La Playa Gallery
Surfing Madonna Executive Director Cathy Carey photo by Mike Redman
Juan Flores Best in Show photo by Mike Redman
Kelley Sutphin with First Place Award painting photo by Mike Redman
Mac Hillenbrand with Second Place Award
Sue de Wulf accepting her Third Place award photo by Mike Redman
Julia Hiebaum with her beautiful photograph
Kelley Sutphin accepting her First Place Award photo by Mike Redman
Cheryl Tall accepting her Honorable Mention award photo by Mike Redman
Janet Hansen digital light creations photo by Mike Redman
Janet Hansen digital light creations photo by Mike Redman
Stephen Simpson and Vincent Burkhead
Bobbi Rohn, artist April Leffingwell and Cathy Carey photo by Mike Redman
Stephanie Mission and lower left painting "Coronado Sunset"
"Inspirations" Art Reception
Awards Ceremony April 1, 2022
The Surfing Madonna Oceans Project juried art competition “Inspirations” has been an incredible success! There were over 112 submissions, and of those, 43 were chosen for inclusion in the show. With so many excellent pieces submitted the judges decided to add a “Best in Show” category and two extra “Honorable Mentions” to acknowledge the excellence of all the works. The mediums varied from traditional painting, to digital photography, marquetry wood working, ceramic sculpture, mixed media, and photography. The show was judged by Surfing Madonna Executive Director Cathy Carey and Vaughn Woods - owner of La Playa Gallery. “We were delighted by the variety and quality of the work submitted by the artists. It was really difficult to choose. I think the show is very strong and that the community will be energized by viewing the works. We asked the artists to include what their inspiration was for their piece, and viewers will be able to see those responses by using the QR codes on each label with their smart phones and read about each artist. We are hoping this leads to more interest and sales for the artists.”
Cathy Carey went on to say “viewing art is a benefit to the community that Surfing Madonna wants to share in these stressful times. There was a recent research study done in Norway, the Nord-Trondelag Health Study, that collected information about the effect of participating in cultural activities. The study found that there was a correlation between participating in the arts as well as viewing or attending cultural events that led to enhanced good health, and lowered rates of anxiety and depression. It’s interesting that the effect was felt by people looking at art as much as it was felt by the artists creating the art. In another study at the University of Arkansas in 2014, it was discovered that experiencing cultural events enhanced the critical thinking skills of the students as well as increasing their feelings of empathy. Professor Semir Zeki, a neurobiologist with the University of London discovered through brain scans that people experienced a release of dopamine in response to viewing art. Dopamine is brain chemical related to feelings of joy, love and pleasure. So with that in mind, come on out to this show, be inspired and feel better!”
Surfing Madonna presents:
at La Playa Gallery
in La Jolla, CA
April 1 - April 29, 2022
Reception Friday April 1, 2022 from 6 - 8pm
Awards Ceremony at 6:30pm
Congratulations to the “Inspirations” award winners!
Click image in slide show for artist and award:
Best in Show Juan Flores “Green Houses, Del Mar, CA”
First Place - Kelley Sutphin for “Jellyfish Dreams”
Second Place - Mac Hillenbrand for “Torrey Pines”
Third Place - Sue De Wulf for “Chilly Day At the Beach”
Honorable Mentions -
Carol Mansfield for “The Aquarium”
April Leffingwell for “Inspired” by the Surfing Madonna”
Cheryl Tall for “Villa of the Bees”
Jordan Lee for “Poseidon’s Garden”
Juried by Cathy Carey
and Vaughn Woods
What inspires you? The artists in this show share with us what motivates them, what gets their creative juices flowing, and what they want to share with the world!
Surfing Madonna Oceans Project wants to help support La Playa Gallery in finding new artists to represent, and to encourage the community to view art with inspired arts programming. We seek to recognize, showcase and motivate artists to achieve their best possible outcome by showing and selling their work in great galleries.
