Talking about Art (& Sole) with Renee Theuer
Renee Theuer has been a long-time and active member of the Riverside Art Museum's Board of Trustee. In fact, she's been so active, she "stepped up" to help put together our Art & Sole event, scheduled for August's Arts Walk, along with fellow board members Lois Ford and Madelyn Millen. Renee will be stepping down as a Board Member after this event. Her energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to the arts will be missed.
What prompted you to become a RAM Board Member?
I have loved the Riverside Art Museum since I was a little girl. In fact, I learned how to swim at the YWCA, which used to be the purpose of the Riverside Art Museum building. My mom took me to Art Fun-in-the-Sun a long time ago and I learned how to make puppets out of paper mache. That gave me the confidence to make all kinds of other art from then on. The arts teach us how to see the world and how to create our vision of it to inspire others.
What did you hope to contribute/accomplish as a Board Member?
Help make sure that RAM is here for others that follow me and to make sure that it reflects all types of people in the community. I want to get new members to feel a part of the museum right away so they can contribute their skills to make us a stronger organization. Our members join us because they think they can be a part of something important in the community. We have to make sure that they are engaged and find the magic here that I did--whether it is for them or their children.
Are you, yourself, an artist?
I call myself a photographic artist after the artistic tradition of the very earliest photographers. My job is to capture the moments that matter to my customers. My greatest satisfaction is from restoring their family photos because I know what it feels like to lose your photos due to neglect and someone else's lack of interest in them. I consider myself an artist because of what it takes to make an artistic and meaningful photograph. You can see my work at my website, www.rltphotoartist.com. I also have a shop called Riverside Stamp and Coin ARTS CENTER. I do event photography, matting and framing, and photo restoration. I get all types of interesting assignments from people and I like that because every day is really different. I also make jewelry from semi-precious gems and have a portfolio of photographs which I have taken on our travels throughout the world. We show and sell the work of local artists here. I also do large format fine art printing (up to 44 inches wide and 80 inches long). We sell fine art, affordable decorative art, and rare books. It's an eclectic mix, but people have fun checking stuff out here. And, as a bonus, I get to invite people to join the Riverside Art Museum all the time. I like to encourage people to come meet me at Arts Walk every first Thursday of the month. Arts Walk officially starts at the Riverside Art Museum, after all. :-)
Do you belong to any of RAM's affiliate artist groups?
I belong to the Photo Artists Network. There are some really talented photographers there who are always willing to help others. It's a nice group of people that enjoy getting out and taking pictures together. I usually don't like clubs, but this one is geared to include everyone interested in photography.
What can you tell us about Art & Sole?
You don't want to miss Arts Walk on August 4. We are going to have artists there to paint new sneakers that people bring to the event for a $25.00 donation to RAM. Don't miss this chance to walk around in your own personalized, designer sneakers this summer. We will also have some fun things for the kids to do. And if you miss the event, stay tuned. We will be auctioning off some of our local artist creations soon. Come have fun with us on August 4 and tour Arts Walk in your new sneakers!
Zee Beard and Sue Mitchell, standing next to Sue's artwork which is now part of RAM's Permanent Collection.
Sue Mitchell: Philanthropist Extraordinaire
If you live in Riverside, you’ve probably heard or read about Riverside Personnel Services (RPS). Founded in 1978 by Susan “Sue” Mitchell and Zelma “Zee” Beard, RPS works with companies looking to fill temporary and permanent positions.
Sue received her Bachelor of Arts in Management (with Distinction) from the University of Redlands in 1988 and her Certified Personnel Consultant National Certification in 1990. She uses both to help RPS find jobs for thousands of Inland Empire residents -- an invaluable service in this economy.
It should be of no surprise then that Sue is a philanthropist extraordinaire. Not only is it her business to help people get back to work, she has volunteered time and money to countless community organizations, such as the Riverside Community Hospital, the YWCA, the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, the United Way of the Inland Valleys, and, of course, the Riverside Art Museum (RAM) as an active artist-member and member of RAM’s Acquisitions Committee. And she has the awards to prove her philanthropic bent; among numerous other awards won both before and after, the YWCA chose Sue to be the first ever recipient of the Peggy Fouke Wortz Award for Philanthropic Excellence in 1995.
Sue not only supports RAM by helping our Acquisitions Committee evaluate and accept new art pieces into our Permanent Collection, she has been a patron of the arts for most of her adult life. “The Riverside arts community is a rich one and then we have Southern CA and its many galleries and museums,” says Sue. “Many of these artists have become mentors and friends. I hope to join their ranks in a few years.”
