My second visit to Jeffrey Crussell's Eichler home gallery over the weekend demonstrated again why he is one of our most perceptive fine art curators of contemporary art in Orange County: there was hardly a piece I wouldn't have wanted in my own home despite the fact that the spectrum of work was enormously varied.
Natasa Prosenc's video of a woman in the desert emerging from a bubbling natural mudhole, walking across a barren landscape and eventually cleansing herself under a waterfall was mesmerizing.
I shared the experience of sitting and watching the video with a charming stranger who told me she also thought it was a remarkable work. We got to talking, and I learned that she is an artist exhibiting in the show as well. Evalynn Alu is her name, and she confided to me that she had only devoted herself to her art fully for the past few years after a long career as a teacher. When I encountered her work a little while later, a black and white and red painting on the wall in another room, it was one of those moments when you wouldn't have connected the artist with her work, which leads to all sorts of self-consciousness about how we often make assumptions about people.
I told artist Pamela Grau "I see you're working in metal, now," having just admired the patina of her brass abstract sculptural works, and I was floored by her telling me that they weren't metal at all, but rather a composite of clay and paper. Another guest asked her if she fired them in a kiln, and Pam surprised us again by saying "no," she had only baked them for 20 minutes at 350 in her kitchen oven! She's an artist with an unbridled imagination who works in various media, never failing to surprise and delight.
There is an online gallery with samples of the artists work here.