Saturday, November 26, 2011

Headlands Fall Open Studios 2011

Here I am with another belated post.  I took pictures of my trip up to Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito during their Fall Open Studios day a couple months ago.  Given that the studios are only open to the public two or three times a year, maybe my post is still worth perusing.  Headlands is one of the only big ticket attractions the Bay Area has to boast about to international artists.  As a residency center, some of their studios are devoted to local artists and some by invitation and competition to artists from around the world.
As a semi-local (I spent a lot of my childhood in and around the Bay Area), as well as having studied art in San Francisco for the past eight years or so, I have come to think of Headlands, if not as part of my backyard, but maybe as a dream for the future.  Oh, if I had a residency at Headlands, I surely would spend hours walking around the beach and eucalyptus lined trails nearby, getting inspired to make art in a supportive community of like-minded artists.  I have posted about Headlands Open Studios in the past here so you could compare notes if you wanted to.

Headlands is made up of a few buildings along the waterfront of the bay within walking distance of each other.  
Pretty nice views, eh?
I think this is Andy Vogt's studio.  Look at the size of it, with all that light and hardwood floors!
Sometimes I like this stuff better than the art- the actual stuff in the works which gives a better sense of the artist at work.
Another Andy Vogt- this piece really reminds me of Jonathan Runcio's work.  In art there is always the question, who did it first?  Maybe it doesn't matter.
Maybe Ho-Tzu Ni from Taiwan?  I am constructing this from  a small amount of notes.  Anyway, I like drawings.
I went to Headlands with my good friend, Libby.  I don't know who made this, but it is a pretty good sign, don't you think?
We caught up with Neil LeDoux, (far right), who graduated with me from CCA this spring.  Neil was the big winner of the annual grad prize, the Tournesol Award, which includes a free studio, free meals, and a large cash prize.  Neil makes drawings of cats and weird vaginal paintings, but in his studio he seemed to be moving in a new Eastern culture direction.
A paper boat and a female part-ish mandala.  I'm not really a fan of the paintings.
We also said Hi to Bean Gilsdorf, the winner of the CCA fellowship at Headlands.  Bean was making a large wagon with a video element in the back inside her small studio.
I liked this guy, Evan Despelder, the SFAI fellow next door to Bean.  Here he has taken a well-known Gerhard Richter painting, stretched it out through the computer, and re-painted it.  It's a simple concept, but he was the only one I saw making beautiful paintings, which is what I want to see when I go out.
I think this is Angie Wilson, from SF State, who was making textile pieces out of men's shirts.
I'm pretty sure this is Marya Krogstad.  Playing with shiny things is always seductive, but I don't know, it was a weird cross between too hippy (the sand underneath is like meditation sand) and too simple.
We chatted with SF local, Tucker Nichols, for a while, who has kept a studio here for some time (you can rent some of them out instead of being awarded a residency).  I like his simple gouache drawings.  I know I just used that word above, but it just goes to show how hard it is to pin down what is good art and what isn't.
Tucker's storage system is almost more visually interesting than his art.
Eww!  I hate it!  Get it away!  Get it away!  It was so awful I had to include it.  Weird puddle-pustule boobs hovering over a bad, painted shaped cloth.  I don't know who did it, but it's probably better that way.
As I have been including lately, I kind of like the natural beauty of the area better than any of the art inside.  Love these purple thistles.
I like this rusty orange-colored moss.

A pretty nice place to spend your days.  

The conclusion of attending these Open Studios at the Headlands is always pretty anti-climactic.  One assumes that since most of the studios awarded are based on a rigorous selection process, that it would say something new about the contemporary world of art.  Like, this is what's happening and isn't it amazing?  Congrats to the people I graduated with who received studios.  I'm sure it's an amazing experience, and Bean and Neil deserve their awards.  But it's always difficult to be an artist who goes to these events in the subjective climate of a juried application process.  Really, the boob girl?

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