Show at La Jolla Library looks to reexamine how abstract and realistic art can coexist

Work by artist Pat Kelly will be part of an exhibit called "Re..." at the La Jolla/Riford Library starting Oct. 19.
Work by artist Pat Kelly will be part of an exhibit called “Re...” at the La Jolla/Riford Library starting Wednesday, Oct. 19.
(Pat Kelly)

‘Re…,’ featuring Southern California artists True Ryndes, Robert Treat and Pat Kelly, opens Wednesday, Oct. 19.


While the height of the COVID-19 pandemic provided many with the chance for reflection, for some it provided a chance for revival of their passions.

For three Southern California artists, the words “reveal,” “resonate” and “revisit” became top of mind, inspiring a collective art exhibition called “Re…” that will be on view at the La Jolla/Riford Library starting Wednesday, Oct. 19. An opening reception will be held Saturday, Oct. 29.

Participating artists True Ryndes, Robert Treat and Pat Kelly first exhibited together at the La Jolla Library in 2015. Despite differences in their artistic styles, the three remained friends and often would meet to discuss their respective projects.

“When we did the show, it was great to see our work hanging together and see how it relates,” said Kelly, a landscape and plein air painter who is a painting instructor at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla. “We decided to do it again. We got together in 2021 and were talking about our art and we noticed we had been using a lot of words with the prefix ‘re.’ We were reemerging after COVID, revisiting a lot of things. Those types of words were a common thread and we realized we should have a show about all these ‘re-’ words that we have come up with together.”

For Kelly, who was born in La Jolla and now lives in Ramona, the opportunity to “revisit” meant returning to previous images and ideas she had and “reworking them in a smaller format to reconnect and try some things I hadn’t tried in terms of technique and experimenting.” She layers abstract elements on a foundation of realistic works.

Treat, a photographer, said that “rather than making images of a grand nature, I often prefer to focus on the small details, the ones that often go unnoticed, with the aim of transforming the ordinary into something extraordinary. These details are usually nature-driven and devoid of people … but not necessarily devoid of human existence.”

Abstract artist Ryndes said he enjoys “exploring contrasts and paradoxes, often combining hard-edged architectural shapes with the sweep and curl of nature. It is deeply satisfying to integrate iconic forms such as squares and stripes with emotionally colored and shaded spaces.”

Kelly said the premise of the new show is to demonstrate that abstract artists and realist artists can be friends and that their work can coexist.

“We are very different people and different artists and come together with our ideas about art,” Kelly said. “For me, that’s the main thing. I want people to look at how the works are different but somehow relate. We all have long careers behind us and we’re consistent in the way we work. It’s all about the journey of the new experiment. For me, it was revisiting and picking up that thread from that point in time. It turned out how I hoped.”


When: Wednesday, Oct. 19, through Thursday, Jan. 5. Opening reception at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29.

Where: La Jolla/Riford Library Community Room, 7555 Draper Ave.

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays

Cost: Free