The award of Best in Show went to acrylic painter Juan Flores. On his website he says: “When I started painting I wished to paint the view as seen by a surfer floating on the line-up and waiting for the next wave. When painting an image from the ocean vantage point I try to capture the feeling from the line-up, taking in the peace and beauty of the moment, and make it permanent. I feel that the surfer’s view, looking back toward the shore, on the edge between land and ocean, is an unique perspective. In my paintings I aim to recreate the feeling of distance from the shore (from everyday life?) and the dance of sky and shore reflections on the water which is always changing with the infinity of the ocean moods. “
First Place winner Kelley Sutphin has this to say about her piece. “Jellyfish Dreams” is an oil on board with an acrylic underpainting. All my life I have been inspired by themes of fantasy and magic which have become the core of my art. My dreams are often vivid and lend great creative input into my artistic process. I once had a dream I met the personification of the ocean. She was of Indo-Pacific descent with hair flowing like waves and a wonderous sense of delight in her element. In this dream I was chosen to be with her and take care of her needs. It was the following year I moved to Southern California and met the sea for the first time. This is the distillation of that dream met with a sense of renewed hope for the future.”
The Second Place award went to Mac Hillenbrand for his marquetry wood inlay depiction of Torrey Pines State Beach in Del Mar California. Mac describes the incredible craftsmanship of his work as using “veneer from about 18 species of trees either individually stained with tinted shellac or left in natural wood tones, cut piece by piece and painstakingly assembled and laminated to a 3/4” plywood substrate before being varnished. I’ve been working for about 5 years to develop my skills to be able to make this marquetry wood inlay depiction of this place I consider so unique and special. The Torrey Pines trees along the upper ridgeline only grow in two places in the world both of which are here in California.”
Sue De Wulf
Our pick for Third Place went to ceramicist, Sue De Wulf. “This wall relief ceramic sculpture reflects upon how the ocean as been a part of my life since childhood. The joy of a day by the seashore is reflected in the imagery on the piece. My ceramics illustrate my childhood fascination with toys and play. I remember discovering my grandmother’s toy basket full of zoo animals and carefully lining them up along her porch. The pieces I create are often disguised as being functional bottles, vessels and containers. Toying with the idea of function in a sculptural piece I find a fascination.”
"Save the Ocean" Art Show at Escondido Municipal Gallery October 2021
62 Artists from California were juried into this important show with 13 awards presented
SURFBOARD MOSAIC BY NANCY HUNTER AND DON MANOR
CHERRIE LAPORTE - MOSAIC SURFBOARD
MAC HILLENBRAND - MARQUETRY
LARETTA SMALL - OIL PAINTING
TIMES ADVOCATE ARTICLE ABOUT THE SAVE THE OCEAN ART SHOW
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SURFING MADONNA, Cathy Carey PRESENTS CHERIE LAPORTE WITH HER FIRST PLACE AWARD
Surfing Madonna Oceans Project
"Save the Ocean" Art Show 2021
We had an incredible variety of excellent artwork submitted for this show! Over 160 pieces. It was a tough job to whittle it down to these 62 juried in artworks.
Enjoy this online gallery!
Please join us in celebrating these artists at the Reception October 9th from 4 - 7pm.
Awards Ceremony at 5:30pm.
Reinforcing our Commitment
Surfing Madonna Oceans Project is a 501c3 nonprofit based in Encinitas, California and was officially formed in 2013 by Robert Nichols and Mark Patterson (artist of the Surfing Madonna mosaic). The specific purpose for forming the nonprofit was to conserve, maintain and promote the public display of art and to promote environmental conservation efforts.
Future projects include partnerships with local arts groups, support for Arts Alive banners, direct awards to local artists, a series of articles in local news outlets promoting the arts, programming events for the public to experience local artists through shows, readings, performances and more.
