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Grass Valley, CA, November 13, 2001 -- Thanksgiving Weekend's Wynton Marsalis concert Jazz in Nevada County will have an added dimension -- the concert hall will boast a fine art exhibit of murals, canvasses and sculpture in celebration of jazz, according to Penelope Curtis, Executive Director of the Nevada County Arts Council, sponsor of the Marsalis event.
Curator Nancy Burns is enthusiastic: "The artists are painting and sculpting large new works for the concert, and will offer realistic and impressionistic portraits of jazz greats such as Billie Holliday, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, and Wynton Marsalis, as well as exquisite abstracts and sculptures on a jazz music theme."
Grass Valley Graphics Group Promoter Beverly Korenwaser, herself a musician, who has been working closely with Curtis, Burns and the Arts Council staff, has high expectations. "Gold Country art and music fans will not want to miss this event," says Korenwaser.
Douglass-Truth, the Estate of Tom X, E.J. Gold and other artists of the Grass Valley Graphics Group will be among those furnishing art works for the Marsalis performance gala scheduled for the Grass Valley Veteran's Hall on November 23 and 24th.
"This is an exciting undertaking," says Zoe Alowan, of the Grass Valley Graphics Group (GVGG). "Working on this program with Penelope Curtis and the Arts Council is inspiring for many reasons. Wynton Marsalis is a tremendous musician! The project is made even richer by his devotion to the jazz tradition and his ability to educate and motivate young musicians and other artists to participate in his passion."
E.J. Gold, whose numerous collectors include actors Catherine Oxenberg, Curtis Armstrong and James Coburn, as well as the Clintons and the late King Hussein of Jordan, is producing monumental canvasses to flank the stage and performance areas.
Tom X, who maintained a studio in downtown Nevada City between 1985 and 1995, and most recently in Santa Monica, will be represented posthumously through his extraordinary and dramatic JAZZ MUSICIAN prints. The life and works of Tom X, who died on October 29, 2001, will be recognized and honored at the upcoming Museum of Ancient and Modern Art December 8th Auction at the Nevada City Veteran's Hall.
Former Disney animator and Nevada City fine artist Lin Larsen has prepared striking portraits of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Kenny Clarke. S.L. Boyd, whose canvasses show the influence of Chagall and Picasso, is producing a series of abstracts. Frequent local exhibitor Douglass-Truth, best known for his soulful landscapes, is expected to offer scintillating jazz club vignettes. Truth and figurist R.C. Trice, whose Jazz ceramics were shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art during its Harlem Renaissance Show, have collaborated on an enormous and engaging mural of a cityscape seen from the interior of a jazz club.
Alowan, who is also Director of the Children's Art Academy at the Museum of Ancient and Modern Art, will offer works from the Free Saturday Morning Children's Art Classes at which three recent sessions have been devoted to jazz interpretations. An accomplished portraitist in her own right, Alowan will contribute several of her own large canvasses depicting memorable figures in American Jazz.
Sculptural offerings will be turned in by Bill DeGroot and Richard Gill. David Christie, who has been favorably compared to Alexander Calder, is preparing mobiles to hang from the hall's forty foot ceilings. Also joining the Grass Valley Graphics Group for this show will be Gold Country artists Eugene Kirschner and Kurt Ernest Steger.
Denise Wey, who has won acclaim for her sensitive Native American portraits and Alaskan landscapes, is serving as production manager to coordinate the artists' efforts to bring together this monumental collaboration in honor of the Marsalis performance.
Asked whether any of the artworks would be available for sale after the concert, Linda Corriveau of GVGG's publisher, Heidelberg Editions International, said that although some of the pieces were being reserved for the collection which is expected to go on tour in December, others would be made available for sale. "Interested art collectors may obtain a card or brochure at the concert, or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org," says Corriveau.
The Grass Valley Graphics Group, which gained distinction as the artists chosen to represent the US in the 1991-1994 USA/USSR Art Tour, has often exhibited as a group, both locally at the Museum of Ancient and Modern Art, and in private galleries and museums in Toronto, Chicago, New York, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oslo, Berlin, Florence, Mexico City and Sao Paulo.
When not preparing for the Marsalis concert, the GVGG under the leadership of E.J. Gold is busy conducting an ongoing California Impressionist Workshop, issuing a stream of California and Woodstock Impressionist canvasses, ranging from 5 x 7 inches to 4 x 5 feet in size. Themes derive largely from California plein air (outdoor) subjects, with many of the artists depicting local scenes, such as Lily Nova's and Douglass-Truth's Gold Country Landmark Series works.