Friday, December 30, 2011

Flamenco Sevillanas in Spanish Village Courtyard

                                            "Flamenco Dancers", by Ilya Idelchik
                                            Member of San Diego Sculptors Guild

Hello All,

Well we are all back from the Christmas holidays, and back to business as usual in Spanish Village Art Center. As I walked into the patio area of the Village on Wednesday, I was, immediately, awed by the image of these two amazing figures positioned in the middle of the courtyard. They are a two part vision of life sized flamenco dancers created by Ilya Idelchik of the San Diego Sculptors Guild (SDSG) in studio 36.

As I walked around these figures, I was utterly amazed at the perfect positioning of all elements of the composition, and the physical makeup of both dancers. I, literally, could not find a bad angle no matter where I stood. The attention to detail, and Ilya's knowledge of the "dance" is compelling and mesmerizing.

The "Flamenco Dancers" are a veritable confection of sculptural forms, decorative metal and paint, meticulously applied, that is characteristic of Ilya's work. It can be said in fact, that it is his own "signature", exclusively recognizable under any circumstance. Ilya has breathed "life" into painted resin and flowing, rippling metal in an unmistakeably "trompe l'oeil" fashion. Viewers who have never danced suddenly discover a "dancer's soul", become transformed and are caught up in the moment. So much so that they are inspired to strike the same poses as the dancers, and preserve their experience in photos. Now, I'd call that "mission accomplished", Ilya.

                                             IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

Ilya Idelchik is a graduate of St. Petersberg University in Russia where he studied classic art and sculpture, focusing on public art and decorative metalwork with a special interest in abstract painting. Before moving to the United States in 1997, he participated in projects for the Art Museum and the Museum of History and Culture in Russia. His attributes include building design, museum restoration and office interior design. In the United States, Ilya's career has revolved around art design, sculpture and abstract painting for public and private clients.

The "Flamenco Dancers" is the first in a series of sculptural exhibits to be presented by the San Diego Sculptors Guild on the courtyard patio, in conjunction with Spanish Village Art Center. Sergey Gornushkin, president of SDSG, enthusiastically, shared future plans of the guild to present a new sculptural exhibit, by one of their members, every month to two months. The display will change, accordingly, several times throughout the year. This will showcase the many talented sculptors in the guild and promote public art, as well as entice and intrigue visitors to Spanish Village Art Center. It is a particular interest of SDSG to encourage and increase public awareness of art, and to promote the appreciation of it through these exhibits.

                                          IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

The San Diego Sculptors Guild, studio 36, is located at 1770 Village Place, San Diego, California in Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park. For more information on members and events:

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
All images, text and content copyrighted, 2011, all rights reserved

Friday, November 11, 2011

7 Printmakers Return to Gallery 21

   "Summer", drypoint and roullette by IGOR KOUTSENKO, printmaker

Hello All,

Heads up!  Those fabulous 7 Printmakers are back at Gallery 21, and the exhibit is as fantastic as last year's.  This is the group's 17th Annal Exhibition featuring Jacqueline Dotson, Kathleen McCord, Julianne Ricksecker, Sfona Pelah and Angelika Villagrana.  There are two new guest artists in the show this year.  They are Igor Koutsenko and Beth March.  The exhibition runs 11/2 - 11/14, 2011 at Gallery 21.  It is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  As always, the talented and congenial artists are waiting to welcome visitors to the show, and share the printmaking experience with them.

I popped in yesterday, after returning from a 3 week vacation, and was so pleased to see the show.  These dedicated souls never cease to amaze me with their vision, and their capable transference of these visions to their avid admirers and collectors.  It is a "must see" show for everyone.  I will revisit the gallery on Saturday, and really peruse each piece.

"Untitled" monoprint by SFONA PELAH, printmaker

"Books and Oil Lamp", digital print by
SFONA  PELAH, printmaker

For now here are some photos to whet your appetite.  Believe me, folks, there is much, much more at the 7 Printmakers 17th Annual Exhibition to charm and amaze you.  The diversity and magnitude of the work done by these artists is second to none.  Each piece is an exquisite masterpiece that compels one to stop and experience a feeling, moment or mood captured to perfection.  Once again, the 7 Printmakers prove their dedication to their art, and skills that are continually growing.

We (artists and collectors, alike) can all take a lesson from these "7"... and, strive to "up our game!"  A continual quest to research, learn and grow.  An ongoing expansion of oneself and one's skills, and then, expressing this in one's art is, to me, the quintessential goal of an artist. You have my word, folks, the "magnificent 7" stand and deliver this quintessence every time.

