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First Friday Art Walks in Salinas and Pacific Grove Tonight!

  • March 5th, 2010 11:27 am PT

Tonight opens the First Friday Art Walks for March.  For a free evening of entertainment, fun, and a chance to see some of the great artwork from local artists, head out to Alive After Five in Oldtown Salinas. The National Steinbeck Center, at 1 Main St., is featuring live music by the Hartnell choirs from 5:00-6:00, followed by the Jazz Band from 6:00-7:00 starts off the evening’s entertainment.  However, that’s not all.  The Arts Council for Monterey County is featuring live music by Ronalla Armonia, dance, poetry, and the promise of fun!!   

Part of that fun is the debut of the CigarArtes Vintage Vending machine at Patricia Triumpho Sullivan’s 4Word Gallery at 4 W. Gabilan. The 4Word Gallery is also hosting a book signing for local author, Edward Ryder.  He will be talking about and signing copies of his book, Departments. 4Word also features the photography and sculpture of owner, Patricia Triumpho Sullivan and the water color paintings and cards of Dan Beck. His work features local scenes of the land and the people of Monterey County. Patricia is the innovative genius that founded Artistas Unidos and works tirelessly to promote and support local artistis and businesses. Stop in to take a chance on her vintage vending machine that is now full of original art. Continue reading on

- Cathrine Al-Meten, March 5th, 2010 11:27 am PT

As a young child, Trish Sullivan was quick to see that a splash of colors arranged in an artful way could delight the eye. This intrigue with color and design led her to a consuming interest in art. Now, after successfully balancing family responsibilities, work, and completing college, she's embarked on a career helping young people to develop skills as artists and to understand the important contribution of art to culture.

Trish had several reasons for attending CSUMB. First, the university offered the Visual and Public Art major-with a focus on community involvement. CSUMB was also close to home, enabling her to continue working while attending classes

For her Capstone project Trish founded a nonprofit community arts organization: Artistas Unidos-Artists United. She's now its executive director, promoting and supporting arts for the under-served population in Salinas and South County.

To prepare herself to manage AUAU, she will earn an M.A. in Arts Administration this summer from Goucher College in Baltimore. This is a limited residency program, meaning that several weeks of study take place on campus over the summer, with the rest of the course work done online.

"It's been an amazing three years, and I've learned how to run every aspect of AUAU, as well as become an advocate for the arts locally and statewide," Trish says.

"I have been fortunate to work with the Visual Arts Department at Hartnell College and the Hartnell College Gallery to bring inclusive community art exhibits and events such as 'Bailando con la Muerte-Dancing with Death', a multicultural celebration for El Dķa de los Muertos-the Day of the Dead-to the public free of charge. AUAU has worked with the Valley Art Gallery, Sasoontsi Gallery, the PaperWing Theatre Company, Ariel Theatrical, along with local museums and historic sites, to develop and present the First Fridays Art Walk."

The art walk in Oldtown Salinas is a free, family-friendly community event held on the first Friday of every month. There's something for everyone to enjoy: live music, visual arts, children's art activities, dance, and theatre performances.

"I've been an artist as long as I can remember. I feel that I'm lucky to be from an era that encouraged creative play, problem solving skills, and critical thinking in kids; these are rarely taught or promoted in our society today-rather, television, video games, and computer technology are endorsed for our young people," Trish says.

"These pastimes discourage interpersonal skills and hands-on learning which is so important for retention. I was also fortunate to have had several inspirational mentors during my youth, and have made a personal vow to repay the debt I owe to my teachers through community work with local teens."

Trish notes that the most fulfilling work she does is with local teens on art projects and arts management.

"These young people are so bright-they come up with great ideas and are willing to think outside of the box when given the chance. Our future is in good hands if all of us could just encourage our youth to achieve more. Lofty expectations from adult role models result in higher accomplishments for our youth."

Trish was recently honored as a "Champion of the Arts" for Monterey County. The Arts Council of Monterey County recognized her for the work she's been doing for eight years to promote arts and culture, as well as building bridges between diverse cultures by way of the arts in Salinas and the Salinas Valley.

Every year, Trish works with a group of teens to organize and present ArtSong, a Salinas Union High School District student art exhibit. She also volunteers to assist teens from East Salinas and South County to create large sculptures for First Night Monterey-the New Year's Eve celebration for families in Monterey.

"The Visual and Public Art program at CSUMB challenged me in many ways-just like real life. I was attending CSUMB when the tragedy of September 11 happened, and the dialogue between students during this time was eye-opening for me," Trish says.

