Peer into CALIdoscope

Exhibition featuring works by four contemporary artists opens this weekend in Huntington Beach.

October 12, 2011|By Imran Vittachi
  • Andre Woodward of the Huntington Beach Art Center works to set up an art exhibit by Jennifer Vanderpool, which part of the new art show CALIdoscope, which opens on Friday night. Vanderpool's project includes flowers, birds and butterflies made partially of ceramic hanging from the ceiling.
Andre Woodward of the Huntington Beach Art Center works… (STEVEN GEORGES,…)

Curator Darlene DeAngelo hopes to stimulate the minds of Surf City citizens through a new show at the Huntington Beach Art Center.

"I am interested in showing this community really new and exciting work, things that you wouldn't normally see in a beach community …" she says. "I think this community is really intelligent, so it needs things that will challenge them and make them more aware of what's going on in the larger picture of the art world."

On Saturday, the city-operated HBAC will open "CALIdoscope," its main exhibition for the fall 2011 program. The center on Main Street will kick off the show with a reception at 7 p.m. Friday.

Within the building's walls, DeAngelo has brought together four installations individually created by an all-female quartet of contemporary Southern California artists: Rebecca Niederlander, Jennifer Vanderpool, Kimber Berry and Jill D'Agnenica.

In their own ways, the works that make up "CALIdoscope" reflect themes that ordinary people can relate to, according to center officials. Each installation represents a facet of the human experience through the loss of jobs, possessions and even loved ones.


"It has heart to it," Kate Hoffman, the center's executive director, says of the show. "Each of the artists is talking about issues of a contemporary nature: home, loss, the impact of media … "

"This is not a sad exhibit, by any means," she continues. "But it does touch on those issues that help our audience to open their eyes. I think that one of the things that I value about art … is that we can address contemporary issues in a visually compelling way, and I think this exhibit does that."

The so-called environmental art exhibition, which will run through Dec. 17, comprises four installations set apart by an equal number of rooms.

"What we created were environments based on something that the artist wanted to create as a meandering sort of pathway or labyrinth, so that you sort of walk in and you just look at objects and try to figure out how do those things coalesce," DeAngelo says.

Entering the first of three connected galleries, the visitor will see a spare installation by Niederlander. Dubbed "Grief," the installation combines sound with an assortment of large objects.

Each one represents five stages in the cycle of despair or loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. For example, a giant piece of crumpled red paper represents anger.

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