“Lost and Found: Assemblage Artists of Northern California” features multiple works from eight of the finest assemblage artists working in California today: Robert Armstrong, Spencer Brewer, Dianne Hoﬀman, Sean O’Donnell, Ray Magsalay, Monty Monty, Nancy Sevier, and Esther Siegel.
From Redwood Valley to San Francisco to the Monterey Peninsula, these artists share a common goal: the desire to find and collect forgotten things, then spend an inordinate amount of time bringing harmony, humor, beauty, new meaning and purpose to these remnants of another era.Meet these time traveling visionaries at an artists’ reception on Friday, April 7th, from 5pm – 7pm at the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Carmel. The event is free and open to the public.
“Lost and Found” will run through May 6th, and can be seen during gallery hours: Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 4:00 pm or by appointment. The Cherry Center is located on the northwest corner of Fourth and Guadalupe, Carmel.
A chance encounter last summer led Ellen and me into a walk-in cabinet of curiosities housed in a barn. It was filled from floor to ceiling with a cornucopia of piano parts, pipe organ pipes, violins, brass instruments, toys, rivets, bones, eggbeaters, vintage radios, antique electronics, masks, mannequins and much, much more, all neatly organized in bins and boxes on shelves and hanging from hooks on walls. On the floor, there were several workbenches with tools of the trade and just as many worktables, each with multiple sculptures in the process of becoming.
The art barn, home, horse ranch and surrounding folk art follies are the playground of Spencer Brewer and Esther Siegel, a couple of happily working, multi-hyphenate artists, who also (not coincidentally) produced and edited a newly released book, called “Lost and Found: Assemblage Artists of Northern California.”
I was so inspired by Spencer, Esther and the remarkable group of artists featured in their book, I asked Robert Reese if we could bring them to the Cherry, together with three of the most celebrated assemblage artists from the Monterey Peninsula.
The book, “Lost and Found: Assemblage Artists of Northern California,” will be available for purchase in the gallery. Link to the book and artists: https://lostandfound.art/
– Jim Dultz
Pictured: Robert Armstong
The Artists and their Statements:
Robert Armstrong (Carmel Valley) “My intention is to keep the work process and the materials simple, direct, and obvious so that ideas, energies, forms, and associations are exposed, stirred, shifted, and scrambled with a playful approach and a discursive edge.”
Spencer Brewer: (Redwood Valley) “Analogue relics from the 19th century were once envisioned and manufactured to last lifetimes, all made from the finest materials available. Utilizing these materials, I create sculptures that hopefully inspire viewers to think outside the box in their own creative worlds.”
Dianne Hoﬀman: (San Francisco) “I have a tendency to personify inanimate objects and feel genuine compassion for those that are damaged or discarded. I see potential in broken bits and find beauty in rust and erosion. The older an object, the more haunting and alluring its ghost.”
Sean O’Donnell: (San Francisco) “I have always been a tinkerer. My generation of boys grew up building tree forts, customizing our bicycles and demonstrating complete disregard for the assembly instructions needlessly included in our model car kits. My creative process is more about the tunnel than the light at the end of it.”
Monty Monty: (Graton) “I am fascinated with the earliest modes of transportation, gadgetry in all forms and just about everything else from the turn of the century. I admire antiques and things with age on them. These show up in my art, which I refer to as “Vintage Collectible Sculpture and Assemblage.”
Ray Magsalay: (Pacific Grove) “I spent much of my childhood alone, developing a strong connection to fantasy and magic. This shows up in the art I create. All time spent making art guarantees a feeling of peace within me, so I continue to make it.”
Nancy Sevier: (Salinas) “I bring together abandoned parts. Even in their brokenness, these objects hold meaning and conjure a desire for wholeness and harmony. I’m interested in exploring the object and its embedded cultural memory.”
Esther Siegel: (Redwood Valley) “Once I discovered I could “draw and paint” with objects, I was hooked. Just as I have always enjoyed putting together ingredients in the kitchen to bake and cook, I love the alchemy of creating interesting combinations of objects in the studio for their new and ‘perfect home.’”