January 12, 2001

"Living the Tradition" at Cannon Gallery: Contemporary Hispanic Crafts Reflect Cultural Ties

The Taylor Museum's collection of Hispanic traditional arts is one of the most comprehensive collections of American Southwestern Hispanic crafts in the world, with extensive holdings of Santos (Catholic folk images), textiles, needlework, straw appliqué and tin decorative arts. Building upon this unique collection, at times called the "first" American folk art, the Taylor Museum has collected works by contemporary artists using traditional methods and materials. The Cannon Art Gallery hosts this exhibition tracking the evolution of twentieth-century styles from the revival of Spanish colonial crafts to images made by today's craftsmen from January 13 until February 25. A reception open to the public and hosted by Carlsbad Arts Associates and Carlsbad High Noon Rotary will be held on Friday, January 12 between 7 and 9 p.m. at the Cannon Art Gallery, 1775 Dove Lanes at El Camino Real.

Immaculate Conception, 1998. Kathleen Sais Lerner.

A section on the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe (La Guadalupana) includes traditional works and popular images, tracing the sources and history of the image in Mexico and Mexican Indian mythology. Rounding out the exhibition are works that display innovative approaches to and new interpretations of traditional iconography. The beauty of these contemporary creations is enriched by the distinctive culture of the Hispanic Southwest, as well as reflecting world-wide craft traditions such as weaving, metalwork, and woodcarving.

Many artists represented in Living the Tradition have been practicing their art for more than twenty years, conferring on them "master" status. Younger artists have developed new themes and styles influenced by established artists. All have been inspired by the unique Spanish Colonial artistry found in village churches, chapel and moradas (meeting houses). One interesting characteristic shared among traditional Hispanic artists in their dedication to community, evidenced by contemporary artists who created new santos and other artwork for use in newly restored village churches and chapels. Most striking of all is the dedication and spiritual devotion to art and culture evidenced by these artists, who are deeply involved in carrying on their traditions. Their art comes from their roots, centers their lives and guides them in their daily endeavors. These vibrant pieces are recognized as true American folk art and are sought after by collectors of fine art.

Operated by the Carlsbad Arts Office, the Cannon Art Gallery is located at 1775 Dove Lane off El Camino Real and is open to the public on Tuesday through Saturdays between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Wednesdays until 8:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

For information on the exhibition and all Gallery programs, contact the Carlsbad Arts Info Line (760) 434-2904 or the William D. Cannon Gallery (760) 602-2021 or the City of Carlsbad website, www.ci.carlsbad.ca.us.

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