Yes, Sue Mitchell is a budding artist. While she has been a business owner for over 30 years, her interest in art has always been lurking. In January of 2009, she began her artistic journey by taking a printmaking class at Riverside Community College with Denise Kraemer.
Denise Kraemer, Ellen Kime-Hunt, and Sue Mitchell
“I have been a collector of beautiful objects my whole life. When I create, I work ‘til I have something I would want to own. If I like the color and design, I am satisfied [and] not worried if it will please others.”
Sue currently works primarily in mixed-media: collage, collography, chine colle printmaking, mosaic, and found objects, striving to create her art in a non-toxic workspace.
Her favorite “found objects”? Rocks. Sue has an amazing collection of small stones of various colors and shapes that she deemed “worth bending for”.
“My process is to make the print first and then find the ‘perfect’ rock. I tried the reverse, pulling a favorite rock and then making a print that mirrored the color and design. The results seemed contrived and once I reversed the process, the pieces felt more genuine and true.”
The first artwork Sue ever sold was purchased by Bobbie Powell, former Executive Director of RAM. Feeling like an “official artist” now as she hobnobs with artists like Van Arno (seen below at RAM’s California Kustom reception last year), she happily states, “I love RAM because I can see, make, buy, and sell art in one of Riverside’s finest historical buildings with all my art loving friends.…What’s not to love about that?!”
Sue Mitchell and Van Arno at last year's California Kustom reception.
En Plein Air
Terry d. Chacon is one of the founders and the current president of the Plein Air Artists of Riverside (PAAR), an affiliate group of the Riverside Art Museum (RAM). With PAAR’s 6th Annual 9-Day Paint-Out due to begin on February 19th, Terry graciously set aside some time to answer some questions about herself and the Paint-Out.
When did the art bug get you?
I grew up with two artists, my mother and my aunt. They worked in ceramic and clay. I used to help them and did a few things on my own creating ceramic items to sell at dog shows for friends and acquaintances who showed Afghan Hounds.
Did you receive any formal training or schooling in the arts?
I’m basically home schooled in the art department. I’ve had many mentors and teachers who have helped me progress in areas that I have found interesting and felt would help me get to the point I would like to be. I’m still a student and a sponge, soaking up everything I can. I guess I will always be a student because there is so much to learn.
What mediums do you currently work in or with?
I work in oil in my studio doing pet portraits and commissioned work. I also paint in oil and use a palette knife on location (in plein air). The palette knife makes my clean up really easy and I love the impressionistic style it gives my work, keeping my colors clean and vibrant. I also sculpt in ceramic and do bronze sculpture as well.
Who or what would you say influenced or continues to influence your art?
I have always been influenced by Impressionism. When I wanted to learn to paint in plein air, I found Susan Sarback, who trained in the lineage of Impressionist painters (most notably, Claude Monet). Susan studied with Henry Hensche who studied with Charles Hawthorne. Charles painted with Monet and brought back to America what he had learned and taught it at his Cape Cod School of Art. I feel very lucky to have found Susan Sarback. She has been a huge influence on me and the way I want to paint. I try to take a workshop from her every year, just to refresh what I have learned and work on things I can improve on.
Do you have a favorite work of art that you’ve created?
Boy, that’s a hard one. I guess I would have to say my favorite bronze is “Harmony”. It is a self portrait of me showing one of my favorite Afghan Hounds. I am probably the most proud of this piece. I cried when it was completed, knowing where I started and how far I have come. In plein air I have a lot of favorites. I paint once a week, so they add up. Once a year, a group of us go to Catalina and some of my favorite paintings are from there. The light is especially beautiful there. This is where the Plein Air Painters of America started and I can certainly see why.
You’re one of the founders of PAAR. Why did you feel the need to create this group?
There were 12 of us on a steering committee which eventually became the organization back in 2005. Several of us were painting in plein air, but were looking for other artists to paint with. It’s not advisable to be out painting by yourself. You get so involved in your painting that you lose touch with where you are and what is going on around you, so it’s best to have a painting buddy. Daniel Foster, the previous Executive Director of RAM, was looking for some artists to start such a group and when he approached us, we jumped at the chance.
What prompted the Paint-Out?
Right away, we latched onto the idea of having our first 9-Day Paint-Out. I think we had a couple of months to put it together. We’ve come a long way in six years. For our first Paint-Out, we had a couple hundred dollars in prizes and now we have over $5000 in cash awards and prizes.
What do you hope the artists who participate in the Paint-Out will get out of it?
