Jean Stern

Art & USC's New Church

USC has just completed a new church on their campus called Our Savior Church. They commissioned local artists to create works to be part of the church, and included fourteen Stations of the Cross painted by Peter Adams, eight large stained glass windows created by Judson Studios in Highland Park, and a large bronze crucifixion by Christopher Slatoff (not pictured).

The author as John the Beloved.

The author as John the Beloved.

Along with a number of other artists and models including Alexey Steele, Tony Pro, Richard Probert, Junn Roca, and the Director of The Irvine Museum, Jean Stern, I posed for Peter's Stations in the role of John the Beloved (wearing white with a red headscarf). I don't usually find myself on the other end of a paintbrush, but enjoyed being a part of this process. The completed paintings are beautiful and a great contribution to the church.

Your truly as the Good Samaritan (with turquoise scarf).

Your truly as the Good Samaritan (with turquoise scarf).

Coincidentally, some of the artists from Judson Studios came over during the photo shoots for Peter's reference, and since everyone was in costume they shot reference of their own for the stained glass. You can see me again as the character of the Good Samaritan in the windows. It's slightly amusing to be able to recognize nearly all of the historic characters portrayed in the church as friends of mine. As a window into oneself and a great point for contemplation, the art complements the church and creates a wonderful experience.

Wishes for a Happy New Year

Thanksgiving, 20" x 16", Oil on canvas panel, © Eric Merrell

This year flew by - I got married to my sweetheart Ramona! Adding to that excitement, I had a solo exhibition at The Forbes Gallery in New York City, gave a lecture on California art history, and took trips to paint out in Cape Cod and the Salton Sea, among other places. I'm looking forward to 2011 - lots of exciting new projects and travels!

One particularly neat item coming to fruition is a new book titled California Light: A Century of Landscapes. Due to be published in April 2011 by Rizzoli International, this will be a beautiful coffee-table sized book featuring the artwork and history of the first 100 years of the club. Authored by Jean Stern, Director of the Irvine Museum, and Molly Siple; little ol' me even has a credit for contributing the chronology of the club! You can purchase an advance copy online here.

Wishing you a warm and happy holiday season and a prosperous 2011. Here's a toast to all Art that adds to our lives, creates memories, opens our eyes to new things, challenges us and gives us a sense of purpose: Prost!

"Reflections of the Peninsula" Opens Saturday

Members of the Portuguese Bend Art Colony painting at Abalone Cove. The Portuguese Bend Art Colony will  present their 10th annual exhibition, Reflections of the Peninsula, in conjunction with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy at the new Terranea Resort, September 18 - October 3, 2009, and opening to the public this Saturday, September 19 from 1-4 p.m. Jean Stern, Director of the Irvine Museum, will give a lecture at 2:00 p.m. A good portion of the sales from this annual event go to help land preservation in the area.

Formed in 1998, the group includes artists Stephen Mirich, Daniel Pinkham, Vicki Pinkham, Amy Sidrane, Kevin Prince, Thomas Redfield, and Richard Humphrey.