Sullivan Goss Annual 100 Grand
Sullivan Goss [SG] opens its doors annually in December with its 100 Grand Exhibit specifically to show works from only local artists, comprised of veteran professional locals and newbies. The concept is to price the art for $1,000 or less and keep the overall size minimalist, in a mission to encourage people with lesser budgets to own a work of art. There are 102 pieces from 97 artists. Gallery owner Nathan Vonk shared that on December 4, “I arrived to open the doors to a line of people waiting at 9 am to buy art! It was exciting and we sold twenty-three local artists’ works in the first two hours. The people came from all over, mostly Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.”
SG Contemporary Curator Susan Bush, with assist from Gallery Director Jeremy Tessmer, are the makers of 100 Grand. The art is difinitively staged on the front gallery walls by genre – assemblage, abstract, geometric, landscape, traditional, mixed media, and by color. “Susan’s wall” is under the 100 Grandsign on the left wall of the front gallery, so-named for being the first art grouping installed. Standing next to it, she explains, “Here are the styles of art I enjoy, I adore the color blue, so all the blues, and anything with water. After this is up, we organize and install the art over a two-day period. Although the exhibit is open to all local artists, they of course must submit work for consideration. I cull art all year from our current list of SB artists and visit the new artists I hear about around town.”
Sold works at the opening included two by Hank Pitcher, three of Inge Guzyte‘s skateboard art, Peggy Ferris‘s “Girls Night Out” abstract painting, and my personal favorite, “Hills, Hills, Hills” by Robin Gowen with her exquisite use of tertiary colors in opposition with high contrast strokes for the hills against a faded chartreuse sky. At first blush, many works seem similar to art aficionados; this is done purposely by the artists to provide collectors an opportunity to buy their works at below market rate, and encourage others with a limited budget to buy art.
This year the 100 Grand exhibit is bookended with a serious exhibit from Westmont College art faculty titled, Mentors and Makers, in the back gallery. The Westmont artists are Scott Anderson, James Daly, Nathan Huff, Sommer Roman, Chris Rupp, Meagan Stirling. Here one views experimental mediums in sculptures, print graphic works, traditional paintings and mixed media assemblage. A short list but it holds its own and provides a view of the masters at the college.