May 13 - August 20, 2023
Sages honors nineteen Southern Californian artists who have both practiced and taught art throughout their long careers. Widely acclaimed as art-makers, their parallel commitment to education is relatively unrecognized. Some, like Connie Jenkins and Jim Morphesis, have taught at the university and junior college level. John M. White taught at the high school level and Gerri McMillin has had an alternative teaching career, offering periodic workshops rather than institutionalized classes. Most are technically retired, although some, like Kay Yee, continue to teach and mentor privately. As teachers and mentors, they have inspired – and continue to influence – other artists profoundly. Southern California, instead of having art-gathering venues, like Paris’ Cafe Les Deux Magots or New York’s Cedar Bar, has educational environments as its pillar. Here, such communities have been centered around these artist-teachers.
The Sages artist-teachers work in several creative territories. Ruth Weisberg and Judy Baca focus on the history and politics of oppression, while Sant Khalsa and Bruce Everett explore spirituality and nature, respectively. Others produce work that address the social issues of our time: Suvan Geer and Hiroko Yoshimoto address climate change and its adverse effects on plant and animal species, Suzanne Lacy challenges ageism with her installation, The Crystal Quilt, and Ulysses Jenkins takes on racial bias, (mis)representation in the media, and war in his music videos. Their presentations range from the single painted images of Gilah Hirsch to alternative formats, like Catherine Ruane’s immense mosaics of drawings on paper and Andree Mahoney’s Chakra Mural.
The Sages exhibition is centered in the museum’s Main Gallery. It extends to several wall spaces on the second floor where special solo exhibitions of Joanne Julian, Alex Kritselis, Gerri McMillin, and Tom McMillin can be found. Sages also reaches into the past by honoring ten renowned artist-teachers whom the world has recently lost as part of Sages: In Memoriam. Craig Antrim, Bob Bassler, Hans Burkhardt, Carole Caroompas, Bee Colman, Dave Elder, Roland Reiss, Rachel Rosenthal, June Wayne, and Charles White are represented by select artworks. They are remembered by students, friends, and colleagues in short memorial essays.
John M. White
Sages Solo Exhibition and Installation
The Way of Clay
Hitting the Wall
Travels in Blocks of Time, Spooky Actions at a Distance from the series Descendent Dialogues