Art Scene – October 2022

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October in the Art Galleries at the Orinda Library and Wilder

(John Brown, Photographer0
As part of his People, Places, Animals, and Black & White exhibition at the Orinda Library gallery, John Brown captured a creepily clad reveler during the festivities of Brazil’s famous Carnaval.

Art Gallery at the Orinda Library: Abstract Clay Monoprints, Photography, Books and Collages and Botanical Watercolors
    The Lamorinda Arts Council presents abstract clay monoprints by Pamela Stefl Toki, photography by John Brown, books and collages by Suellen Cox and watercolors by Linda Kam in the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library during October.
    Learn more about these artists, Saturday, Oct. 8, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., at a reception where light refreshments will be served.
    East Bay artist Toki shares her abstract clay monoprints this month.
    “In a life and culture where so much is scheduled and predetermined, the making of art becomes sacred and soulful, revealing deeper aspects of myself,” she said. “Sharing this with others completes the journey – in this great mystery of life.”
    Shift, her 84” x 42” metal-infused piece from an original clay monoprint, will be installed for a year outside the Orinda Library right before the Oct. 8 indoor exhibition.
    Toki explained the meaning behind Shift.
    “It refers to the new reality we are all undergoing, with many changes and challenges, including the potential opportunities for growth, healing, deeper reflection and humanity’s shift into raised awareness,” she said.
    “I think of my art as a reflection of something that wishes to emerge,” Toki added.
    See more of her work and read about her artistic vision at www.pamelastefl.com/gallery.html.
    Brown, a local photographer and treasurer for the Lamorinda Arts Council, reveals the rationale behind his new exhibition at the Orinda Library.
    “My pictures will be in four categories: people, places, animals and black and white,” he said. “I did parks last time; I am trying to show a variety of work.”
    “I think of myself as a nature photographer,” Brown added, “but the characterization is broad, rather than limiting. I explore nature in the wild, nature of people, nature of animals and nature of cities and communities.”
    See more of his diverse photography at www.johnsbrown.com.
    Orinda artist Cox, worked at Saint Mary’s College Library in Moraga for four years. Prior, she was a tenured librarian at California State University Fullerton.
    She blends her library experience with her artistic talents to showcase her Books and Collages collection at the Orinda Library.
    “I’ve spent my life – a well-ordered life – in libraries surrounded by books in an often chaotic, usually messy, yet always infinitely interesting world,” said Cox. “Now retired from academic librarianship, I try, through my artwork of artists’ books, mixed-media collage and assemblage, to bring a sense of symmetry, harmony and discovery into our world. My work is quiet, observant and reflective. It tells a story.”
    Learn more about how Cox uses her art to tell stories at www.suellencox.com.
    Orinda artist Kam exhibits her botanical watercolors. She taught art for 17 years in the Orinda Union School District, where she introduced a variety of art mediums to her students. After retirement, she eventually returned to her original love, painting and drawing.
    A member of the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists (NCalSBA), Kam’s botanical art portfolio is comprised of watercolors, ranging from edible fruits and colorful flowers to succulents and seedpods. 
    Learn more about Kam and her watercolors at https://artzlinda.wixsite.com/mysite and http://www.ncalsba.org/wordpress/ncalsba-main/gallery/kam/.

(David Choi)
Part of David Choi’s Human Life series, One Hundred Eight Knots replicates and expresses journeys of life into woodcut reliefs that depict happiness, labor, love and pleasure.

Art Gallery at Wilder: Wood Cutout Works
    The Lamorinda Arts Council (LAC) presents the woodcut relief designs of featured artist David Choi at their virtual Art Gallery at Wilder, Oct. 1 through Nov. 5. Enjoy more of Choi’s artwork at www.lamorindaarts.org/online-galleries/.
    Originally from Korea, Choi now calls the East Bay his home.
    “Previously, the subject of my work concerned neglected and abandoned city streets and back alleys depicted in etchings/print works. However, my latest projects, within the Human Life series, replicate and express journeys of life into woodcut reliefs that portray happiness, labor, love and pleasure,” he said.
    Choi believes art is interpreted generally through the eye of the beholder, but if someone were to ask him what he wants him or her to see through his work, his answer is simple.
    “Human life,” he said. “Our time here on earth may feel short, but throughout our lives we go through countless, perhaps seemingly infinite, amounts of emotions, feelings and expressions. I want to replicate and depict such human life in my style of artwork.”
    Choi added, “I found it fascinating that in the Buddhist tradition, with open interpretation, there are 108 earthly feelings in life. Thus, going forward, I plan to continue to create 108 pieces of woodcut relief to signify those expressions of feelings in life. This will be my ongoing work on the Human Life series.” 
    For years, Choi has been interested in yin and yang energies or forces.
    “They’re believed to be the origin of the universe in East Asian philosophy,” he said. “This may be another part of my inspiration for my artwork. I want to express that principle with human figures on woodcut print – in Korean or Classical Chinese – the raised engraving is called yang carving and the depressed on it, is yin carving. Interestingly, when printing, the yin and yang carvings on wood give the opposite result on paper.”
    “In printmaking as well as in the philosophy, yin can become yang and yang can become yin,” Choi added.
    Discover more of Choi’s work and read about what else inspires his artistry at www.sooanddavidchoi.com.
    The Wilder Art and Garden Center is located at 20 Orinda Fields Lane. The virtual exhibit runs Oct. 1 through Nov. 5. Schedule a viewing by appointment with Curator Ani Breslin by contacting anistonbreslin@berkeley.edu. For more information, call the Lamorinda Arts Council at 925.359.9940.

David Fonseca can be reached at davef52@gmail.com.

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