By Lonnie Burstein HewittLux Art Institute in Encinitas isn’t an ordinary museum. You don’t just see finished works of art here; you get to see the artistic process firsthand. Every year, Lux invites five artists to their hillside studio to spend a month-long residency creating a new piece of art. The artists themselves are on display, available to chat with visitors of all ages about their work.
Currently on exhibit is a set of haunting carved and painted figures by South African sculptor Claudette Schreuders. Her residency ended June 18, but her works will be shown through July 30.
Lux’s fifth season begins Sept. 8 with New York installation artist Ann Agee. She’ll show her flair for converting domestic subjects into art by creating her own wallpaper, a large-scale drawing of a London breakfast room.
Following in November will be another New Yorker, Emilio Perez, whose swirling paintings, in layers of acrylic and latex, combine freewheeling energy with a sense of mystery.
In January, Lux will introduce a young Korean sculptor, Lila Jang, whose fantasy furniture looks like something out of “Alice in Wonderland.” An interesting detail: Though educated in Paris, with several European shows to her credit, she doesn’t speak English and has never been to this country. She’ll have an interpreter here, but if you can parler francais (or Korean!), so much the better.
March brings another sculptor, Gwynn Murrill, whose signature works are elegant animal figures in wood, marble and bronze. At Lux, she’ll show her skill with a more Degas-ian subject: Ballerinas.
At the end of May, the season’s big finish will feature Brett Bisbee, a painter from Portland, Maine, whose ethereal portraits of his wife and children recall the old Renaissance masters. This meticulous artist, who rarely leaves Maine and often takes years to finish a painting, will use his weeks at Lux to create a small, but undoubtedly luminous, portrait of his young son.
Lux begins its new season with plans for a grand expansion, but founding director Reesey Shaw (a longtime La Jollan), says construction won’t interfere with the artists: Their residence, and the viewers’ experience, will be undisturbed.
“You can come here and watch the creative process,” she said. “You see art being made. Our mission is not just sharing artists with the public, but modeling creativity.”
Lux Art Institute1550 South El Camino Real, Encinitas
Hours:1-5 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday