Locals Only

August 18th, 2012

This article originally appeared on August 16, 2012 in The Alamedan. Michele Ellson, editor. Reprinted with additional images.

According to the website of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County, which owns and operates REDUX Studios & Gallery, “‘Neighbors helping Neighbors’ is the heart of everything we do.” So the gallery suspended its usual requirement that artwork feature reclaimed or salvaged material for “Your Friends & Neighbors,” which opened on Friday, August 10 to a packed crowd.

Twenty artists participated in this group show, the only restriction being that they reside in the East Bay.

In June 2011 this SVdP retail outlet was rebranded as an art gallery with the same model successfully employed at venues like Swarm, in Oakland: In addition to the curated area at the fore, there are studios for working artists behind the scenes. In fact, these studios are a huge part of the draw for opening nights at REDUX.

Upon entering the gallery your attention is immediately drawn to Ayako (“Ico”) Harashima’s large, monochromatic oil painting of a gnarled tree, which dominates the main wall. The artist said that she approaches her paintings of trees as though creating a portrait. In depicting every nook and burl of this twisted and gnarled tree she has effectively captured its “personality.”

Ayako Harashima, untitled. Oil on canvas.

Phil Hargrave with his “Torso.” Eucalyptus.

The most entertaining work was contributed by a quartet of pop art painters that includes James Reedy with his surreal cast of characters, Ed Cassel’s “Rip Snorter” pinball art, altered found paintings by Fitz, and Japanese-influenced, candy-inspired paintings by young artist Dana McDonald, currently a sophomore at the University at California, Los Angeles.

Other highlights include Phil Hargrave’s wood sculptures “Global Warming Sun” and “Torso,” carved from eucalyptus, as well as decorative fixtures from Michael Clarke’s rustic backlit koi and dandelion pieces to Joe Servin’s ultramodern “Flying Lights.”

“Your Friends & Neighbors” will be on exhibit through October 7. REDUX Studios & Gallery is located at 2315 Lincoln Avenue. They are open Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (510) 865-1109.

Michael Singman-Aste
Postdiluvian Photo

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