Dunsmuir art exhibit: Meet the artists featured at SAM's 'Through Space and Time'
On the surface of Siskiyou Art Museum's new exhibit, "Through Space and Time" is an eclectic presentation of diversity by Antelope Valley artists that came out of one shared studio, but one can get lost in the underlying love story that artist Warren Scherich created in his studio.
First, the artists:
Karen Nepstad is a mosquito abatement specialist who was inspired by the early sunrises in the desert while working. She turned to watercolor and tile work to express her appreciation of the beautiful locations she sees around Death Valley, Ventura and Stockton.
Harley Busch had an epiphany while looking in his tool box. "Images from Under the Hood," is a collection of close-up photographs of tools, nuts and bolts overlooked by mechanics that is strangely beautiful even for people who are not mechanically inclined.
Out of the pandemic, Edwin Vasquez's colorful ornate ceramic masks are not to be worn but are instead to draw attention to the beauty, variety, fragility and importance of the California desert flora and Mayan culture. This symbolism caused by the pandemic let his imagination run free to create new identities. Basillio Hernandez created small ceramic Aztec figurines he took from his dreams of animal spirits that speak to his heart derived from his family culture he calls "Memories from my Ancestors in Aztlan."
Marthe Aponte immigrated from France and now paints glazes on 4-by-4 tiles and puts them together resulting in poetry for the eyes.
And Warren Scherich is showing two acrylic impressions of the Eastern Sierra mountains that he painted simultaneously using shapes and overlapping strokes to create depth. He also has some of his exotic California marble stone work on display that took 10 hours to 5 months of work polishing and shaping and carving. "You don't know what you'll get," he says as he shows the difference of the raw side versus the polish side of the stone. "It is always a surprise to see what comes from these 40 million year old stones."
Scherich built a 24-by 24-foot tile dance floor nine feet in the ground. He and Nepstad had many ballroom dances on it before he buried it to make a fake architectural site of it. Out of that dance floor is where Nepstad was drawn to tile work and clay along with the man himself. "Expressing myself through art, Warren introduced me to clay. I squished and mushed clay and turned it into figurines and fell in love with it. Warren opened up another avenue of medium to explore. He brings out the art in everybody and provides the space and the opportunity to develop their art skills."
Scherich, known for his Dogu Invasion, shares his passion that has come out of the Mojave Desert through his multi medium works of art of stone carving, acrylic paintings and clay. He not only encouraged others to use his studio to become artists themselves, but drew one special artist, Karen Nepstad, into his love of painting, ceramics and ballroom dancing.
Through their passion, together they have also created a war between Scherich's Dogu Invaders and Nepstad's Wunderliks. These little aliens of sort, are battling for turf throughout our planet. Both Scherich and Nepstad have these whimsical creatures to give away at their show at SAM to plant in gardens or on windowsills.
To find out more about the Dogu Invasion or the Wunderliks, go to www.facebook.com/karen.n.mellor or www.warrenscherich.com or come to Siskiyou Arts Museum in Dunsmuir. The "Through Space and Time" exhibit will be open until Sept. 4.