Forty-five one-of-a-kind sculptures will be displayed at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (SLOMA) beginning this month.
The Central Coast Sculptors will host the California Sculpture SLAM at SLOMA, from Aug. 12 to Sept. 30.
Artists from across California are expected to attend the reception for the opening of the exhibit.
“There are artists all the way from San Francisco to Orange County to San Rafael participating in the exhibit,” said Muara Johnston, assistant director of SLOMA.
Of the 45 artists with works in display at the exhibit, 16 are from the Central Coast.
Charles Arnoldi was chosen to be the juror of the exhibit. He decided which works to use from artists living throughout California.
“He has a pretty big reputation on the West Coast for being a top-notch sculptor,” Johnston said. “They didn’t want someone who was local because they didn’t want the judge to be biased.”
Arnoldi is a contemporary artist working in Venice, Calif., who has worked in art most of his life.
“I’m 65 years old, and I started when I was 25,” Arnoldi said. “Art is all I do.”
SLOMA gathered the potential featured pieces, and sent images to Arnoldi for judging.
“I did this kind of reluctantly,” Arnoldi said. “I wouldn’t normally judge an art show.”
Without seeing the sculptures in person, he was faced with a unique challenge.
“It was very difficult to judge because I saw only images, not the full 3D sculptures,” Arnoldi said. “I probably hurt a lot of feelings, but that wasn’t my intention.”
Robert Oblon, an Arroyo Grande resident, submitted one sculpture to SLOMA titled “how do you like me now?” The sculpture is a life-size composite of three different women and will be displayed at the exhibit. Oblon said he likes to “reinvent the female form,” as shown by his unique perspective in his artwork.
Oblon said he has been driven by art since he was young.
“I’ve been doing this since 1972,” he said. “I grew up in L.A. and one of my earliest memories came from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, looking at a Henry Moore sculpture. The rest is history.”
Monika Steiner, a full-time artist from San Francisco, will display two abstract pieces for the Sculpture SLAM, one titled “You and me” and the other titled “Incasement.”
“I love to show off the unseen aspects of nature,” she said. “Realistic art captures something nature already created. Abstract art draws me because it is more challenging.”
“You and me” was created to represent vulnerability in a relationship, Steiner said. The sculpture includes two free-standing bronze pieces.
“In a relationship, it’s up to us how much we want to reveal of ourselves,” she said. “It’s high-polished bronze because when you open up, there is a golden heart.”
Her other sculpture “Incasement” includes a piece of bronze, protected by a layer of resin.
“This is actually one of the most difficult pieces to make,” Steiner said. “I had to hang the bronze piece from the ceiling and pour in the resin in stages.”
Steiner said she felt honored to have her pieces chosen by Arnoldi.
“I was thrilled because I very much respect his work,” she said.
Johnston said all of the sculptures will be available for purchase throughout the event.
Oblon also said he felt honored to be chosen by Arnoldi to be in the exhibit.
“I know Chuck so I’ve been an admirer for 35 years,” Oblon said. “I was thrilled and honored to be chosen by him.”
The free opening reception will be at 7 p.m. on Aug. 13, featuring food and wine for the public.