Monday, August 23, 2010

TAG Gallery Interviews Patricia D. Klowden

Two Women
Ceramic 12 x 4 x 4" eachPatricia D. Klowden

Patricia Klowden calls upon a strong rapport with her materials to create in three dimensions.

What about your work is most satisfying?

The most satisfying thing is to create a figure or a piece where am using my hands. I am very touch oriented. I paint with my hands and have been for 17 years. I find it difficult to use brushes. I like intimate contact with the surface of whatever I’m working on. I love the material on my hands, it feels natural to me.

What are your ideal conditions for creating new work?

I need light air and music. Sometimes I enjoy having other people around. A lot of people need absolute silence, but I prefer the company of others. For me its helpful to talk.

What three things are most unlike your work?

Darkness, total control, and a lack of movement.

Why do you make art?

Much of my becoming a full time artist began 18 years ago when I lost my younger brother. He wanted me to be an artist, that was my only gift at the time. I spent 8 hours a day painting, everyday. There are times when I’m far more possessed by the need to express myself, and making art is my best form of expression. It fills my need to articulate a feeling. I think that being an artist is a tremendous gift, we get to go to our material, what ever it is, and express what’s going on in our lives. Its a phenomenal way of coping.

Is art only Meaningful when its seen?

No, It is important to the artist. Its our need to do it.

Patricia D. Klowden's exhibit begins September 7, 2010.

Monday, August 16, 2010

TAG Gallery Interview With Julienne Johnson

Mixed Media Triptych 60 x 168"
Julienne Johnson

Layering, scraping, painting, and sanding are among the processes used by Julienne Johnson to create her abstract paintings.

What is it like being an artist in Los Angeles?

I think it is perhaps like being an artist anywhere. Only it’s more expensive here. While I have been an artist in Michigan, it was not with the same commitment to the work that I have now in Los Angeles.

Whom do you make art for?

I’d like to think that I make art for the world. However, when one works passionately in any area there is definitely something in it for themselves; that something is always beyond the obvious or what you can put in the bank… so much bigger. I make art for myself: to please myself.

Do you work in more than one medium? How do the two influence each other?

When my expression must make more sound it goes from drawing to painting to assemblage. When it must shout even louder, that assemblage becomes sculptural and free standing.

Have you been an artist all of your life, or is art something that you’ve come to recently?

I was first called an artist when I was about nine years old. I had a substitute art teacher in elementary school, Johanna Spargo from Estonia. Everything I made she praised and put in the highest position on the board. She singled me out; called my parents and wanted to mentor me. My father hung up on her. She called several times to no avail. Finally she called and said she would like to do a portrait of me at no charge. She was well known for her pastel portraits of children and they were expensive, at least to a family like mine. So to this free offer my father finally responded. For the next three to four months, every Saturday I went to her house for several hours. I had the most wonderful times. She would draw and sketch me happily in various positions and we would have graham crackers with applesauce on them and tea with milk. She would tell me about Estonia, about the communist labor camps she had escaped from and about how I brought her good luck. When the portrait was finished I begged to take it home with me on the bus; I fell into a mud puddle. Until she died, she stayed in my life. She always insisted that I was an artist, no matter what I was doing. She impacted me greatly with her blue eyes and kind heart.

Why do you make art and what excited you about painting?

I am compelled with all that is in me to make art. If you take away my paints I will draw. Take my pencil and I will carve with a knife. I need nothing special to work with. I will make art. If I have nothing I can still live it. On my bed I will dream it.

Julienne Johnson's exhibit opens September 7, 2010.

Monday, August 9, 2010

TAG Interviews Ellen Starr

Park Bluff
acrylic on canvas 18 x 24"
Ellen Starr

Ellen Starr's paintings clarify the visual intricacies of everyday subjects.

How do you decide on your palette?

My palette is determined by very concrete subject matter that gives rise to an image. I work with the original colors in nature, so I use an awful lot of blues and greens.

What goes into making work like yours?

As you can see I love detail, and it takes a substantial amount of time to produce the amount of detail that I like. I’m drawn to the extreme complexities of nature, ones that I can simplify and organize. I try to create a sense of serenity in my subject matter. It is this feeling of harmony that I want to communicate to the viewer of my work.

The Banana Bunch
acrylic on canvas 20 x 20"
Ellen Starr

How do you know when a work is finished?

If I can look at my work in total comfort, not see any small detail that I wish to change, then I know I’m done.

What is the most memorable comment someone has made about your work?

An art consultant bought one of my pieces and told me months later that she enjoyed looking at it every day. It brought her pleasure. When someone appreciates my work, it makes me realize that my efforts have value. It feels good to be recognized for giving satisfaction to someone else because of something I’ve done, no matter what it is.

If only one person were allowed to experience your work, who would It be and why?

I would have to say my husband, James. We share our assorted interests – art, music, magic, making videos, and more. He comments on my art, and gets after me when I don’t spend enough time working in my studio, so he is the logical person I’d share with.

Ellen Starr in the studio with Redford.

Ellen Starr's exhibit opens September 7, 2010.

Monday, August 2, 2010

TAG Gallery Hosts the Fifth Annual California Open Exhibition Juried Show at Bergamot Station from August 17 through September 3rd

Jumping Beans
Karen Yee

Santa Monica, Ca. – TAG Gallery is proud to present the Fifth Annual California Open Juried Exhibition beginning on August 17th and running through September 3rd at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Avenue, #D3 in Santa Monica. The nationwide competition features artwork in a variety of mediums including painting, photography, computer generated art, mixed media, printmaking, drawing, and sculpture. Though TAG Gallery has been hosting this competition for five years running, this will be the first CA Open Exhibition at TAG Gallery’s new location in Bergamot Station, Southern California’s largest art gallery complex and cultural center.

This year’s Open attracted a record number of applicants with over 600 individuals submitting work. “The response we received for submissions was really inspiring,” explains Cheryl Medow, co-president of TAG Gallery. “The rich pool of entries allowed the juror to select an extraordinarily diverse show representing artists from 10 different states. The result is an exhibit with some of the most intriguing works contemporary art has to offer today.”

Deus ex Machina
David Pruitt

The juror of selection and awards for this year’s exhibition is Karen Moss, Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programs at the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA). Moss holds a B.A. in studio art and art history from the University of California at Santa Cruz and completed her graduate work in art history at University of California, Berkeley and University of Southern California (MA, PhD/ABD). An art historian and curator, she has worked in museum and academic positions since 1980 and has lectured and taught extensively on contemporary art history and theory.

Flora of the Westchester Place
Olga Ponemarenko

The Reception and Awards Ceremony for this year’s California Open Exhibition is open to the public and takes place on Saturday, August 21 from 5-8 PM at TAG Gallery, 2525 Michigan Avenue, #D3 in Bergamot Station. TAG Gallery was established in 1993 as a not-for-profit corporation, owned by its members, who share in all business decisions, responsibilities, and expenses. It is both a physical gallery and a community of approximately forty artists. TAG’s mission is to offer artists invaluable opportunities for promotional and creative growth. TAG offers extensive exhibition opportunities through the gallery and off-site venues, exposure to prominent members of the art community and inclusion on its website. TAG has been a resource for launching the careers of both emerging and mid-career artists. For more information about TAG Gallery or the California Open Exhibition please see