is no substitute for a real one.

Even so, Pluguez’s meditative installation is a paean to the beauty and stillness of the natural world, properly preserved. It’s the anchor for a group show about nature aptly called Stillness; all four of its artists create a sense of calm in works that cover landscape, animals and the human body.2


February 10, 2012

February 10, 2012


After Denver was inundated with snow on the second of this month I emailed a friend: How much snow in your area?  Have you tricked your dog into fetching snowballs?  Over 30 year ago (December 7, 1971) Tucson had the most snow ever recorded – about 7 inches.  I was teaching back then and, of course, school was cancelled.  Our dog went crazy in the backyard, and tried to fetch our snowballs!  She sent me a video of her dog bouncing through the snow (which I can’t insert into this blog unless I buy more space) and this note:

It was GREAT, I believe that there was about 18” in my yard.  I wish I would have thought about trying to get Maggie to fetch the snowballs!  She loves to play Frisbee and would probably try to catch the snow.

By contrast, here in Tucson it’s supposed to be 76° today and 80° tomorrow.


TMA’s Contemporary Art Society went to an ArtSpeak program at the Davis Dominguez gallery last weekend.  Duncan Martin, a realist landscape painter from Colorado, and abstract sculptor Barbara Jo McLaughlin spoke about their work.

Barbara’s works were inspired by her trips to pre-Columbian ruins inCentral and South America.  (No photos of her sculptures.  I should take my camera when I go to galleries!)

Duncan’s 15 pieces are the beginning of his 58 in 58 painting project: Painting in All 58 National Parks in 58 Months.  Shown here is Morning, Needles, Canyonlands  48″ x 60″ oil on canvas.

The Pima Community College west side campus where I work has a nice little gallery, the Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, in the Center for the Arts, the building on the east side of the campus.  I’d gone to a number of musical performances at the Center, but had never been in the gallery until my friend, Nancy Tokar Miller, asked me to the opening of EAST/PACIFIC/WEST: CONFLUENCE this week where she and two fabric artists, Claire Campbell Park and Mary Babcock, are shown.  Beautifully curated.  Here is Nancy’s Over Molokai,  62” x 66” acrylic on canvas.

Chatted with Barbara, who now lives in Hawaii.  She weaves on a vertical loom, from discarded nets.  This from the web:

While living in Oregon, the fiber artist collected gill nets from a man who ran a fishermen’s union. The discarded nets, dumped in a freshwater river when they became ripped or obsolete, were sent to the union for recycling.

“He had a whole room full of old nets. It was amazing and beautiful, all those colored pieces of fiber,” she recalls.

Babcock cut up the nets and wove them back together using deep-sea leader lines. The end products reflect the green and blue hues of the ocean.

“Each (tapestry) is primarily one net apiece. All that color range comes just from being used out in the water and the sun. I did no dyeing,” she says. “The real exciting thing, when I moved to Hawaii and brought them with me, was that in the Northwest, that’s not the color of the water. But they reflect so much of the colors of the water here.”

Babcock’s fascination  with fishnets continued when she moved to Hawaii five years ago (she’s chairwoman of fiber at the University of Hawaii-Manoa art department), and she began collecting nets at Kailua beaches. A couple of tapestries in the show are made from nets retrieved from Kalama Beach.

“I think it’s seasonal. The nets seem to wash up during the winter,” Babcock says.

Nets from Kailua shores are different from Oregon gill nets. The fibrous lines are 1 inch thick and much more vibrant in color. Babcock says that because these nets come from the ocean, with living debris such as algae attached, preparing them for weaving requires sun bleaching to kill the debris and do away with the strong ocean smell.

It’s easy to make distinctions between the gill net tapestries and those made from nets from Kalama Beach. But one piece, titled “Pacific Exchange” (shown here), combines the Oregon and Hawaii nets.

“They’re really both from the Pacific Ocean — from opposite pieces of the same ocean,” says Babcock.

If you’ve got some time this weekend, I’d recommend both shows.