Three Sides of a Coin

January 14 to February 23

Extended through March 4 – Open Friday and Saturday 1-5 and during studio hours – call gallery for hours – 805-689-0858

In “Three Sides of a Coin,” three artists explore the nature of hindsight, foresight and insight. Through determined and individual self-expression, this new exhibit of sculpture and paintings fill the gallery with color, story and unique points of view.

I’ve known William Lawrence for almost as long as I’ve been painting. Skip (as he is known by the thousands who have collected his work and those who have studied with him,) – full disclosure here – became my mentor in the early days of my clamor to understand everything I could about painting. Today, I am pleased to call him friend, and and as such asked him to show at GraySpace Gallery. In his own words, (extracted from his Artist Statement for this show):

“By now I have spent most of my life in the pursuit of making art, good art. Elements like color mixing, linear perspective, aerial perspective, dominance, repetition became tools were used to make my observations only the first truth about a subject. How we feel about a person is as equally true as how they look.

There is nothing like teaching to make one learn.  I have had very few periods in my life when I was not teaching. Each new teaching job brought more reason to explore the what and why of teaching. It is quite clear to me now that when we teach by example and formulas, creative options are lost to conformity and stagnation. Great artists are great because they challenge conformity and open the door to freedom and possibility. The more I seek questions rather than answers the more exciting making art becomes.

My present work, be it landscape, figure, abstract or visually real is without conditions of right ness.  Sensations born of a freedom to try whatever and to continue the process until I am excited by the results of my exploration.”

 I have long valued the work and friendship of Pamela Enticknap. Her new foray into sculpture is a natural evolution of her figurative work as a whole. She explains her objective in creating her Cast of Characters.

“[This] new series of 3-dimensional figurative works comment on the link between our cultural requirements and the way people live and work in 21st Century America. Three Sides of A Coin applies to each of these figures – what the individual presented, what’s observed, and what’s underlying. This is my look at the demands and restrictions of American culture as seen in behavior and dress.

These works combine observation with comments: what is hidden and what is on display, who has power, who is left behind, whose performance is unnoticed and which shall rise. Underlying this series is a bit of sarcasm, a little irony, a great deal of humor, some criticism and a touch of nostalgia.”

For my own work in this exhibit, I’ve pulled from two series, one an exploration of the push-pull of opaque and transparent pigments, using harder edges than I usually do, resulting in a number of fun and exciting color complexity. The second, Teacups of Joy, is my response and observations of children who are just a bit “off,” or have experienced life beyond their years. Each is accompanied by the observation of the child as it developed while painting it.

This exhibition has been a labor of love to curate. It was my great pleasure to have Christopher Rupp, Instructor of Art and Collections Manager of Westmont Museum of Art, guide and curate the hanging of the show with his expert eye. Three Sides of a Coin runs January 14 through February 23 with the Opening Reception, Friday, January 17th, 5 to 8 pm coinciding with the Funk Zone Art Walk. There will be a Reception with the Artists is Thursday February 20, 5 to 7pm when Skip Lawrence will be teaching two workshops in Santa Barbara. (See


Ruth Ellen Hoag,  artist in residence and director of GraySpace Gallery