Fundraiser and Concert
Music by The Hot Club Combo
Photo by Stephen Simpson
Doug David and Matt Alverson, front, listen as Hot Club Combo play Django Reinhardt music for David, a quadriplegic and veteran who has not been able to socialize or see his favorite bands play live during the pandemic, was gifted with a fundraising event Dec. 20, by the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project. The Hot Club Combo includes, from left, Rick Barlow on violin, Kevin Roberts on drums, Steve Greim on guitar, Patrick Berrogain on guitar and Eileen Apfel on stand-up bass. Surfing Madonna hired the band and gave a donation to David, while friends donated almost $1,400. To contribute to Doug David, go to surfingmadonna.org. Put “For Doug David” in the notes section of PayPal.
Coast News Article
January 10, 2022
Coast News Article January 10, 2022
Art Award 2022
We are distributing five
$500 Artist Awards in 2022
We want to help
Here at Surfing Madonna Oceans Project, we’re committed to investing in our community through promoting the arts. Our Artist Awards Program is created to help the financial struggles the pandemic has caused our creative community.
We are especially concerned about the effect on under served communities. We don't want those creative voices silenced due to financial hardship.
We don't want to make this too difficult, we just want to help the folks who most need it.
To apply please send:
• Five examples of your work.
Please keep the email under 8MG or send in several batches.
Use good quality photos of your work.
• A description of where you are headed with your art (some examples may be: why you are an artist, your message, who you hope to inspire or reach with your art, your art career direction, what you hope to accomplish)
• Photo of you with your work to use on our social media to promote the awards to other artists
• Link to your website
• How $500 is going to help you
achieve those goals
• Must be San Diego, CA resident
Award Winner of the Surfing Madonna $200 cash prize -
Henry Strause, for his Jewelry Box
January 8 - February 25 2022 at the Escondido Municipal Gallery
Surfing Madonna also Sponsored $200 Towards the Production of the Show
Surfing Madonna Local Artists Award Winner -
Musician Steve Denyes
Live Streamed concert on Facebook
December 21, 2020
For roughly 30 years, San Diego resident Steve Denyes has stolen the hearts of children and adults alike with his catchy, upbeat tunes. In fact, the musician behind the popular Hullabaloo band, was playing roughly 300 shows a year before the novel coronavirus made its way to the U.S.
This year, Denyes is playing one virtual show a month and a “couple of socially-distanced house concerts.”
“COVID has turned everything upside down for me professionally,” said Denyes, who said one of his biggest inspirations is children’s performer Dan Zanes. “It’s difficult financially, of course, but, more than anything, I miss the daily connection I used to have with people all over the county. I know it’ll come back eventually but I miss the interaction with the families I’ve been singing with for years.”
Despite the hardships, Denyes said musicians will find a way to overcome the current challenges facing the entertainment industry.
Surfing Madonna wanted to extend Steve a helping hand, and the feedback from this concert was that his upbeat show helped a lot of people feel better at a very difficult time. That's what the arts do for us, and at Surfing Madonna we want to keep inviting the community to explore our incredibly talented local community of creative people.
Surfing Madonna Local Artists Award Winner - David Reed
"Uphill and Into the Wind"
Autobiography of a cross country bike trip in the mid 70's
“Surfing Madonna Oceans Project is a community arts organization. We want to support local authors and artists, especially now, with that group being economically impacted so harshly by the pandemic. By hosting a reading of David’s book, and distributing books, we want to call attention to a bright light in our community and applaud his creative effort. The book is a wonderful showcase of being awake and alive in nature and being inspired by the renewal of energy everyone can find there. Part of our mission is to bring awareness to the environment, to help people establish links to enjoying the outdoors.”
Today David Reed is an award-winning San Diego landscape architect. He has spent a lifetime studying the natural world, inspired from his youth in the woods, his University training, his apprenticeship as a stonemason, his travels on a bicycle, and his designs on the land. He re-designed four major gardens in San Diego’s jewel, Balboa Park.
