Library Gallery: Reframing Aging, Peaceful Watercolors and Raku

(Courtesy of Karen Hildebrand)
Karen Hildebrand uses botanicals straight out of her garden to create surface designs in her ceramics such as found on this 9” x 6” vessel, Hand Thrown Pit Fire.

    The Lamorinda Arts Council invites you to view the June exhibit in the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library on all four wood walls near the entrance to the Orinda Library and in the adjacent three-shelf glass case. All required COVID-19 restrictions are observed in the Gallery for your health and safety. The exhibit runs from June 1 to 30 and can also be seen online at
    Karen Hildebrand of Pleasant Hill has been a ceramic/pottery enthusiast for many years. She collected pottery from around the world and took a couple of classes at the Concord Ceramic studio in 1980. Work and life intervened until 2010 when she began classes at the Walnut Creek Civic Arts Ceramic Studio. In the last 11 years, she has gained experience and skills in making high fire pieces as well as alternative firings, including Pit Fires, Raku and Sagger fires.
    Now fully retired, she is as passionate about ceramics as she was about her 40 year career as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. With no commute to take up her time, she is more connected to her nearby communities via her ceramic pursuits. She donates a percentage of proceeds from her ceramic sales to support local and national charities.
    You’ll find nature themes in her work since she often uses botanicals taken from her garden for surface treatments. The 40 pieces she is showing include high fire functional pieces as well as decorative vessels. Follow her on Instagram, @kehilde.
    Wendy Liang of Piedmont graduated just last month from the California Collage of the Arts with an MFA. Her exhibit of watercolors is entitled “The Peaceful Life.” She says watercolor is her favorite medium because its transparent and fluid qualities give her freedom to create the mood and atmosphere she desires. The importance of living in the moment, as well as through memories and nostalgia, is very important to her as an artist.
    In contrast to her exhibit theme, her graduate presentation is entitled “2020 – The Year of Crises and Trauma.” It was selected for the Dean’s Spotlight and can be seen at Keep up with Liang at her personal website,, which is filled with watercolors anyone who admires the medium will enjoy. There are also many extraordinarily rendered graphite and colored pencil portraits.
    “Reframing Aging” came about when Nancy Rubin and Cynthia Overbeck Bix were discussing how attitudes toward older people often did not include terms such as “vital, creative and joyful.” To challenge these attitudes, they interviewed some amazing men and women ranging in age from 70 to 96. Rubin handled the photos and Overbeck did the writing.
    Former UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Russ Ellis is featured in the exhibit as is Jeanne Bamberger, Sue Bender, Troy Duster, Lisa Esherick, Pat Sakai, Peter Sussman and Steve Toby. Ready to reframe your attitude about aging? The Council invites you to stop by the gallery to find out what it’s all about.
    For more information about “Reframing Aging,” email Rubin at Rubin and Overbeck are two of over 300 volunteers who are part of Ashby Village. The organization is a vibrant nonprofit that connects members with each other and with the resources they need to stay active, independent and fulfilled. Find out more at
    Visit the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library at 26 Orinda Way during normal library hours, Mon. – Thur., 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Fri. – Sat., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., closed Sun. Call 925.254.2184 for more information or visit For more information about the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library, contact Curator Maggie Boscoe via email,, call 925.359.9940 or visit To learn more about the Lamorinda Arts Council go to

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