Pilar Agüero-Esparza and Mark Seely were chosen for the Exhibition Award by 2020 Left Coast Annual juror, Carin Adams, Curator of Art at the Oakland Museum of California.
Pilar Agüero-Esparza's works comprise a meditation on shades of skin color. Says the artist, "I create works that question the inequities of race, gender and class to engage viewers in specific cultural and gendered experiences. . . . I want the viewer to see these works as 'racialized abstractions' and consider social dynamics and hierarchies within our culture." Agüero-Esparza's award-winning painting, Stratum 5, presents a bold, dramatic design of diagonal chevrons in various shades of brown, tan, and black acrylic paint on wood panel. Visit her website to see many creative variations, including weaving with strips of tan and copper leather, a much quieter impression than Stratum 5, though equally strong. Agüero-Esparza's work has been in numerous institutions including the San Jose Museum of Art, Triton Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the de Young Museum. In 2017, her work was featured in the exhibition The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility at the Craft Contemporary Museum, Los Angeles. In 2019 this exhibition traveled to Lille, France, as part of the Eldorado Lille3000 arts festival.
Mark Seely's oil paintings are landscapes, but so much more. He captures the dynamic essence of thunderstorms before they happen. The artist says he wants to capture what the Spanish call duende, a spiritual experience of heightened emotion felt in response to a particular landscape. In Verdant Country, the painting that won him the 2020 juror's exhibition award, tall gray cumulus clouds, heavy with rain, tower over green fields. In amongst the green, and even in the sky as well, one sees small inexplicable splotches of red orange. The sudden, unexpected contrast of bright color against the dark, brooding scene raises this landscape image to a level of intensity that approaches duende. Some landscapes are painted on collaged paper backgrounds, adding yet another layer of complexity and mystery. Seely has also done some exquisite smaller works in pastel, including perfectly rendered images of old metal objects such as obsolete machine parts and tools. Seely's work has been shown in the U.S. and Australia, and was included in the 2020 de Young Open. To see more: www.MarkSeely.com.
Sanchez Art Center is located at 1220 Linda Mar Boulevard in Pacifica, about a mile east of Highway 1. Following opening night, the galleries are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 1–5 pm, or by calling in advance to set a time, through May 20.