                       "Mystic Falls", monotype by JULIANNE RICKSECKER, printmaker

"Flirtatious", intaglio by JACQUELINE DOTSON, printmaker

"Palm Canyon Falls", etching and aquatint by JULIANNE RICKSECKER, printmaker

   "Barmaid", intaglio by KATHLEEN McCORD, printmaker

                         "Rainy Day", intaglio by JACQUELINE DOTSON, printmaker
                         IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

I am so excited to return to the show for a second look, and to take it all in.  I can hardly wait.  See all of you enthusiasts there.  Oh, and yes, all of you who want to "Up your Game".  These amazing
7 Printmakers can teach you a thing or two!

"Balboa Park", woodcut by IGOR KOUTSENKO, printmaker

The 7 Printmakers are independent artists living in San Diego County.  For more information, and their resumes, please refer to my blog entitled, "7 Printmakers Make Their Mark at Gallery 21", dated 10/23/10.

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
All images, text and content copyrighted, 2011, all rights reserved

Monday, October 3, 2011

Don't Tango in Berlin...or, You may never leave the City

                  "La Fille du Desert", Guy Mayenobe, Photographer

Hello All,

As promised, I am giving you a followup blog on the fantastic photographic exhibit, "Don't Tango in Berlin" (or, you may never leave the city), presented by Janine Free and Guy Mayenobe at Gallery 21, September 21 - October 3, 2011.

You know, I have known a few amazing photographers in my life, all of exceptional talent and vision.  But, as much as I appreciate and support their work, I have to say that I have never met or seen better than Janine Free and Guy Mayenobe, strictly from an artistically visionary standpoint.  I am always astonished and completely fulfilled by their work which is like no other that I have seen.  Simply, intriguing.

Guy's usual work (Can one even call it that?) takes unlike elements of real life objects, and layers them with still life forms such as mannequins or inanimate objects.  The resulting effect is one of almost lifelike mannequins with eyes, lips and features, when superimposed onto the plastic form, fool the viewer into taking a second look to determine if what they are seeing is real..."actual".  (As in "La Fille du Desert", shown above.)  In opposition, Guy will use a live model (mannequin en francaise) and, then superimpose inanimate material into the photographic image.  Once again, compelling viewers to "lean in" closer, in an effort to figure out what is "real" and what is make believe.  Oh, that is so clever of you, Guy!

Okay,  it's time for that ''writer's break" that I always mention...stretch my legs, go for coffee.  You know.  Be right back with the "scoop" on "Don't Tango in Berlin".  That's the real scoop that your are anticipating.

Here's a little preview:  "Tiger Woods", by Guy Mayenobe

                    "Tiger Woods", by Guy Mayenobe, Photographer

And, yet another:  "Kreuzbeg Fire Station", by Janine Free

  "Kreuzberg Fire Station", by Janine Free, Photographer    

As long as we are on the subject:  "White Trash", by Guy Mayenobe

                    "White Trash", by Guy Mayenobe, Photographer

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
All images, text and content copyright, 2011, all rights reserved

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Invitation from Steve Gould...Taste & Art Stroll

                                                2011 DEL MAR TASTE AND ART STROLL

  Photographic images by Steve Gould

Hello All,

Remember Steve Gould that fabulous photographer who "wowed" us at Gallery 21 last year, with his Antarctic sojourn, "To the End of the Earth"?  Well, he just sent over an invite to his newest photography exhibit at the Del Mar Taste and Art Stroll.  It sounds great, so here is the invitation in Steve's own words:

Please visit me at the Del Mar "Taste and Art Stroll", Sunday, October 2, from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.  Camino Del Mar (Pacific Coast Highway) in Del Mar from 15th Street to 10th Street.  My booth will be number 93, just south of 12th Street.

Steve says that, "This link will tell you all about this great one-day event:

The photographs shown above are just "a taste" of what Steve will have on hand to delight the eye, and evoke the emotions.  Everyone, "Pack up your old glad bag...and visit Steve Gould in Del Mar this Sunday.  And, while you are there, "taste" a few culinary delights for me!

Visit Steve's website at:  Steve Gould Photography

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
Images, text and content, copyrighted, 2011, all rights reserved

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

1st Annual SVAC Rummage Sale...Come on Down!

For more information:
Spanish Village Art Center - 1770 Village Place - San Diego, California 92101

Come on Down and Join the Fun, Folks.  This is going to be a whole lot of fun, and a chance for all of you aspiring artists and crafters to grab some art "goodies" at GREAT prices!  Get there early to get the Good Stuff.  See You All there...and don't forget to bring your carts and wagons (to haul your booty home in)!

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
All images, logos and text are copyright protected, 2011, all rights reserved

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Free and Mayenobe..."Don't Tango in Berlin"

Hello All,

Heads Up..."They're Back".  Yep, you guessed it, Janine Free and Guy Mayenobe those fantastic photographers with their rare and innovative take on the visual world.  Things seen and perceived in a truly non-traditional form, to say the least.  These two live and create in a rarefied space that few often inhabit.  Janine Free and Guy Mayenobe are coming back to Gallery 21 for their latest exhibition, "Don't Tango in Berlin", Street Photography and Cutouts.

