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538 Main Street
Huntington Beach, California,92648
The Huntington Beach Art Center is a community arts and cultural center serving Huntington Beach and the Southern California region. The Center presents the works of artists producing in all media. Through exhibitions, performances, film/video screenings, lect... more.
Valentin Popov @ Huntington Beach
The following is an excerpt from conversations between artist Valentin Popov and Darlene D. DeAngelo, Curator of Exhibitions/Programs at the Huntington Beach Art Center.
Darlene: Let's start with how and why you emigrated to the United States from Russia. Darlene: When did you return to the States? Valentin: About six months later for my solo show. Darlene: When did you decide to stay for good? Darlene: Johnson wrote in his essay that the state thought they had their hooks into you. Darlene: It costs you nothing to attend? Darlene: What about to actually exhibit your work. Darlene: So they actually purchase the work for the shows? Darlene: So it sounds to me like you didn't just want enough money to live on and you wanted more people to see your work. Darlene: How do your parents feel about that? Darlene: How is it the purpose of the artist to be different? Darlene: And yet what you wanted most was to be a part of this free society. Darlene: Do you come from a large family? Darlene: Are you close with your family? Valentin: Very, I speak to them every three days. Darlene: Do they call you as often as you call them? Darlene: What do your mother and father do in Russia? Darlene: Have they come here to visit you? Valentin: Yes. Darlene: What do they think of their son's new-found freedom and have they ever considered living with you? Darlene: How did you get involved in art? Was it because of your father? Darlene: Bingo! Darlene: Did you have to submit a portfolio to go to the school in Russia? Darlene: Often we hear in contemporary art that if it's not interesting to you it won't be interesting to anyone else. Darlene: So do you feel you received your training from your father? Darlene: So it's highly competitive. How many students try out? Valentin: Ten. Darlene: And they accept how many? Darlene: Let's talk more about the recent work. Darlene: Extremely broad. Darlene: How did you make the switch from being a printmaker to becoming a painter? Darlene: And you're also doing photography. You're really incorporating several media. Darlene: To get into more depth about your work in particular, many contemporary artists will discount what has happened before. Darlene: So it's not just about creating your own new contemporary pieces but its also paying homage to classic works. Darlene: Often you have words incorporated in sort of layered like terms on your paintings and on your etchings. Darlene: So what you're really doing is creating a drama. Darlene: Where do you get those phrases? Darlene: And do you think it matters? Darlene: Often the phrases you put into your paintings read as phrases we've all heard but can't quite remember when or where. Darlene: Are you aware that people are using these phrases as self help guides? Darlene: But it's not your regular reading material? Darlene: Just as the Dalai Lama understood it differently Valentin: Yes Darlene: Did you create all new work for the Huntington Beach exhibition?
After more than 12 years in her position as curator for the Huntington Beach Art Center, Darlene DeAngelo retired.
Public cutbacks resulted in her position being defunded so it is with a heavy heart that Huntington Beach and Art Center visitors bid her a fond farewell and well wishes for whatever is next in Darlene's future. However, she's definitely ending her incredible service with a bang, as the exhibits she's assembled are breathtaking, a truly landmark achievement in the art scene in Southern California. The Art Center will be hosting a number of signature works by a variety of artists and the canvas on which DeAngelo has assembled these works is large, indeed.
Darlene DeAngelo recently retired from the Huntington Beach Art Center after more than 12 years.
Email print Huntington Beach Art Center director Darlene DeAngelo is flanked by artists Krista Thompson and Steve Schmidt in preparation for the "Centered on the Center," exhibit in January 2004. DeAngelo stepped down from her post in September. (FILE PHOTO / January 20, 2004) Darlene DeAngelo has traveled many places over the last dozen years: Cuba, Vietnam, Europe and wherever the freeway would take her during her impassioned 12-hour workdays. Now, the former curator of the Huntington Beach Art Center is embarking on a new frontier. Which is to say, a quiet morning with no alarm. DeAngelo, who has overseen the museum's exhibits and many of its fundraising and educational programs since 1999,stepped down in September. The last show she curated, a nature-themed multimedia exhibit titled "The Cylinder, the Sphere, the Cone," is scheduled to remain up through Saturday. This spring, the city gave DeAngelo a layoff notice, and she opted to retire before her position was cut. In the future, the Claremont resident hopes to immerse herself in the art world again. For now, she's enjoying at least a momentary time to reflect. "I'm one of those people who sort of lived my job," she said. "That's all I did. No matter where I went, I found it. You can always find where the artists are if you ask the right people." Among the right people that DeAngelo lined up over the years: a group of artists from Cuba, Vietnam and the Netherlands, who put together a show of surf-related art in 2007; photographer Gina Genis, who took portraits of museum visitors in 2011 and had them hand-write messages about how the recession had affected them; and mixed-media artist Gary Simpson, featured in the "Cylinder" show, who presented a conceptual piece containing soil samples from every country in the United Nations. And then there were the many lesser-known artists that DeAngelo helped promote - through the museum's annual Centered on the Center non-juried show, which brought together hundreds of contributors each year, and Family Arts Day, which allowed parents and children to make crafts of their own. Director Kate Hoffman credits DeAngelo with strengthening the center's programming as well as its bond to the community. The venue at 538 Main St., now in its 18th year, didn't always enjoy the local support it has now. According to a 2005 story in the Independent, the center favored cutting-edge shows in its early years - one, "How to Start Your Own Country," included a bucket of fake feces and urine to demonstrate how people relieved themselves in the artist's home country of Vietnam - and it closed for six months in 1999 to determine its direction and deal with operating debt. DeAngelo, who had previously served as an assistant director at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and executive director at the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona, got the call to be curator and programmer when the center reopened. She also launchedwhat Hoffman called her "signature item": an annual two-week fundraising auction, featuring works by artists who had exhibited at the museum. "Darlene gets lots of credit for helping to reorganize the art center," Hoffman said. As a tribute to DeAngelo, the center kept the "Cylinder" show on display longer than usual. In the meantime, on the curator's last day, her colleagues hosted a farewell celebration with city officials, artists and others in attendance. Listening to the tributes, DeAngelo said, ultimately caused her to tear up. "It was one of those stories like 'It's a Wonderful Life,'" she said.
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