The CAP Gallery's focus is to exhibit artists with a cohesive body of high quality work who may not have a level of recognition or gallery representation. Juried solo, small group and retrospective exhibits are the formats presented. For retrospective exhibits, we are looking for at least a 20-year body of work by an artist. Since the space is so large, we can accommodate two solo exhibitions simultaneously.


Exhibit receptions are on Saturdays, 11am - 1pm, honoring artists, their work, and allowing Art Lovers to also meet the Artist. During the course of the exhibit we also have a gallery talk featuring the artists and/or the curator, or a painting exhibition.

 

The CAP GALLERY

Community Art Project provides ongoing exhibitions in The CAP Gallery, located in the Wells Fargo Building, 260 Ocean Avenue, 2nd floor. The Festival of Arts displays art on the 3rd floor, making this iconic rotunda gallery space worthy of a visit and browse. Hours are 9-6 Monday through Friday, and 9 - 4 Saturdays. Admission is free.

Current Exhibitions

Russell Pierce - Change Agents

Feb 10 thru May 30, 2018

Artist Conversation March 10 12-1pm

Change Agents is comprised of 50 portraits in varying styles of well known people from various walks of life that have had an impact on my life and the world at large.

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Russell Pierce - Not a Johnny One-Note

at the CAP Gallery

By M. “CHARLIE” FERRAZZI

 Walking into “Change Agents” at The CAP Gallery, you are hit with bold colors, large images, familiar faces, variety of work styles, mediums and techniques. It is a veritable carnival of art. What is even more incredible is the fact that it is all the work of one artist, Russell Pierce.

The subjects of the exhibit include the Beatles, Wayne Thiebaud, Buddy Rich, Hunter S. Thompson, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and other well-known people who have influenced Pierce and the world in general. In each portrait, Pierce has used combinations of different materials and styles to energize and personalize the subject. It may not be obvious at first glance, but there are subtle hints that tell the person’s story.

 During a conversation with Pierce and later listening to the Artist’s Conversation when Sandra Jones Campbell interviewed Pierce, I found out how complicated Pierce is and how that comes through in his work. He is not a Johnny One-Note, but rather someone who is always thinking “what if” while he is working on a piece. He may finish a piece, review it and then…the “what if” factor kicks in and he does a bit more.

Growing up on the East Coast, Pierce was immersed in art from an early age. His mother was an artist who nurtured his desire and educated him in art. Frequent trips to museums, a steady supply of materials and encouragement solidified his direction towards art. 

In college, Pierce went on to attend the School of Visual Arts in New York City, studying graphic design, illustration and photography. He also took classes in computer graphics for illustration at the New York Institute of Technology. Combining his training in traditional art and digital art he started Zero Hour Inc, his first graphics design company. It was at a time the use of digital graphic work was exploding in the advertising world and Zero Hour was on the leading edge.

Andy by Russell Pierce, mixed media

 After selling off his interest in Zero Hour and taking a job with Vision and Vision Street Wear, the hottest skateboard company at the time, Pierce changed coasts and came west. Falling in love with Laguna and its arts vibe, he settled here. After a bit he started FUSE, another graphics company, becoming known as one of the hottest interactive design shops on the West Coast. Again with a bevy of high-end clients, the company won many awards and accolades including the first Clio award given for interactive work.

During this time Pierce was finding that he wanted to get back to doing more of his own art and not run a large company. Selling his share of the company and handling just a few clients, Pierce got back to creating and experimenting with his own ideas and inspirations.

 Pierce’s style can be called ‘varied’ or ‘eclectic.’ During his career he has gone through different periods, experimenting to see what works in getting each piece’s story across. Digital may be the base, but then he may layer with collage, acrylic, oil pastel, marker, scraping for texture: looking at the four-piece Beatles work you can see some of this variety. Working in just one style or medium is not in Pierce’s personality. He is a self-motivated artist who does heavy research on his subjects. He is also open to accidental discoveries that can take the original direction of the piece into another direction or realm.

Hitchcock by Russell Pierce, mixed media

 Pierce’s palettes are varied; dark, bright, soft; and based on the subject matter and feeling he has while working on the pieces. “Hunter S. Thompson” is a work of collage: multiple layers and items are found in the work. It is worth the time to look close and then step back. There is always more to see with each look; miniature cards and dice, pills, glitter, all under layers of resin. A man who lived fast and hard and wrote about it in the same manner: creating the style of Gonzo Journalism.

 Portraits of Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa and Ringo Star are one grouping, done on actual drum heads. Rather than a static pose, each drummer is shown in action giving you the feeling of being there. Pierce’s choice of these men comes from their inspiration that gave him the need to become a drummer. Something that he still does today, as he has a drum set in his studio and performs with the local band The Agave Brothers.

 People who have had major influences on Pierce’s life and the world in general are the focus of this exhibit. The Beatles changing the perception of music on many levels, Warhol, Hockney and Thiebaud for their contribution to Pop Art, Marvel and DC Comics portrayals of heroes and read by many kids, Alfred Hitchcock and his influence on filmmaking, just to name a few.

 This is an exhibit that is worth more than one visit. Changes have been made since the opening and there may be more in store. Pierce’s energy is not only apparent in conversation with him, but also in viewing his work. There is a wide selection of people from the Arts, entertainment, science, all influential over the years. Take a break and check it out and catch some of that energy.

 

CAP's mission is to increase the visibility and appreciation of Art and serve as a catalyst for Art Education. Visit www.caplaguna.org for information about ongoing or upcoming exhibits, to be on our e-mail list or to become a member and supporter of CAP. CAP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit funded by the member supporters, the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.