Curious Narratives – Imagined Memories: Wendy Aikin + Judy Stabile + Jean Sheckler Beebe

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.


Can’t come in person? Enjoy a 3-D Virtual Tour:


If you’d like to learn more about the characters in this exhibition, visit the Curious Narratives, Imagined Memories Youtube page: