Pam Dixon presents:
October 16th – November 30th
Join us for the opening Reception
October 18th from 3-6 p.m.
Gallery 621 is pleased to host this very special exhibit featuring
30 internationally and nationally known ceramists,
many of who got their start right here in the I 80 corridor
between Sacramento and San Francisco.
ARNESON, BAILEY, VOULKOS, SHAW, SHANNONHOUSE, BRADY, GILHOOLY and MANY MORE
The beniciaMOA seeks to advance and preserve Benicia’s Historic Legend of Art for present and future generations by actively endowing Benicia with a presence of Art in the ‘spirit’ of Benicia’s Art legacy. The Transmigrational exhibit honors that legacy by exhibiting work by founders of the California Funk movement alongside the work of its creative heirs, together for the first time.
Join us at Gallery 621 in recognizing and celebrating
this heritage and the beniciaMOA.
According to long time Bay Area art critic Gregory Ghent, Benicia holds a special place in Art Legacy of the Bay Area:
“California Funk is considered the only truly original art movement that started in California. Funk is an art form still very much alive today. Ceramics and the town of Benicia play crucial roles in the evolution of Funk.
In the early 1960’s, the Art Department at UCDavis welded together a faculty whose amazing talents drove the California Funk Art Movement. Many Funk artists who lived and worked between Davis and San Francisco took up ceramics as their medium of expression including Manuel Neri, Robert Arneson, Peter VandenBerge, Chris Unterseher, Margaret Dodd, David Gilhooly and Clayton Bailey. These artists pushed and inspired each other to free ceramics from mere studio productions of vases and bowls. And the students they mentored became another whole generational chapter making art icons of many! To name a few; Richard Shaw, Robert Hudson, Deborah Butterfield, John Buck, Robert Brady, Lisa Reinertson, Sandra Shannonhouse.
The movement’s name was derived from the jazz musical term, “funky”, describing the passionate, sensuous and quirky. Funk artists treat their work with a sense of humor, senselessness, confrontation, vulgar sexuality and autobiographical references. In their pieces, Funk artists are sometimes self-deprecating and ironic. Although the works are humorous, they sometimes cover a more serious undertone. Since there is no clear meaning in many pieces, Funk art contains a sense of ambiguity.
Freeways I-80 and 680, linking Sacramento and Davis to the Bay Area, formed a corridor that supported a flow of commerce and information, plus the route taken by ceramic artists, collectors, and anyone interested in Funk from the 1960’s to today. Although Davis is the epicenter of Funk, Benicia and Port Costa form the bedroom and studio communities. Robert Arneson was born in Benicia; and was the first artist hired in 1960 for the “Dream Team” of Richard Allan. Arneson moved back home to Benicia, leaving his Alice Street digs in Davis and bringing with him his bride, Sandra Shannonhouse. Manuel Neri moved to Benicia in the late 1960’s, “…and was it cheap!” he says. And then there was a flood of artists such as Hal Schlotzhauer, Judy Chicago, Robert Brady, Sandy Simon, Ed Higgins, John La Francesca, and Lee Champagne. Living across the water, in Port Costa, were Clayton Bailey and Roy DeForest, two more of the original faculty, besides Neri and Arneson. Wayne Thiebaud was the exception, living in San Francisco.”
Invited Artists include: Robert Arneson, Clayton Bailey, Jeffery Beckerleg, Mark Boguski, Robert Brady, Jennifer Brazelton, Sandy Calhoun, Pam Dixon, David Gilhooly, Arthur Gonzalez, Lee Kavaljian, Suzanne Long, Kris Lyons, Joe Mariscal, Tony Natsoulas, Jeff Nebeker, Win Ng, Maija Peeples-Bright, Lisa Reinertson, Annabeth Rosen, Tiffany Schmierer, Sandra Shannonhouse, Martha H. Shaw, Richard B. Shaw, Sandy Simon, John Toki, Pete Voulkos, Peter VandenBerge and Wanxin Zhang
Special thanks to the Rudolph and Emily (Betsy) Strand Family Collection, Herman and Frances Ng, Philip Lederer Fine Art of Novato CA , Stephen Headley and Artworks Foundry Gallery in Oakland CA, the Arneson family and Madeline Ibrahim.
Benicia Magazine: Benicia’s Internationally Important Legacy Of Ceramic Sculpture
Benicia Herald: A long, illustrious legacy in art: Benicia Museum of Art to launch with appreciation for ’60s ‘Funk’ movement