Spinks with FOOD Share CEO Bonnie Weigel. FOOD Share partnered with Spinks on the event.
The portrait artist Alice Neel, who gained fame only late in life, once said reflecting on her lifetime of quietly painting portraits “ I paint my time using the people as evidence.”
I have thought of this quote many times during my almost two year art project. I know I have painted my time. Through thick and thin. I know I have painted 57 most generous people from all walks of life in Ventura -the people as evidence on This Face of Ventura Wall today.
I was not alone in this journey.
Each of the 57 sitters shared so generously with me and touched me deeply. Each one holds a special place in my heart. Thank you.
There was a co-creator Sheldon Brown, publisher of the Ventura Breeze, who brought the personal stories of each sitter to life in each edition of his well-loved publication through the written word. The project would have been faceless without The Breeze and Sheldon’s considerable input, time and dedication. Thank you to him and his wife Diane.
There was Bonnie Weigel, CEO and president of FOOD Share , a woman I really admire, and a FACE sitter, who mentored me through the project at times when I needed it most. And then got this show on the road here today through FOOD Share’s Art Share Program to raise hunger awareness through art partnerships. I would not be standing in this room today without Bonnie. Thank you.
There was Lyn Fairly of the Lyn Fairly And Friends Radio Show who interviewed each face in her unique way adding to the depth of the project. Thank you.
There was Mark Hartley who allowed each sitter's sketch and their story to be displayed in his old bank building window on Main Street twice a month adding an extra element. Thank you.
There was the Ventura Executive Suites who hosted the halfway point of the project with a great show and displayed those halfway portraits for six months, also hosting some of the life sittings there. Thank you
There was my family, Paddy, Jessie and Rosie who have heard all about me painting my time using the people evidence, probably far more than they would ever have wished. Thank you.
Lastly, I have dedicated this show to my mentor Mr. Everett Raymond Kinstler, painter of seven American presidents and a virtual who’s who of America for over 60 years. He has indeed reflected a lifetime of painting very famous people as evidence in a technically grand but most honest manner.
Ray Kinstler and his teachings, his confidence in me, his direction and love for people and the life painting skill set, are in each and every one of these sketches you see today.
Lastly, the powerful exchange and unique connection between the portrait artist and sitter, sharing their times, each other as evidence, remains unchanged over the centuries. The Face of Ventura is living proof. Thank you deeply.
Thanks to KADY TV for covering this event with this video of speeches. Thanks to OurVentura.Com for doing the same, video to come.
Thanks to Mark Tovar for this video of show images. Thanks to Ventura County Star for this piece. Photos David Yamamoto.