Art Scene – May 2022

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May in the Art Galleries: Orinda Library and Wilder

(Courtesy of Maureen Rosati-Wee)
Maureen Rosati-Wee said, “Within five minutes of landing at my first camp in Botswana, we came across this massive leopard (Panthera pardus) mating with a female. What a welcome to our African adventure!”

Art Gallery at the Orinda Library:

Tablets, Out of Africa Photos and Watercolors
    The Lamorinda Arts Council presents, “Reading the Tablet” by Francesca Borgatta, “Out of Africa” photographs by Maggie Boscoe (which she interpolates with others by David Fleisig, Pam Hall, Jeff Halliday and Maureen Rosati-Wee) and watercolors by Anne Fallin.
    The show runs in May in the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library. Meet the artists at a reception Sat., May 7 from 3 to 5 p.m. where light refreshments will be served.
    An Oakland resident, Borgatta describes her show as “reading the tablet.”
    “A library holds a collection of books, meant to be shared. I hope this presentation will cause people to think about the act of reading, not just as words, but as a means of communication,” she said. “The audience is asked to make an interpretation of the tablet based on the conjunction of word and image.”
    Untranslated, a 42” x 18” tablet, portrays messages in Farsi to be fathomed while musing over its intricate hand-fashioned frame.
    “My story tablet with characters, Blue Dream, has imagery depicting the stages of an adventure by tracing its pathway on the surface,” Borgatta added.
    All the tablets are bas relief sculpture with mixed media assemblage.
    Borgatta’s favorite classical artists are Van Gogh, Rodin and Goya. Modern artists she admires include Stephen de Staebler, Robert Rauchenberg and Wanxin Jiang. Puppet master Peter Schumann of the Bread and Puppet Theater was her mentor. She is drawn to folk art and religious traditions, including Indonesian shadow theater and pre-Conquest Mexican figures and architecture. For more information about Borgatta’s exploration of tablets, visit https://bit.ly/38yVHIR.
    Boscoe, a Lamorinda Arts Council board member and a longtime curation team volunteer for the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library, organized the “Out of Africa” show.
    Group members roamed far from home to assemble this exhibit of photographs, a mixture of animals, landscape scenes and exotic birds taken mostly in African National Parks.
    Boscoe was inspired by others to take the trip to Africa. “So many people I met had enthusiasm for trips to National Parks in Africa, that I had to see the beautiful vistas and precious wildlife myself.”
    Fleisig has taken the trip a few times. “I have experienced three African safaris and each time I was enthralled by viewing the abundant wildlife in its natural environment,” he said.
    Hall took photos of scenes she knew would hold her interest back at home. She said it was a trip of a lifetime.
    A focus on birds was Halliday’s intention, which he fulfilled with his photo of the African Darter, a water bird with a wingspan of 47”.
    For Rosati-Wee’s safari, admiration for what the people of Botswana have done to preserve their wildlife was her inspiration. Her panoramic photo, “Zambezi River,” depicts its serene beauty. “The colors on the river change constantly throughout the day,” she said.
    Anne Fallin of Walnut Creek describes her artistic style as contemporary realism. The 24 watercolors she exhibits display a wide variety of subjects. “I love the challenge of creating a strong design with any subject imaginable,” she said.
    Some of her favorite artists are Karl Larsson, Will Bullas and Pam Glover (1924 – 2010). She painted and studied with Lundy Siegrist (1925 – 1985) for a long time, which is how she met Pam Glover.
    It’s safe to say that at 80 years of age, she knows how to play with watercolors in just about every way imaginable. Her bold sense of design provides a structure for her explorations of brilliant color.
    One of her cousins, Clyde Smith, is a renowned portrait painter in New York. “We grew up together and he had quite an influence on me,” she said.
    She likes experiencing artwork and exhibits through books and printed materials as the lack of distractions allows her to concentrate fully on the details of the artwork. Visit www.annefallinwatercolors.com to learn more about her striking watercolors.
    To learn more about the Lamorinda Arts Council, visit www.lamorindaarts.org. This exhibit runs May 1 – 31, during Library hours in the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library at 26 Orinda Way. Hours are Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Sundays and Memorial Day. For more information, call 925.254.2184 or visit 
www.ccclib.org. E-mail curators with questions at gallery@lamorindaarts.org or call the Lamorinda Arts Council at 925.359.9940.

(Courtesy of Hallie Strock)
Four Birds in the Bush, a 16” x 12” paper collage on wood panel, is part of Hallie Strock’s series about birds in fantastical settings. Join her at a Pop-Up Collage Party on Sunday, May 8 from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. to make a collage. Moms are the special guests at this party.

Art Gallery at Wilder:
Collage – The Art of Listening to Your Materials and Pop-Up Collage Party
    The Lamorinda Arts Council’s featured artist in the Art Gallery at Wilder for May is collage artist Hallie Strock. Meet her at a reception Sunday, May 8, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and help make a collage. View her virtual exhibit at the Council’s online gallery, 
www.lamorindaarts.org/online-galleries.
    For directions to the opening see www.lamorindaarts.org/current-exhibits-wilder.
    Strock, of Berkeley, turned to collage during the pandemic because it is one of her favorite ways to work. She describes the collage process as a jigsaw puzzle that gives her a way to silence the noise, forget what might be worrying her and totally occupy the moment.
    “Life is messy, and I just had to get out of my head and let the art pour out of me,” she said.
    She likes the appropriating nature of collage. Collecting and making imagery and various materials for her are just as exciting as making the collage itself. The littlest thing can speak to her with significance.
    For her 16” x 20” paper collage on wood panel, Uplift, Strock printed handmade colored circles using a gelatin plate, stamps and stencils. The circles she created give the appearance of balls suspended in the air.
    Four Birds in the Bush, a 16” x 12” collage on wood panel, is part of a series about birds in fantastical settings. She hopes they bring viewers a sense of joy because she had fun making them by juxtaposing disparate elements, styles and colors against one another.
    Her Pop-Up Collage Party is a fun way for art lovers to create a community collage. All materials and supplies will be provided. Join her and council curators from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Sun., May 8. Yes, she knows it’s Mother’s Day and said, “Moms are the special guests at this party – let’s do something fun!” To learn more about Strock’s artwork, visit www.halliestrock.com.
    The Wilder Art and Garden Center is located at 20 Orinda Fields Way. The exhibit runs May 1 – 31 and is in-person on the reception date, but virtual the rest of the month because the building is not open due to COVID-19 restrictions. Viewings by appointment with Curator Aniston Breslin can be arranged by request at 
wildergallery@lamorindaarts.org. For more information, call the Lamorinda Arts Council at 925.359.9940.

Elana O’Loskey can be reached at business.orinda@gmail.com.

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