The new exhibition opens on September 21, 2011 and runs through October 3, 2011.  The opening reception is on September 24, 2011 from 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.  Gallery 21 is located in Spanish Village Art Center at 1770 Village Place in scenic Balboa Park.

Last year's exhibition, "The Real Life of Mannequins" was simply "mind blowing", and I am sure that Janine and Guy will give us no less in this year's, "Don't Tango in Berlin".  All the photography will focus on street art and the many angles from which it can be perceived.  If you know Janine and Guy like I do, then you know to expect some pretty spectacular "viewpoints and angles" that one does not often see.  The title alone has me completely intrigued.

In Janine's own words, "Guy and I set out to dispel the negative view [of street art] by making our own art out of the street photographs we took in Berlin...In our new show, "Don't Tango in Berlin" (or you might never leave the city), we tell our stories with the same opposite but complementary styles that was evident in our last year's duo show, "The Real Life of Mannequins."  Guy adds some further insight as, "...I was amazed by the prominent use of posters in the streets..the use of graffiti painted on paper and glued to the walls.  Both those posters and graffiti are modified by the time, weather and partial teardowns, generating new art form.  This is what I am capturing in pulling those forms out of their context (ie. the wall) and laying then down on a neutral background, therefore revealing their meaning."

Well, I don't know about you, folks, but in my book you can't say it any better than that.  As always, Janine and Guy are exquisitely skilled in creating visions in our minds with their European flavored verbiage.  I can't say it enough times..."I am intrigued."

I'll let you in on a little secret.  While speaking with Janine last week, she humorously whispered to me that, "I don't even know what Guy is doing this time...He won't tell me!"  Now, that alone promises to be a real show stopper, don't you think?  As I said, I am intrigued, and so will you be.  Anything involved with these two can't be anything else.  Janine Free and Guy Mayenobe, amazing capturers of the unforeseen.  Prestidigitation has nothing on them.

I'll be back with more details on the show after the opening reception.  Don't want to take away the anticipation that Janine and Guy always project.  I can hardly wait.  See you there!  Oh, and don't forget..."Don't Tango in Berlin" (or you might never leave the city).

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
All images, content and text copyrighted 2011, all rights reserved

Monday, September 19, 2011

"Point of View"...Through the Lens and Back

                 "Shaolin" by Jeffrey Brosbe, Photographer

Hello All,

How's this for an "eye opener"?  Or, should I say a "lens opener"?  "Po-tay-toe...Po-tah-toe", either way it's certain that the "Point of View" photographic and digital art exhibit showing at Gallery 21 will open up your eyes and your mind!  It is a visual feast for the eye no matter who's lens it is seen through.  Yours, mine, the photographers'...none will go lacking, I promise.

The show runs from 9/7 - 9/19/11 at Gallery 21, located in Spanish Village Art Center at 1770 Village Place, San Diego, California.  One or more of the super talented photographers will be on hand to greet guests from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., and will walk them through the exhibit with friendly exuberance.  Amateur and professional shutterbugs alike will marvel at the range and variety of images, and techniques presented by the group.  Collectors will not want to miss this magnificent experience.

There are five photographers in this year's exhibition.  The are Jeffrey R. Brosbe, Janine Free, Dana Levine, John Valois and Judi Works.  What an accomplished group of artists they are.  And, believe me, folks, no one had to twist my arm or ask me to put a "plug" in for them.  Their work speaks for itself.  It spoke to me in myriad shades and tones, black and white and living color!  Just you go and see!

                       "Mela Sonepur" by Jeffrey R. Brosbe, Photographer

Magnificent is the color of Jeffrey R. Brosbe's palette.  Vivid and large as life are his subjects.  Clarity and instancy are his instruments of delivery as he freezes emotion, intense and palpable, in every frame.  I gravitate to the essence of the moment in each photograph.  His eye has no rival.  This is my immediate reaction to the photography of Jeff Brosbe.  My initial reaction to the maestro, himself, was one of deja vu.

As he walked toward me, in introduction, the walls of Gallery 21 receded, and I imagined myself in a sun splashed salon in Tuscany or the piazza in Verona, Italy as I watched an unknown, yet familiar, presence approaching.  I assure you, I haven't the slightest idea if Jeffrey Brosbe is of Italian descent, but the "cut of his jib", the refinement of his manner and the spotless perfection of his couture most reminded me of that time and place.  A resplendent Renaissance man.  I almost started humming "Figaro, Figaro..." under my breath.  The man and the art are, likewise, the same..."immediate and brilliant".  As he introduced himself and took my hand, I fairly expected him to brush it, ever so courteously, with a kiss.

