Art and Food…It’s a Great Combo! – by Libby Lancaster
Artist Vicki McClay is set to show at Upper West in Santa Monica. The opening reception will take place on Sunday March 9th from 4-6pm. Gino Paino curated the show. He explains what inspires him.
“In most cases…(he looks for)… Artists that have been working for several years have already a very good idea of what the community around them looks for in their Art Work,” says Paino. “I gravitate to someone with a good understanding of contemporary Art, with great technical qualities and above all the passion for Fine Arts.”
The artist, Vicki McClay met the owners of Upper West through an artist friend, Imelda Healy. McClay was schooled at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center. She continued her studies at the University of Minnesota and The College of Art and Design.
McClay’s mother played an active role in fueling her desire to be an artist. “When I was about 12 or 13 years old she gave me a small oil painting set which came in a wooden box,” recalls the artist. “To this day, I always keep in my studio. She was a single mom with two children, so it was quite difficult for her to find the resources for classes and supplies, but she saw how important it was to me and made it a priority.”
McClay’s wish is to welcome her audience into the each painting. To allow them the opportunity to explore the contrasting worlds that she creates. She explains, “I’ve been very fortunate to see a great deal of the world and each new environment has brought something different to my paintings. Some experiences immediately impact my work and others gestate for a considerable time, but everywhere I have gone I have discovered we live in a world of such amazing color and light, which is in constant flux. There are endless qualities to the elements that surround us – the air, land and water – and I see these elements impacting each other all the time. At times it seems as if we are unsure where one element ends and the other begins.
She continues, “I think of these paintings as dream-like abstractions; they are my inner reality of the things I have felt about the places I’ve been. They are an interpretive landscape and are often spatially ambiguous. I strive to convey a sense of movement, a kind of involvement in the sense of light and color springing from the world that surrounds us. I find the constant shift of light and the transformation of color happening right before our eyes throughout the course of the day to be endlessly fascinating.”