This is an event that allows them to paint everyday to improve their skills, exhibit and sell their work, and meet other artists who are interested in the same type of work.
What do you hope the public will get out of the Paint-Out?
We want the public to become familiar with a group of artists that are involved in painting the Riverside landscape, such as Mission Inn Ave., the Mission Inn, Martha McLean Narrows, Fairmount Park, and many more beautiful sights, including the Riverside Art Museum. We paint urban areas as well as downtown. After six years, most of the artists have quite a collection of work from the Riverside area.
Can the public come up and talk to the artists participating in the Paint-Out?
Absolutely. Most artists who paint on location are used to this. However, we are so involved in what we are doing a lot of the time that we don’t even notice. I would suggest that you do not tap an artist on the shoulder who is in deep thought with their painting. You may hear some screaming. Best to just ask the question and when they have a minute, they will reply.
Who can join PAAR?
Anyone can join. We have three demonstrations a year where new artists can learn what we do. They can also come out and watch the artists work on one of our location days. We paint every second Wednesday of the month and the following Saturday and Sunday. Our locations are listed on our blog. Here, you will also find some of the artists’ works from the different locations we go to paint.
Are beginners welcome?
Yes. We don’t teach, but you can learn a lot by watching other artists and asking questions. There are a lot of plein air artists who teach workshops.
Artist Teodor Dumitrescu with RAM's Executive Director, MJ Abraham, and Teodor's artwork which is featured in RAM's lobby.
Adding complex, contemporary appeal to RAM's Permanent Collection
The Riverside Art Museum's Permanent Collection emphasizes the work of American artists, particularly Californian artists and those active within the Inland Empire.
Our collection includes: 900+ prints, lithographs, and serigraphs; 200+ oils, acrylics, and watercolors; and nearly 200 additional works of art, such as ceramics, drawings, mixed-media objects, and sculpture.
Some of the famous artists whose artwork is part of our Permanent Collection include: Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Edgar Degas, Takashi Murakami, Shepard Fairey, Raymond Pettibon, Rex Brandt, Milford Zornes, Jeff Soto, and Millard Sheets.
In keeping with the museum's commitment to build a rich and significant Permanent Collection, RAM selected three paintings from Teodor Dumitrescu and two photographs from Star Foreman during 2010's Off the Wall event.
Both artists have produced exquisite work that has complex appeal, reveals contemporary concerns, and possesses deep roots in the Southern California experience. They are residents of Riverside and epitomize the vibrant, youthful energy of the area's arts community.
Teodor Dumitrescu is an immigrant in a region characterized by new arrivals. He was born in Romania in 1980 before the fall of the Iron Curtain. His family escaped Communism and immigrated to the United States in the mid-1980s. A majority of Inland Empire residents are from elsewhere, and much of Dumitrescu's work explores experience through the eyes of an immigrant. How does a newcomer save memories and preserve recollections? How does he establish a new identity in a new culture? "[My] images," Dumitrescu says, "are usually nostalgic in a very literal sense. The word nostalgia is derived from the Greek nostros, meaning 'return home', and algia, meaning 'pain'. As an immigrant, I wish to explore the effects of assimilating into another culture."
By Star Foreman
Star Foreman bases her photographic work in the heritage of the film industry, referring to her images as "celluloid dreams". Growing up in Riverside, Foreman's cinema obsession came from her family; she is the granddaughter of well-known theater critic, T.E. Foreman. Star spent large portions of her youth attending plays and films across the L.A. basin and Inland Empire, sometimes a dozen or more per month. "You can see the effect in my work," says Foreman, "[in] the theatrical lighting, the props, and poses, and the drama."
In addition to the Off the Wall acquisitions, RAM received another major art donation to the Permanent Collection from Stuart and Beverly Denenberg. The most recent Denenberg donation includes 49 prints and works on paper from the 20th century, mostly of abstract interpretations of traditional subjects matters, such as landscapes and portraiture.
To feature the numerous pieces in RAM's Permanent Collection, the Bobbie Powell and Ross R. DeVean Galleries will now exclusively showcase Permanent Collection exhibitions, starting with Floating Worlds, a selection of Asian and Asian-inspired prints, paintings, and artwork.
Donated artwork of the caliber recently acquired is incredibly important to building a unique and strong Permanent Collection that encompasses the talent to be found here in the Inland Empire. Please consider the Riverside Art Museum for your next tax-deductible art donation.
