Museums in Balboa Park, San Diego

Sculpture in Balboa Park Cafe

We spent a couple of days in San Diego; one whole day at Balboa Park. The first museum we came to was the Museum of Living Artists, so of course, we had to check that out. They had a show of local artists responding to the Dead Sea Scrolls (which are currently showing at the Museum of Natural History).

Good show, similar in some ways to an AVAA show. For a local show, I was impressed by the number of strong and thoughtful pieces. There were many interesting responses to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

There was a beautiful abstract called Mosaic #6 by Jane Fletcher, the prettiest piece in the show, and a very funny piece called “The Dead Sea Squirrels” by Hank Gross. There was a very interesting Torah-photo sculpture by Art Ferber, and a thoughtful piece called “What Every Household Needs” by Nanette Newbry that printed the entire Patriot Act in something like 1pt. type on a metal plate.

Sculpture Garden at Balboa ParkCheryl Sorg, in a piece titled “Bodies I Have in Mind, and How They Can Change to Assume New Shapes,” created a piece that encompassed I think all of the text of Ovid’s Metamorphosis, each line of tiny text cut out and arranged in concentric shapes morphing from a circle of text to a butterfly, each shaped piece about 24” in diameter and encased between sheets of plastic. Another notable piece was called “Scroll and Palimpsest” by Bob Simpson – a 13 panel long mixed media piece on plywood that beautifully incorporated marks that resembled writings with drawing and painting.

There was a pretty groovy mixed media piece called “Sheep” by Wendy Kwasny-Bowen and a beautiful large oriental style scroll piece called “Waves in Conversation” by Rosemary Kimball, a nice small piece called “Fish Legend” by Meredith Cummings, and several other very nice or very thoughtful pieces, like “The Scroll That Never Ends” by Robert Collie, a digital piece about all the soldiers we’ve lost in Iraq.

There were also two featured artists with many works on display: Jo-Lind Eckstein and Claire-Lise Matthey Anderegg. They both did work that ranged from small to medium-large, and the work was layered and very richly textured. I loved both of their styles very much.

Next, we went to the Museum of Art and saw a few small rooms of paintings from Ingres to Frantisek Kupka and the surrealists. I really loved the Kupka piece! His work was apparently so avant-garde at the time, even the avant-garde didn’t get it. When asked what his work represented, he responded “Must then a work of art represent something?”

Sculpture Garden at Balboa Park

There was also a nice, elaborate show of Impressionist Artists of Giverny – lots of beautiful paintings by some of the apparently 350 artists painting around there at that time, including of course Monet, and also Frieseke, plus many I have never before heard of.

Finally, the cafe had some wonderful sculptures within, and outside was a great sculpture garden. The sculptures shown here are all from the cafe and sculpture garden. Link to the Balboa Park Gardens and Museums.