From a field of more than 400 sculptures, 23 were chosen to be featured this fall in California Sculpture Slam 2015 at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.
More than 200 artists entered pieces, so exhibition organizer Lucie Ryan and juror Bella Feldman had their work cut out for them.
“We first went through them all just to get an overview of what was being offered,” Feldman said. “Then we went over them again saying, ‘Yes,’ ‘No’ and ‘Maybe,’ to the various pieces. Finally, we went through again and eliminated the maybes.”
This year’s show is the third biennial California Sculpture Slam at SLOMA. The first show was held in 2011.
The exhibition shrunk in size from 64 works by 45 artists featured in 2011, which Feldman attributes to the difficulty of storing three-dimensional art compared to art on canvas.
Feldman is a sculptor from the Bay Area and will have several works of art in the show. Although there is no theme for the slam, she said, she has selected pieces that will engage and hold the viewer’s attention.
“I generally looked for sculptures that would hold a person’s interest for more than a minute — what I call the one-liners,” Feldman explained. “With sculpture, I think it’s more tangible than other art. You come face to face with it; it isn’t an illusion.”
“In many ways,” she added, “I think it’s a more direct experience for the viewer.”
The selected artists come from all over the state. Representing the Central Coast are sculptors Isaac Lewin of San Luis Obispo, Patrick Mehaffy of Los Osos, Kevin Porter of Shell Beach and Robert Schuerman of Paso Robles.
Cash awards of $1,000, $500 and $250 and will be paid for the first-, second-, and third-place entries, respectively. Award winners will be announced at the reception on Sept. 26.
Feldman’s work was recently celebrated in a 50-year retrospective show at the Richmond Art Center.
She juxtaposes unyielding steel with fragile glass in both large- and smallscale sculptures influenced by her life experiences and shaped in part by her parents. Feldman was born to Polish-Jewish immigrants in the Bronx in the 1930s and grew up during the Great Depression and World War II.
“The underlying content of much of my work is my preoccupation with anxiety, disillusionment and the absurdity of our times,” Feldman said in a news release. “I try to deal with these themes with irony and humor. I believe that I inherited this way of looking at life from my ghetto forebears — and like Marcel Duchamp, I believe in leaving room for the viewer’s own experience to complete a piece.”
IF YOU GO
CALIFORNIA SCULPTURE SLAM 2015
Where: San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, 1010 Broad St. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Free admission, donations appreciated.
When: Sept. 25 through Nov. 15; Reception and awards ceremony 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 26