When a group of artists first gathered in Berkeley in the 1960s, they came together to talk about studios, exhibitions, teaching, politics, and sports. The conversations started early in the morning, and coffee fueled breakfast and the following hours in the studio.
It might have surprised that small circle of friends – Elmer Bischoff, Erle Loran, and Sidney Gordin – but just as they invited others to join in, to share news and debate process, this long reaching chain of camaraderie would stretch over half a century.
The Carl Cherry Center for the Arts has just such a deep history also, and when the Breakfast Group first came to exhibit seven years ago, it was pure pleasure to sit down to breakfast with a Carmel cohort. The opportunity to bring visions to the wall and interests to the table is an energizing course.
As the Breakfast Group returns today, it is in a drastically shifted landscape. In the midst of a global pandemic, the distance between is no longer measured in miles but in feet. Nonetheless, artists still get to the real work of the studio: painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, and sculpture – vividly developed, even if realized under compromised circumstances.
The weekly breakfasts of the Group have been suspended. That measure of the week, that marker that has punctuated lives for years, some even decades, has vanished. Sheltering in place during a global pandemic has altered time. It has lengthened. It has dissolved. It has suddenly rushed by. It has evaporated. Throughout this bending time, the artists have sought the possible: congregating via video conference, recording studio visits, publishing catalogues.
Stepping into a hybrid experience, some work can be viewed quietly in near-solitude in the gallery. And then, all work can be considered slowly, online, as the luminous pixels are pondered.
What remains unshakable is the dedication to art, support of fellowship, and open exchange. The Breakfast Group may only sit down together in spirit at the table in Carmel, but it is virtually a place to savor a second cup of coffee.
– Jan Wurm, The Breakfast Group