Friday, May 29, 2009

West of the West Art Exhibit - A Celebration of Ranch Life

Ranch living in Central Oregon was a true culture shock for me when I moved from Southern California to Bend, Oregon in the 1980's. Though I'd lived at both the beach and the mountains, rural ranch life was like nothing I'd experienced. I moved to a ramshackle almost-100-year-old ranch of about 20 acres (it was a bank repo of a ranch that originally numbered near a couple hundred acres). Here are the two original oil paintings I am exhibiting in the West of West exhibit. They are both direct expressions of my life experiences during that time.
When: Saturday, May 30 – Sunday, June 28, 2009 - Artist Reception
Where: High Desert Gallery, 281 W Cascade Avenue, Sisters Oregon 97759

West of West, A Celebration of Ranch Life at High Desert Gallery
Fine Art Group Exhibition and Sale featuring work by Central Oregon Artist including, Cristina Acosta, Kathy Deggendorfer, Kimry Jelen, Grace Bishko, Paul Alan Bennett, Cary Weigand, Trisha Hassler, Glen Corbet, J Chester (Skip) Armstrong, plus special guest Central Oregon artists, Jerry Werner, Sue C Smith and Jean Wells.

West of West , A Celebration of Ranch Life
hosted by High Desert Gallery from May 30 through June 28, 2009.

An Artist Reception on Saturday, May 30, 2009 from 4-7pm will include great art by regionally and nationally acclaimed Central Oregon Artists, refreshments, live music and a darn good time. A Hoot For Sure! West of West, A Celebration of Ranch Life is in collaboration with Sisters Art Works, Ranch Life and Rodeo Show a day long celebration and special exhibition of the Western lifestyle and living history.

Artist Reception: Saturday, May 30, 2009 4-7PM
High Desert Gallery – 281 W Cascade Avenue at Oak Street, Sisters Oregon 97759
For more information:, 541-388-8964 / 866-549-6250
Gallery Hours (Spring): Open Friday through Monday 10am to 6pm, Tuesday through Thursday 10am to 2:30pm. Summer Hours starting June 14, 2009 Open Daily 10am to 6pm.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Co-Teaching a Workshop at A6 in Bend, OR

Patricia Clark and I are co-teaching the class, "Infringing Upon Barriers - Icons & Iconography" at Pat's beautiful print-making studio, Atelier 6000 or A6, in Bend, Oregon next week. It's going to be a lot of fun and very interesting. A6 is a "green" studio which means you won't be smelling toxic oil based printing inks. The light is beautiful, the workspace serene and well-balanced and Pat is lovely.

Here's what you need to to know about our class:

Workshop: Tue–Fri, Jun 2–5, 10:30 am–3 pm
Invite freedom and flow into your art and jump-start your creativity in this exciting class that breaks down the barriers between the artistic practices of painting and printmaking. Veteran artists Pat Clark and Cristina Acosta will demonstrate their process and techniques for you. You’ll learn to combine painting and printmaking techniques to create something new and different on canvas or paper. Not only will you be inspired, informed and empowered, you’ll have accumulated class techniques and processes to inform a portfolio of unique drawing and painting outcomes.
Adult. $151 + $35 studio fee.
389 SW Scalehouse Ct. Suite 120, Bend, OR 97702, 541.728.8527

We'd love to see you there!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Exhibiting my Madonna series in Santa Fe

I'm in New Mexico this week delivering my paintings to El Museo Cultural in Santa Fe, NM. This series of contemporary paintings is from my Hispanic Heritage Series. My work is based on the traditional retablo form, but with contemporary imagery of Madonnas such as the Guadalupe, Conquistadora and others. What puts my images into the contemporary definition is that I "remake" the traditional iconic images rather than painting a verbatim image. 

The art exhibit  at El Museo Cultural is titled: Reshaping the Divine - Contemporary Hispanic Retablos Exploring the Sacred Feminine, by Cristina Ortiz Acosta.  I use a longer version of my name for my Hispanic Heritage Series in homage to my New Mexican ancestors. 

In New Mexico, my grandmother's family were referred to as "Spanish", a term that is still used today. In New Mexico, being a Mexican American or Chicano has a different meaning than in the rest of the United States because those terms do not specifically denote the Hispanic people that have been in this part of North America for over 4 centuries and still refer to themselves as Spanish. The variety of ways to describe oneself or others is  kind of confusing if you're not aware of the meanings.

The reason I'm bringing this up is to describe the cultural context my series of retablo paintings are part of -- the conceptual foundation is the New Mexican or Spanish retablo and ex-voto traditions of my Ortiz ancestors.

It's very satisfying to work with the Madonna theme -- I love the nuances of meaning I consider with my choices of imagery, shapes and color. 

This exhibit of my contemporary New Mexican Spanish retablos of madonnas is through Summer 2009 at El Museo Cultural, 615 #B Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM. 

Note: Image is titled  Running Meditation

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sidewalk Chalk Murals for Kids

Drawing in public can freak out a normally well-adjusted adult, sending them shyly scampering at the mere question. On the contrary, most kids will excitedly step into the project. After my career as a window painter and billboard artist, I became so used to people watching me as I paint, that I can easily block them out, as long as they don't start talking. Even then, if I get very focused I can block them out.

That's why I was excited to help my friend Cameron Clark of C3 Productions. Cameron hired me to help with a neighborhood Earth Day event at Northwest Crossing in Bend, Oregon. My job was to facilitate the kid's chalk drawing mural.

It was a fun project. Cameron gave me a bucket of chalk and pointed out a 20 foot long section of sidewalk I would oversee. I drew a border around the area, then segmented out land, sky and water so that the kids could draw something within the Earth Day theme. The plan was for all of the images to come together into one large casual mural.

The kids did it!! I started a few drawings so anyone wanting to fill in the lines would have a start. Quite a few kids made their own drawings. After they finished and walked off I'd add a few bright lines to delineate the work or to freshen it after small feet and other body parts inadvertently rubbed off some of the chalk.

As you can see by my pant legs and shoes, I managed to sit on a drawing more than once!