10 Compelling Reasons to Attend Lotta Art This Saturday, April 20 by Rene Trevino

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This year, participating artists in School 33 Art Center’s 2013 Lotta Art donated 170 works for the exhibit, and we at School 33 are very grateful for the support. My list of works that I want to take home is very long, so  I was reticent to put together a list of favorites, because I really love them all. This is NOT a “top ten” or “best of” list, it is just a list of  works that I think are particularly compelling.  These are pieces I keep thinking about and would love to take home.

I can’t yell loudly enough what a bargain Lotta Art is for collectors and art lovers.  For a ticket price of $175, you get to go to glamorous party at Silo Point with wine, hor d’oeuvres and music and you get to participate in the lottery style drawing.  You are guaranteed to take home an artwork and everything is in support of School 33 Art Center, a cause very near and dear to my heart. Not just because I currently work here as Exhibitions Coordinator, but also because way back in 2005 (way before I worked here) my very first solo exhibit was in the upstairs Member’s Gallery.  I am a big believer in our mission and the work we do to support local and regional artists.

So here is the list of ten works that represent the overall quality of the available artwork.  I hope it entices you to support the event!  I bought two tickets this year, and have already started my list… last year my numbers were called very late in the game, but I still ended up with a Nancy Daly piece and a Joseph Hyde photograph – both works that I truly love.  The trick is that everyone has different taste, and Lotta Art has something for everyone.


Christina Barrera, Sketch for Another Universe, 2012, acrylic on ink jet print, 8.5” x 11”.

This piece has so much space in it.  The orange-red and blue forms painted over a photographic image overwhelm the urban architecture we experience everyday and can be read in several different ways.  The formal choices the artist made in the work are spot on…the brightly colored forms are in perfect contrast to the digital print below.


Joe McHugh, Stool #1, 2012, maple, powder coated steel, 22″ x 18″ x 21″

This work is a huge, solid (heavy!) sculpture carved from the trunk of what must have been a huge tree.  McHugh struck a careful balance in creating the work.  He carved a form that still allows the viewer to celebrate the inherent beauty of the wood.  The rounded form and the insertion of a steel-mending joint in a deep crack in the wood are elegant and simple…the object itself is stunning.


Elena Volkova, Untitled (Fortune #1303), 2012, silverpoint on paper, 8” x 10”

I have been a huge fan of Volkova’s work for quite a while.  I love her subtle quiet marks.  The work is delicate and poetic.  This piece is made with silverpoint, which means she is literally drawing with silver.  The marks will tarnish and change a bit more over time, but it will always be a restrained, subtle drawing of two fortune cookie fortunes, without any text.  They become every fortune, or no fortune at all depending on the viewer.


Christine Neill, Balance of Gravatas, watercolor on clayboard, 16” x 12”

I love this piece.  Is it a simple stack of stones?  Yes, but more than that also… it is about balance and form and gravity and weight and a little magic.  The work is very elegant from the surface of the clayboard to the delicate meandering lines that create the forms.


Cathleen Sachse, See No Evil, 2013, rabbit wool, thread, plastic rabbit, 5″ x 4.5″ x 3″

Rabbit obsessed artist Cat Sachse has created a beautiful sculptural form from a resin readymade rabbit sculpture and has transformed the banal, kitsch object into a work so heartbreaking it makes me weep.  Using yarn spun from the hair of her own pet rabbits, she has blinded the rabbit.  Is the mask of yarn meant as a shield to protect it from the evils of the world or is it an aggressive act that handicaps the rabbit and implicates the artist and the complicit viewer?


Nancy Linden, Untitled, charcoal and pastel on frosted Mylar, paper, tarpaper and wood, 20″ x 17.5″

This piece has a really intense contrast.  Both the white and the black are really rich in tone.  I really appreciate the tight crop of the composition, which is different than the full body compositions that Nancy Linden is usually associated with.  The cropping emphasizes the strong hands, the weight of the chains and the struggle.


Samantha Rausch, Congealing Point, birch panel, oil, acrylic, salt, pastor, wood stain, 24″ x 24″

This painting is the result of so many materials coming together.  I might call this an “everything but the kitchen sink” kind of painting, which in other hands might be a recipe for disaster.  But here, in spite of all of the different materials (salt, epoxy, plaster, paint, etc) there is a lovely glow and elegance.  The surface of the painting is so intriguing, like the surface of another planet.


Chad Tyler, Untitled, 2013, mixed media, 10” x 18”

This piece makes me smile.  The craft here is thrilling. Each of the heads have been meticulously cast from toys and then mounted on wood.  The finished result makes me think of Teddy Roosevelt’s game room, in miniature dollhouse scale.


Joyce Lee, Vanitas I, 2011, face-mounted archival print, 16″ x 15.5″

I am a sucker for vanitas artworks.  For some reason, works that speak to the ephemerality of life really resonate with me.  This is a contemporary take on the well-known trope and it is gorgeous.  The colors are highly saturated, the light is carefully considered and the focus is razor sharp.


Ursula Marcum, Bird: Three sisters, 2011, kilnformed glass with precious metal, 10.5″ x 5.5″ x 0.5″

This piece is really a painting made of fused glass.  Marcum is a master of her medium and this piece perfectly showcases her incredible control.  As if the iridescent surface of the glass wasn’t enough, she has also embedded thin pieces of precious metal into the layers of glass.  The surface feels as rich as Tiffany glass; it feels like a precious jewel.

This could easily have been a much, much longer list, but I hope your interest is piqued. Please visit our website to see all 170 of the available works and to learn more about this exciting event!

Buy Tickets here:

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