Meeting Jeff and experiencing his photography are much the same.  One is captured in the moment and completely mesmerized (charmed, as it were) by some inexplicable aura.  The frozen fluidity of the dancers in, "Shaolin" exactly defines the mastery of Jeffrey Brosbe's lens, as does the photo of "Mela Sonepur" where he pauses time in an Indian marketplace set under a tree, and bathed in the rays of a rising sun.  Once again, "immediacy" brilliantly captured.  There is no mistaking the emotional quotient that Jeffrey's photos evoke in the viewer.  It is like a living, breathing thing surrounding you, welcome and inviting.  And, then, there is Jeffrey R. Brosbe, himself..."Figaro, Figaro, Figaro..."

                        "Rainy Day Muse", by Dana Levine, Photographer
                        IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED


As enlivening as color is, there is something about images captured in black and white that I can't resist.  In this realm, Dana Levine excels.  She has an exceptional ability of capturing forms in neutral tones, and creating movement and emotion with "still" subject matter.  Just as impressive is her mastery of discretion in locating and freezing straight lines and angles, as well as curving biomorphic shapes juxtaposed with or against each other.

In most cases of art work using full color scale, I am enamored; but within Dana's unusual plane of neutrals...whites, grays and blacks, I am completely entranced when I stand in front of them; and my hand rises of its own volition to touch.  (Of course, out of respect for the artwork and Dana, I still my hand in mid-reach.)  But, it is the emotion that she evokes in me, and spectators alike, that is key here.  Just take a look at "Rainy Day Muse" and "Trolley Dancer, No 1."  Two completely different photographs with unlike subject matter...straight lines and angles versus biomorphic and natural shapes.  Both are an excellent usage of neutrals...blacks, whites and grays.

Additionally, I was taught, and completely agree with my professors and peers, that if one can capture "it" (the tonal perfection of light and dark) in black and white without the advantage of the color spectrum, then one has certainly arrived at the ultimate level of observation and accomplishment.  Tonal perfection and balance...the IT of awareness in Art.  It is a sure thing that Dana has reached this level.  Dana Levine has, as they say, "IT".  Bravo!             

                                    "Trolley Dancer, No. 1", by Dana Levine, Photographer
                                    IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

And, then there is something else to be said for COLOR.  Color, glorious color.  When it comes to color, I have to admit that, " I am All In".  "A little bit of this...a little bit of that".  MORE THAT!  Color, that is.  Just take a gander at John Valois' virtual ooze of color and pattern in, "Memories Spawning".  Through his meticulous Photoshop adjustments, John transforms his photographs of everyday recognizable objects into magnificent swirls of color and light.  He thus, creates a new energy and art form for the delight of eye and psyche.  One almost forgets they are looking at a photograph.  His work fools the eye (trompe l'oeil) into believing that it is really seeing a painting.

A rebirth of photography as an art form.  How interesting...Art reborn from Art.  Sort of like the "Begats", if you catch my drift.  Let's hear it for John Valois, COLOR and the "Begats".  Who Knew?  "Art begets Art".  MORE...THAT, John.

                                  "Memories Spawning", by John Valois, Photographer
                                  IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

And, back to's a hard choice. Hmmm.  Oh Heck, I love 'em All.  Thanks, Judi.  You really know how to perplex a girl.  Back to that same neutral tone mesmerizing effect with Judi Works' misty portrayal of fishing boats enveloped in swirls of early morning mist..."floating" along a riverbank.  Maybe this is what they meant, when they said,"A river runs through it"!  The mood and ambiance that is captured, excellently, in Judi's "Driftboats", needs no words.  It is a visual presentation of perfection..."Light, dark and chill humidity on an early morning excursion along a experience that many a fisherman has loved (my dad, included) and lived.  My question is, "Where was Judi when she took this shot?"  Sweet.

                       "Driftboats" by Judi Works, Photographer

And now for Janine Free.  I only have one thing to say about photographer, Janine FreeC'est Magnifique!  True to form, Janine has awed us all once again with her floating images set in an almost 3-dimensional format.  At least that is how it appears to the eye.  I marvel at the myriad objects and scenery that Janine captures with her camera lens, each time I look at her photographs.

In actuality, these images are right in front of us everyday each time we look through a pane of glass.  This is what truly amazes me.  We (that's the population, in general) see these same objects all the time without having full cognisance of them.  I liken it to looking with only "half an eye" or "minimized observation"...a mere, and complacent, glance at life that is happening all around us in parallel planes and multiple layers of existence.  Sound kind of far fetched?  Well, just take a look at this first.

                       "Le Noir" by Janine Free, Photographer

Janine sees objects  and scenery in this parallel plane world.  The trick of Janine's true talent is getting others to recognize the existence of that which is not seen or automatically perceived.  She has a natural sense of projection when it comes to this sort of thing.  Her expertise at it is "unparalleled".  I, and all others, who marvel at her photographs smile, take in a quick breath and, simultaneously, think, "Why didn't I ever notice that?"  "Of, course.  I see it, now."  A real "eye opener" isn't it?