Book Reading at Madonna Park
As part of the award Surfing Madonna purchased a number of books for local distribution through the Little Free Library at Surfing Madonna Park, located at Leucadia Pizzeria and the intersection of Highway 101 and Encinitas boulevard.
Surfing Madonna will also be hosting David Reed for an author reading at Surfing Madonna Park on Saturday November 7 from 2 to 4pm. Due to social distancing protocols, this is not open to the public, but will be videotaped and viewable online at http://www.uphillandintothewind.com.
An additional enjoyment of the book can be had by checking out the QR code on the book at his website. Long before the cell phone, Reed carried fifteen pounds of camera gear to document his trip. He has nearly 170 color photos, keyed to the story, and maps, which can be seen there in addition to the video of the book reading at Surfing Madonna Park.
The story takes place in 1973, with the U. S. and the White House in turmoil, and David Reed wants out. He leaves everything he knows to cross the United States with little more than his bicycle and camera. He embarks on his bike and hike odyssey from the Garden State to the Golden Gate recounting a journey that spans 5,420 miles, eleven crossings of the Continental Divide and two months hiking in the great National Parks.
Kevin Anderson, Encinitas Artist
Beautiful underwater seascape mural at Surfing Madonna Park
You've seen his work all over Encinitas, Solana Beach and North County San Diego! Surfing Madonna commissioned Kevin to paint a utility box below the mosaic. Completed in 2019, it is a beloved addition to the mosaic artwork and Surfing Madonna Park!
Working Towards a Brighter Future
We believe that when people are able to enjoy the ocean, they are more likely to want to protect it. It’s also important that people enjoy the ocean safely. Towards that aim, we support an incredible program at the YMCA that teaches youth with special needs how to swim. We have also created a Water Safety Coloring book and complimentary curriculum that is offered free of charge to local elementary schools. Everyone should have the ability to enjoy the ocean safely, and these efforts support that
To date, we have donated $36,000 to the Paul Ecke YMCA Aquatic Programs for Children with Special Needs. In addition to teaching participants to swim, this program gives them opportunities to create friendships, gain a sense of independence, build confidence, strengthen weak muscles, improve body in space awareness, and more. We are proud to partner with the YMCA and support this life-changing program.
The Surfing Madonna Ocean’s Project Water Safety Coloring Books were created with collaborative efforts by the Encinitas Life Saving Association, Artist Kyle Bowen, and our local life guards. The purpose of the book is to teach kids about ocean and pool safety, as well as marine life, and the importance of keeping our beaches and oceans clean and protected. There is also complimentary curriculum focused on water safety, marine life and ocean stewardship. Surfing Madonna team members and volunteers visit local classrooms and present this curriculum along with the book. In the US the second leading cause of death for children under 14 is drowning. We are fortunate to live in an area with an abundance of beaches and pools, but with that good fortune comes an increase in our risk. This book is a tool to help us create more ocean advocates, and more importantly, to keep them safe.
Ocean Life Mosaic
Recently unveiled, this magnificent 8ft by 15ft seamless glass mosaic depicting our local marine habitat complete with kelp, stingrays, porpoises, sea lions and more has become an instant iconic landmark for Encinitas! This gorgeous piece of art is on display on the new Marine Safety Center at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas.
“This is a long awaited piece of art” said Bob Nichols, President of the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project. “Our beach community needs more ocean art. This mosaic will have a legend on the side, so children and beach goers of all ages can learn all about what sea life lives just yards off of our shore. We feel if people are educated about our ocean, they will respect and love it more.”
Pictured below are the community helpers learning to make a mosaic!
The concept was developed by President Robert Nichols.
The Creative Illustrator was Peggy Sue Zepeda, the mosaic was constructed by Don Myers Stained Glass shop in Oceanside and the 100+ volunteers in the community helped cut, shape and glue the glass down.
Don Myers invited the community to come out and help with the creation of the mosaic!