Art Scene – September 2022

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September in the Art Galleries at the Orinda Library and Wilder

Art Gallery at the Orinda Library: “What’s Next …” Art from the Edge of Discovery
    The Lamorinda Arts Council presents artwork from “The Seven,” a group of local artists who came together to display their eclectic show in the Art Gallery in the Orinda Library.
    The theme, “What’s Next …” describes their commitment to discover what is hidden within their life experiences to share with the world via art. Several have come to this “edge” of discovery preceded by decades of work. Now that they have the time, they are excited to reawaken their creativity. The group is prolific – 100 artworks from different genres fill the gallery during September. It can also be seen and purchased from the gallery or online at http://www.lamorindaarts.org/online-galleries/.
    Meet “The Seven,” Cindy Baker, Kath Balamuth, Jules Campbell, Susan Erickson, Christina Finnie, Pam Jameson and Jim Jordan on Saturday, Sept. 10, at a reception from 3 – 5 p.m.

(Courtesy of Kath Balamuth, Cindy Baker, Jules Campbell and Pam Jameson)
Reading is Magic, a 24” x 24” mixed-media on panel, is a collaborative work created by Kath Balamuth, Cindy Baker, Jules Campbell and Pam Jameson. The four artists used a unique combination of representational and abstract art to express their ideas.

    Their moniker, “The Seven,” was inspired by the Algonquin School, a group of Canadian painters dubbed “The Group of Seven” (1920 – 1933). Light refreshments will be served on the patio where local singer/songwriter Bryan Kemler will play acoustic guitar interpretations of his favorite artists.
    “My music is plain folk, heat-forged and rust covered,” said Kemler.
    Listen to a selection of his music at https://bit.ly/3SIwxKC.
    Baker, of Martinez, loves the hard edges of printmaking, especially the experience of making multiple identical prints. This experience introduced her to the beauty of paper in its many iterations, such as art books. Her current art book series, Thoughtful Thoughts, is inspired by home and life experiences. These books incorporate the discipline of origami folds and printmaking techniques to extend the concept of what a book can be. Her Samurai Cornered (5” x 5”) book is a good example of this concept.
    Balamuth, the show’s curator, likes to create a story with a series of paintings so she can delve into the subject matter other than just scratching the surface. Currently she’s working on small images inspired by nature. She uses Photoshop to combine photos to make the image she is trying to create; this becomes her model. Her media is acrylic and sometimes collage from her Orinda studio. Visit her website at www.kathbalamuth.com.
    Campbell, who lives in Lafayette, creates map-like compositions using layers of paper, string, rope and other materials. Her favorite tool is the sander. She piles on layers of color and collage on panels, sands them back, adds more layers, and sands again until the art pops out. Alameda Causeway 3 a 36” x 36” mixed media on panel gives an artist’s impression from above of that geographical location in the East Bay. The busy urban land mass made of recycled materials in colors and shapes, snakes around the waters of the Bay, alive and moving. To peruse her work, visit www.julescampbellart.com.
    Erickson uses different paints, papers and mediums for her mixed media pieces. Sometimes a word, number or symbol in various sizes and colors add mystery, meaning and maybe a special memory or feeling to her piece.
    Her collages pull together realistic images with abstract mark-making and exuberant splashes of color and all have a message. Careful Wet Paint, 
needs no explanation, the elements joyfully lead the eye around the 30” x 30” piece. See what she’s up to at www.susanericksonartist.com.
    Finnie’s new works have taken off with a wild abstract playfulness that bespeaks her resilient personality. Daily nature walks in Vallejo, where she lives, bring vital energy to her acrylic paintings; color and form are her current study areas.
    Educated in painting, printmaking and the history of art at UC Berkley, Finnie references art history in her paintings without exactitude. Her current work references artists David Hockney, Peter Doig and Joan Mitchell.
    Jameson shows a series of landscapes depicting environments in Northern California. In these urban views and landscapes, she finds quiet beauty that comes alive under her brushwork. Baker, Balamuth, Campbell and Jameson met at Diablo Valley College, where they belonged to CC14, a student critique group which exhibited locally. Since 2015 they have worked together creating unique collaborative works displayed at Orinda Books. Look for Reading is Magic, a 24” x 24” mixed media on panel, an example of a collaborative work by these four artists.
    Jordan, who resides in Pleasant Hill, uses the human figure as his primary, but not exclusive, focus for his art. His media includes acrylics on canvas and pastels on paper. The 28” x 22” pastel drawing, Thinking of You, depicts the thoughtful pose of a youthful model. Fantastical Warrior, a 60” x 48” acrylic on canvas, is Kachina-like in its hovering menace.
    “Most of all I feel joy when I am in the zone applying color,” said Jordan.
    He is inspired by Victor Frankel’s assertion that, “You don’t create your mission in life – you detect it.” View more of his work at www.jimjordan-art.com.
    To learn more about the Lamorinda Arts Council, go to www.lamorindaarts.org. This exhibit runs the month of Sept. in the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library at 26 Orinda Way. Hours are Mon. – Thurs., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri. – Sat., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Sun. The Library is closed all day Mon. Sept. 5. Call 925.254.2184 for more information about the Library or visit www.ccclib.org. Email the curators with questions at gallery@lamorindaarts.org or call the Lamorinda Arts Council at 925.359.9940.

(Courtesy Kath Balamuth)
Kath Balamuth’s 5” x 5” acrylic on panel, Bird Nest I, is an ever-present reminder that nature is always there to awaken us to the beauty of new life.

Art Gallery at Wilder: Temporarily Closed
    Due to circumstances related to COVID-19, the September exhibit is cancelled.
    The Wilder Art and Garden Center is located at 20 Orinda Fields Way. Normally the exhibit runs the entire month. It 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 anistonbreslin@berkeley.edu. For more information, call the Lamorinda Arts Council at 925.359.9940 or visit www.lamorindaarts.org/gallery-2/.

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

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