A tale of two artistsSection 4A Monday, February 6th, 2012
I took a sabbatical for a few weeks so I wasn’t able to share two exhibition openings by two local gay artists. Luckily both shows are still up and both are in North Park so you can pay a visit next time you are in the neighborhood.
In my first column of the year I made a New Year’s wish for more gay art. I also speculated whether there was a need for art by LGBT identifying artists who address identity – gay identity in particular. This will be a recurring theme in this column through the year. With that in mind, the two shows currently up represent two divergent paths that a gay artist might follow; one is a body of work that has something to do with his sexuality while the other does not.
Interestingly, the non-gay themed exhibition is happening at the San Diego Gay Pride offices while the gay themed work is on show at the San Diego Art Department on Ray Street, an organization that has no LGBT agenda.
Just when you thought you had heard enough about Iowa (the caucuses) local artist John Thurston and the Art of Pride exhibition space brings you The Fertile Eye a collection of photographs that explores the visual beauty of Iowa. According to Thurston, Iowa is not just all about farmers. While it boasts the most fertile and expensive farmland on earth, it is also more progressive than you might imagine; Iowa was the third state to allow same-sex marriage; it abolished slavery upon entering the Union in 1846 and it admitted women to the bar in 1869.
“Quite honestly Iowa was the greenest place I have ever seen on earth!” Thurston exclaims in both his statement and his images (though several are black and white and equally striking!)
Meanwhile over at the Art Department, artist, educator and newcomer to San Diego Kevin Greeland is exhibiting a group of paintings from a larger collection of work titled The Cartographer’s Exploits In The Constellation Of Lost Superheroes And Stolen Time. Greeland’s paintings adapt and borrow iconic imagery and fuse it with his own visual language, introducing layers of meaning, and playing with identity, particularly how our identities are in a constant state of change and flux. The palette of primary colors, pastels and earth tones evoke the childhood experience of growing up in the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside.
Before moving to California, Greeland was the owner of a gallery in Sarasota, Fla. In 2002, he was recognized as an outstanding art educator with a Teacher of the Year award from Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Public Schools. He is the recipient of a Hohenberg European Travel Fellowship and has also studied printmaking and sculpture in a residency program at Wackers Academy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Both exhibitions are up until Feb. 11.
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