OCEANSIDE — A mega reception at Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) celebrated the opening of Urban Entropy by James Enos and four concurrent exhibitions that focus on landscape on Nov. 16.
The idea behind the mega reception is to expose patrons to art they might not have thought of viewing.
Exhibits range from a collection of landscape paintings by regional artists, to international landscape photography, abstract paintings by Steven Curry and select works from the Doug Simay collection.
All five exhibits look at landscapes.
“Landscape is one of the oldest subject matters in art,” Susalla Deery, OMA director of marketing and curating, said. “The artists are taking it in another way. They are concerned with the environment. They’re depicting its narrative format. They’re all interested in what’s happening to the landscape.”
Nature Improved on the first floor Gleason Gallery shows regional artists’ landscape paintings side by side. It is a joint exhibition with the San Diego History Center. Landscape paintings by the same artists are concurrently on display at the history center.
“It’s a fun, collaborative show,” Deery said.
Contemporary Landscape Photography an International Perspective, curated by Steven Churchill, on the second floor Gleason Gallery is a collection of 40 urban and natural landscape photographs from 38 photographers.
Churchill curates the annual Art of Photography exhibit at the San Diego Art Institute. The Contemporary Landscape exhibit is a collection of select photographs that have been displayed in the annual exhibit over the last six years.
“They’re images with thoughtful narratives,” Churchill said. “They’re deeper than pretty pictures.”
Enos’ Urban Entropy exhibit hits viewers as they reach The Groves Gallery on the second floor.
“It’s a decade of my work,” Enos said. “The process of my own higher learning, mythology of the region, trying to imagine an alternative vision of earth and space.”
Lifestyle branding, entitlement and lack of natural resources are observations Enos expresses in his pieces.
Enos is a multimedia artist known for being a major part of The Periscope Project that led viewers through art experiences inside a shipping container structure in a community space in San Diego.
“There were programmed lectures, classes, performances,” Tara Smith, OMA deputy director and chief curator, said. “It was an entire project piece.”
Enos is described by curators as an artist, social activist, educator and public programmer.
He uses drawing, sculpture and architecture as instruments of expression.
“He is one of the most fantastic cutting-edge artists in San Diego,” Smith said.
His iconic Clairemont Erasure sculpture stands more than 6 feet tall at the front of the exhibit space. The piece is towers of laser-cut, hand-glued, wood stick houses. Enos said the piece reflects living in Clairemont.
“There are a number of identical homes,” Enos said. “It’s entitlement of my generation.”
In a second space Megalopolis is installed on two walls.
Snakelike tiled waves dip up and down in two side-by-side boxes. The piece looks at space and resources.
“It’s the resources of L.A. and San Diego merging with the open space of Camp Pendleton,” Enos said.
Three additional sculptures and a set of drawings are also part of the exhibit.
Enos wants viewers to think deeply and have a personal experience with each piece.
“It’s a choose your own ending story,” Enos said.
Urban Entropy will be on display through Feb. 2. Oceanside Museum of Art is located at 704 Pier View Way in Oceanside.