Get-together for members of the California Century Club, a support group for the Newport Harbor Art Museum, in the Big Canyon home of Dorothea and Peter Perrin. The C.C. Club--"C cubed," its members call it--consists of 100 couples who pay $500-per-couple yearly dues to finance the museum's "New California Artist" exhibitions. The Wednesday night klatch served as the group's "official introduction" to Lucinda Barnes, Newport Harbor's new associate curator and the person responsible for selecting new California artists for the exhibition series. For a couple of after-dinner hours, the 50 cubies shared wine and snacks and art talk with Barnes in the officially unpretentious manner of the group.
Peter Perrin somewhat reluctantly sort of pointed out a few of the artworks adorning the walls of his gigantic brand-new home. ("We're not really collectors," he repeatedly demurred.) Like the huge oil by Christopher Brown that dominates one wall in the living room. And the sculpture by fellow Canadian Sorel Troge (a friend, said transplanted Canadian Perrin, who's lived in Orange County for nine years). Troge's stark figure stands in its own lighted alcove just to the left of the front door. "Looks like we built the house for it, doesn't it?" Perrin asked.
Terri Coons and Doreen Alstrom studied the painting hanging above the Perrins' fireplace. "The fact is," said Alstrom, "I think most people would put a bigger (painting) in that space; they would try to fill the space, but everything is enhanced this way--it adds drama, it creates an architectural feel. . . ." Nearby Larry and Leonora Treglia chatted with Doreen's husband, John Alstrom. "We have a modest collection," said Treglia, then putting his arm around his wife: "It's kept modest by a certain conservative member of the family. . . ." In the dining room, munching homemade hors d'oeuvres and desserts, new club member Jerry Werksman said he was only "moderately" fond of contemporary art, but he joined the museum group "because they have this combination of enthusiasm and sophistication that makes things happen."
Speaker in the House
Barnes showed up shortly before her very informal ("rambling thoughts") speech, grabbed a bite and a club soda, and mingled hither and yon. "My role with this group is to lead them through the process of looking at contemporary art," Barnes said before she addressed the group. As leader, she'll take them day-tripping to artists' studios, art galleries and museums, and several times a year guide longer jaunts to artistic points of interest in San Francisco and other California destinations. Barnes said the annual $50,000 the club gives the museum represents more than half of her budget for the "New California Artist" series.
C Cubed founders Judy and Joel Slutzky and Bobbi and Jerry Dauderman. Mary and John Carrington. Randy Sue Morrison and Bob Baird. Candice and Roger Schnapp. Molly and Leon Lyon. Linda and Jay Young.
"You want to know the scam?" said John Carrington, an art collector's glint in his eye. "We support these young emerging artists, but we know they're emerging before you!"