Living with Art
Thirty years collecting Southern California contemporary
Year 2000: corner of Manny Farber,
John Frame sculpture, David Hines painting, Martha Alf drawing,
vase by Italo Scanga, table by David Fobes.
It is December
2008 and I am now retired from sponsoring public exhibitions
under the rubric Simayspace Gallery. The Reed Cardwell show is
the last exhibition in a run of exhibitions than stretches back
for 26 years to 1982. I can’t tell the number of shows – and
have never kept count. I have never not been showing. So I
would guess that Simayspace has been one of the longest running
contemporary art spaces in San Diego.
I showed a whole
lot of artists and most of them were San Diego birthed or
based. Many had their first exhibition with me. Many have gone
on to be art stars.
exhibitions were well received by one faction or another. That
is perhaps the greatest disappointment I have in the San Diego
art scene – it doesn’t believe in itself enough to get out and
be supportive. Each artist has their own audience and the
artists/audiences rarely break ranks and attend the exhibitions
of “others.” I am fortunate to have been able to meet and work
with many different art factions within this region. I know the
“others.” It is a set of experiences that is available to all,
but few partake.
Year 2002: Victor Henderson
encaustic, Keikichi Honna vase, James Fee photo,
Ernest Silva construction, new Todd Partridge shelf commission.
I have a
collection of art that hugely spans this history that I have
lived. Now – the results of that 30 year endeavor are
yielding even more insights and pleasures. History is a
wonderful interpretive tool.
To this moment
my greatest joy is found in the visual arts. After 30 years I
can think of no finer way to spend my day than to look at art.
Perhaps it is even more joyful now that I have been educated by
history and experience.
I wish I wasn’t
aging in the mortal sense. I don’t mind aging in the
educational/experiential sense. My parents (father dead and
mother at 85) teach me about mortality and that even with the
fullest and most powerful life – we don’t get to play it back or
Having spent 30
years acquiring art – a collection passionately tended to – I
figure it will probably take me 30 years hence to pass the
artworks on to its next custodian. I am 58 and I will be lucky
to have a productive enough next 30 years to de-evolve the
collection. Or is it, re-evolve.
Year 2008: Eric Johnson sculpture,
Peter Zokosky drawing, Diane Gamboa painting,
John Humble photograph, Dan McCleary drawing, Doris Bittar painting,
John Gossage photograph, John Sonsini painting, Daniel Wheeler sculpture,
Jeff Irwin sculpture, Martha Alf drawing, Eric Johnson painting.
Year 2008: James Fee photograph,
Johnny Coleman sculpture,
Candace Gawne neon, Manny Farber painting.
The images on this page are from my
residence of the last 36 years.