By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt
Lux Art Institute has a lot going on these days.
Currently on exhibit through July 28 is a set of striking nouvel-impressionist portraits by Alex Kanevsky, who ended his month-long residency June 30. About to begin is the building of an elaborate Education Pavilion that will have its grand opening in January 2013.
And just released is the list of five varied talents who will be next season’s resident artists, plus a local grant recipient who combines video, photography, poetry and architecture in his work recording San Diegans’ stories. Visitors are invited to chat with the resident artists and watch them as they work.
• While the nondescript former Waldorf school at the foot of the six-acre Lux property is being transformed into a deluxe, indoor-outdoor community art-and-culture center, Brooklyn sculptor Susan Graham will kick off the season in September with her surrealistic works in porcelain and sugar. Graham, who uses delicate mediums to portray heavy industrial equipment and disturbing images of her native Midwest, like her dad’s 76-gun collection, will be working in sugar at Lux, creating a landscape reminiscent of the wallpaper of her childhood bedroom.
• In November, Alan Feltus, a Yale MFA who spends most of his time in Italy, will arrive with his haunting portraits, described as “quiet images with elusive meanings.” He choreographs figures and objects, using mirrors and parts of himself instead of live models, so that all his paintings are, in a sense, self-portraits. At Lux, he’ll be reinventing a painting that was lost in a fire at a collector’s home.
• Carlos Vega, a native of Spain and graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, will start 2013 with his compelling collages that combine flea-market finds with a mix of lead, paint, and stamps. His on-site project will be a large Trees of Life diptych, representing the sequoias of the California coast and the region’s diverse demographics.
• More trees will follow in March — the mysterious pointillist treescapes of San Francisco painter James Chronister — and in June, the season will end with the allegorical animal still-life paintings of Melissa Miller, from Texas.
• And this October, there’s an added bonus from the homefront, with Wes Bruce, recipient of one of San Diego Foundation’s 2012 Creative Catalyst Fund Grants, bringing “Joy, Mourning, Curiosity & Wonder” to Lux.
After spending a year collecting personal stories that document the relationships between structures and people, Bruce will be building two cabin-like structures to house the gathered information and welcoming other interested participants to share their stories online. See structurepoetryhumans.com