Mixed Messages

May 14 – July 6, 2019

I’ve just come up for air after our grand opening of GraySpace Gallery in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. We’ve gathered together twelve celebrated contemporary artists representing an eclectic, yet coherent, mix of sculpture and paintings. A common thread runs through the work, yet each remains uniquely singular. Hence the theme, “Mixed Messages.”

As curator of the gallery, it was the various ways artists employed abstraction to convey their ideas that I wanted to showcase. Peggy Ferris’s Terra series, is full of layers of scrawled mark-making inspired by her surroundings amid California’s chaparral, while Francis Scorzelli’s considers “intuition and logic, dream and memory” to create a color world uniquely his own. Charlene Broudy’s large work of unbridled color-infused anamorphic shapes, contrasts to Scorzelli’s deep, layered textures. Looking at Dorothy Churchill-Johnson’s beautiful kaleidoscopic Tiny Bang Theory, a surrealistic view of nature, relates to the organization and exquisiteness of Joan Rosenberg-Dent’s serene porcelain sculpture. Abstract expressionist, William Lawrence’s, Light Path is imbued with softly grayed hues and marks, inherent in this artist’s masterful impressionistic landscape.



In Anthony Askew’s watercolors, Big Top and Carnival, a keen sense of division of space is indicative of his distinctive style born out in his collage works, assemblages and monoprints. About Dug Uyesake’s poetic collage pieces, he tells us, “I try to imbue my work with the reverent attitude of serious play done in a playfully serious way.” These pieces are juxtaposed against Rod Lathim’s version of the same spiraling shapes in his monumental assemblage, Wheels of Change.

In color, depth and visual weigh, Mike Blaha’s Vexillum echos Lathim’s Wheels with a generous handling of paint from which emerges an expressive, compelling composition that pulls the viewer in. Finally, there’s the figurative work of Pamela Enticknap and myself. Though recognizable subjects, Enticknap’s personified Angel on the Line representing woman’s work, while my dispossessed characters in A Table for Two existing in an abstracted space of my own making.

Each work is filled with mixed messages, conveyed through this common denominator.  Stop by and enjoy their abstract nature. With this our first exhibition, GraySpace is excited to introduce these artists that will be showcased in our year-long series.

 Ruth Ellen Hoag and Richard Hoag