By Monica Medina | SDUN Reporter
The 2013 Talmadge Art show will be held this Sunday with more than 70 artisans displaying their wares. And, among them will be Adrian Arango, a longtime Hillcrest resident and jewelry artist who has been participating in the show since its very beginning, more than two decades ago.
“It’s a really good art show, and has grown exponentially since the very first one,” Arango said. “I invite people by telling them they will see interesting craft, most likely locally made. When you live here and support locally made, your community thrives. But the works speak for themselves.”
The Talmadge Art Show was born out of a need. A need to help artists like Arango have a venue for selling and explaining their work, and for telling their story. A need to gather in one place original, quality art, and a need to connect art enthusiasts with some of the best artisans from within the region. Just ask the show’s founder, Sharon Gorevitz, who credits Arango with helping her develop the concept for the art show.
“Adrian and I met at the Kobe Swap Meet and one day we were talking about art and selling art, and how artists didn’t really have a place to do that,” Gorevitz recalled. “Not all can work in galleries and there was no Etsy (the online marketplace website), or the abundance of farmers’ markets that we have today. Most of the time, you were seeing a craft but not a finer craft.”
So Gorevitz decided to open up her house and found five artists who were interested in coming in and selling their work.
“They were friends who were making art and Adrian was one of them,” she explained.
Gorevitz’ home, built in 1936, is located in Talmadge, which is how the art show got its name. During the second year, the show expanded into her yard, but as attendance grew, it became clear that the house wasn’t big enough anymore. It is no longer held in Talmadge, yet in homage to its roots, the art show has kept its original name.
Among the crafts to be on display this weekend, visitors who attend the art show will discover an array of paintings, clothing, purses, pottery and glassware, and jewelry.
Arango, who loves working with abalone shell, antique buttons and leather, finds his inspiration in nature and in other artists, though he’s quick to point out he never copies, he only captures the essence of their work.
“My inspiration comes from the many years that I’ve been doing my craft,” he said. “From the colors of the season and fashion. I look at other artists in jewelry. Japanese artists influence a new line that I’m debuting this year at the Talmadge show—bracelets and earrings made with super duo beads.”
“I do it because I love art,” noted Gorevitz, who produces the show with her husband, Alan Greenberg. “I have always found when I travel and when I go into stores, I find out about art objects by asking questions. I’ve always known people love to meet the artists and get the backstory. It means more when you pick up the necklace or the earrings and say, now I understand why they picked those or why this piece was made this way and it means so much more this way. “
Gorevitz encourages the artists to share their “backstory,” their vision for their craft. Arango agrees and sees the importance in telling his, as it is a way of helping him connect with his customers.
“I studied graphic design at San Diego State,” Arango explained. “In one of the classes they asked us to use three different types of materials to make a piece of art. I picked leather, metal and paper and because of it, leather became the base of what I use now. You go through experimentation. You find things that’ll work and for me that was leather.”
Arango is also keen on recycling antique buttons and his use of them in his jewelry is inventive. In search of the perfect button, he will scour antique shops, yard sales, swap meets and even button shows, and his vast collection is a treasure trove.
Indeed, his workspace may seem cluttered but there’s a science to it, for Arango is highly organized and knowledgeable about each button he’s acquired, and which era it is from, whether it be an art deco piece or something from the 19th century. And though he may not yet know how he’ll use it in his jewelry, he is confident he will, for his creative juices are constantly flowing.
This year, there will be 78 artists at the Talmadge Art Show, and each of them has a backstory.
“It’s what makes the art show special,” Gorevitz reflected. “Each artist is unique. You get to meet them. You get to ask questions about their pieces. To me, it’s really a learning experience.”
The Talmadge Art Show will be held Sunday, Nov. 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at NTC Promenade Events Center, Liberty Station. For more information visit talmadgeartshow.com or 619-559-9082.