LOOKOUT: An outside look at inside art.
Joshua Tree Art Gallery 61607 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, CA 92252
January Artists: Robert Aronson, Ed Keesling and Karin Skiba
On view: January 8 – February 5, 2021 | Open Hours: 24 Hours a day
As we reflect and shift with the daily changes and effects of COVID-19, the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council is committed to the health and safety of our community. During this time art has the power to connect, uplift and inspire everyone. While residents are staying at home and reevaluating the new normal, the downtown Joshua Tree commercial strip remains active as our neighbors and the farmer’s market remain open.
To continue our mission to inspire and enliven the community through the arts we present LOOKOUT, an exhibition series in the front window of the Joshua Tree Art Gallery. This month artists Robert Aronson, Ed Keesling and Karin Skiba present a mix of figurative, whimsical and functional work in a variety of mediums including painting, printmaking and ceramic sculpture.
We aim to catch the eye of a passersby and shift their current outlook to one of inspiration and intrigue. Work will rotate every Saturday and will be on view until February 5.
Robert Aronson, Ed Keesling and Karin Skiba
Robert Aronson: “I first began to study Printmaking at Nicolet High School in Milwaukee in 1968. I continued my studies at Carnegie-Mellon University and received my BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1975. Over the years I have focused on etching as my preferred form of expression. Since my wife Lisa and I bought a home in Yucca Valley I have been exploring the mediums of gouache and oil, which seem so well-suited to the unique beauty of the high Mojave Desert.”
Ed Keesling: “As a studio potter, I throw pots on the wheel, create ceramic tile, murals, and sculpture. Most of my work is high fired to 2400F in a propane gas kiln, to achieve its greatest strength and best marriage of clay and glaze. I also make coil sculpture and pottery using the “Wedged Coil” process which was the subject of my Master of Arts thesis. at the Antioch University. Since the 1990’s I have studied and worked with Native American forms, images and pit firing methods. I have also taught wheel throwing, hand building and pit firing methods to youth and adults.
Much of my work reflects my love of the open spaces, unique vegetation, creatures, landscapes, and history of the hi-desert where I choose to live. The rectilinear spiraling helix of my logo, which I affectionately refer to as Karma, is an asymmetrical design that radiates outwardly in an expanding clockwise direction. Just as all living things have a beginning at a certain point, and grow in cycles, so does a lump of clay take shape and become a useful container or a sculptural form, and an aesthetic statement. The asymmetrical balance of my work represents the natural beauty of living things that are dynamic and individualistic, governed by natural law represented by the Golden Mean.”
Artist website: www.edsclayworks.com
Karin Skiba: “Living and working in the alien but beautiful and often forbidding desert, I work from an instinctual basis. The desert encourages this to happen very naturally. Ideas come to me and I develop them as Georgia O’Keefe says, “Making the unknown known”. The open space of the desert is a different sort of beautiful and one that I enjoy for that reason.
I began professionally exhibiting my artwork in Canada and moved to California in the late 70s. I received my MFA from CGU in Claremont, CA in 1982, and was a full-time art professor at Norco College, RCCD, from 1990 until 2011. With a strong resume, I have created art for over 45 years as an example of artistic persistence and passion with shows in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Portland, Joshua Tree, and Riverside. Now I live in Yucca Valley and have a studio in Joshua Tree, and devote most of my time to making art.
In art, imagery of women often represents the beautiful in “truth and beauty”. Portraits of women have been created for centuries as subjects of beauty. In our era of constant visual imagery, the media shadows us our entire life, underscoring our vision of ourselves and other females. Whether or not we are aware of this, we posture as the “Perfect Girl”. Being raised by a portrait photographer father and posing from an early age for his camera, this staged positioning is familiar to me. It emerges in my work as portraits of women, real or invented, sometimes with the added component of collage and embellishment.
These works are part of an ongoing adventure as an artist. I have a love of fictional characters derived from fashion photography, transformed by my own imagination, and use of materials.”