The late Alex Gonzales was a visionary of recent artwork spanning over half a century. His educating influenced and impressed a mess of artists within the Monterey neighborhood and past. — Grace Wodecki, Carmel Artwork Affiliation
It was 1972, artist Rick Janick’s first yr of educating within the artwork division at Monterey Peninsula School, a tenure that prolonged by 2009, full-time, and continued, part-time, by 2012. Janick’s colleague on campus, established artist Alex Gonzales, who had been educating portray, determine drawing, and design since 1960, was exhibiting his work on the Monterey Museum of Artwork. When Janick noticed his Mexican panorama, punctuated by vivid purple, blue, and a contact of inexperienced acrylic on canvas, he needed to have it. On a fee schedule of $25 a month, the $800 portray grew to become his.
Two years after the 2020 passing of Alex Gonzales at 93, Janick, now a professor emeritus of MPC, is donating that portray again to the Monterey Museum of Artwork.
“Alex Gonzales was in all probability one of the best up to date trendy artist on the Peninsula,” Janick mentioned. “He did all the pieces in artwork, a lot of it from the legendary studio in his storage.”
There was an artwork to Gonzales. It wasn’t simply that he drew, that he painted, that he studied and taught artwork. It was that he noticed the world by an inventive lens, which knowledgeable an extended life devoted to portraying it. This was facilitated by the sketchbook in his hand always, able to seize no matter caught his consideration and impressed his artwork. His spouse of 46 years, artist Gail Gonzalez, at all times stored a backup sketchbook on the prepared.
All through October, in celebration of the lifetime of Gonzales and the legacy of his paintings, the Carmel Artwork Affiliation is internet hosting “Alex’s Backyard of Artwork,” a memorial exhibition honoring their 44-year member.
“Retrospective exhibitions like ‘Alex’s Backyard of Artwork’ are composed of various ‘species’ of works from throughout an artist’s life, created over many eras and types,” mentioned Grace Wodecki, graphic designer and media and advertising and marketing specialist for the Carmel Artwork Affiliation. “Simply as a gardener designs and layers shapes, colours, and textures of their landscaping, this memorial present for Alex pairs his spontaneous sketches on paper from travels overseas together with his ink contour drawings, large-scale deconstructed figurative work, and idiosyncratic collages.”
Born in Superior, Arizona and raised in San Jose, Gonzales revealed an early proclivity for artwork and his ambition to attend artwork college, which grew to become a actuality by the GI Invoice. He served within the 61st Discipline Artillery Battalion in Japan, for which he obtained the World Conflict II Victory Medal and the Military of Occupation Medal, adopted by a second tour of obligation in Germany. Starting in 1951, Gonzales studied at what’s now the San Francisco Artwork Institute and went on to check at what’s at the moment California School of the Arts. He went on to graduate from San Francisco State College, with a grasp’s diploma in effective arts, in 1956.
4 years later, he joined the college within the MPC Artwork Division from which, greater than 30 years later, he retired as professor emeritus. He at all times performed classical music in his on-campus studio, to maintain college students each critical and engaged.
“Everybody cherished Alex. He was a form, mild large, at all times so supportive of his college students,” mentioned Diane Bower, who taught adjoining Gonzales, in residence economics and inside design, from 1974 till his retirement. “And Alex was so progressive together with his artwork. He had his personal model, a quite simple, sincere method to artwork all of us admired.”
Gonzales met his spouse, then Gail Murray, an artist who graduated from UC Berkeley with excessive honors within the Arts and Crafts Division. When the Pacific Grove Artwork Heart board of administrators, of which she was a member, hosted a aggressive present for native artists, Murray contacted Al Frankenstein, an artwork critic with the San Francisco Chronicle, and invited him to attend an artwork reception at her residence. Gonzales, additionally in attendance, took an curiosity in her artistry and in her.
“Alex was creative and fascinating, at all times inquisitive about folks and locations,” she mentioned. “He appreciated issues that have been completely different, he appreciated to attempt new issues, and he cherished to journey. We drove to Guatemala for our honeymoon and later went to Europe fairly a bit. At all times together with his sketchbook in hand. We had a superb life collectively.”
Upon his passing, Gail Gonzales and her household obtained greater than 100 condolence playing cards from the neighborhood.
“Alex was regionally well-known and so broadly appreciated,” mentioned his stepdaughter Dr. Alison Murray. “He had humorousness and was gentle within the coronary heart and playful. He at all times inspired me to assume independently, which he emulated in his artwork profession and his life.”
Gail Gonzales and her household are inclined to reminisce about his life up to now but converse of his paintings within the current. Possible, says Murray, as a result of his work is timeless.
“Artwork is that this wonderful dwelling legacy of any individual and a report of their perspective and their life. In our home, Alex surrounds us. He’s current. His work is far and wide, which is mostly a reward.”
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