Arts & Culture

December at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

Alison Watt Jackson’s photographs are on display at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.
Alison Watt Jackson’s photographs are on display at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.

I wrongly assumed that fine art photographer Alison Watt Jackson’s niche was the female form in various states of dress outdoors and underwater. Lovely black and white and color photos in this vein were part of a group exhibit a few months back at Olive Tree Fine Arts in Atascadero.

So I was surprised by photos in Jackson’s current solo exhibit, “Yesteryear,” at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, featuring black and white photos of farm equipment in Parkfield, buildings in San Miguel and roller derby in Atascadero. Portraits of beauty parlor patrons, pool players and cowboys from here to Marble Canyon, Ariz., are on the other end of the sexy scale but just as compelling as her images of women.

Both collections drop viewers into a story in progress as do additional pictures found on Jackson’s website that are made in more of a photojournalistic style.

“I’m not here to document and be a mere bystander photographically, I am here to connect, engage, and most importantly, to make a difference in this world,” the Central Coast artist said in press materials.

And, I’m betting she doesn’t plan to get comfy in any one niche.

The Painters Group is displaying unframed artwork created on paper or canvas and hung using push pins in the upstairs McMeen Gallery of SLOMA. The group calls the informal show “Push Pin Invitational.”

Painters interested in joining other artists for experimentation and learning are welcome at Painters Group meetings on the third Tuesdays of the month. Visit   for details.

The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art is never afraid to challenge the average guy’s perception of art. I can imagine one of comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s redneck characters saying: “A coffee table and a rug. You call that art?”

Furniture by the Santa Ynez Valley Woodworking Guild and tapestries by Mary Zicafoose is art, no question. “Wood and Weaving” is the title of the exhibit in SLOMA’s Gray Wing.

Zicafoose of Omaha, Neb., was fascinated by a scrap of Pacific Island fabric she received from a favorite aunt as a child and followed that passion toward an artist’s life.

Expect functional objects and decorative wood objects from the Santa Ynez Valley Woodworking Guild formed in 1994. The guild also includes eight woodworkers from Atascadero, Nipomo, San Luis Obispo and Los Osos. Exhibiting members are Richard Farwell, Ken Frye, George Paes, Dave Seymour, Mike Stanton, Pete Thomsen and Bud Tullis.

Contact freelance writer Monica Fiscalini at Monica_Jane2000