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By Mel Makaw
contributing writer 

Lancaster's MOAH: 'Framework'

Day Trippin' with Mel

 

September 30, 2023

Mel Makaw.

Dream Weaving by Dan Nuge Nguyen.

The City of Lancaster has done a complete turnaround over the years in making their downtown a destination in itself. On Lancaster Boulevard, the area's main thoroughfare, there are no empty storefronts now; trees line the center of the street's pull-in parking spaces, murals decorate many buildings' walls and even store windows, and crosswalks are marked with colored patterns on the pavement.

My day trippin' pal Leila and I were there a week ago to visit MOAH (the Museum of Art and History, right on the boulevard) and see the new art show titled "Framework" which runs through mid-December.

The current show features the works of Charles Arnoldi (Master of Ceremony), Angela Casagrande (This Body is a House for Thoughts), Susan Feldman (MOC, My Own City), Terry Holzgreen (Branching Out), Dan "Nuge" Nguyen (Selected Works), Douglas Tausik Ryder (Your Myth Here) and Valerie Wilcox (Constructs).

Exploring "wood's inherent versatility and enduring creative integrity," the show "Framework" is defined as a "real or conceptual structure intended to serve as a support or guide around which something can be built" or a "basic structure underlying a system, concept or text."

As you might expect from that description, the show features various pieces made with wood in its various forms, including colorful prints, structures, and abstract sculptures. It's worth a visit to see how creative artists can be working with wood and various forms of mixed media.

A video featuring the creative journey of artist Charles Arnoldi is available to watch in the video room, and Arnoldi's art is featured in the main room downstairs. His art includes a number of rough, found wood sculptures as well as painted wood structures and wood block prints. The artist is as proficient with a chain saw as he is with a paint brush, and his work is eclectic and visually thought-provoking.

My favorite room, however, was a room upstairs, featuring Susan Feldman's MOC ("My Own City" – the city of her imagination). In the small room are fifty colorful diorama type structures made of wood scraps and other interesting found objects. The whimsical structures make up the various buildings and places found in her city, such as a pool, an art gallery, mountains, a drive-in movie theater, a coffee shop and so much more.

The Framework art show runs through December 17th, 2023, so you still have plenty of time to check it out.

By the way, all ages are invited to a workshop with Feldman on October 3 and an artist walk-through with her on November 18. An "Artist Talk" with Arnoldi is scheduled for November 12. An artist discussion panel with Angela Casagrande is on November 4. For more information about any of these special dates, call MOAH at 661-723-6250.

If you go: Take highway 58 East out of Tehachapi, to the 14 freeway South in Mojave. In Lancaster, exit on Avenue I, and go east (left). On 10th Street West, turn south (right) and go to Lancaster Blvd., where you'll turn left (east) and go to MOAH.

Mel Makaw.

Framework is the current art show at MOAH.

MOAH is located at 665 W. Lancaster Blvd. (FYI, the boulevard is between Avenues "I" and "J" and downtown is located east of the 14 freeway, between 10th Street West and Old Sierra Highway.)

There is no admission fee to the museum, so bring a friend or two or three. It's all accessible, and bathrooms are available in the gallery.

I'm happy to suggest this show as a day trip, adding that you might want to check out the rest of downtown too while you're at it, and maybe have a little lunch at one of the several cafes on the boulevard as the art show only takes about an hour to see.

© 2023 Mel Makaw. Mel, local writer and photographer and avid day-tripper, welcomes your comments, questions and suggestions at morningland@msn.com.

 
 

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