I will quote an excerpt from my past blog, dated 9/29/10, "The Real Life of Mannequins" featuring the digital photography of Janine Free:

"Janine's mastery of her subject matter is based on reflected imagery and the play of light off of surfaces and glass.  Everything that is seen in her photographs is actually in the scene she originally shoots."  " ...Carefully and creatively manipulated, the many layers of images, that one perceives in her photos, have been exaggerated or diminished, moved forward or into the background to create the effect that she wants one to see.  Janine takes only one photograph in her process..."

And, so to be honest, I have thought, on more than one occasion, that Janine has the perfect and most appropriate name.  So in tune with the direction of her thoughts and vision..."Free".  Free to see what others miss or ignore.  Free to capture the element of "freedom", itself; and then to set it free.  Free to set inanimate objects free of spatial bounds.  Ah, yes... "to freely set free the elements of perception, and thereby, free the mind and soul from a singular plane of awareness and confinement."  Make sense?  Ask, Janine Free.  I bet she knows exactly what I mean.

                    "Tortured by Beauty", by Janine Free, Photographer

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
All images, content and text copyrighted, 2011, all rights reserved

Friday, August 26, 2011

"There Ain't Nothing Like a Dame,VI"...and How!

                           "REFLECTIONS II", PASTELS BY KAREN HOWARD
                           IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

Hello All,

Well..."They're Back"!  Yeah, you guessed it!  Those incredible Dames who do it All... and, How!  Wow!  Did somebody say, "WOW"?  (Whoo...Whoo)!

                                   "SOPHIA WITH A BALL", WATERCOLOR BY DANA LEVINE
                                    IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

There are six of the incredible "Dames" this year as Shandell Gamer recently moved to Oregon, and will not be participating in the show.  Although the Dames "miss her much", they still carry on with this year's fantastic exhibition, "There Ain't Nothing Like a Dame, VI".  The show runs from August 24 - September 5, 2011 in Gallery 21 at Spanish Village Art Center, located in beautiful Balboa Park at 1770 Village Place, San Diego, California.  The Dames will be there to greet guests from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily.  The Opening Reception is on Saturday, August 27, 2011 from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

                                          "SUN BLESSED", EN CAUSTIC BY WILMA LOPEZ
                                          IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

This group of artists has been displaying together for 6 years, and you can rest assured that they will be going strong for many years to come.  Speaking of strong, the six "Dames" boast of their individual strengths (in the Arts) with a logo image of a bandanna'ed beauty flexing her (well-muscled) right arm, while wielding a paintbrush and sporting the motto of "Yes, We Can"!  Don't Mess with these Dames.  They are "On the Job"...and then some.

                        "TANGO 4 2", FUSED GLASS BY MARCY STINTON
                        IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

The six Dames are as follows:

Karen Howard, Pastels, Dana Levine, Photography and Pastel, Wilma J. Lopez, En Caustic
Eileen Mandell, Photography, Caroline Morse, Oil, Acrylic, Photography and Marcy Stinton, Fused Glass

That's what is known as a "Line Up and a Half", folks.  So, do get yourselves and your "Best Gal" (pal) in to see these six magnificent Dames, and "There Ain't Nothing Like a Dame, VI".  I promise, you won't be disappointed!  They really are "Something Else"!


Don't just take my word for it.  Drop into Gallery 21 in Spanish Village Art Center, and see for yourselves.  The Magnificent Six (Dames) will be waiting for you!  Sharing their art is something they love.  Who knows, maybe some of that "Dame-ness" will rub off on you.

                                   "BATIQUITOS LAGOON", OILS BY CAROLINE MORSE
                                   IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

For further information on all of the artists (Dames) in this exhibition, please go to my blog, "There's Nothing Like a Dame, V", written on 9/22/10 for their bios.  Impressive?  You bet!  Haven't you heard?  There Ain't Nothing Like a Dame!

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
text and content copyrighted, 2011, all rights reserved

Sunday, July 17, 2011

SVAC New Member Show at Gallery 21


Hello All,

Breaking News at Gallery 21!  Spanish Village Art Center is proud to announce the gala showing of our newest members' artwork in their juried media, now at Gallery 21.  The exhibit runs from July 13 - 25, 2011, and is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  We are located in scenic Balboa Park at 1770 Village Place, situated between the Natural History Museum and the San Diego Zoo.

The exhibit boasts a variety of media brilliantly executed by our new members who juried into Spanish Village Art Center in March of this year.  The media range from textiles to ceramics to photography, and are some of the best that Spanish Village has to offer.  I am equally proud to announce that one of our inductees is my very own (and newest) studio partner, Cameron Maine.


