Representational Art Conference returns

CLU to host international event in Ventura in March

Juliette Aristides, a painter and writer dedicated to rebuilding traditional arts education in the United States, will deliver a keynote address.

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Dec. 18, 2013) Artists, critics, academics, collectors and curators will return to Ventura in March for the second international conference on representational art presented by California Lutheran University.

The Representational Art Conference 2014 will be held from Sunday, March 2, through Wednesday, March 5, at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach. Presentations, panel discussions and studio art demonstrations will explore the direction of 21st-century representational art, which portrays recognizable people, places and objects. TRAC will include an excursion to CLU’s Thousand Oaks campus to see the “Women by Women” exhibit in the Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture and the “Resonating Images III” show in the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art.

CLU faculty members Michael Pearce and Michael Lynn Adams organized the first conference in 2012 to address the lack of critical appreciation of representational art and explore the new directions it might take.

Distinguished philosopher Roger Scruton will be one of two keynote speakers. He explored what makes an object beautiful in his 2009 book “Beauty” and caused a stir with his BBC Two documentary “Why Beauty Matters” when it was released the same year. Scruton insists that beauty is a real and universal value with an indispensable role to play in shaping the human world. He is a visiting professor and a Blackfriars Hall fellow at the University of Oxford and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Juliette Aristides, a painter and writer dedicated to rebuilding traditional arts education in the United States, will deliver the other keynote address. The author and painter is the founder of the Aristides Atelier at the Gage Academy of Fine Art in Seattle. She teaches workshops throughout the world. In recent years, representational artists have set up ateliers in imitation of the Renaissance workshops where students worked alongside masters to learn the techniques of drawing, painting and sculpture. There are now numerous ateliers in every major city in the United States. CLU has seven faculty members with on-campus studios they are using as ateliers.

Odd Nerdrum, a Norwegian who is regarded by many as one of the greatest living representational painters, will discuss beauty, art and kitsch with Scruton. Nerdrum has written about why representational painting should be called kitsch rather than art because of the way it tugs at the heart and emotionally engages people. Nerdrum is known for his allegorical images of refugees adrift in an inhospitable Icelandic landscape.

Virgil Elliott, Pam Hawkes, Jeremy Lipking, Graydon Parrish, Stephen Perkins, Tony Pro and Alexey Steele will present demonstrations.

Early-bird registration by Jan. 31 is $375. Single-day passes are available. For more information, go to