Galleries: Inventive Jewelry, RBG, Wall Relief and Art in Place

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(Ertan Atay)
The Museums Are Closed by Ertan Atay, a prolific artist from Turkey, well-known worldwide for his unique digital collages combining social commentary with humor. See more at http://www.failunfailunmefailun.com.

    With the hopes the shelter-in-place order is lifted this month, the Lamorinda Arts Council (LAC) has scheduled an exhibit featuring Dina Asna, Bay Area Studio Artists and Jeff Sully during May in the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library.
    If the library building is open in time for the artists to hang their show, the exhibit will go forward. If the building is not open in time, the exhibit will be rescheduled. Check with http://www.lamorindaarts.org/gallery-2 for updated scheduling. A reception for the artists is scheduled for 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. May 16.
    Meanwhile, the arts council has created an Art in Place web page, a guide to online art experiences. Curated by arts council members, all listings are free and updated every Friday. All art genres for all ages are represented including live cams at the Oakland Zoo and Monterey Bay Aquarium, an opera tweeted by birds and virtual art museum exhibits worldwide.
    To explore Art in Place go to www.lamorindaarts.org/art-in-place; if you have a suggestion send it to artinplace@lamorindaarts.org.
    About the featured May artists: Asna of Moraga was born in Tehran. Stricken by polio at 18 months old, she persevered. Believing that nothing was impossible, Asna studied at a high-ranking university and won a scholarship from the Goethe-Institut / German Embassy.
    In Germany, she obtained a master’s degree in computer science which eventually brought her to Silicon Valley with her two sons. After her IT career, she moved to Moraga where she works as a real estate agent. Her boys went to Campolindo High School and on to college. Throughout her life, she said staying in touch with creative expression has been important.
    Asna paints watercolors with subjects from nature retaining the originals and offering prints. She then interprets the sensibility from each painting into themed jewelry collections. Most of her pieces are antique bronze; some are antique silver.
    From her watercolor Enthusiasm, she created a themed collection of earrings, pendants and pins with splashes of curvilinear color echoing the Art Deco era. The artisan quality of each piece is evident in the imaginative way graphics are incorporated into her designs. Earrings and pendants have images on both the front and back that seem to ‘talk’ to each other, like tiny paintings living next to each other.
    She and her mother enjoy working together creating the jewelry, all made by hand. “My jewelry is created to carry a message; we all have what we need but we forget to tap into it,” she said.
    Named themes include: Awareness, Miracle, Healing, Choice, Vulnerability, Courage, Passion and Opportunity. Five percent of Asna’s sales are donated to a nonprofit supporting children with special needs. Visit www.etsy.com/shop/dinartgift/ for a full range of Asna’s creations.
    Bay Area Studio Artists (BASA) “Inspired By” exhibit was scheduled in April; the same exhibit has migrated to May. BASA is a group of women artists who have been showing work and painting together since 2010. Their eclectic mix of subject matter ranges from figurative to landscapes, realisms to expressionism. To see more about what each member is “Inspired By” view the virtual exhibit at www.bayareastudioartists.com.
    BASA members participating in the show are Susan Almquist, Jeanette Crawford Baird, Lassie Colebourn, Ellen Reintjes, Ruth Stanton, Joanne Taeuffer, Sharon Tama and Marcy Wheeler.
    Emblematic of the way the group works is their 36” x 54” collage RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg). Each artist was randomly assigned a piece of the painting to complete. The patchwork of their acrylic paintings, applied like puzzle pieces on canvas, completes the whole work. They say they see RBG as a vessel for celebrating the many stories of the struggle for women’s rights.
    Upon inspection you will see the Statue of Liberty has RBG’s back; her collar is made up of suffragettes daring to fight for women’s voting rights; entwined in her robes are other women who are part of the fight for equality – Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, Sally Ride, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ella Fitzgerald and Rosa Parks.
    Sully, of Richmond, has been influenced over time by a wide variety of art forms. Painted Australian aboriginal sculptures are still a source for him. He also appreciates the directness of Pygmy bark paintings and other primitive arts, in particular stone tool-making and wooden masks.
    The Taoist/Buddhist bent of Japanese landscape paintings always inspire him. In contrast, at the S.F. Art Institute the work of the Abstract Expressionists was important. The openness and boundary-breaking work of the Dadaists influenced him in a different way. Dadaism, a response to WWI, was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century.
    In What You Desire, a 30” x 48” wood, acrylic and mixed media piece, Sully’s abstract structure uses a personal geometry to convey his aesthetic in a graphic yet rugged way. All eight works he is showing are shallow wall relief pieces somewhere between 3’ and 6’ in dimension. See a wide range of his work at www.jeffreysully.com.
    To learn more about the Lamorinda Arts Council, go to www.lamorindaarts.org. The Art Gallery at the Orinda Library is at 26 Orinda Way. Open during normal library hours – 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. Call 925-254-2184 for more information or visit http://ccclib.org/.
    The Art Gallery at Wilder is not open in May. Visit www.lamorindaarts.org/current-exhibits-wilder/ for updates on scheduled exhibits.

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