Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Art Continues in Borrego


Last updated 5/24/2023 at 12:38pm

Mixed Media Artist/ Illustrator/ Sculpture

Debbie Gallerani

In Debbie's vibrant works one can see the influences of the mid century modern design she was surrounded by growing up in Palm Springs in the 60's and her love for desert animals and nature.

Debbie uses her animation and cartooning skills to covey a whimsical element of humor in her animal paintings. Her color sense is incredible appealing grabbing from the natural panorama of the desert color palette. Utilizing several mixed media techniques Debbie creativity flows easily. It is not surprising that her works have found homes in Borrego so much so that her original show which was scheduled until the end of April has been extended until the end of May. New works have been added to replace those sold.

Debbie owned her own graphic design company Studio West Graphic's in Palm Springs for several decades. Currently she is living in Tucson, Az concentrating on developing a fine art career.

Additionally, Debbie is showing a charming collection of prints of her desert animal artwork on note cards available at the gallery. I saw people purchasing them in stacks, me included.

Everyone can enjoy this show.

West Gallery-Summer House- May 6 – August 27

Open Tues. – Sun.

9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

There is something about mid-century modern design that outlasts modern day trends. It's clean lines, geometric shapes and slim sleek designs are timeless.

Born in the post war period in the light of modern innovation focusing on redesigning and re-imagining the future landscape of everyday life. The mid century era is noted as being a time for exploration. Some of the greatest and most iconic design in furniture emerged during this time as a result of better funding, access to new material and new techniques. Charles and Ray Eames, Ebro Saarinen, Hans Werner are just a few names who dramatically changed the way we think about furniture and living styles. Material they used such as molded plywood, fiberglass, plastic, resin and wire mesh are now common place. We can attribute the pivotal popularization of industrial design to these remarkable innovators. Statement colors yellow gold, burnt orange and avocado green are infamous colors of the late 60's desert modernist style.

Elizabeth Rodriguez owner of the House of Borrego East and West Galleries has what is known in the art world as, 'the eye.' Deftly she arranges objects, furniture and artwork to bring out the best qualities of each piece. Elizabeth leans into her fascination and expertise in all things of mid century modern transforming the West Gallery into a curated room of mid century modern artwork, sculpture, objects and furniture for West Gallery, Summer House show. Elizabeth enthusiastically invites visitors into conversation about the design histories of the art works and furniture. There are many interesting pieces in the show including two beautiful black leather, 'swan chairs.' The swan chair was originally designed in 1958 by Arne Jacobsen the design remains as relevant today as it was 60 years ago.

I was stuck by an haunting landscape painting by Martha Hurst featured in the show. Born 1913 in Ohio, Martha studied with Andrew Wyeth. Moving to Southern California after her marriage to wood sculpture Ronald C. Hurst. She lived in La Mesa and El Cajon and became known for painting the back roads, canyons, and far away places of San Diego County. This painting is of a far away place. Martha painted illuminating, desert light exquisitely possible a result of her studies with Wyeth a master of light. This is a significant artwork.

Love of mid century modern design has been a feature of local desert life for decades and still today's engages many new enthusiasts. The minimal design compliments our vast desert landscape and epic scenery. 'Summer House,' will show through August with new collections being added.

Borrego Art Institute North Gallery

George Haywood Phillips Collection-Aboriginal Paintings

May 6 – Oct. 1

What an enthralling experience this showing was. I was not expecting to feel as connected and emotional as I did to the art. Apparently, I was not alone as I talked to several people who were enthralled by the purity and simplicity of the works. Many people had an immediate emotional connection magnified by the written story descriptions behind the symbolism in the art. My research later informed me that this collection is extremely well priced in fact for original aboriginal artwork of this caliber the pricing is well below current auction records. Especially the paintings on bark. Aboriginal art has passed the 2.5 million mark at auction establishing it as a valued art-form. George Haywood Phillip collected this collection during the 1990's while living in Australia.

Aboriginal culture dates back to least 60,000 plus years. Aboriginal art almost always has a theological undertone relating to the 'dreaming.' Stories vary among the various clans. Indigenous art is centered on story telling. The use of symbols is an alternate way of writing down stories of cultural significance teaching survival and use of the land and interpretations of the iconography differ depending on the audience.

Contemporary Australian indigenous art evolved in 1971 when a school teacher Geoffrey Barron was working with aboriginal children in Papunya, Alice Springs area. Geoffrey noticed whilst the aboriginal men were telling stories they would draw symbols in the sand. Geoffrey encouraged them to paint the stories onto canvas and board. This became the first aboriginal art movement. A foreign concept for indigenous people to paint their stores western style.

Aboriginal 'dreaming' creation law is the heart of aboriginal culture and consequently for aboriginal art it sets down the 'dreaming' which provides the identity for aboriginal people and their association or link to the land. Their 'dreaming' forms a share of their inheritance and identity. Many aboriginal artist's imagine themselves hovering over the land observing both natural and metaphysical form or landscape markings.

This show is informative, educational for everyone. Definitely, one of my favorite North Gallery shows this season.