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MOAH's 'Formation'

Day Trippin' with Mel

A new art show has recently opened at Lancaster's Museum of Art and History (MOAH), and it's a good one. I really enjoyed viewing the various artforms when I went down there a couple of weeks ago.

Called "Formation" the show features a number of ceramic sculptures and wall displays and offers some very unique pieces. The show runs through April 14, so you have plenty of time to see it if you're so inclined.

Nine different artists are featured, including Kiel Johnson, Kevin Kowalski, Galia Linn, Elana Mann, Elyse Pignolet, Aili Schmeltz, Diane Silver, Camilla Taylor and Sean Yang, each with a distinct vision and touch. The actual pieces of art on display include mixed media as well as ceramics, all relating in one way or another to the show's theme.

According to MOAH literature, "Formation is grounded in clay's close association to the body... The medium's inherent strength and enduring fragility helps us to understand the body's own physicality and existence... Like the body, ceramic's origin is natural, with any symbolism being ascribed by the specific context, place, and time of their making."

Be that as it may, I was just really impressed with the creativity in the exceptional art I was seeing, as it was unlike what I so often see in galleries.

Especially of interest to me was a wall of birds, titled "The Eye of God" by Camilla Taylor, a bright red life-size sculpture made of wood, metal, plexiglass, and yarn called "As a Cage" by Galia Linn, and the video of Linn's creative process. But it's hard to single out individual pieces when the show as a whole was so interesting.

The Lancaster Museum of Art and History was founded in 1986 and has four locations in the city, all of which I like to visit regularly. MOAH, at 665 Lancaster Boulevard downtown, is the main exhibition space and often offers large scale exhibits from new and established artists, mostly from Southern California, supplemented by the organization's collection of over 10,000 artworks and artifacts. MOAH-CEDAR is a smaller venue, also located downtown (down the boulevard and around the corner at 44857 Cedar Avenue), that features mostly experimental art by emerging artists.

"The Western Hotel Museum (557 W. Lancaster Blvd.) and the Elyze Clifford Interpretive Center (43201 35th St. W., in the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve) offer "semi-permanent exhibitions highlighting the rich indigenous, ecological, natural and economic histories of the Antelope Valley..."

Any one of these places is worth a visit.

If you go to MOAH: Take the 58 East out of Tehachapi to Mojave, then take the 14 South to Lancaster. 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.

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 once again 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. While I'm an In-N-Out fan (on Avenue I, just off the freeway) you may want to have a little lunch at one of the several cafes on the boulevard, as the art show only takes about an hour to see.

© 2024 Mel Makaw. Mel, local writer and photographer and avid day-tripper, welcomes your comments, questions and suggestions at [email protected]/.