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The San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild (Guild) is celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2015.
To commemorate this important anniversary and to highlight the many important artists who were members of the Guild during the past one hundred years, the Guild’s board of directors established a committee to review the Guild membership rosters and develop a list of one hundred exceptional artist members for inclusion in a general interest book featuring full color reproductions of their artwork for publication in 2015. The committee, chaired by board member and Guild historian Jody Abssy, spent close to five years locating membership rosters since the inception of the Guild in 1915 and nominating candidates. Nominations were based on 20 criteria that were developed by the committee and approved by the Guild Board of Directors. These criteria include the impact of the artist’s work on the community, the professional and public recognition the artist has achieved and the legacy the artist has passed on by example and through teaching.
A big “thank you” goes to Dr. James Grebl, the Museum’s head librarian for many years, for giving the committee access to the Museum’s archives and helping the committee “unearth” Guild rosters from the early to middle years of the Guild, before we had the rosters computerized. Dr. Grebl was recently promoted to Associate Curator of Research, Archives and Provenance/Curatorial Department and remains an active partner in our Centennial project. Much appreciation also goes to committee members Martin Petersen, retired Senior Curator and Curator of American Art at The San Diego Museum of Art,Guild board member Penny Hill, Guild member Ann Walker, and Guild member Earl Saunders, who unfortunately passed away before the completion of our Centennial Project. Jody and her team did an incredible job going through the many rosters, researching artists and arriving at the list of the hundred artists we are honoring.
While we were moving along on the book project, Daniel Foster, the Executive Director of the Oceanside Museum of Art, approached Angelika Villagrana last Fall with the idea to showcase the 100 Artists in an exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA). After a few meetings at OMA, Mr Foster suggested an April 2015 date and, all of a sudden, we had a very short timeline to gather artwork from living and deceased artists. We were very lucky that Mark-Elliott Lugo, former curator of the San Diego Public Library system and former art critic for The Tribune, had joined the History Committee after it had established the list of the 100 Artists and helped us with the layout of the proposed book. Once the OMA exhibition became a reality, he agreed to be the curator for the OMA exhibition. Through his work as the Public Library system curator, he knew many contemporary artists, collectors and galleries whom he contacted for appointments to talk about our project and discussed the possibility of their loaning us the artwork that we needed. The result was very positive - everyone was excited about our Centennial Project. Mark spent hundreds of hours gathering the necessary artwork and we cannot thank him enough for all his work and dedication to the project.
We also owe much gratitude to the many artists, collectors, galleries, City of San Diego, San Diego History Center, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and our own San Diego Museum of Art for lending art to this important exhibition. And a big “thank you” goes to Daniel Foster and his incredible staff for making this exhibition possible. OMA is making available its two downstairs galleries. One gallery will show Guild members’ art from the early years and the other gallery will feature art from the later years.
In conjunction with the OMA exhibition, The San Diego Museum of Art will celebrate the Guild Centennial by exhibiting more than a dozen works in various media by nominated artists who belonged to the Guild during its early years in the Museum’s Welcome Gallery from May 2 through August 30, 2015. Dr. Grebl selected these pieces from the permanent collection of the Museum. We thank the Museum’s Maruja Baldwin Director Roxana Velásquez for making this exhibition possible and appointing Dr. Grebl as the Guild’s liaison. (See related article here.)
Since gathering work for the OMA exhibition became a priority, we had to postpone working on the book project until after the opening of the exhibition. Therefore, the book will be published later in the year.
We urge all Guild members to take the time to visit both the OMA and The San Diego Museum of Art exhibitions. You will be proud to be a Guild member!
The San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild is proud to acknowledge the works of the one hundred extraordinary Guild member artists nominated to be included in the Guild’s Centennial Project: 100 Artists, 100 Years:
Carroll Parrott Blue
Leon Durand Bonnet
Capt. James Brown
Henry Lord Gay
Everett Gee Jackson
Kwan Yee Jung
Emil Kosa Jr.
Kathleen E. Marshall
Richard Allen Morris
James Tank Porter
Rob Wellington Quigley
Lyne T. “Bud” Shackelford
Robert W. Snyder
G. Pasha Turley
Herbert B. Turner
Albert R. Valentien
Walter Haase Wojtyla