Cameron creates exquisite handbags from recycled and reclaimed fabrics and leather, all embellished with unique and highly designed closures and handles.  A Fine Art major and a well versed merchandiser in the textile and upholstery fields, Cameron Maine brings her full experience to the creation of each handbag, tote or clutch.  Each art-to-wear piece is one of a kind and cannot be duplicated; designed for women with discerning taste and classic style.  That's OOAK to you folks!  Cameron's pieces can be seen in Studio 32, seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  I've got my eye on a particular cut velvet and yellow pigskin tote that I have been pining after ever since she brought it to the studio. (Hey!  Hands off's MINE!  This little piggy did not cry, "Wee, wee, wee" all the way home.)  Cameron's RIPPICANAN bags can also be admired on Facebook.  Cameron invites you all to sign in ("Like" her) and, let her know what you think of her latest creations.

                  IMAGE COPYRIGHT OF CAMERON MAINE, 2011

Hold that thought...RIPPICANAN and you.  I'm just stepping out for that short writer's break, and my morning cup of Joe (while watching a rerun of the Bourne of my alltime favorites).

Hmmm.  RIPPICANAN, Bourne and a cup of Joe...Can't think of a better way to start the morning.  Be right back.


Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
Text and content, copyrighted 2011, all rights reserved

Friday, July 1, 2011

Art in Bloom and Our Annual Open House!

Hello All,

It's that time of year, again.  Our Annual Open House Celebration is much anticipated each year.  It is Spanish Village Artists' way of saying "Thanks" to our many patrons and visitors each year.  Spanish Village Art Center is located at 1770 Village Place, San Diego, California.  The event will take place on Saturday, July 23, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

For the first time, in collaboration with the San Diego Floral Association and the San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation, Spanish Village Art Center is hosting a spectacular new event, "Art in Bloom", a magnificent display of floral horticulture blended with paintings done "live" on our courtyard patio by our plein air artists.

The artists, located throughout the courtyard, will demonstrate their individual media and their art using an array of live floral arrangements provided by the Floral Guild as their subject matter.  Demonstrations will begin at 10:00 a.m.  At 2:00 p.m., the People's Choice voting for favorite artwork/floral arrangement will begin.  Something you won't want to miss!  Cash awards will be presented at 4:00 p.m.

We are honored to have several garden groups from the Botanical Foundation present to talk about their representative plants, and give information about their events throughout the calendar year.

Steven Maddy from Studio 41 in his "Garden of Paper Flowers"
getting ready for Art in Bloom
(Tiny bubbles have got nothing on these Paper florals!)

As always, we are happy to announce that entertainment will be provided by Tin Man's Heart.  Their smooth vocals and acoustics will waft throughout the patio adding to the ambiance, where visitors can meander enjoying refreshments and the everfamous Spanish Village Silent Auction.  Wonderful artwork will be donated by the Spanish Village artists for the auctions, as usual.  This year, we will sponsor "three" different auctions, ending at 3:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.  It will be a great time to collect art from your favorite artists, and to visit them in their studios or on the patio.

An open invitation is extended to all guests to stroll through our historic studios, and enjoy a day of art, floral arrangements and fun!  Please drop by and enjoy this annual event of appreciation and welcome from all of us here at Spanish Village Art Center.  We throw this party just for you each year, and the best part is that it is free!  (Well, maybe not the best part)...The food, entertainment and, most of all, the ART make this a must attend happening of the year!

So, come on down.  Take in the beauty of floral horticulture, imbibe, ingest and take something BEAUTIFUL home from the artists of Spanish Village Art Center.  I guess that suffices to say, "EAT, DRINK AND MAKE (FLORAL-LY) MERRY!  See you there.

Lovely Paper Horticulture on dispaly for Art in Bloom
courtesy of Meisha and Steven Maddy
in studio 41

For more information, contact event director, Susan Ludwig in studio 34A, at:
(760) 436-0453, or at

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
Text and content copyrighted, 2011, all rights reserved

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Festival...Umm-mm!

Hello All,

It's that time of year again.  The Women's Museum of California is throwing its 4th Annual Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival at Spanish Village Art Center!!!  (Quick.  What's your favorite? Oh heck, why choose when you can have them ALL?)  Well, ladies, I say, "Throw Down", 'cause we are ready!  This event is always a delightful experience, and Spanish Village Art Center is proud to host the museum's fete on our colorful patio each year.  Yay!  Let's hear it for Women, Wine, Cheese and CHOCOLATE!  Oops!  I guess I just let slip which is my favorite (the wine and cheese are tied for second).

Taking place on Friday, June 17, 2011, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in beautiful Balboa Park, the well attended bacchanal is sold out early each year!   There will be wine, cheese and chocolate tastings for the guests, and our artists and studios will be open for participants to browse, and explore the many diverse arts of Spanish Village.  There will also be live music on the patio for "Dancing under the Stars".  Sounds just dreamy, doesn't it? 

