John Henry installation by David Adey, 2010
The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library has earned a reputation
as one of the outstanding art galleries and art collectors in San Diego.
The Athenaeum’s art exhibition program, begun in the 1920s, has
grown tremendously in both scope and recognition, particularly in the
past 20 years.
Exhibitions are presented in three gallery spaces: the Joseph Clayes III Gallery, the
Rotunda Gallery, and the North Reading Room. Approximately eight exhibitions
per year are presented in each. Exhibitions in the Joseph Clayes III Gallery focus
on nationally and internationally recognized artists. The Rotunda Gallery
emphasizes community partnerships or emerging regional artists. Art in
both galleries are related to the Athenaeum’s
other focuses, namely books or music. Works have included limited edition
artists' books, drawing, painting, site-specific installations, photography,
sculpture, collage, mixed media, architecture, and calligraphy.
The North Reading Room, opened during the library’s expansion
in 2007, is devoted to showcasing the Athenaeum’s Erika and Fred
Torri Arists’ Books Collection. For each exhibition, one artist
or press from the collection is highlighted.
Exhibitions have given deserved recognition to San Diego artists including
Joyce Cutler-Shaw, Patricia Patterson, Manny Farber, Italo Scanga, Zandra
Rhodes, Russell Forester, Ernest Silva, Faiya Fredman, Jean Lowe, Viviana
Lombrozo, Becky Cohen, Nina Katchadourian, Ethel Greene, Robin Bright,
Raul Guerrero, Ellen Phillips, James Hubble, Jo Ann Tanzer, Christine
Oatman, Roberto Salas, Marie Najera, Kim MacConnel, Teddy Cruz, Adam Belt,
Jim Lee, Jay Johnson, David Adey, Ellen Salk, Gail Roberts, Sondra Sherman, and Philipp Scholz Rittermann. Artists from across
the U.S. and around the world have included Harry Sternberg, Mauro Staccioli,
Marcos Ramirez (ERRE), Nathan Gluck, William Wegman, Faith Ringgold, Ming
Mur-Ray, Rolf Händler, David Teeple and Peter Dreher.
The Rotunda Gallery features annual collaborations with the La Jolla Historical
Society, the San Diego State University Art Council, and Children’s
Hospital. Other community projects have included a fundraising exhibition
for the Pacific Rim Parks Project.
The Athenaeum’s Annual Juried Exhibition, and Biennial Artists’
Book Juried Exhibition are among the most prestigious in the San Diego
area, and the most sought-after by entering artists.
The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library’s art exhibitions are on
view during library hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.,
and Wednesdays until 8:30 p.m. There is no charge for admission. Opening
receptions, lectures and artist’s walk-throughs are also free of
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It is that time of year again! It's time for the Athenaeum's 22nd Annual Juried Exhibition. One of the most prestigious juried shows in San Diego, selected artists will exhibit their work in our galleries, receive excellent exposure, and mingle with both artists and art-lovers at a jam-packed opening reception. For a call-for-entry form, email Sami by clicking here. Deadline to submit: June 14, 2013.
The exhibition will be on view from August 3 through August 31, 2013, with an opening reception on Friday, August 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Please join us.
The Athenaeum is pleased to present lithographs from renowned Hamilton Press. In 1990 Ed Hamilton, Tamarind Master Printer, and artist Ed Ruscha opened up Hamilton Press in Venice California. They wanted to provide a quality printing press with a good print experience for artists. To that end, all of the decisions at the press are made by artists, for artists. The shop is very small and everything is printed by hand, without a mechanical offset or ink jet printer in sight. In the last twenty-three years, many artists at the press have chosen to use words or texts in their prints—especially Raymond Pettibon, Al Ruppersberg, and Ed Ruscha. Inspired by the Athenaeum's exhibition of Ed Ruscha's lavish book of Kerouac's On The Road, Hamilton Press will also present two artist's books by Raymond Pettibon, along with other lithographs by artists on the themes of books, words, texts and letters. Prints by Alexis Smith, Ed Ruscha, Allen Ruppersberg, Raul Guerrero, Mark Licari, and Dennis Hopper, among many others, will be on view.
The Athenaeum is very pleased to present the work of artist Tom Driscoll in the Joseph Clayes III Gallery. A native of San Diego, Tom has exhibited at Quint Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego among many others. Tom’s interest in molds and sculpture in cast cement has led to this current body of work. Robert Pincus remarked: “Packaging from toys, tools and other things are his sources—“discarded jewels,” [Tom] calls them. And his sculptures make them so” (San Diego Union-Tribune, June 13, 2010).
Tom explains further: The core thought running through the selection of work presented here is the use of discarded industrial packaging to make art. I developed an interest in found molds during longtime employment as a night custodian at a Scripps oceanographic research lab, where on a regular basis, Styrofoam and plastic packaging materials that were originally used to protect products during shipping were discarded in a recycling bin...I appropriated the discarded shapes for my art interests.
Bound: verb, noun and adjective, metaphorically and literally constrains this collection of Lisa Venditelli’s art. Addressing social issues, particularly women’s issues and religion, objects like high heel shoes or bibles are bound by thread, guaze, nylon, sausage casings or suspended in silicon.
She says of this body of work: “How many aspects of binding reveal themselves in these simple pieces; how revealing might this be to you, the observer, overcoming the bounds of your initial reflexive reaction to familiar objects in unfamiliar form?”
Lisa received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from Mills College. She has exhibited locally at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Lux Art Institute, and David Zapf Gallery and nationally at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, the Holter Museum of Art, and the Museo ItaloAmericano. Lisa’s work has also been selected for several of the Athenaeum’s annual juried exhibitions.
The Athenaeum presents for the eleventh consecutive year an exhibition of artwork by scholarship winners of the San Diego State University School of Art, Design and Art History. The SDSU Art Council selects students from the upper division of the undergraduate or graduate programs. Each of the award winners receives the opportunity to present their artwork or thesis paper in the Athenaeum's Rotunda Gallery. The show is a consistent highlight of the Athenaeum's exhibition calendar. Please join us for the opening reception on Friday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. A short ceremony in the Rotunda will honor the winners.