“It is about creating community and dialogue”. – Patric Stillman
Located along the 30th Street Corridor in North Park, The Studio Door showcases an art gallery and working studios for 10 artists. Acting as an arts incubator, the North Park business dedicates much of its programming to the creative marketplace, artist services and personal art-to-market mentoring. Owner and artist, Patric Stillman was named Mentor of the Year by Professional Artist Magazine in March of this year, for his work with visual artists. “The economy is tough right now. Art is not a basic human need. It often gets left behind and, that makes times even tougher for artists that are trying to live off their creativity” shared Stillman in an interview for Vanguard Culture. “The idea behind the artist incubator is to give artists the skills that, maybe they are not getting at other places. We have lots of great opportunities in San Diego from Art Walk to Barrio Logan, one shot pop-up art shows to many other forms of arts experiences. Even though those opportunities exist, people do not necessarily have the skills to turn that around and make it work for them, especially in terms of sales”. He explained.
Part of this Studio’s purpose is to let people know that artists are -there-, how good art is in San Diego and to give the artists a skill set so they can take advantage of these opportunities. One of these opportunities is the catalogue ’50 to watch’ showcasing the top 50 artists in the County. The second edition will be launched Saturday May 14th in a reception at the Studio Door. “We also have a whole range of what I call ‘Art to Market’ workshops. That includes how to market, how to brand yourself as an artist, how to use the internet, how to set up an art booth and approach art galleries… how to make your art -gallery ready-. Those are the kinds of things that we help artists explore so that they can be more professional” added Patric.
The Studio Door is open to all artists in San Diego and beyond, doing national and regional shows. 50 to Watch is one of their largest projects because of the yearly publication that comes with it. “It goes out to 2,500 galleries across the country. That’s a significant production and what makes it attractive to local artists beyond the book, is the fact that the show is curated. We had Jenna S. Jacobs – Curatorial Manager of Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and Christine Knoke Hietbrink – Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator of Mingei Int’l Museum, who helped decide who the 50 to watch are. That is a great boost to somebody’s CV”.
Being this is a border town (and I am a border girl) the obligated question was if all these activities are limited to San Diego artists and the fabulous answer was no. “I am located in North Park and this is where I am based; but when I think of Greater San Diego, I think of including Tijuana as well. I think culturally we are all one region. It makes it easier sometimes to just include the U.S side but, we are inclusive. We have several artists that are from Mexico and participate. The walk through of this exhibit of local artists is a very interesting and unique one. It has a self-explanatory flow. “When I go to shows, all of the work is very similar in style or media and so, the public tends to say -I like this- or -I don’t like this- and that is the end of the conversation. Here at The Studio Door, we are constantly putting in diverse works and media. So then, the conversation changes to -I love this, I love that- -why? How come?- and then people start realizing what their taste in art is, as opposed to just kind of accepting it with a blanket yes or no and walking away. I think that it also works very well for the artists who then start to get inspired by people working outside of their comfort zone”. Concluded Patric. This is on point. So much, that I bought a piece as soon as we finished doing the walk through! (Just wanted to put my joy about acquiring a piece, out there). The jurors reviewed virtual portfolios of nearly 100 diverse visual artists before determining the final 50, which include painters, photographers, fused-glass artists, assemblage artists and fiber artists. They also selected three artists working at the top of their game:
• Victoria Huckins, Mixed Media Artist, Escondido – first prize winner
• Lisa Bebi, Mixed Media Artist, La Mesa – second prize winner
• Anisa Asakawa, Acrylic Painter, San Diego – third prize winner
Complete list of exhibiting artists:
Anisa Asakawa, Lisa Bebi, Ally Benbrook, Patrick Brown, Jeff Caffarel, Cathy Carey, Lance Chang, Nathaniel Clark, Brittany Comunale, Christopher Conroe, Paula Des Jardins, Kenda Francis, Linda Frueh, Susan Gesell, Gwynn Goodner, Lisa Griffiths, Joan Hansen, Jack Hegenauer, Mac Hillenbrand, Victoria Huckins, R Kagen, Daniel Ketelhut, BJ Lane, DC Langer, Cecelia Linayao, Viviana Lombrozo, Crisinda Lyons, Darryn Marshall, Rachel McDonald, Kathleen McLaughlin, Patrick McMahon, Sukhyun (Ester) Min, Maidy Morhous, Barbara Mosher, Danielle Nelisse, Teem Osborn, Jon Osio, Andrea Overturf, Robert Pendleton, Donn Angel Perez, Ana Phelps, Nancy Plank, Julia S Rasor, Sally Samins, Jon Savage, Tom O Scott, Patric Stillman, Stefan Talian, Christina Thomas, and Paul Ward.
You can go see all these wonderful works now until May 15th. The publication launch is scheduled for 6 PM on May 14 at The Studio Door (3750 30th Street, San Diego). Artwork will be available for sale. For more information, visit www.50toWatch.com or call (619) 255 – 4920.
IMAGE: Caffarel, Jeff – Long Ago Gone