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Oceanside Museum of Art hosts 5th Artist Alliance Biennial

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Duke Windsor
Duke Windsor's "Parked Under A Golden Night" was one of 61 works of art selected from nearly a thousand for the Fifth Artist Alliance Biennial at the Oceanside Museum of Art.

Juried exhibit features 61 artists from 900 entries

The Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) opens its fifth Artist Alliance Biennial on Dec. 18.

The juried exhibit was conceived to elevate the voices of Southern California artists and celebrate the best work from the museum's Artist Alliance.

Looking through nearly 1,000 works of art for an exhibit is a daunting task but that's what professor of fine art and curator Alessandra Moctezuma had to do as this year's juror for OMA's Artist Alliance Biennial.


"It was a very difficult job because as you can imagine," Moctezuma said. "So artists who belong to the Artist Alliance of the Oceanside Museum of Art submit the work, and it's an exhibit that has many different types of artwork, many different artists."

Moctezuma, who has three decades of curating to her credit, explained that she is constantly looking at art and visiting artist studios.

Oceanside Museum of Art hosts 5th Artist Alliance Biennial
Listen to this story by Beth Accomando.

"I really look at the unique vision that they have, the way that they deal with different topics or themes. And also what is innovative about how they approach a particular technique or media," she said of jurying the Biennial. "I think that artists filter many ideas and filter the world for us. And so I'm looking for examples that are really striking. [So] I immediately start to gravitate towards something that stands out because of the way that they speak in a unique voice, visual voice."

One of those unique visual voices was artist Duke Windsor.


"To be accepted with that many pieces of works is really exciting to be part of it," he said.

Windsor is also having his first solo exhibit at OMA as well but the piece selected for the Biennial, "Parked Under A Golden Night," will not prepare you for the art you'll see in his solo show.

"They are completely different," Windsor said. "It was a surprise to a lot of people when they found out that my solo exhibition was not of my base subject matter, which was really interesting, but it was a nice challenge. So the only connection you will see will be the gold leaf in the show."

A kind of gold leaf inspired by the Russian and Byzantine icons of the past and utilizing gold as a way of honoring the radiance of the scene. His solo show is entitled "Nothing is Impossible" and looks to the iconic American hamburger.

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Duke Windsor
"Where's the Beef?" is one of the works of art by Duke Windsor in his solo exhibition "Nothing is Impossible" at the Oceanside Museum of Art.

"It does kind of go back to the pandemic mode," he said. "Where we were also looking for comfort food, looking for something to take our mind off of what's been going on. And so I think it was a poignant exhibit to try to create."

In looking through the art, Moctezuma did see the influence of the pandemic.

"I really noticed urban landscapes and natural landscapes that captured beautiful or sublime moments," she said. "I think that during the pandemic time, we were all isolated and I took a lot of walks around my neighborhood and you turn the corner and suddenly the sun is setting and this beautiful sky and you see this alley illuminated and it's just a really wonderful gift. These artists pointed out how important it is to be present, right, how important it is to be in the moment. And then the other topic that I saw coming through was about connection."

That connection is also important in experiencing the works of art and Moctezuma is thrilled that this exhibit will be in person and not online.

"I just think that it's wonderful to be able to see works in person," Moctezuma said. "You don't get a sense of the scale or the texture or the luminosity. And like, for example, with Duke's beautiful paintings, the gold and the reflective qualities, a lot of those things don't translate well when you're just doing it virtually on a website. So it's super exciting for me to go back into the museums and into the galleries."

And for Windsor, it is exciting to finally see his works out of his studio and hung at a museum.

"You can't see the whole show until you get it into a space somewhere," Windsor said. "Being able to do that and then see the reaction of the guests that look at the work. It's just one of those experiences you can't get virtually."

You can experience OMA's fifth Artist Alliance Biennial starting this Saturday. The exhibit will remain up through May 1, 2022.