"Since I had studied Islam and Muslim culture, as well as the history of Islamic Spain, I was able to provide an alternative view of the culture than the popular media presented. Many of the young students had never known about Islam before 9-11, and were interested to have a different perspective."

In 1996, Trish received the Boronda International Study Scholarship and spent a year in Spain learning about Islam in the region. She says, "this experience prepared me to deal with the tragedy of September 11, not be afraid, and not blame all Muslim people for the actions of a few."

Trish has a 22-year-old daughter, Tara, who currently attends the University of Arizona. Her partner, Dan Beck, is a local artist and musician who, she says, is as passionate as she is about community involvement and arts participation.
~ Don Porter, Internal Communication Specialist, Campus Chronicles, Summer 2006
Full Artiical Link Here


"....It is with quirky, comical reverence for the afterlife that Salinas artist Patricia Sullivan opened her fourth area show, "Bailando con la Muerte," or "Dancing with the Dead," at Hartnell College.

Her work is a modern take on the traditional papier-mache skeletons that serve as the main motif for Dia de los Muertos, the day on which Mexicans honor deceased loved ones.

Modern indeed. In the exhibit's signature work, "Cinderella calls 911 on Prince Charming," a 35-foot, papier-mache skeleton is wearing one glass slipper and clutching a cell phone. Across the room stands Prince Charming, her 35-foot counterpart, holding a glass slipper. It is a whimsical take on the children's fairy tale, which would be viewed as stalking by contemporary society's yardstick, she said.

Sullivan, who twice earned the Boronda International Study scholarship, has traveled extensively in Spain and Mexico, the latter serving as the inspiration for the exhibit, she said." ~J. Michael Rivera, The Californian


"....Bailando con La Muerte II is an expanded version of Sullivan's show last year at Hartnell College, in which she exhibited striking papier-mache skeletons and photographs, all sparked by musings on Day of the Dead.

This year, the exhibit contains not only her own artwork, but that of schoolchildren, teens and Hartnell College students and instructors.

....Sullivan, a Hartnell student herself, has done triple duty as curator, artist and materials gatherer. Because she works with children at the Boys & Girls Club of the Salinas Valley and students at Washington Middle School, she has included the papel picado projects that they did - colorful tissue-paper banners that are a traditional part of Dia de los Muertos.

....Sullivan also invited community groups and individuals to provide ofrendas, the altars made to remember the dear departed. Often these will be adorned with something that would please the person - flowers or food are popular choices.

Sullivan said she has invited people from a variety of backgrounds to bring their altars, which will be installed on Monday and Tuesday. Some are "concept altars," not necessarily in memory of a person, but with a statement to make."
- Kathryn McKenzie Nichols, Monterey County Herald


"....Perhaps the hallmark of all true art is its attempt to illuminate something not readily apparent about its subject. A portrait tries to capture the soul of the model as much as facial features; a landscape may try to express the feelings created by the scene; Picasso looked at a bull and saw a simple series of lines. So what Patricia Triumpho Sullivan is attempting with her exhibit, "Esse Quam Videri: To Be Rather than To Seem," is not exactly new. But she has taken an intriguing approach.

The exhibit features nine, life-size, ceramic sculptures of human torsos, each topped with a velvet pad on which rests some object which Sullivan feels represents something about the model's inner essence.

"Each of my models had something special they shared with me," says Sullivan. "Some things came out verbally; some, without saying, made themselves obvious."

Sullivan says the concept of using velvet cushions came to her as a result of trying to think of ways to emphasize the precious nature of each subject's inner self.

I was thinking of how I would present something that was very special," says Sullivan. "So I decided to use a velvet cushion on top of each of these torsos I made. Each of the inner things that is being shared is very special."

Among others, items displayed on the cushions include a broken ring, a sand dollar, a stone and a piece of driftwood.

According to Sullivan, she hit on the idea of driftwood for that particular model after hearing about that model's life.

"This is a person who has traveled quite a bit and never had a home in any certain place. It seemed to me that he was very strong, maintaining a strong sense of himself - he reminded me of a piece of driftwood that could withstand the ocean."

"It's kind of an inner thing, something you wouldn't see if you just looked at him"

"Esse Quam Videri" is Sullivan's fourth exhibit at Hartnell, dating back to 1986. Her previous exhibits have included both photographs and sculpture.."
- Kathryn McKenzie Nichols, Monterey County Herald

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