After the wine, cheese and chocolate mixed with mellow music and dancing, we may all have to be carted out of here in wheelbarrows!  I promise you it will be a night of culinary decadence and delight ( in a very good way, that is).  The "visions of sugarplums" hasn't got a thing on this event.  (I'm envisioning dark, dark chocolate with a merlot or shiraz...sigh...polished off with a tangy pungent goat cheese...oh my!)  See you all there!  Come loaded for...CHOCOLATE!

For more information and to reserve your place, contact the Women's Museum of California at (619) 233-7963 or log on to their website at:

Spanish Village Art Center is located at 1770 Village Place, San Diego, California between the Natural History Museum and the San Diego Zoo.

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
text and content copyrighted, 2011, all rights reserved

Friday, June 3, 2011

Catnip Connection 5 - "Meow"!

"In Your Face" by artist, ALLY BENBROOK

Hello All!

All of you,  "Cat Lovers" out there, that is.  It's coming again, the much anticipated annual "Catnip Connection 5".  Coming soon to Gallery 21 is the always winsome and entertaining exhibit of (you got it) "Cats, cats and more...Cats"! Did anyone say, "CATS"? Hurray!  The Fifth Annual juried exhibition is scheduled to run from June 15 - 27, 2011 at Gallery 21 in Spanish Village Art Center.   We are located at 1770 Village Place in Balboa Park.

The all media exhibition is set to honor animals of the FELINE persuasion, which includes domestic and wild species alike.  As always, the participants will donate a portion of the proceeds from the show to the Feral Cat Coalition.  The coalition is an organization offering spay and neuter clinics for stray cats in San Diego County.

This year's exhibition is sure to be a marvelous display of the Ferocious, Fastidious, Fantastic and Free-wheeling life of the Feline!  So, mark your calendars.  The reception for artists will be held on Sunday, June 19, 2011 from 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.  Awards will be presented at 5:30 p.m., so you don't want to miss it.

For more information, contact Vicki DeLong at (619) 850-6637, or email at:

See you there.  "C'est les chattes...and that's, that!"  Prrrrrrrr...

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
text and content copyrighted, 2011, all rights reserved

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Doorways to Art in Spanish Village

"Sunflowers and Chicadees" by watercolorist, LUCY WANG

Hello All,

It has been awhile since my last post. I took a little hiatus to manage life's little "happenings", and mulled over the subject for my next blog. Periodically, I will feature articles on the events in Spanish Village Art Center in my news flash
column, "Around the Village". As you will remember, we are located at 1770 Village Place, San Diego California in beautiful Balboa Park. The 37 studios are open daily, featuring some 100 plus artists and fine crafts persons.

Last blog, I featured the Woodcarvers Guild in Studio 38.  I would like to dedicate this blog to the Spanish Village artists, themselves. In fact, this will be a feature that I will run, periodically, introducing one of our finest artists and crafts persons each time.

Among our many advertisements, here in the Village, there has been a postcard favorite entitled, "Doorways to Art".  Indeed, our colorful doors have been a particular draw and of continued interest to visitors in Balboa Park for years.  Now, let me enhance that fondness and interest by, individually, introducing you to our artists "beyond the doorways"...through the "Doorways to Art" in Spanish Village Art Center.

My first feature will be on watercolorist and calligrapher, Lucy Wang in Studio 4. Lucy's 3-Dimensional Watercolors on Silk are a legend unto themselves, and her original technique is unmatched by any other that I have seen.  Her subject matter is whimsical, lyrical, folkloric.  Each painting telling a story.  Her silk stretching technique is her own creation, giving the spectator a layered vision of finely painted folklore and nature's bounty.

"Flute Player", by LUCY WANG

The beauty of her painting reflects her love of nature and demonstrates her exquisite mastery of the brush.  Lucy has uniquely blended her Chinese painting background with the influence of Western painting techniques to develop an innovative style of watercolor painting on silk in a 3-D layout.  This technique that she created was so unique and groundbreaking that it was featured nationwide on the "Lynette Jennings Design" show on Discovery Channel, and "Our Place" on Home Garden TV.  (Uhh, excuse me folks, but, "How about those Props"?)  I'd call Lucy Wang..."Fierce"!

Studying with master artists in Taiwan, Lucy graduated from the National Taiwan College of Arts.  She has taught for more than 20 years at her studio in Spanish Village Art Center, as well as at the University of California San Diego Crafts Center.  Teaching workshops throughout the United States, she has also written four books on Chinese brush painting, and co-authored a fifth on drawing and watercolor techniques.  She, also, has several informative animation and teaching videos currently posted on

Lucy sponsors a student show each year at Gallery 21, here in Spanish Village, featuring the calligraphy and Chinese brush paintings of her students.  In her "spare" time, Lucy exhibits annually at the Laguna Beach "Art-A-Fair" during the summer.  Her artwork has, understandably, been selected by National Audubon Society, National Geographic Society, Smithsonian and UNICEF for holiday gift cards.  (Can I say, one more time..."Props", people)!!!  And, guess what, folks?  We are just "bursting at the seams" with pride to boast that Lucy is an integral and valued member of Spanish Village Art Center!!!

