“Sojourners Passing Through Time and Space,” by Elaine Sigwald.

The 2014 Artists Council Exhibition is currently on display at the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Jorgensen Gallery and Marks Graphic Center. This year’s juror, Donna MacMillan—a generous supporter of the museum—selected some 70 works among submissions from about 400 artists.

The exhibit shows a broad range of representational, non-representational and abstract art in varying media. MacMillan also selected one piece of video art.

The Best in Show award went to Elaine Sigwald for her digitally hand-painted photograph “Sojourners Passing Through Time and Space.” The oversized, glossy vertical image is awash in organic brown and orange-black shapes. Electric blue-white ganglia-like forms create an intense dimensionality and offset the deep browns and oranges. The piece is worth noting, if only for its size and for the artist’s technical proficiency.

Another award winner is Cindy King, whose pen-and-ink drawing “Hills of California” was discussed in a previous Coachella Valley Independent story on the artist.

“Vertical Hold II,” by Irene Ryan Maloney, is a narrow intaglio print. A scratchy purplish form is at the bottom of the work; as a viewer’s eyes moves upward, a well-articulated head in black and white appears. With a blank upward stare, the head at the top becomes what appears to be more of a death mask than a portrait. The piece contains a quiet, controlled power. This print earned the Michele Jamison Memorial Award.

Lucia Grossberger Morales’ “Fractal Sines” didn’t receive an award, but it’s worth noting as the only piece of video art in the show—and it is a stand-out addition. In silence, a video monitor displays a screen of seemingly ever-changing, amorphous cloud-like formations, for four minutes. Clouds change from fun, light and floating, to ominous and threatening. Grossberger’s mesmerizing and almost hypnotic creation shows off shades of blue and purple, with hints of grey.

Atop an orange-red painted panel, Darrell Corn applies a rich deeply-saturated blue encaustic to create “Borneo.” About 80 percent of the panel is covered by the encaustic, and the eye wanders across the entire painting, seeking spaces where the contrasting orange-red peeks through. When a viewer blinks, the orange-red forms seemingly move from backdrop to foreground. The experience of depth is further enhanced by the orange-red patches that at times seem to float.

Jim Riche’s black-and-white photograph “Visitor Center” at first seems like a dramatic presentation of the iconic mid-century building that greets visitors when driving into Palm Springs on Highway 111. The angled roof commands the space with cirrus clouds dancing in the background; unfortunately, the artist’s attempt to frame the bottom of the image by including the small treetops and possibly the ground doesn’t work. The irregular black band, to me, was a visual distraction.

Kim Chasen’s “Blocks 2,” an acrylic and mixed-media piece, consists of two horizontal bands of five blocks. The face of each block is textured to enhance the experience, and each face is in a muddied color, like lime green or orange.

All works in the show, valued between $500 and $6,000, are for sale. The proceeds are equally divided between the artist and the museum’s educational programs.

The awards ceremony for the show takes place in the museum’s Annenberg Theater at 5:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 7, and is followed by a reception in the Elrod Sculpture Garden and the museum’s lower-level galleries. Admission is free and open to the public.

The 2014 Artists Council Exhibition is on display through Sunday, Dec. 7, at the Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, in Palm Springs. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; and noon to 8 p.m., Thursday. Admission is $12.50 general; $10.50 for seniors; $5 for students; and free to members, kids 12 and younger, active military members and everyone the second Sunday of each month and after 4 p.m. on Thursday. For more information, call 760-322-4800, or visit www.psmuseum.org.

Below: “Borneo,” by Darrell Corn.

One reply on “Celebrating the Local: The Palm Springs Art Museum Shows Off Area Talent in ‘The 2014 Artists Council Exhibition’”

  1. I just read about Rene Maloney winning special recognitiion for a painting. I especially love her oversized studies of light and figures under water. She has mastered the “ethereal” in her paintings.

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