Cannon Gallery Reopens with the Spotlight on Local Women Artists

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Photo Courtesy of Nicole Bagley

“A Place Called Home” installation by Kline Swonger is made of collected soil from people’s homes that is casted onto door knobs. The 117 door knobs represent a part of the 117 homes.

Art has an impact unlike any other: it can influence well-being and unite people in an uncertain time like the present. In Carlsbad, art can be enjoyed walking the streets of the Carlsbad village or in local exhibitions, such as the William D. Cannon Gallery. 

On Oct. 6, the Cannon Gallery introduced its newest exhibit, “Four Visions: A Celebration of the Year of the Woman”.  With a seven-month closure, adjustments to the gallery’s exhibit schedule and safety regulations were put into place for its reopening. 

The gallery is providing a virtual video tour alongside opening twice a week to limited groups of 10 at a time to practice social distancing. The immersive experience, in-person and virtually, is guided by gallery curator Karen McGuire.   

“I always think it’s important to see art in a real setting,” McGuire said. “I think because we were finally able to open the gallery after seven months, it does provide that.” 

Bianca Juarez’s ceramics on display with some of her newest creations at the center, featuring variations of blue. Molded by hand with clay and fired in a kiln makes for a textured outside and smooth inside. (Photo Courtesy of Nicole Bagley )

Sage Creek art teacher Megan Herrick worked as the curatorial assistant at the gallery for about six years in which she witnessed the process of putting together an exhibit show and working alongside McGuire. Seeing both the process and the product, Herrick admires McGuire.

“[McGuire] worked really hard to turn the gallery into something that is more accessible and available for people who can’t visit, and then for people who can visit, she really does a great job of transforming the physical space in the gallery for the exhibition,” Herrick said. 

Although an initial challenge to take a real-life experience and put it to a virtual setting, McGuire’s virtual video tour informs visitors on the diverse works of four local women artists: Anne Mudge, Kline Swonger, Bianca Juarez, and  Marisol Rendón

“Yes, this is a show by women artists, but it’s kind of gender-neutral and I think it’s really inspiring for our female artists to see what they can do,” Herrick said. 

Marisol Rendón’s pieces on display give viewers the deceit-the-eye effect with her precise graphite drawings. Rendón’s interest in making two-dimensional works appear as three dimensional are evident in her pieces.

Looking at artwork from a historical viewpoint, the spotlighted majority are by men, yet women have had and continue to have a major impact in the arts. The exhibit displays the artwork of the four multigenerational women to emphasize the diversity of their works at different stages of their careers. To younger female artists such as art two student and sophomore Liza Turovets, the exhibit brings hope and inspiration. 

“I’m a bit timid about showing my art and I think it will inspire me to get out there,” Turovets said. “This is going to inspire artists that our art matters too and to be more open-minded towards our art.” 

With installations, hyper-realistic drawings, ethereal metal sculptures, and anthropological ceramics, there is a large variety on display to inspire the Carlsbad community. The exhibit will remain open until March 7, 2021, allowing more the chance to visit, take a deep breath, and enjoy all it has to offer. 

“[The arts] help us inspire a sense of community,” Herrick said. “They help us prioritize what is important in our lives and what’s meaningful and beautiful about being a human being.”