“Art Center Ukiah members loved our 2021 Salon show, so we’re doing it again,” states board member and show organizer Kate Gould. She continues with obvious excitement: “In the great Parisian tradition of stimulating, provocative and comprehensive autumn art exhibitions, the board members encouraged local artists to present their latest and most exciting works to be appreciated and discussed by all who they see them.” Unlike most ACU shows, this one doesn’t have a theme…it’s meant to be open to all.
Kate explains the tradition of the Salon in a bit more depth… “The Salon d’Automne was founded in 1903 as a reaction against the conservative politics of the official Paris Salon. Its purpose was to serve as an outlet for young artists and provide an opportunity to appeal to a popular audience. It stands out for its multidisciplinary approach.”
Art Center Ukiah follows this tradition, presenting artists working in an unusually wide variety of mediums, including encaustic, oil, watercolor, acrylic, wood, clay, and textiles.
Kate continues: “The original French salon dictated the stylistic preferences of the day, which was overwhelmingly classical. However, the Salon of 1863 refused (Salon of the Rejected) was created as a response to the large number of artists rejected by the official jury of the Salon of the French Academy. The first Salon de Refuses included today’s well-known artists – Manet (Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe) and James Whistler (The White Girl). The Salon de Refuses led the way for Impressionism, which until 1874 consisted mainly of works by artists whose art was rejected by the more conservative Parisian society. We now recognize and honor a number of innovative painting styles that were exhibited in salons over the following decades: Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, Modernism… to name a few.’
“It’s also remarkable that women received informal education in the salon,” Kate points out. “It was there that they were able to mix with male artists and exchange opinions and ideas with those who appreciated the culture.” Female artists at the time were almost completely excluded from showing their work or actively participating in the art scene.
Kate promises: “The wall at September’s ACU Salon is an assortment of works that will surprise, but perhaps not always appeal to everyone.” The point, she clarifies with a wink, “is that the show should generate interest, criticism and a lively conversation… just like in the days of the original Salon des Refusés.”
The ACU September Salon d’Automne will showcase artwork by an amazing group of local artists including Adon Valenciano, Margot Frank, Mariko Irie, Jan Heumann, Richard Malarich, Lisa Orselli, Lisa Rosenstreich, Lynn Williams, Nancy Collins, Satoko Barash, Chris Bing and Jan Wax, Laura Corben, Nan Frenkel, Mary Hall, Michael Hall, and Alberto Lozano Ruvalcaba, to name a few. There are many more outstanding artists showing their work in this exhibition.
Kate explains that her intention to reach such a large community of artists is to “give artists who don’t regularly show their work in our gallery an opportunity to be seen”. She continues: “I am a firm believer in encouraging more people to participate in our exhibitions. It’s great that some of the contributors are supporters of the gallery, but it’s the new work I’m most keen to see on the wall.” Kate’s final words on the subject were ‘Be prepared to be surprised!’
The first Friday opening celebration of the Salon d’Automne will be September 2nd from 5 to 8 pm in ACU’s back space at the Corner Gallery (201 S. State St., Ukiah). Live music will be provided by Michael Oberg.
There will be a special free event open to the public during the first weekend of the show. In lieu of a class, the Ukiah Art Center will host a lecture on Saturday, September 3 from 2 to 3 p.m. Gary Martin, MA, director of the Willits Center for the Arts and noted art historian, will take us on a journey through Impressionism and talk about how the style was shocking to the public but accepted in the salon show called Salon does Refuses.
This is where Impressionism was seen by the public and garnered both acceptance and derision. This introduction to Impressionism and its history is a fascinating account of what are now some of the most beloved paintings we know. Due to concerns about COVID, the lecture will be limited to 20 people. The registration sheet is at the reception in the Corner Gallery.