Walter Mencken 2:08 p.m., Aug. 27
Lux: last week of Graham
Susan Graham left Lux Art Institute (1550 S. El Camino Real) in Encinitas more than a week ago, but her work is still there until October 27. When I went to see her studio, she showed me the installation she was putting together for Lux: sugar and egg white phone towers and flowers latticed on a wall with porcelain pieces.
Graham grew up in Ohio and explained that while no one in her family was artistic, she was influenced by her grandmother's craft club next door as a child. "They used things out of their kitchen to make interesting things . . . They used to make these tiny little flowers out of salt dough," Graham said.
Graham went on to make sugar and porcelain guns, in reaction to her own father's political stance for slacker gun controls. She described her gun art as a way of "disarming" or making something dangerous unthreatening, and even humorous.
The work, monochromatic and small, is domestic and feminine, and speaks to other themes, too: dreams, escape, and imagination.