The untimely death of painter/sculptor Ernest Silva in February 2014 caused a wave of sadness through San Diego’s art community. Almost exactly a year later, on Feb. 20, 2015, some 200 friends of Ernie and art filled the main gallery at La Jolla’s Athenaeum Music &Arts Library for the opening of a show of his works called “Memory, Voyage, Full Moon.” The evening included a reading of poems by Pasquale Verdicchio, who had been working with Silva on a book they never got to finish.
A popular member of the Visual Arts faculty at UC San Diego since 1979, Silva was probably best known for his multisensory installation, “The Rain House,” at the New Children’s Museum downtown. In 1989, he received a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Fellowship in Painting, and in 2001, an Excellence in the Arts Award from his alma mater, the University of Rhode Island.
In 1992, he teamed up with La Jolla gallerist Mark Quint to create the original IN/SITE, an eye-opening, trans-border exhibition of art at venues throughout San Diego and Tijuana.
For years, Silva was a special friend of the Athenaeum, and had several exhibits there. To celebrate his memory, the staff produced a mini-version of his unfinished art-and-poetry project with Verdicchio, a little booklet titled “To Draw a Breath.”
Besides the Silva exhibition, on view through March 21, 2015, the Athenaeum is also showing porcelains, maquettes and sketches by Joshua Miller, and a special display curated by Alex Jen, a senior at Torrey Pines High School.
• IF YOU GO: Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, 1008 Wall St., is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is free. (858) 454-5872. ljathenaeum.org
• Click on VIEW GALLERY to see photos from opening night of the Ernest Silva exhibit.