Each year, the Irvine Fine Arts Center hosts All Media 2022, an annual eclectic show showcasing a variety of techniques and mediums.
“What I really love about ‘All Media’ is that it gives us the opportunity to highlight many more artists than we normally would,” said Virginia Arce, exhibition program coordinator at the Irvine Fine Arts Center.
This year’s exhibition, which opened July 9 and runs through October 8, features 56 local and regional artists and includes painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, fiber optics, video and mixed media. This year’s guest judge is Joseph Daniel Valencia.
“I also think one of the really exciting things about the show is the guest judge,” Arce said. “I see them as taste makers. [Joseph] is Associate Curator at the Vincent Price Art Museum [at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park]which I think is one of the most exciting institutions,” said Arce.
This is the second year that Arce has chosen the guest judge for All Media. With Valencia’s selection, Arce said she continues her commitment to attracting young curators she sees as aspiring. The guest judge also has the task of selecting three outstanding works of art and three honorable mentions.
“The guest judge decides on the winners. This year, Joseph chose Michael Lopez’s photo titled ‘Lady Persephone’ as the first place winner.”
The model in the photo is a friend of the photographer, and Arce notes that their connection is evident in the work.
“I think it shows in that she looks like she’s comfortable and you can just tell there’s a really great relationship between the subject and the photographer,” Arce said. “She looks ethereal.”
All Media is the biggest show of the year at the Irvine Fine Art Center in terms of artists, and Arce said it gives the center an opportunity to find new artists for future shows.
“It works like an artist directory for me because you can see the applications that come in, and it’s just really cool to have that as another way to be exposed to artists that we might not know about,” Arce said.
Upcoming exhibitions at the Irvine Fine Arts Center will feature three artists who were previous All Media participants or applicants.
While the show doesn’t necessarily have a theme, Arce notes that connecting threads can often be traced through unrelated bits, either in the message or the medium.
“Usually there’s no other issue than the different media,” Arce said. “But there are associations between the artworks.”
For example, the small gallery to the right of the main room displays works that demonstrate social commentary.
“It almost feels like its own exhibition,” she said. “There are some really outstanding pieces.”
A mixed media piece by Alkaid Ramirez, which centered on an exhibit entitled “R&S Family Tree” earlier this year. shows how a family business takes root in the family, brings them together and in some cases binds them.
“He has a lot of interesting things to say about how the company has supported his family, but it also never ends, you never clock in and out,” Arce said.
Another section of the exhibition groups works with landscape and nature themes, along with two photographs by Lua Kobayashi depicting her grandmother’s belongings entitled Where a Forest Once Grew: Her Wallet and Where a Forest Once Grew: Her Lipstick .
Among the most moving works is an archival inkjet print by Gabriel Ernesto Gonzalez entitled The Chumps, which shows a plate of fries and a sandwich in front of an urn containing the artist’s brother’s ashes and his photo on the wall. Gonzalez’s statement describes the work as an offer to his brother, Joel Gonzalez, who died of COVID-19 on March 9, 2021.
The show is powerful, wide-ranging, and most importantly, thoughtful.
“I think Joseph did a really great job in choosing works that have a really strong point of view, but not all are very open about it,” Arce said.
The Irvine Fine Arts Center is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and closed on Sunday. “All Media” runs until October 8th.
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