October Meeting – Art Center College of Design

President Judy Penner called the meeting to order, noting that this is the 64th year of the Pasadena Art Alliance. After reading our mission statement, she read an apt definition of contemporary art: “ The most prominent feature of Contemporary Art is that it has no distinct feature or single characteristic. It is defined by the artist’s ability to innovate and bring out a modern masterpiece.  When something is done in spirit and spontaneity, it’s obvious and shows in the work. The purpose of Contemporary Art is to capture this essence and bring joy into the lives of others.”

Judy introduced the four new members, Catherine Coquillard, Sarah Deschenes, Holly Hancock, and Susan Reynolds.  She encouraged all members to make them feel welcome .

Gloria Kondrup was introduced and thanked for her work in creating the new PAA logo.  She explained the basis for the new design, a dominant A, inspired by the essence of PAA, “Advocate, Accomplished, Au Courant, Altruistic and Alternative.” 

She was praised and thanked for her impressive creation.

Patty Zuber reported on finances. The finance committee will meet soon and decide on allocations to the Grants Committee and the Impact Award Committee. 

The Art Auction, chaired by Annaly Bennett will be held on May 9th, 2020.  

Alfrida King reported on the new website and the results of last year’s survey regarding members’ satisfaction with PAA. Ninety-six percent were satisfied with activities but there were a number of people who believe the SNAP fundraiser should be postponed and a different event should be planned for the future. To that end, a series of small brainstorming sessions will be held in the coming months and all are urged to attend.. The dates are: October 15th, October 29th, November 4th. 

Shelly Sackett, chair of the Development Committee, reminded everyone to “SMILE” when they order from Amazon, 

The meeting adjourned to view the current exhibit at the Art Center, TOMES, curated by John O’Brien and Piera Varroni.

Books as Art

 “If there’s ever a book that should not be judged by the cover, it’s all artists’ books. Open it up!” — John O’Brien. 

John’s passion was evident as he told us about the genesis of the show; he loves books! He has studied printmaking and spends endless time visiting special collections at libraries in southern California. Thus three archives provided the source of this extraordinary exhibit. According to John, this exhibit is a “survey driven by a desire to represent the many different types and ways of artist books.” We were introduced  to the concept of books as art as well as the many forms an artist book can take. Artists’ books are a collaborative effort, often beginning with the artist’s components of the book and then working with a printer. The examples on display were varied and intriguing: a book in the shape of a camera, a photograph of shelved books with blank bindings, a hand painted book of poems, a massive wall hanging installation of book pages. This astonishing show, supported by the Pasadena Art Alliance, runs until December 15th. It’s worth a visit or a revisit.


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