The Monterey Museum of Art hosts an exhibition that is also an artistic dialogue. | Monterey County NOW Introduction

Aga Popęda here. Here are two things you can do if you’re running out of ideas for that glorious Sunday morning. First, request coffee in bed (or make yourself a cup) and read my article on the newest exhibition at the Monterey Museum of Art, “The Fire from Heaven: Enrique Martínez Celaya and Robinson Jeffers.” Not only is it a beautiful exhibit, but it may be the “highest profile” the museum will host this year, suggested MMA director Corey Madden.

Then, have breakfast, get dressed, and head to the museum (559 Pacific St., Monterey)—perhaps with the kind person who was kind enough to make you coffee? Not that you need a companion, as the moment you enter the museum, opening hours on Sundays are 11:00am to 5:00pm; General admission is $15 – you will be part of a dialogue between two artists: one dead, the other alive, but both very much present in this very special exhibition.

Cuban-born, Los Angeles-based artist Enrique Martínez Celaya created dozens of works for an exhibition inspired by his time in the Carmel home of 20th-century California poet Robinson Jeffers– the famous original stone house of Tor House (completed 1919) and Hawk Tower (completed 1924). Jeffers lived there until his death in 1962. It now houses the Tor House Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 1978 to preserve Jeffers’ home and legacy.

After years of reading Jeffers, Martínez Celaya decided to see the house with his own eyes. It was there that he was inspired to sit at Jeffers’ desk and write – becoming the Tor House Foundation’s first Artist in Residence. “Enrique created the Fellow program,” says Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts, President of the Foundation. “The program is open to writers, musicians; We even had a master printer.”

The exhibition is an “ode” and homage to Jeffers, consisting of 28 drawings, paintings and a sculpture originated during and in response to Martínez Celaya’s stay at the Tor House. To make it even more special, Martínez Celaya personally came to Monterey and painted directly on the walls of the museum.

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Martínez Celaya values ​​the artistic effort (or struggle) as a prayer to nature to become divine. He also sees Jeffers’ poetry as his “prayers to fill the gap” in his “sense of being irretrievable by nature.”

“The most important thing is ambition,” says Martínez Celaya of every artistic process, including his and Jefffers’. “The fight is what I admire. When a son of God walks on water, they say it’s a miracle. But it is a greater miracle when a man walks on water and he is not a son of God.”

The exhibition, which takes its name from this line in Jeffers’ 1928 poem “The Summit Redwood,” is accompanied by handwritten poems, notes and photographs by Jeffers. “It’s an invocation of a certain spirit,” says Martínez Celays of his work with Jeffer’s poetry. “It opened up new possibilities for me in my work. There was something in between, a kind of understanding.”

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