Porterville Art Association Showcases “Bad Art”

It’s not a typical art show, and perhaps, that is part of the draw. Porterville’s First Ever Bad Art Show has received more than 70 entries by local artists. The opening reception for the show is Saturday, January 28, although the show is already open to the public. And, if you want to get some bad art – you better hurry!

The show was the concept of Porterville Art Association members Bill Warner and Frances Pyles. They wanted to hold a show in which the artists wouldn’t take things so seriously.

“It wasn’t that there needed to be a hole plugged,” Pyles said.

So, it wasn’t that there needed to be another show, but rather that some members just wanted to have one.
“Art should be fun,” Warner said.

“This was real liberating,” Pyles said. “You could blow it for a serious show. There were no worries doing this.”
But, not all artists who entered agree with her.

“Doing bad art was not easy at all,” said local artist George Tanimoto. “There is so much variety in art – you don’t know what’s good or bad.”

There are three categories of bad art, according to the show –

• Rejected Work – honest artwork that was rejected either by a gallery, show or by the artist themselves.
• Tongue in Cheek – intentionally badly-designed art, done for a laugh.
• Commercial Junk – ugly junk done in bad taste.

COS psychology student Dravon Vega entered six pieces in the show – some work he had entered in another show, that did not sell, and three pieces he painted specifically for the show.

“My work is kind of odd and abstract,” he said, indicating it makes it a good fit for the show.

Vega is a relatively new painter, having started about a year ago, when he wanted an outlet in which to relax.

Several high school and college students have entered the show. Entry to the show was free for students, with a limit of three entries per person in each category. A nominal fee was charged for non-student entries.

Displaying bad art is not particularly new. The Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) in Massachusetts boasts it is “the world’s only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms.” The museum, which opened in 1994, is privately owned and maintains a collection of more than 500 works of “bad art,” of which 25 to 35 are on display at any given time. MOBA is quite popular and has been written about in numerous major newspapers and magazines, as well as “go to” guides for Massachusetts.

Pyles said she is surprised by the number of entries – in part, because this is the first time for the show, and in part, because she saw the reaction from other artists, who, she said, did not seem too excited about the show. They thought art should only be taken seriously, she said.

“Most of the board was really excited about it though,” Warner said. “Art [good or bad] should have an emotional impact.”

Pyles and Warner said they are very pleased with the amount of entries and interest in the show.

The show will be judged, for fun that is, prior to the artists’ reception, which takes place between 5-7 pm on the 28th. Many of the pieces are for sale.

The Porterville Art Association is looking to generate more interest in art within the community. It has regular art classes and has introduced new subject matter such as quilling and Zen doodle, as well as figure drawing.
The Porterville Art Association is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10am – 4 pm. The Bad Art Show runs through February 16. The Association Gallery and Gift Shop are located at 151 N. Main St. For more information regarding the show, call 782-9265, or 539-3243.

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