Orinda Art Scene – November 2022

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November in the Art Galleries at the Orinda Library and Wilder

(David Fleisig, Photographer)
David Fleisig began woodturning, making conventional bowls, platters and other items. Over time he started incorporating colors, different wood types, textures and epoxy inlays. This laminated multi-wood vessel is part of this month’s exhibit at the Orinda Library gallery.

Art Gallery at the Orinda Library: Oil Paintings, Photography, Woodturning and Hats
    The Lamorinda Arts Council presents paintings by Nicole Reader, photography by Farzeen Taban, woodturning by David Fleisig and hats by Denise Goodman in the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library during November.
    Learn more about the artists, Saturday, Nov. 5 from 3 – 5 p.m., where light refreshments will be served.
    East Bay artist, Reader, has 12 paintings on display at the library, with the theme of ‘Looking Out, Looking In.’
    “I use acrylic paints on canvas to make realistic, figurative art,” said Reader. “I base my paintings on photographic references, but I re-envision photos rather than just copying them. Without sentimentality, I paint figures and settings that capture an authentic memory, a passing emotion or a fleeting moment in time. In my paintings I walk a balance: I pin down precise and specific realistic details, but I also incorporate the magic of mood and atmosphere.”
    The exhibit shows acrylic paintings of contemplative people turning their eyes elsewhere. The figures in the paintings are focused on their own environment – internal or external, rather than acknowledging the viewer’s gaze. Some are perched on literal overlooks with dramatic landscapes opening before them; others barely look off the edge of the canvas, their vision turned inward.
    “Even when they’re in action – as they walk, sing, row or listen to a story – the people here appear introspective, lost in their own thoughts and emotions,” she explained.
    For more about Reader and her work, visit www.nicolereader.com.
    Taban’s exhibit, “On the Road,” showcases his travels around the U.S. and Canada.
    “I was born to a family of art lovers,” he said. “Every form of art was revered. In this nurturing environment, I was taught to appreciate the beauty we encounter every day and to share this with others. In my youth, I discovered photography as a hobby. It seemed an ideal method for capturing the beauty of the world.”
    Taban added, “Appreciating the beauty of life, giving and receiving love is not accidental. It is something that hopefully we learn early on in our lives and we must practice each day.”
    View his photos at www.farzeen.com.
    Fleisig, of Berkeley, returns for another woodturning exhibition.
    “I’ve been thinking about this one differently,” he said. “You typically start out doing a vase or something like that with a single piece. And it’s usually ‘round and brown,’ but then I started getting interested in starting with a single piece of wood and constructing something using many pieces of wood. Then I started incorporating color into my pieces, along with texture and carving too. I also started incorporating epoxy into some pieces. Sometimes I incorporate all of them.”
    “Woodturning is more than just ‘round and brown,’” he explained about expanding the definition of his craft by following a path in a trajectory moving in a different direction from traditional woodturning by incorporating more colors, textures and approaches.
    “When I retired, I picked up woodworking. I built a deck, then tables and chairs and about 10-12 years ago, I got turned on to woodturning. I find it endlessly interesting and challenging,” he said.
    He’s a volunteer woodturning teacher at Campolindo High School, where six students study woodturning with him. Three of his former students won first, second and third prizes in woodturning at the California State Fair.
    “There’s little limit to what kids can learn and do if they have a mind to, and I enjoy the results and process a lot,” he said.
    Alameda hat-maker Goodman brings her fun-filled approach with hat-making to the library this month.
    “A hat is the most enjoyable part of the outfit, the icing on the cake,” she said. “Hats invoke a feeling of what is to come. Hats give a glance into a personality and convey playfulness, decorum and fashion. Hats are just fun!”
    Goodman, who has always loved wearing hats, is an active member of the Red Hat Society (RHS). To learn more about RHS, visit www.redhatsociety.com.

(Juleen Lapporte, Photographer)
Dany Knowing is one of 13 portraits taken by award-winning portrait photographer Juleen Lapporte, to be displayed at The Art Gallery at Wilder. Lapporte’s virtual exhibit, titled “Celebrating 40 Over 40,” runs through Jan. 6. Knowing said through her vulnerability, she found herself embracing the inner strength and pure confidence of knowing herself more fully at age 56, than ever before.

Art Gallery at Wilder: Celebrating 40 over 40
    Juleen Lapporte, an award-winning portrait photographer based in Lafayette, is showing “Celebrating 40 Over 40” at The Art Gallery at Wilder, celebrating women over 40 and 13 of their stories.
    “What I’m discovering, now that I’m a little bit older and more one-on-one with women, is that I’m falling in love with having the opportunity to work one-on-one,” she said.
    Lapporte feels older women need to give themselves permission to challenge themselves.
    “I think that women, in particular as we get little bit older, don’t take the time to do this sort of thing for ourselves – where we have an opportunity to be pampered, an opportunity to be introspective and maybe an opportunity to do something outside of our comfort zone to push us a little bit,” she said.
    Lapporte said that during her photo sessions women open up to her, talking about their self-discoveries brought on by aging.
    “There are difficulties, but this is really a fabulous age for women,” she said. “We’re able to let go of a lot of our insecurities and a lot of the things pulling us in different directions, and then we find ourselves really coming into our own.”
    Lapporte noted the diverse range of women coming to her, from women with high-powered jobs to those who stayed home to raise their family and everything in between.
    “I love to celebrate all those types of women,” she said. “Let’s transform the representation of women over 40, showcasing their authenticity, audacity and beauty.”
    Find out more at www.studiojule.com.
    The Wilder Art and Garden Center is located at 20 Orinda Fields Lane. The virtual exhibit runs Nov. 5 through Jan. 6. To schedule a viewing by appointment, contact Curator Ani Breslin at 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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