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Curated by Kate Stern


Kate’s Stern’s group exhibition , DRESS REHEARSAL, opened on July 27, 2019 at the Oceanside Museum of Art in Oceanside, CA. and was on view through January ,2020.

The title, DRESS REHEARSAL, is a play-on-words. In this exhibition the dress is the main character, both object as well as subject. These California artists have pushed boundaries in their interpretation of the dress as an object as well as subject and explore issues of identity, form, repression, freedom and celebration. And just as theater distorts reality and heightens our experiences, so do these artists in their novel vision, construction, and choice of materials. And while many of the artworks do have a theatrical flair, others present literal interpretations of how we choose to cover or reveal ourselves. The interpretations are far from traditional – moving more into the realms of the abstract, surreal, ethereal, and whimsical.

Artists include: Alexandra Dillon, Carolyn Hampton, Cheryl Simon Ekstrom, Dosshaus, Gwen Samuels, Janet Taylor Pickett, Kenton Nelson, Leigh Salgado, Marina Debris, Mary Tuma, Melissa Meier and Michaek Kalish

Melissa Meier , Sea sponge dress construction, 2019.

Exhibition Press:

San Diego Union Tribune:

Modern Luxury San Diego:

OMA website:

Exhibition Photos:

Mary Tuma, deconstructed Red dresses & Dosshaus installation

Backstage dressing room by Dosshaus. Photo by David Connally of Dosshaus. Artwork courtesy of Corey Helford.

Alexandra Dillon, 0il paint on vintage dresses

Gwen Samuels- hand stitched photo transparencies

Gwen Samuels, family photos and teabags handstitched & Michaal Kalish, 3 dimentional alluminum Geisha

Melisa Meier, Sea Sponge dress, Carolyn Hampton, white dress photo series and Alexandra Dillon, “Two Mother”s installation.

Kenton Nelson , oil on canvas

Cheryl Simon Ekstrom, “Misplaced Heart With A Wolf At Her Back”, Bronze.

Marina Debris. TRASHION series. Dresses all made from trash found along the California coastline

Janet Taylor Pickett, Mixed Media paintings

Carolyn Hampton, Girl in white dress series

Kenton Nelson, “Mending” Italian glass tile mosaic.

Leigh Salgado, Cut paper dresses

Alexandra Dillon, “Two Mothers” chairs, oil on vinatage dresses, shovel and silver tray.

MOAH (Museum of Art and History), Lancaster, CA

In the fall of 2013 Kate Stern curated a large exhibition for the Museum of Art and History (MOAH) in Lancaster, CA entitled FROSTIG AT LARGE, The Artists of the Frostig Collection.  The show, which was spread over two floors of the museum, consisted of all 24 works from the Frostig Collection itself, shown alongside large scale artworks by many of the renowned artists who make up the collection. The exhibit featured additional works by: Robert Graham, Charles Arnoldi, Ed Moses, Lita Albuquerque, Ray Turner, Kenton Nelson, Brad Howe, Michael C. McMillen, Larry Bell, Sarah Perry, Gwynn Murrill, Gary Baseman, David Buckingham, Michael Kalish and Guy Dill.


David Buckingham’s Pretty Boy outside of MOAH


 Upstairs Gallery View at MOAH*


Lita Albuquerque at MOAH*


Downstairs gallery view at MOAH *

Guy Dill at MOAH

Guy Dill at MOAH *

Upstairs Gallery at MOAH

Upstairs gallery at MOAH*


Brad Howe in front of his installation at MOAH *

Kate and Kenton

Kate Stern and Kenton Nelson alongside his painting at MOAH*

*All photos above by Eric Minh Swenson

Zimmer Children’s Museum, Los Angeles, CA

Beginning in 2003 and over the course of five years, Stern curated four large group exhibitions which included seventy five artists per show for the Zimmer Children’s Museum in Los Angeles. Objects such as musical instruments, telephones, clocks and cameras were turned into works of art by well-known and emerging artists. The exhibits, entitled Show&tell; the art of  connection, time, harmony & vision respectively also included works by social activists, tying in with the museum’s youTHink program which uses the power of  art to foster critical thinking, engage diverse learners, promote literacy and serve as a tool for social change. Artists included: Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Graham, Charles Arnoldi, David Hockney, George Hermes, Billy Al Bengston, Gary Baseman, Brad Howe, Raymond Pettibone, Ramona Otto, Alexis Rockman, Andy Moses, Michael Kalish, Daryl Pottorf and Alison Saar.

Stern also acted as creative director for the beautiful catalogs that accompanied each exhibit.


 Kumi Korf for show&tell; the art of harmony, 2007


Liz Marx for show&tell; the art of connection, 2004


Robert Graham for show&tell; the art of time, 2006

Charles Arnoldi

Charles Arnoldi for show&tell; the art of connection, 2004