By Helen Ofield, President, Lemon Grove Historical Society
December 26, 2015 (Lemon Grove) -- Just when you thought crayons and pipe cleaners were déja vu, here comes artist Don Porcella in the vanguard of a fresh way of thinking about both--and about art and its role in modern life.
See Porcella's painting and sculpture in The Art and Wit of Don Porcella on view in the Parsonage Museum, 3185 Olive, Civic Center Park, Lemon Grove, now through Mar. 31 2016. Museum hours are Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and weekdays by appointment for classes, tour groups and clubs of eight persons or more, and gallery/museum personnel
Born and raised in Modesto, California, Porcella grew up in a gifted, much traveled family involved in medicine and art, with a generational interest in the creative process (his mother, famed textile artist Yvonnne Porcella, exhibits worldwide). He holds multiple degrees in art and psychology, recently completed residencies in Los Angeles and New York, and has exhibited domestically and abroad in museums and galleries. "Abroad" includes major Chinese cities like Shanghai, where his pipe cleaner soft sculptures and installations are held in high regard.
When Porcella's wife, Ginger Shulick Porcella, became head of the San Diego Art Institute, he moved his studio from New York to Lemon Grove, where he instantly became part of a local tradition, stretching back to the 19th century, of artists working in many forms: plein air oil and water color, sculpture, murals, textiles, ceramics, mixed media, computer graphics.
But Porcella is plowing fresh ground by taking unprepossessing materials and transforming them into arresting, richly colored paintings, soft sculptures and installations that question and interpret the nature of existence, the value of creativity and the eternal search for the new. He is funny and acerbic, traditional and off-the-wall.