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In record time for the holidays: Cardiff Library art show invites viewers to give and receive

Artist Patricia Frischer at her wall of records.
Artist Patricia Frischer at her wall of records.
(Maurice Hewitt)
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Patricia Frischer, founder/coordinator of San Diego Visual Arts Network (SDVAN) and the San Diego Art Prize, is the usually unseen force behind many artful events and organizations in San Diego County. But this longtime Cardiff resident is currently showing some of her own art at Cardiff Library by the Sea and planning a special holiday reception you won’t want to miss.

Titled In Record Time, the exhibit features an array of colorfully-painted vinyl records, along with some earlier works from her life in art.

Like her artworks, Frischer has a colorful background. Born and raised in Kansas City, she had an early attachment to The Wizard of Oz movie. She imagined herself as Dorothy, shiny red shoes and all, going from black-and-white Kansas into a Technicolor world of adventure.

Rhapsody in Blue: One of the first records Patricia Frischer turned into an artwork.
Rhapsody in Blue: One of the first records Patricia Frischer turned into an artwork.
(Maurice Hewitt)

As a teenager, she began making jewelry and later branched out into sculpture at the California College of Arts and Crafts, where she received her BA and MFA degrees. She was offered a teaching position but thinking of Dorothy and her buddies pursuing their dreams in Oz, she went off to England instead, found a position as an assistant in a London art gallery, and ultimately became the gallery director.

Gifted with lion-like courage and a business-wise brain, she whirled around the art world in the U.K. and Europe for several decades, writing a book for artists on The Art of Marketing, and generally having some very good times. Then, as a perfect completion to her personal Oz-dyssey, her heart found its mate in computer expert Darwin Slindee, whom she met on a flight from London to L.A.

After years of international dating, with careers that led them in different directions, they finally settled into married life in sunny San Diego, finding a home in Cardiff with a fine ocean view. It was the end of the 20th century, and Frischer was ready to start something new.

Renaissance by Patricia Frischer
Renaissance by Patricia Frischer
(Maurice Hewitt)

She soon learned there was no guide to visual arts in the region, so she decided to create one, gathering a group of like-minded art professionals who agreed that was a great idea. In those days, it was not an easy task to put a website together, but, in 2002, SDVAN became the region’s first arts directory and calendar online. By then, Frischer had also started leading tours of artists’ studios on both sides of the border, giving art-lovers a chance to see creativity blooming in unexpected places.

After hearing too many local artists lament the underdeveloped art scene here, she came up with the San Diego Art Prize, an annual award that offers a cash stipend and exhibitions, and is now in its 15th year. She found other ways to encourage artists, staging imaginative large-scale shows such as Movers and Shakers (local artists’ portraits of artworld VIPs); Art Meets Fashion (a stunning runway show inside San Diego Airport’s Terminal 2 that teamed fashion designers with visual artists) and The DNA of Creativity (a multimedia extravaganza at Oceanside Museum of Art).

Surf and Turf Balloon by Patricia Frischer
Surf and Turf Balloon by Patricia Frischer
(Maurice Hewitt)

These days, thanks to Frischer’s ongoing willingness to lend a hand to worthy art causes, a long-abandoned Encinitas school building is finally on its way to becoming the Pacific View Center of the Arts and San Diego County was recently hailed as “a thriving art world.”

Poinsettia Kisses by Patricia Frischer
Poinsettia Kisses by Patricia Frischer
(Maurice Hewitt)

Right now, she is inviting everyone to celebrate with her In Record Time. Besides the 18 records she turned into artworks over the past months, there are 12 larger paintings created decades ago that she thought would complement the records and fit nicely into the library’s exhibition spaces. On Dec.14, there will be a special reception and visitors will be gifted with a bag of artist-made sweets to take home. Bring an old vinyl record or an art book to donate to the future library at Pacific View and you’ll have a chance to win one of Frischer’s records for yourself.

Borders of Intimacy: One of the large-scale paintings by Patricia Frischer.
Borders of Intimacy: One of the large-scale paintings by Patricia Frischer.
(Maurice Hewitt)

In Record Time

On view through Jan. 30, 2023

Cardiff Library by the Sea

2081 Newcastle Drive

Hours: Tuesday 12 p.m.-7 p.m.; Wed/Thurs 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri/Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Reception: Dec. 14, 2-4:30 p.m. For more information, call 760-943-0148. Also visit bit.ly/3AQWJLF and www.sdvisualarts.net/sdvan_new/index.php


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