March 15 2016 03:43 PM

Leticia Gomez Franco, Don Hollis and Susan Myrland hip us to new artists, shows and works

“Mestiza” by Anna Torres
Photo courtesy of the artist

In this semi-regular department, we ask some of our favorite local artists and curators what new shows or artists are worth checking out. Whether it's a particular piece, an entire exhibition or just a current obsession, here are some artsy options from eyes we trust.

Leticia Gomez Franco—Independent Curator

"At the Power of Feminine Energy exhibition at the Centro Cultural de la Raza (2004 Park Blvd.), there is a piece called 'Mestiza' by artist Anna Torres, which stopped me in my tracks. The piece is made up of three life-size wood panels and each panel is a full-body self-portrait of the artist. Portraits of women, of faces and bodies, are common in all-women exhibitions, particularly those that are celebrating female empowerment, but Torres' piece goes beyond this. The figures in the pieces size you up. They confront you and they break the viewer/subject relationship by looking at you, and make you wonder if perhaps you're the one on exhibit."

Susan Myrland—Curator, Arts Writer

"I've known Bhavna Mehta since I juried the International Women's Day show at The Front in 2014. I've loved watching her progression over time and what she's doing with her new show [Body 1.0, which opens April 2 at Bay Park Press at 4138 Napier St.] is embroidery on paper. She's known for just doing paper works, but with the embroidery it allows her to be ambidextrous and more productive. The fact that she's still working with paper, which is such an unforgiving medium, gives the works these overtones of fragility and transience. The title of the show tells me that she's thinking about spirituality, the next life and what she's learned in this life."

Don Hollis—Owner, Hollis Brand Culture and Subtext Gallery

"I always find great new talent at the exhibitions at La Bodega Gallery (2196 Logan Ave.) in Barrio Logan. They always have these large group shows, but you can really find some good nuggets in there. Kelly Vivanco's new show at Distinction Gallery (317 E. Grand Ave. in Escondido) is great. I love her work and she's always been one of the more consistent local artists who has managed to make a living at it here. Katherine Brannock left San Diego and recently came back. She has these amazingly intricate pen-and-ink fine art pieces. They're really beautiful and spontaneous, and I just don't think she gets her due, locally. Also, people should check out the work of N.C. Winters."


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