Love where you live!
LA MESA -- Anyone who has ever done anything in the art world will tell you that getting that first break is difficult. The qualities that make a great artist often include deep thought, introspection, not the characteristics that necessarily go hand in hand with the promotional skills to get your work onto the walls of shops or museums.
So imagine how young artist Morgan Turner (her friends call her Sage) managed to convince Ari Bejar, the proprietor of Cosmos Coffee Cafe in the Village, to give her a break.
Cosmos is known as a popular coffee shop and Village hangout, but it also takes pride in the quality of the art it allows on its walls. Local artists will stop by with some samples and ask for the exposure, but not all pass muster.
Turner, as is typical of her age, took another route.
"She wrote me an e-mail and asked if she could have a show. Just like that," Bejar says. "The
way she presented it herself was so raw and innocent that I just had to meet with her and see what she had. I am really happy I did.''
Turner brought a few of her pieces by, but not, it was learned only later, the ones she hoped to hang on Cosmos' walls. Those (including the example above) hadn't been painted yet.
Still, on Friday, May 3, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., you can stop by at Cosmos, meet the young artist, and see the five or six paintings that will eventually make up her demanding Senior Project at Helix Charter High School. But Morgan is just a junior.
"I figured if I got it done this year, senior year would go more easily,'' Turner said.
People who attend this first opening in her art career will meet a painter who is the daughter of an artist Mom, who taught her to stretch a canvas, and an aerospace engineer Dad, who she describes as "more logical.'' She exhibits both the left and right brain characteristics that such a lineage would suggest.
"I love art,'' she says. "It will always be part of my life, but I don't know if I'll be a professional artist. That is so hard. I've been considering maybe becoming a family therapist. I'm also passionate about working with people.'' She is one of six children.
But for now, this Senior Project is on her plate and she is not going to hide this light under a bushel. She has been circulating flyers (see below) promising an opening with live music, the paintings hung just inside Cosmos' front door and a raffle of one of the pieces with all proceeds being donated to promote art in the schools. She has a goal of $300. We're betting La Mesa can help her do better.
Her work will hang in Cosmos throughout May and then she will go on to finish her senior year, hopefully keeping her grade point average, as it is now, well above 4.0. Then on to a great college and, undoubtedly, an interesting life.
"I like color,'' she says. "I like abstracts.''