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Reunion…a Three Person Art Exhibition


By Ray Lorenz

The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery in La Cieneguita will be hosting a three-person art exhibition at San Miguel’s infamous venue that continues to offer art that can be defined as a tad bit “left of center” and certainly “from across the tracks.”

Local artists Diane Varney, Ann Chamberlin, and artist/curator Anado McLauchlin have gathered new work to present in the spirit of reunification and visceral hanky-panky. Everyone is invited.

All three artists share the Code of Magical Realism in their efforts. Both Varney and Chamberlin have had extremely successful careers and have shown at the Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery before, hence: Reunion.

After a two-year, round-the-world bicycle trip 25 years ago, Varney began painting when she needed art for her walls. She worked for many years, making colorful ceramic dinnerware and cloisonné enamel jewelry. After a three-month online art encounter, her paintings took off in a more abstract, playful, bold, and inventive direction. Plants and their life force are a common theme, as Varney is a gardener and has degrees in botany. Varney works in an intuitive, spontaneous way, never knowing where the journey will take her. She points out that her paintings are done when nothing irritates her and when it feels like a beloved child with its own distinct personality.

Chamberlin holds a BFA from The Universidad de las Américas and an MFA. from the University of Texas-Austin. She worked as a Fulbright scholar and artist in Medellín, Colombia and was awarded a City of Los Angeles Individual Fellowship Grant, a California Community Foundation/J. Paul Getty Individual Artist grant, a MAA/NEA Fellowship Award in painting, and a Durfee Foundation Artist’s Resource grant. She is currently represented by Lora Schlesinger Gallery in Santa Monica, California.

When asked about her work, Chamberlin said, “My paintings tell stories that treasure the personal and vulnerable. I set these scenes in places that are in flux—a stage, the seashore, a trailer park, or perhaps a crime scene—so that some transition is imminent and we can see a range of possibilities to our actions and inactions. There are implications of innocence and complicity in each story too, and that’s what makes a painting ring true to me. Oftentimes in my work, these disparate interior narratives crowd the landscape and make the story spin out of control, as often happens in life.”

McLauchlin, the artist/ curator at the Chapel of Jimmy Ray, confesses in his artist statement: “I remain committed to tapping into that childlike innocence and sense of playfulness that translates into beatific perception. I spent a few years in art school and was, quite frankly, not encouraged to follow my dreams. My instructors criticized my sense of adornment, so I decided to move to New York City to do my work. Certain spatial restrictions led me to pursue my vision in the performance art realm, combined with my assemblage work. I came to Mexico in 2000, and we bought our property in La Cieneguita. My vision has been to create a visceral playground for both adults and children. To this day, I rarely start with sketches, but rely on my sense of improvisation and collaboration with my assistants to kindle the flame of joyful innocence that feeds the viewer a visionary banquet to savor and behold. I am not trying to change the world. I am using my art as a vehicle of exploration and inclusion in this big old world.”

All are invited for a day of art and celebration on Saturday, March 3. The New York Times described the gallery property as a “force” and the Los AngelesTimes described the property as the “Happiest house in San Miguel.”


Art Opening

Reunion…A three-person art exhibition

Sat, Mar 3, 5pm

The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery

La Cieneguita (5km from San Miguel)





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