Well, that's Lucy Wang, in a nutshell (Ouch! Poor's so crowded in there).  Lucy is an amazingly accomplished artist, and a delightful person.  Her demure persona and welcome smile will greet you as you enter her blue and lavender door.  Positioned just outside the studio, colorful umbrellas give shade to visitors and her myriad selection of giclee prints and cards.  A visit to Studio 4 (to meet Lucy) is a journey into the mystical folkloric realm of the Orient.  And, remember...Lucy's quiet and easy aura is waiting there to bid you welcome to her world.

Hold that thought.  Imagine a cornflower blue and lavender door through which the visitor can see beautiful maidens dressed in flowing silks, cranes dancing in wintry wonderlands, beautifully rendered Chinese brush paintings of any and all subject matter, and you will just begin to visualize the mastery... mystery of Lucy Wang's art.

Not unlike, "Snow Falling on Cedars".

"Dancing Cranes" by watercolorist, LUCY WANG

You may find additional information on Lucy Wang and her 3-Dimensional Watercolors on Silk at her website:

Enjoy Lucy's animation videos at:

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
text and content copyrighted, 2011, all rights reserved

Friday, April 22, 2011

Around the Village: "Woodcarvers Demo"


Hello All,

Here's a "heads up" from Studio 38, the Woodcarvers Guild in Spanish Village Art Center, located at 1770 Village Place, San Diego, California.  On Saturday, April 23, 2011, the guild members will give demonstrations of lathe, scrollsaw and the art of woodburning on the patio.  The demonstrations will be done close to Studio 38, and all visitors to Balboa Park are invited to come and watch.  Our woodcarvers are some of the best in the county, and enjoy their craft as much as showing it off to the public.

So, all of you wood lovers out there, come on down and join the fun!  The carvers will keep a "lathe turning" just for you.  Who knows...maybe you will enjoy it so much that you will want to join the Woodcarvers Guild, and start turning yourselves.  Amazing things happen all the time.

Remember, " every season, turn, turn, turn".  See all you enthusiasts there!


Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
text and content copyrighted, 2011, all rights reserved

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jihmye Collins ... The Man Behind the Smile

Jihmye Collins (1939 - 2011)
Photograph, copyright 2011 of Mithaq Kazimi

Hello Everyone,

I dedicate this blog to commemorate Jihmye Collins, Artist, Activist, Poet and Friend. A tribute to the "man behind the smile"... To an "Athlete Dying Young". Please join Spanish Village Art Center in honoring and commemorating Jihmye on April 5, 2011 at Gallery 21 from 2:00 - 7:00 p.m. The gallery is located in the heart of Spanish Village Art Center at 1770 Village Place, San Diego, California 92101.

We are hosting a potluck dinner, poetry reading and viewing of Jihmye's artwork in remembrance and love. We hope you will bring your fondest memory of Jihmye, and join us in the celebration of the "Life of Jihmye Collins", a man who walked tall among us.

I dedicate this poem by A. E. Housman to Jihmye Collins, because he was an athlete, in his own right, for justice and peace through his art and his Ba'Haai faith. To me, he was a friend and fellow artist, as he was to many of us here at Spanish Village Art Center. But to those of us who really knew him, and knew him well, he was an athlete and champion for the togetherness of mankind, and a vigilant crusader against injustice for all. He reached into the community, and tried to pass on his love and respect for the human race through his work with youths and the underprivileged. Artist, Activist, Poet and Friend, all encompassed within that undeniable presence and radiant smile.

"To an Athlete Dying Young", by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

"The time you won your town the race,
We chaired you through the market-place.
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder high...
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where Glory does not stay.
And early though the laurel grows,
It withers quicker than the rose...
Now you will not swell the rout,
Of lads who wore their honours out.
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man...
And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's".

"We will all love and miss you Jihmye, but, our lives are better for your being."

 I know you loved "all things Africa", and delighted in reconnecting with your heritage and the Motherland.  So, this poem is just for you, from me:

From "Out of Africa" by Isaak Dinesen, (1885 - 1962)

"If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?"

I believe the answer is, "Yes, and the color will be purple."
Thank you, Cassandra

Photograph courtesy of Alane Gray, copyright 2011

Who is Jihmye Collins?
Watch video compliments of Community Faces Project: Jihmye Collins (c) MACSD

"In Loving Memory...",  from all of us at Spanish Village Art Center

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
text and content copyrighted, 2011, all rights reserved
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