Arte y Cultura; Celebrating Latino Art
at the Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA
September 22-November 24
Artists included: Mario Calvano, Tony de Carlo, Barbara Carrasco, Charles Carrillo, Yreina Cervantez, Chuy c/s, Elsa Flores, Diane Gamboa, Harry Gamboa Jr., Roberto Gil de Montes, Delilah Montoya, Elizabeth Perez, Marco Oviedo, Jose Ramirez, Frank Romero, Linda Taylor, John Valadez, Virginia Ashby Valdez, Linda Vallejo
Oxnard Museum Readies First Exhibit of New Artworks
by Katie Cooper
OXNARD-Back in January, Suzanne Bellah knew the Carnegie Art Museum was on a roll.
Attendance was up, as were the membership rolls. And the 20-year-old, city-owned institution was growing accustomed to showcasing traveling exhibitions of some of the biggest names in contemporary art. Still, the museum’s director was floored that month when the Carnegie was included on a short list of venues tapped to receive artwork from one of the country’s leading private collections of contemporary art.
“We were delighted and totally thrilled that we were named to receive the gifts,” said Bellah, recalling the mood at the museum when the Los Angeles-based Peter and Eileen Norton Collection announced its donation. “It was stupendous.”
Now, Bellah is betting that the artworks, scheduled to go on vie first time next month, will help further form the Carnegie from a small museum to a regionally significant exhibition space.
Bellah said, “We’ve been in the process of growing into an important mid-sized museum serving Ventura County and north L.A. County,” Bellah said from her office at the museum, housed in a historical neoclassical building constructed by Andrew Carnegie in 1906 in the heart of downtown. “The Norton gift has given us a huge shift in that direction.”
“Though most of the 30 pieces from the Norton collection are by younger artists early in their careers, they also include work by respected artists Robert Gil de Montes and Linda Vallejo that were included to enhance the museum’s collection 0f Latino-themed art. Gil de Montes, the best-known artist of the group, has been commissioned for a number of very high-profile public art installations, including at one of the ornate entrances to the Red Line subway in Los Angeles.”
“That’s one of the benefits of what the Nortons did; it puts us in the sights of other donors. The prime motivation behind the gift to the Carnegie, and the nearly 1,000 pieces to 28 other mainly regional museums in the United States and England, was to strengthen the collections of smaller institutions outside major cities. We wanted to reward the spunky regional museums,” said Susan Cahan, senior curator for the Nortons. “And the Carnegie seemed to fit the bill. Although the strength of the Carnegie’s collection has for years been based on California Impressionism, the museum has recently added work by California contemporary artists to its holdings and increased the number of shows devoted to contemporary art.”
Oxnard Museum Readies Exhibit of New Artworks, article by Katie Cooper, LA Times