Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Kelly Vivanco's "Infinity Squared"

Make sure to check out "Infinity Squared," a December 13th group show at Distinction Gallery in Escondido, California, curated by one of my favorite artists, Kelly Vivanco. There is no overarching theme to this show – just a unifying format, 8"x8" square.

Kelly has gathered a fascinating and diverse group of artists for this show: Allison Sommers, Philip Kirk, Amy Huddleston, Alex Noriega, Angela Petsis, Angie Mason, Showchicken, Rik Catlow, Andrea Zuill, Dennis Hayes IV, Josh Clay, Tom Haubrick, Ken Garduno, Alison O'Donoghue, Jason Limon, Matte Stephens, Art & Ghosts, Netherland, Ekundayo, Mike Maxwell, Chris Ryniak, Jeremiah Ketner, Jenn Porreca, Matthew Feyld, Jennifer Lewis, Doug Boehm, Amy Earles – and of course the fabulous Kelly Vivanco herself.

Kelly Vivanco – "Knothole"

Recently, Kelly and I had a bit of a chat about the rather unique Distinction Gallery and the upcoming show.

Erratic Phenomena: Tell me a little bit about Distinction Gallery, which is home to your studio as well as this upcoming group show, "Infinity Squared." I know a lot of people in the L.A. area who've thought about heading down there for openings, but have hesitated, not knowing quite what to expect at the end of a longish drive.

Kelly Vivanco: Do people balk at making the journey to Distinction?
I balk at a trip to L.A., so I don't blame them. Fear of traffic. If I am going to drive that far I have to do at least a few things to make the drive worth the while. I understand completely, especially with gas. At least they have the work online now, and people can buy art that way, and if someone is interested enough to buy a piece but wants to see it in person, they have that option.

Jason Limon – "Generate"

EP: I think it's a pretty cool gallery, with all the studio space in the back (especially yours) and the inventory in the hallways, and the open studios every second Saturday night. When I explain that setup to people, they're always quite intrigued.

KV: Yeh, it's blocks' worth of art stuff in one building. People are always amazed that: 1. it is there (in Escondido!?) and 2. that there is so much to it. People hang out for the whole night at openings, chatting with artists or having a drink and staring at a few galleries' worth of art.

Art & Ghosts – "Dreaming Hair"

EP: Right... it's a pretty good way to spend the evening. It would be nice if I could convince a few of these L.A. folks to check it out. Second Saturdays are always a bit busy up here, which is a problem.

KV: That would be cool, but if they can't come down, at least they can see the show online. There are artwalks and openings in San Diego proper on second Saturdays, as well.

Jeremiah Ketner – "Serene Moment"

EP: I love online previews. I'm sure I would not be hanging around in the art scene if it wasn't for the internet – it kind of democratizes things.

KV: I blame the internet for getting me into curating this show – Flickr especially.

EP: The Flickr art community is great... everyone is so supportive of other artists. It's good to see people like Dan May and Noferin encouraging young artists, commenting on their work.

KV: It is, and there is no pressure to make a whole blog/site of it. Just art or images to share.

I'm looking at your questions... I guess I have kinda answered some, at least the one about Distinction. I've had my studio there 5 years already! That is a long time to be in a space.

Dennis Hayes IV – "2 of 3 Still in the Green"

EP: Wow. You've been painting a lot more at home these days, haven't you?

KV: The small stuff I do at home mostly. Peter built me a drawing/painting board that hooks onto the craft table we made. It's a nice piece of birch ply attached to a configuration of copper pipes, a bit steampunk-looking.

EP: I can't wait to see your studio with your new forest mural.

KV: I have had a good response from people about the walls. The mural is cool, but it has the drawback of making me feel like I am in my paintings, which can be a disconcerting, over-immersive experience for me sometimes. I go through periods where I don't want any of my art around because I have been so involved in painting it. Some artists say, "Oh, I'm not ready to let that one go yet" about their pieces, but I'm like, "Take it, get it out of here, I painted it and it can leave now... please take it – argh!" (Kidding.)

EP: That's funny, though... It's good that you can part with it. Maybe when you know that it wasn't your magnum opus... when you know you have more of that "magic" inside you, it's a little easier to let it go and not hoard it for yourself.

KV: Paintings moving makes me feel like, "Oh good, now I can make more."

Alison Sommers – "Harvest Time"

So let's go forth and take some art off the hands of some artists, so they can make more.

"Infinity Squared" will open on December 13th at Distinction Gallery in Escondido. This show will hang for two months, and Distinction has an open house/party on every second Saturday night from 6-10, so if you can't make it down for the busy pre-Christmas opening weekend, there will be a second opening on January 10th for you to enjoy. If you're feeling peckish, you can duck down the street to O'Sullivan's Pub for some comforting potato soup, corned beef and cabbage, and a Guinness.

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