While the COVID-19 pandemic only shut them down for a year, its long term effects, as well as the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, are very much on the minds of Pasadena artists gathered for the Pasadena Society of Artists’ (PSA) 97th Annual Juried Exhibition, which runs from May 2 to May 27, 2022, at Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center Gallery in Burbank.
The artists’ reception is Saturday, May 7, from 2 to 4 p.m.
The unthemed exhibition presents 51 artists and 79 artworks, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, pen and ink, graphite and colored pencil, monoprint, aquatint, etching, ceramics, wood sculpture, stone sculpture, encaustic, photography, digital imaging, assemblage, chalk pastel, collage, and mixed media. The various styles include abstract, impressionism, realism, and expressionism.
Contributing artist Fred Chuang described one of his own works as “ an abstract representation of the conflict in Ukraine.”
As Chuang explained further, “It represents not only the flag, but symbols of conflict and war and warfare both the actual and the imagined possibilities. One of the central features is a mushroom cloud from a small atomic bomb. And so it’s not just a representation of what has happened, but what might happen.”
The work is a mixed media painting on a hardboard done with cold wax and oil paint, said Chuang, along with iridescent pigments, “used to create the figures of warfare in the foreground.”
This year’s outside juror, sculptor and art group administrator Kenneth Ronney, who selected the 79 works in the exhibition, took up sculpting after taking an early retirement from his engineering career.
After two decades of rockhounding, lapidary, and silversmithing, he took a hands-on sculpture class where he was formally introduced to working on moderately large pieces of stone. Since then, his works have won multiple prizes in local club and gallery exhibits including the annual California Sculptors Exhibit.
Ken is also past president and exhibit chair of the California Art League, and Vice-President and exhibit chair of the San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center. Over his career, he has participated in entering, administrating, curating, and/or judging over 60 competitive art exhibits.
Lawrence Rodgers, PSA Vice President of Exhibitions and 2022 Exhibit Chair, recalled the history of the exhibition and the organization, explaining that the group’s first annual exhibition was in April, 1925, at the Pasadena Art Institute, then at the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevard.
“That was millionaires row in those days,” said Rodgers. “And also that was when the arts and crafts movement was really quite active. The 16 founding members of PSA were disappointed in that they could not exhibit their contemporary work they were doing in their studios. So they decided to form the Pasadena Society of Artists to give them another venue in which to show their contemporary work, while they still continued to show their more representational work with California Art Club.”
And PSA has held an annual exhibition every year since 1925.
The 97th Exhibit participants include Julianna Aparicio-Curtis, MariBeth Baloga, Cyndi Bemel, Arnor Bieltvedt, Mariko Bird, Chuka Susan Chesney, Fred Chuang, Karen Chutsky-Naud, Robin Cohen, Alison Davies, Marion Dies, Roger Dolin, Darien Donner, Karen Duckles, Lore Eckelberry, Martin Ehrlich, Mims Ellis, Maryellen Eltgroth, Mina Ho Ferrante, Emily Goff, Karen Hochman Brown, Karen M. Holgerson, Marvin Jackson, Jeffry Jensen, Leah Knecht, Joanna Kos, Eileen Oda Leaf, Warner LeMénager, Janet Manalo, Brian Mark, Kevin McCants, Albert Natian, Victor Picou, Michael Pitzer, Rebecca Harvey Pollack, Margaret Raab, Rhonda Raulston, Serena Refoua, Robert Michael Sullivan, Debbi Swanson Patrick, Kathleen Swaydan, Matthew Tanaka, Barbara Thorn, E. M. Tietjen, Suzanne Urquiza, Tsvetelina Valkov, Shaney Watters, Gloria Lujan-Whitney, Sean Yang, and Carolyn Young.
The Pasadena Society of Artists’ 97th Annual Juried Exhibition runs from May 2 to May 27, 2022, at Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center Gallery in Burbank, 1100 West Clark Avenue. Burbank. The artists’ reception is Saturday, May 7, from 2 to 4 p.m.
More information about PSA is available at www.PasadenaSocietyofArtists.org. Gallery information is available here.