Tree Decorators: Donna Gray, Cookie Smith, Kathy Allavie, Lee Levin, Lucille Arntzen, & Jean Aklufi
The members of the Art Alliance of the Riverside Art Museum (RAM) are the most creative, generous, and hard-working individuals in Riverside. A volunteer organization founded in 1965 by Lucille Clarke, Betty Facey, Katie Grigsby, Birk Hinderaker, Barbara Colville, Elizabeth Kuhlins, Doris Miller, Ruth Place, Betty Powell, Betty Reade, Dottie Smith, and Margaret Woodford, the Art Alliance is now over 150-members strong, working to plan, support, and participate in activities that contribute to RAM's operating budget.
Some of the Art Alliance's projects this year which benefited the Museum included:
- The Spring Garden Tour - Located in the historic Rockledge area of Riverside on Ivy Street, seven gracious homeowners agreed to share their garden culture and heritage. The Spring Garden Tour included a tour of the original Priestley Hall home, built in 1889, one of Riverside's beautiful historic gems.
- Wonders of Chicago Tour - Evie Guin, an Art Alliance and RAM Life member led a group traveling to Chicago to discover the many treasures of art and architecture found in the Windy City. Tour highlights included The Palmer House Hilton, a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, an architectural boat tour of the city, and a visit to see Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio.
- Off the Wall 2010 - The premier fundraising event of the Art Alliance, Off the Wall is designed to strengthen the Museum's visibility in the community, to showcase local artists in a gallery setting, and to provide the community with an opportunity to purchase original art at terrific prices. This year, over 220 artworks by some of best artists in the Inland Empire were sold with a profit to the Museum totalling over $14,000.
"Great art should be available to the public," stated current Art Alliance President, Jackie Hopper. "As members of the Art Alliance, we work to make this possible in our own corner of the world. The Riverside Art Museum has opened our eyes to the artistic talent in our community."
The important work of the Art Alliance will continue in the new year as they're currently busy planning their Spring 2011 Fundraiser, the Collectibles Festival.
Although the dates are still to be announced, this three-part Attic Treasure Weekend will be comprised of an Antique Roadshow-style appraisal event, an Art Swap, and a party! So stay tuned for more information in the coming months.
For more information on the Art Alliance and to join, please click here.
A Man of Many Talents...
By day, Greg Adamson is the regional Vice President of Union Bank of California and a Riverside Art Musem (RAM) Board of Trustees and Fund Development Committee member. Adamson plays a vital leadership role in seeing that RAM maintains its prestigious position as the premier art museum in the region.
By night, Adamson is a very accomplished performance painter. His studio paintings are held in public and private collections in the United States and in Canada, and his work has been exhibited locally, as well as in Northern California and Japan.
While his love and talent for art manifested itself at a young age, Adamson majored in finance and accounting, and began his banking career in 1977. Between his job and starting a family, a return to the art world was delayed until September 11th's tragic events moved him to finally renew his life's passion: art.
Adamson immediately enrolled in painting workshops and studied with a number of nationally and internationally renowned artists, such as Milford Zornes and Henry Fukuhara.
In 2005, he began conducting painting demonstrations for Riverside's Arts Walk and was featured in numerous Italian Street Painting exhibitions around Southern California. More recently, Adamson has added a performance art aspect to his repertoire. Called "Facing the Music," he paints large-scale portraits in mere minutes to recorded or live music, such as with B.B. King. Moving to the music and painting with his hands and up to four brushes at a time, Adamson's performances are much sought after both near and far.
In Washington, D.C. in October, Adamson presented a portrait to Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachman.
This painting will hang in her Congressional offices in Washington, D.C.
Adamson also performed at the national Smart Girl Summit 2010 where he painted a portrait of Former President Ronald Reagan to music in 12 minutes.
Coming up on December 8, Adamson will be featured and performing in front of the famed Capitol Records building, near John Lennon's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for a tribute to Lennon marking the 30th anniversary of his death.
In January of 2011, Adamson will be doing a studio portrait of Barbara Streisand for the Grammy Awards where she will be honored as their MusiCares Person of the Year. This will be Adamson's third consecutive year of participating in this event.
Adamson's performance paintings and studio works have raised tens of thousands of dollars for at least 20 different nonprofit organizations in the last 12 months, and his talents as a community arts leader has pushed Riverside forward in its quest to truly be the City of Arts and Innovation.
Truly, if anyone deserves a Person of the Year award, it's Greg Adamson.
Artist Marty Tobias talks off the wall about his art...
A former Riverside Art Museum Board member and long-time supporter of the arts, artist Marty Tobias and his pen-and-ink drawings of historic Riverside are well known.
