Intriguing Vessels, Recontextualized Paintings, Storytelling With Photos

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(Contributed Photo)
In Lost and Found II, a 16” x 20” giclée on archival paper, artists Mei-Yu Lo and Wayne Wright paint a subject from an earlier work within a vivid new context.

    The work of nonstop sisters-in-art Mei-Yu Lo and Mei-Rung Huang — Lo’s diverse paintings on the walls and Huang’s ceramics in glass cabinets — will be shown at the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library in September while the Art Gallery at Wilder features Oakland photographer Alfredo Coyotl.
    Lo of El Cerrito teaches adult watercolor and acrylic painting classes at the El Cerrito Community Center when she is not doing her own work. She is showing two groups of paintings in this show. The first group is a dozen acrylics on canvas ranging in size from 18” x 36” to 48” x 30” – most are landscapes.
    “I use credit cards, sticks and rags to push paint into abstract forms resembling rock surfaces, mountains and vegetation. To avoid the boredom of tedious brush strokes I also do a lot of spraying, sanding and scraping,” says Lo.
    When you view Journey II, a 48” x 30” acrylic, well, you decide: Is it an abstract or landscape painting? One thing is for sure, what comes to mind when looking at the paintings is a sense of peacefulness, harmony and the beauty the natural world can hold at times.
    The second group includes 20 16” x 20” recontextualized ladies that are mostly giclée prints on archival paper done in collaboration with her husband Wayne Wright. Recontextualized is a big word encompassing a lot of possibilities in the world of art. Here, Lo uses the term because they took all the ladies from their earlier paintings and painted them into completely different surroundings. Lost and Found I and II portray ladies with a story we want to explore.
    The colors, shapes, moods and attitudes of the ladies function differently when conflated in their new environment. She says that like all portraits, they are about how you would think and feel if you were either that lady in that painting in that place; or if you encountered her in new surroundings. Lo tries to communicate fashions, styles, attitudes, emotions and moods in her paintings. She says they aren’t working if words and facts are necessary. See what she’s up to at www.mei-yu.com.
    Huang, of Orinda, like her sister was raised in an artistic family with parents who loved to paint. She became interested in art at a young age. As an adult she studied painting with different masters to learn a variety of different Asian brush painting styles. After coming to the United States she discovered Western painting and ceramics and ever since has developed passions for both.
    In this show she focuses on ceramics by filling the glass cabinets with 50 pieces such as teapots and cups, vessels, bowls and containers. She says she is directly influenced by her Chinese background because her work depicts Asian figures directly or incorporates Asian shapes into her more geometric works. Like many creative people, she never repeats a ceramic work in the exact same way. A practitioner of Tai Chi, Huang borrows the meditative tradition of breathing properly, adopting the correct posture and focusing the mind, and then applies all that to creating a form in clay.
    Keep in mind the balance, fluidity and grace of traditional Chinese art when viewing Huang’s ceramics. It is easy to see the connection when you view the 7” x 5” Blue Seashell Teapot while the grace of the two Triangle Teapots sings a different tune. But both prove Huang is adept at conveying that the beauty and emotion of all living things can shine through the clay. There is tremendous vitality and diversity in both her forms and choice of glazes. To view more of Huang’s work go to www.meirung.com.
    Meet the artists at their reception 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 8. Light refreshments will be served.
    The gallery is at 26 Orinda Way and open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The library is closed Sept. 1-2 for Labor Day. Call 925-254-2184 for more information or visit http://ccclib.org/.

(Alfredo Coyoti, Photographer)
Oakland’s Tribune Tower takes center stage in Alfredo Coyotl’s Radio Silence, part of his photography exhibit at the Art Gallery at Wilder.

Art Gallery at Wilder: “Endless” Photography by Alfredo Coyotl
    Coyotl became interested in photography in high school when he discovered film photography and eventually used his iPhone camera in creative ways. He studied photojournalism in college where he learned film fundamentals, digital photography and the importance of documenting stories through photographs. “I am also shaped and inspired by my Mexican heritage and indigenous roots. It’s helped mold my photography to what it is today,” he says.
    He specializes in portraits, fashion, community and corporate events, landscape and street photography. For Coyotl, telling stories, sharing ideas and unique perspectives are all possible without words through the power of a photograph. Especially meaningful to him is that the story, context or meaning of a photograph is left to each viewer’s interpretation. Two of his favorite photographers are Todd Hido and Fan Ho (1931 – 2016). He finds inspiration in this Hido quote: “I photograph like a documentarian, but I print like a painter.”
    “Endless” is the theme for this, his first solo show. On display is a collection of photographs including portraits, cityscapes from San Francisco and New York City, landscapes and cars. A vast, peaceful sense of spaciousness permeates many of his photographs. To see more of his work go to www.coyotlcuatlacuatl.com.
    Meet him at his artist reception 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 7. Light refreshments will be served.
    All exhibits are presented by the Lamorinda Arts Council.
    As the Wilder Art and Garden Center at 20 Orinda Fields Lane is a new building, the Art Gallery is open to the public only when classes or events are scheduled. For now that is the first Saturday of every month for an artist reception from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m., Wednesday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., or by appointment with Lamorinda Arts Council co-curator Denise Nomura at wildergallery@lamorindaarts.org. Learn more about the council at www.lamorindaarts.org.
    Moving forward, more regular hours will be scheduled. The Orinda Parks and Recreation Dept. is seeking bookings of classes and meetings. Contact them at OrindaParksandRec@cityoforinda.org, visit them at 28 Orinda Way or call 925-254-2445.

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