Stockton, California, roughly seventy miles east of Oakland, is frequently associated with crime and bankruptcy, but this city of over 300,000 souls has a number of wonderful gems including an excellent private university, a symphony orchestra, a theater producing live plays, and an art museum set in a lovely park.
The Haggin Museum, built in 1931 and renovated last year, hosts the Stockton Art League Juried Exhibition in even numbered years, this year being the League’s 60th Annual Show. The show opening last Thursday evening was open to the public and I went to see what is happening art-wise in the area. The show has been attracting some attention nationally, but most of the work is from California.
Best of Show award went to “January Oranges” an oil painting by Carolyn Lord of Livermore, who usually has watercolors in this show. Tony Segale of Lodi won a second place for a busy looking Chinese watercolor. I’m always happy to see local artists win some of the awards.
Mixed Media and Graphics were combined for this exhibit, so this category included drawings, work that used many different paints and mark making, and even works on fabric. Jean Judd of Cushing, Wisconsin made a finely stitched blue-gray hanging, “Rusted Lace #5” which I first thought was a quilt, but the fabric had been either printed or painted with a red-brown elusive shape in the center. I liked it because of the fine careful sewing which I could never do.
There are two small pieces in black, gray, and white of layered board which didn’t make sense to me until I saw them from across the room. Up close they are just abstract. From a distance a face appears as if the head is thrown back. Very unusual. How do artists come up with these ideas? They were made by Shelly Castillo Garcia here in Stockton.
I was fascinated by the Self Portrait of Marilyn Eger of Lockeford, California. I saw her demo at two Art League meetings some years ago. The large oil painting was a canvas filled with 1¼ inch squares, each with a circular shape made with a mix of colors on the brush. The colors are much lighter to form the face that emerges from the dark multi-colored background, and it is a good likeness of her. This won one of the nine special awards.
A good laugh is not what one expects to find in an annual show, but one was provided by Ann Zinck of Stockton. Her watercolor, “Chair Studies:” won an Honorable Mention. This small work has four framed pictures of chairs lined up horizontally, painted in the colors and style of: “After Van Gogh, After Valadon, After Hockney, After Cats”. After Cats shows a chair with shredded upholstery with the cat sitting on the floor beside it.
This is an excellent show, Juried by Sabina Turner. It will be at the Haggin Museum until July 15. If you are near Stockton you should take yourself to see it. Museum admission is free the first Saturday of each month.