The year 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of Balboa Park, as well as the twentieth year of Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) as a prominent regional art museum. Throughout this year OMA exhibitions and events continue to focus on art created and collected in San Diego and Southern California.
OMA’s newly launched exhibition 100 Artists, 100 Years: The San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild, 1915-2015, in collaboration with The San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild, features works by one hundred distinguished Guild members who have lived and worked in San Diego during the last century. Established in 1915, the Artists Guild was instrumental in the 1926 founding of The San Diego Museum of Art and continues to enrich the culture of the San Diego region.
OMA Executive Director Daniel Foster states, “This is easily the largest and one of the most ambitious exhibitions in our museum’s history. It is particularly important because our museum’s programmatic priority is to cover the history of traditional and contemporary art of San Diego, and I believe that this exhibition does that superbly, thanks to the Artists Guild and the magnificent vision and effort of Mark-Elliott Lugo.”
100 Artists, 100 Years, which currently fills both of OMA’s first-floor galleries, represents the region’s diverse art history in painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, ceramics, furniture making and architecture. Many of the works on loan from local museums, institutions, galleries, private collections and artists have never before been publicly exhibited.
Exhibition curator Mark-Elliott Lugo, former curator of the San Diego Public Library system and art critic, states “This exhibition will be a rare opportunity for viewers to experience in one venue the diverse range of art created in San Diego over the past century. I believe San Diegans will be excited and proud to see the exceptional skill and creativity of the artists who have lived and worked in the area.”
The accomplished curator admits, “This exhibition has been the challenge of my life.” Lugo, who tends to curate exhibitions intuitively and whose personal taste tends towards edgier, darker work, has accomplished his intention to “knock people’s socks off” with the quality and variety of work included in the 100 Artists, 100 Years exhibition.
Twenty objective criteria were used in selecting artworks for the exhibition, including the impact of the artist’s work on the community, the professional and public recognition the artist has achieved, and the legacy the artist has passed on by example and through teaching.
The task of researching and documenting hundreds of present and past Guild artists and thousands of their artworks was performed for nearly five years by Jody Abssy, Historian of the Artists Guild.
Angelika Villagrana, President of the Artists Guild, tirelessly accompanied Lugo for three months during the process of selecting and collecting the 100 artworks for the exhibition.
The extensive collaborative efforts have resulted in an exceptional exhibition featuring the work of prominent artists such as John Baldessari, Russell Baldwin, Rex Brandt, Maurice Braun, Manny Farber, Charles Fries, James Hubbell, Alfred Mitchell, Richard Allen Morris and Charles Reiffel, to name but a few.
Not to be missed, the exhibition will be on display at OMA through July 26, 2015, with a panel discussion on Wednesday, May 27.
The opening reception for 100 Artists, 100 Years will be held Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 6:00-8:00pm. The reception is complimentary for OMA members, $10 for nonmembers.
Oceanside Museum of Art is located at 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside.
For more information visit www.oma-online.org.