Today, The Arts Fund nonprofit will open its latest exhibition, “Textural,” as part of its bi-monthly Funk Zone Art Walk. Called an “examination of the tactile and verse,” the exhibition curated by artist and Allan Hancock College art professor John Hood features the works of North County artists like Santa Maria-based Karl Kempton, William Loveless, and Juan Manual Perez Salazar, as well as pieces by Santa Barbara-based artist Jean Pierre Hebert. Created using a variety of mediums, the four artists’ works are tied together in the exhibit by a theme emphasizing artistic process rather than representation.
“All of these artists deal with very different materials and core subject matter, but we liked that they had the variety in process,” Mr. Hood told the News-Press.
Mr. Loveless’ pieces include paintings that consist of nine circular designs created using a mixture of ink on polyvinyl resin glue, ordered three-by-three on a white background. While ink and polymer are two substances that tend to clash, Mr. Hood said that Mr. Loveless’ ability to combine the two into artistic designs over the last two decades is akin to the way the other featured artists have “investigated age-old processes” throughout their careers.
According to Mr. Salazar, who is displaying circular, textured designs crafted from a mixture of soil and pigment, what also unites his work with the other three artists’ is a move “from subjectivity to abstraction.” Mr. Kempton and Mr. Hebert both produce prints of what Mr. Salazar referred to as “visual poetry,” but achieve this by using very different tools. Whereas Mr. Kempton produces prints with geometric patterns created by a typewriter, Mr. Hebert uses a computer to create abstract prints consisting of many colored lines. According to the artist’s website, he achieves this by writing algorithms that a personal software program interprets into a drawing.
While variety in the artists’ chosen media is apparent, Mr. Salazar pointed out the radical differences in artistic processes that went into creating the exhibit’s pieces. He particularly highlighted the differences between his pieces and the works of Mr. Kempton and Mr. Hebert, the first being that both of the printmakers utilize technology.
“Rather than using technology as a tool I’m using my body as a tool to guide me and allow me to enter and capture that idea and the feeling that I want through my work,” Mr. Salazar said.
The other major difference in their processes is that Mr. Kempton and Mr. Hebert’s prints were methodically thought out before they even started creating them. Mr. Salazar is the exact opposite and doesn’t conceive of his pieces before starting work on them.
“I’m not planning ahead. I get an impression and I’m going at it with paint and foreign materials and I won’t stop until the piece is finished… Whereas Karl or Jean, they will take a lot of time thinking,” he said.
“Textural” will open with a reception this evening between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. at The Arts Fund, located at 205-C Santa Barbara St. The exhibit will be open from today to December 20.