California Open Exhibition back at TAG Gallery

For the eighth time, TAG Gallery hosted the annual California Open Exhibition at Bergamot Station Arts Center from Aug. 14 through Aug. 19.

The competition, which is curated by a different juror each year, was founded by Valeries Mendez in 2005 and was originally limited to Californian artists, but is now a nationwide exhibition, according to Laura Korman, director of TAG Gallery.

“It gives an opportunity to artists all over the U.S. to exhibit theirfinest work at Bergamot station," said Korman.

This year, 55 art works by 39 artists were selected for the exhibition from more than 1,400 pieces of art submitted by 508 artists.

The first three winners receive cash awards of up to $1,000 for the first place, $500 for the second, and $250 for the third.

This year's juror Edward Goldman, an art critic for KCRW, NPR affiliate station and The Huffington Post, decided against the traditional ranking from first to third place.

He announced two pieces "Out From the Shadows" and "Tradition's Ghost" by Dorothy Megallon as first place, two second place winners, June Kim and Irina Daylene, and no third place.

“He just loved Dorothy Magallon’s two pieces,” said Korman. "He decided that there are two second place winners; he didn’t feel one was superior to the other, so he wanted them to be tied for the second place."

Two of the three winners shared their thoughts on their pieces.

Kim's work “Knots, Red Thread Sculpture I” follows the theme of human connection and network, which was inspired by the Chinese ancient belief that a baby is already connected to their family members by an invisible thread.

The other second place, Daylene, won with her artwork "Sumo on Vacation," which is part of Daylene's collection of more than 14 sumo sculptures inspired by her trip to Japan, and will be showcased in Moscow in November.

In addition to the three winners, Goldman announced the Valerie Mendez Memorial Award to Nicholas Fedak II for his work "Dissolving Dreamgirl" and honorable mentions to Michael Kelly for his paintings "Another Grand Bargain" and "The Speaker Has the Floor," and to Janis Lanyi for "Industrial Revolution."

The 2013 California Open Exhibition can be viewed online on

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