Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, November 1-4
This story was featured in the November 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story
Artists, scholars, critics, and collectors from across the country converge in the seaside town of Ventura for The Representational Art Conference this month. Since its inception in 2012, the conference has generated high praise from participants. Commenting on last year’s event, artist Candice Bohannon says enthusiastically, “It was the single greatest art event that I have ever been to. I came home elated, feeling like I wanted to be a better person, a better thinker, a better artist, and feeling like the representational art world just became a massive extended family.”
Bohannon is among a cadre of respected, award-winning artists who are giving presentations and demonstrations at this year’s conference. Other featured artists include Max Ginsburg, Julio Reyes, Tony Pro, Jeremy Lipking, John Nava, Lea Colie Wight, Brad Kunkle, Alexey Steele, and David Jon Kassan. The four-day event, sponsored by California Lutheran University, is the brainchild of Michael Lynn Adams, an artist and former faculty member who now co-chairs the conference with Michael Pearce, an associate professor in the university’s art department. Adams and Pearce envisioned the conference upon recognizing a lack of academic attention to the work of today’s traditionally trained artists. Their mission: to create a forum for the discussion of the philosophy and practices of these artists, who carry on the legacies of the old masters.
Critics, academics, and curators join the painters and sculptors in various panel discussions and other talks focused on the roots and aesthetic themes that connect today’s representational artists. There are more than 35 topics on the program, including The Death of the Avant Garde, Allegorical Still-Life Painting, Drawing is Thinking, and From Self Portrait to Selfie: Representational Painting in the Digital Age. Among this year’s keynote speakers are Fred Ross, founder and chairman of the Art Renewal Center, and Semir Zeki, professor of neuroesthetics at University College London.
The conference is capped off with a reception followed by a semiformal artists’ banquet with a Day of the Dead theme. The events unfold from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3. Costumes are optional for the banquet (but no blue jeans, flip-flops, t-shirts, or Hawaiian shirts allowed!). —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Featured in the November 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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