Friday, November 17 – Saturday, January 6, 2024
Reception: First Friday, December 1st, 6-8pm
Artist Talk: December 2nd, time 1:30-3pm
Family Day: December 9th, 1:30-3:30pm
This exhibition will feature creations by Santa Cruz County artists Wendy Aikin, Judy Stabile, Jean Sheckler Beebe. Curious Narratives is an expansion of Wendy Aikin’s installation The Curator’s Oﬃce which was part of The Museum of Curious Perceptions exhibition at Pajaro Valley Arts in 2018. She created a life-size cabinet of curiosities of an imaginary museum curator. Within the cabinet were assembled boxes that contain imagined collections gathered by ﬁctional characters. Collaborating for the ﬁrst time, Aikin, Beebe and Stabile are expanding on selected themed boxes with their interpretations of the characters depicted in Aikin’s assemblages. Through their media choices of sculpture, collage, assemblage, painting, found objects and ﬁber arts the artists are expanding upon these fictional characters and creating environments for their imagined lives. While their modalities of execution are widely varied, their creative electricity lights them up.
Wendy Aikin is fascinated by the Cabinets of Curiosity or Wunderkammer, that were the precursors to museums. She channels her curiosity for the unusual through her art, creating assemblages and installations that become visual narratives of imaginary characters. Inspired by antique photos of forgotten people and items they might have possessed; discarded painter’s boxes serve as the perfect receptacles for her visual storytelling. “I become pretty attached to the characters I create. It’s been exciting to see how Judy and Jean have taken the stories and developed magical installations and paintings to expand and interpret the stories in their own way.”
Jean Beebe’s paintings are complex, having layers of paint, paper, drawing and sometimes found objects, but they are not nearly as complex as human beings are. While her painting may be figurative, narrative, or non-objective, they are expressionistic and abstract. She strives to create a symbolic language to represent the emotional themes of her work. As in most of her work, her interest here is how to portray the seen and unseen aspects of the imagined figures.
Judy Stabile works in a variety of media, materials, and processes. While employing a variety of techniques, her work describes the everyday of home, family, and friends both real and imagined. Curious Narratives aﬀords her the opportunity to explore the personalities of imagined ﬁgures through sculpture, ﬁber, and painting. Regardless of where her explorations take her, she always return to the familiar, the emotional pull of the human story.