April 2012 Highlights

April 18th, 2012

I’m no longer writing for Alameda Journal, but there’s so much art in this island city that I’ve decided to at least point out highlights on a semi-regular basis. This month:

6th annual Alameda on Camera at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru, April 6 – May 26.

Barbara Landis, "Bare Bones," 2012. Photo.

Each of 48 artists photographed their randomly selected portion of Alameda over a 48-hour period. Alameda is so damned beautiful that there’s always the temptation to just take a pretty picture, so naturally there was the usual parade of Victorians (and other less glamorous architecture).

The best work, however, came from shooters who took a closer look at quotidian elements. Some were rewarded for this approach. “Bare Bones” by Barbara Landis is a lovely, mirror-image, grey-scale inkjet on tapestry of wintry trees, and received a special “Nature, Nature Everywhere” award. In a stunning twist, Joanne Clapp Fullager received the “1000 Words” award for the narrative quality of her “Apocalypse Alameda” in which the town appears ablaze, the artist herself appearing in the photo as a lone, shadowy survivor.

Two other standouts were the richly saturated and highly abstracted “Backdoor to the Hospital” by Marc Lecard, and “Where do you think you’re going?”, a nicely composed collage of traffic signs by Xan Blood Walker.

Surreal Visions : Works by Arianna Siegel and Bill Weber at the Alameda Main Library, 1550 Oak Street, April 1 – 28.

Arianna Siegel, "Strange Days." Oil on canvas.

Despite being “unjuried,” the exhibits at the Alameda Public Library rarely fail to please. This month the work is especially satisfying: Surreal oil paintings and pencil drawings by Arianna Siegal and Bill Weber. Siegel’s statement reads that “her work exhibited here comprise two seemingly disparate focuses: surrealism, or magic realism, and rock stars. However, through both she attempts to do similar things – transport the viewer into another mindset.” Her work is indeed magical, as well as eerie and consistently creepy. In a very good way.

The Dali-esque paintings and drawings of Bill Weber, aka “El Gallo,” address subjects from Einstein’s brain to the stupidity of war. They are provocative, maniacally detailed, and masterfully rendered.

This show is not to be missed.

Connect 10 at Gray Loft Gallery, at 2889 Ford Street, 3rd Floor, Oakland, April 13 – May 25

A second great show from Jan Watten at her Gray Loft Gallery in Oakland’s Jingletown neighborhood, just a stone’s throw over the Park Street Bridge and practically in Alameda. This month she exhibits an array of media by 10 women who have all, at one time or another, occupied a space at 2889 Ford Street.

All the work is solid, but particularly noteworthy are the charcoal, watercolor, and pastel pieces by Amy Sollins, a delicate mixed-media installation by Ruth Boerefijn, Andrea Voinot’s series of pastel and oil stick on paper, and oil on wood paintings by Suzy Barnard. The entire show was brilliantly and poignantly made cohesive by Lynn McGeever’s “Ford Street Girls,” (sic), ten acrylic on paper paintings of each of the women taking part in the show.

Lynn McGeever, "Ford Street Girls" (detail), 2012. Acrylic on paper.

Michael Singman-Aste
Postdiluvian Photo

2 responses to “April 2012 Highlights”

  1. Les V says:

    These shows sound great!
    And, as always, I love your writing.

  2. Barbara Bell says:

    Good tidbits re: the exhibits. I love the title of Barbara Landis’ piece, as well.

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