Portraiture Finds New Purpose at the Santa Paula Art Museum
Santa Paula News
Published: February 13, 2013
Inspired by Rose Frantzen’s acclaimed “Portrait of Maquoketa”, two artists in Santa Paula, California decided to take on a similar adventure in their own town, calling it the “Santa Paula Portrait Project”.
Photographer John Nichols and painter Gail Pidduck have spent part of the past two years making portraits of the people in their community. Since January of 2011, the two have produced over 60 works which will be on display at the Santa Paula Art Museum from February 23 until June 23, 2013.
An opening reception will be held Saturday, February 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. Admission to the reception is $10 for SPAM members and $15 for non-members.
In an email from Rose Frantzen to Gail she wrote, “The wish, that we would endeavor to explore through our creative mediums, this miraculous opportunity of being alive, maybe, by recognizing this gift in the eyes of my neighbor as I realize it in myself.” With no outside funding, Nichols and Pidduck decided to spend a good portion of two years working on a project that would not provide any income, but would enrich their lives. For Pidduck, it was the opportunity to sit for a while with her subjects, most of whom she met by chance on Main Street, which taught her that everyone “has an interesting story to tell.”
Like Frantzen, Nichols and Pidduck desired to capture a collective portrait of a community and of humanity rather than isolated images. “The goal in these portraits,” says Nichols, “is to reveal as much of myself, the artist, as I reveal of the sitter.” The project encouraged both artists to open their hearts to their neighbors and strangers on the streets of Santa Paula, the final product of which illustrates both the ordinary and the extraordinary facets of everyday life in a small town.
Reservations for the opening reception are recommended. Please contact the Museum at (805) 525-5554, or email email@example.com.
The Museum is located at 117 North 10th Street, Santa Paula, CA 93060. The Museum’s regular hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 AM - 4 PM, and Sundays, 12 PM - 4 PM.