O' Great Reverie opens January 27 at Montalvo

Added WED, JAN 18TH 2012

Coming Up at Montalvo Arts Center
Left: Villa Montalvo under construction, 1912, George Doeltz. Montalvo Arts Center Archive; Center: Women, conceptual design schematic for O' Great Reverie, 2011. The diagram represents the past meeting the present in a new form; Right: Montalvo's Historic Villa, 1985, photographer unknown. Montalvo Arts Center Archive.

 O' Great Reverie:
Montalvo 1912-2012

Opening Weekend: January 27-28

On view through May 13

Montalvo crowd
Seated public on Montalvo's Front Lawn
Photographer unknown, c. 2000-04.
Montalvo Arts Center Archive



To inaugurate the Centennial year of the building of our historic Villa, Montalvo presents an unconventional timeline exhibition, O' Great Reverie: Montalvo 1912-2012, in the Project Space Gallery. 


Opening on Friday, January 27, and on view through Sunday, May 13, this special exhibition is both a timeline and a unique art installation. The material has been organized by Associate Curator Donna Conwell and Montalvo Design Fellows Women - the creative partnership of Los Angeles-based designers Scott Barry and Neil Doshi.


Rather than a standard linear chronology, O' Great Reverie is organized around four core themes: LANDSCAPE, exploring the way in which Montalvo's buildings and grounds have transformed over time; PUBLICS, examining how different groups of people who have visited Montalvo over the years have interacted with it; COMMUNITIES, discussing the various circles of volunteers, artists-in-residence, and staff members who have actively shaped Montalvo's evolution; and PRESERVATION, asking important philosophical questions about the limits and legitimacy of historical restoration.


For the first weekend of the exhibition, join us for a series of FREE events, lectures, and workshops, all engaging with key aspects of Montalvo's past and present: 


Friday, January 27  

  • 5:30pm: Members wine & cheese reception in the Phelan Library, inside the historic Villa.
  • 6-7pm: Final Fridays with George Tsontakis 
    • Composer George Tsontakis will discuss the new collaborative piece he is developing in response to Going Forth By Day, a video work by Bill Viola. 
  • 7-9:30pm: Opening Reception, O' Great Reverie: Montalvo 1912-2012
    • The public is invited to this preview of the exhibition, and to celebrate the beginning of Montalvo's centennial year. The designers will be on hand to discuss their work. Beer & wine will be available for purchase.
Saturday, January 28 
  • 12-1pm: Downward Dog
    • Inspired by the yoga classes held in the Villa in the 1970s, Montalvo Arts Center's Director of Education, Ruth Mankin, hosts a drop-in yoga class. Space is limited. Please bring your own mat.
  • 1-3pm: Impressions  
    • All ages welcome! Led by artist-educator Katie Bachler, participants will experience place through their sense of touch and explore the textures of past and present by making rubbings and clay impressions of Montalvo's buildings and grounds.
  • 3-4pm: Direct Criteria  
    • Los Angeles-based performance group Direct Criteria will present a work exploring the themes of resourcefulness, DIY ethics, local knowledge, scale, duration, flexibility, and contingent relationships.
  • 4pm: Nothing Burger  
    • Meet at the Poet's Walk trailhead. Led by artist Fiona Conner.
Also accompanying the exhibition is a conversation series called Chit-Chat Club, inspired by Senator Phelan's participation in a San Francisco-based organization of the same name. Chit-Chat Club members met monthly for dinner followed by a presentation and discussion. The following FREE talks will take place in the Phelan Library inside the historic Villa, and will explore key topics central to Montalvo's mission and plans for the future.
Chit-Chat Club 
  • Wednesday, March 7, 7pm: Sustaining Landscapes  
    • Montalvo's Garden Curator, Delmar McComb, and Director of the Lucas Artists Residency Program, Kelly Sicat, discuss the unique challenges and opportunities involved in managing and cultivating Montalvo's grounds.
  • Wednesday, April 11, 7pmChoreographing Space
    • Barbara Goldstein, Director for Public Art at San Jose's Office of Cultural Affairs, and Pamela Z, composer, performer, and sound artist, will speak about plans for developing a contemporary art program at Montalvo that integrates its topography and landscape. 
  • Wednesday, May 9, 7pmUndesigning Histories  
    • Scott Barry, Neil Doshi, and Donna Conwell will discuss O' Great Reverie and the current trend among designers to approach their work as a conceptual practice rather than a service industry. California College of Arts Adjunct Professor of Graphic Design David Hisaya Asari will moderate. 
Senator Phelan and Boz
James Duval Phelan and his dog Boz, Montalvo, 1927, photographer unknown. James D. Phelan Photograph Albums, 1902-1928. BANC PIC 1932.001. Vol. 99: 138-ALB. Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Mercury News
Exclusive print media sponsor of Montalvo's Centennial