SFMOMA is closed, but artist studios are open! The weekend of June 1-2 Pro Arts kicked off their annual East Bay Open Studios. EBOS continues next weekend as well, so you still have a chance to get your fix of creativity. With participation by Alamedans continuing to grow, there are lots of familiar faces, but some surprises as well.
Newcomers include Jamie Banes, one of eight artists exhibiting at 1517 Park Street, home to Autobody Fine Art and PopUp Gallery. Banes is the manager of the fabrication shop for the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley, and architecture figures strongly in his work. His “Batch Plant for Vladimir,” composed of found objects, thermoplastic, and electronic components, is an homage to Vladimir Yevgraphovich Tatlin, a Russian architect whose “Monument to the Third International” is among the artist’s influences.
In January Banes moved into the studio formerly occupied by painter Marjorie Lynn Wagner, and all the pieces on display were fabricated since that time. Next weekend Banes’s studio will only be open on Sunday, but there’s plenty other worthwhile work at the venue, most notably paintings and drawings by Gabriele Bungardt and Mi’Chelle Fredrick, PopUp Gallery’s founders.
Be sure to check out Marjorie Lynn Wagner’s new studio at 2515 Santa Clara Avenue #103, where she is unveiling paintings from her “Groups” series of endangered animals, from dragonflies to bats to wolves.
Also new to Alameda’s open studios is Oakland-based Margo White, who is hosted by textile artist Susan Laing at her studio at 728 Santa Clara Avenue. Collage may seem like an “easy” art form, but it’s pretty darned difficult to do well. White’s collaged work, as well as her etchings, are understated and elegant, fanciful and thoughtful.
Speaking of undervalued art forms, Daisy Kiehn’s one-of-a kind dolls at the “Goose Cottage” at 1610 Minturn Street were among the most delightful pieces on display anywhere. These cloth-over-copper tubing sculptures are distinguished by their precise poses, many drawn from yoga. An art teacher for many years, Kiehn did not feel the need to work from live models, but she did run the poses past her daughter, a yoga practitioner, to verify their authenticity.
The weather is gorgeous, kids are getting out of school, and the economy sucks, so it’s time to plan that dream staycation. Look no further than the studio of Marvin Dalander at 2021 Clement Avenue. It’s packed with paintings from his travels through Italy and France, including a beautiful landscape of Cinque Terra painted just before the devastating storm damage in 2011.
If you prefer a beautiful island destination outside the ’501, how about Bay Farm Island? Two painters open their studios again this year, Patti Heimburger at 155 Justin Circle (Saturday only) and Alfredo Tofanelli at 406 Baywood Road. They’re a whopping two miles from their nearest colleague on the Big Island. Consider it an adventure.
EBOS 2013 concludes the weekend of June 8-9, from 11 AM – 6 PM. A complete list of participating Alameda artists and an interactive map can be found on the Pro Arts website, http://www.proartsgallery.org.