Have you picked up the Riverside Downtown Partnership's Downtown Walking Guide recently? Those are Marty's sketches of Riverside's landmark buildings, including one of our beloved Julia Morgan-designed museum.
Shopped for notecards at the Riverside Plaza Borders or the March Field Air Museum? You've seen his artwork.
Been in our museum store to purchase jewelry and the below distinctive pin? Then you've supported both Tobias and the Riverside Art Museum.
Marty knew he wanted to be an artist from the age of 5. Growing up in New York City, he attended the High School of Music & Art and then the Cooper Union Art School to receive his BFA. He went on to study for two years at the Art Students League and an additional two years with Bauhaus master abstractionist Hans Hoffman. Decades later, he's still living his dream, drawing and painting both architectural renderings and bold, abstracted landscapes and seascapes, creating whimsical, decorative furniture, and putting the finishing touches on a book full of sketches he's completed of Riverside over the last 40 years.
With the book about to be published, Tobias is currently looking forward to RAM's and the Art Alliance's seventh annual Off the Wall art sale and fundraising event which opens on November 19. Having participated in many of our previous Off the Wall events, Marty is “glad the Art Museum can make a decent profit from the show.” The money brought in each year during Off the Wall is used to bring the best exhibitions and educational programs available to the community.
When asked what he will be bringing to this year’s Off the Wall event, Tobias stated, “the original work I will submit will be pieces I can find in the studio that can fit into the price structure that’s now set. The art will be generally of local scenes and points of interest.”
Marty has a long history with the Riverside Art Museum. He has been featured in two exhibits at RAM showcasing paintings he created after a trip to France and one to Romania in search of his father’s ancestry. He also painted a Giant Orange for the Art Alliance's Giant Orange Artventure in 2006, and was one of the principals responsible for bringing the Monothon to RAM. We look forward to seeing his artwork during our upcoming Off the Wall event and value him as a keeper of Riverside's artistic heritage.
For more information on Marty Tobias and to see more of his artwork, please visit his website, tobiasstudios.com.
Walking the talk when it comes to the arts....
RAM Member Darcy Weis shows us what true commitment to the arts is all about.
Since 2004, Darcy (seen here with husband Matt Weis) has served as a Museum Board of Trustee, an Avant Garde Committee member and is Co-Founder and Chair of ARTery: lifeline to the arts education. She accomplishes all of this in addition to her full-time jobs as wife to husband Matt, and mother to Mercer (7) and Kendall (5). Both children are very active in school, sports, and art activities. Darcy spends time attending museum art openings and events that support artists and the arts in the community. Vibrant, smart, and visionary, we are fortunate to have her as member, leader, and arts advocate in our city.
Of course, she had great role models. Darcy's parents, Bud and Margo Dutton, have been long-time supporters of the Riverside Art Museum. They are Life Members and Margo served on RAM's Board of Trustees for 13 years. It is by this type of donor support and commitment that our museum has grown and flourished.
This example set the foundation for a future that involves giving back to the community. And through the influences of teachers such as Mr. Wilcox who taught art history, and visiting museums during family travels abroad and in the U.S., Darcy's passion and appreciation for the arts blossomed. Having been born and raised in Riverside, experiencing a visit to the home of Picasso and Salvador Dali in Spain left a very deep impression.
Weis surrounds herself with other locals that support the arts too. The ARTery co-founders include Keri Gless, Lori Beilby, Yoginee Braslaw, Holy Comer, Toni DiGuglielmo, Brenda Koosed, Denise Kraemer, Mai Lipson, Teri Parker, Marie Schultz, and Brandy Sharpe. This amazing group of doers are making an impact at the museum and in the community. Join them on October 1 at 6 p.m. for the Arts & Craft Beers event at RAM. The entry fee of $50 per person can be purchased online, over the phone (951.684.7111) with a credit card, or by cash/check at the museum. Don't miss this event or chance to meet the ARTery group - let them show you how to tap into your creative side and be a kid again! Artery is also on Facebook and Twitter.
In Darcy's own words, "Everyone has an artist within them. RAM is a gem and I am very proud to be involved. I hope that families will think of RAM as a wonderful place to help their children understand the importance of art and creative expression."
Darcy's love of the arts was engrained at a very young age. Her desire to make it a part of her life and that of her children and friends, and her motivation to encourage others is her own. RAM is the beneficiary of this commitment and dedication. We thank Darcy for representing RAM so well and for all she has done for us.
Mercer's 7th Birthday & Art Extravaganza at RAM Darcy at the Arts & Craft Beers event in 2009
The ladies of ARTery