Abobe art gallery exhibition: Looking forward, the future of art

Marcus Bishop,

CSEUB Alumni Lee Daguman’s acrylic piece “Lady” was one of many pieces on display. “Evoking beauty and depth through a faceless but feminine hair style hovering amidst vibrant splashes of color over a small, single feminine silhouette,” described fellow exhibit attendee Bruce Roberts. Equally impressive was a piece by botanic artist Kathleen Hardwig. Her work “Red Flowering Gum” utilizes watercolor to bring to life the branch of a flower. “But no green. The many natural shades of green were created through the use of other colors,” explained Hardwig.

“Art fans everywhere have a wonderful opportunity to see the breadth and talent of East Bay Area artists,” said Bruce Roberts . From January 21 through March 4, Adobe Art Gallery in Castro Valley will present “Looking Forward,” a six-week art gallery exhibition that is open to the public.

Before becoming an art space, the Adobe Art Gallery belonged to Castro Valley’s first elementary school. The Adobe building was leased to the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District(HARD) to satisfy the need for an art center, according to the Adobe Art Gallery.

The organization A.R.T Inc. is located within the Adobe Art Gallery in Castro Valley. The organization was founded in 1984 by a group of artists at the Adobe Gallery. The acronym A.R.T stands for “Artists Relaxing Together.” According to the Adobe Gallery, the group was created so that Bay Area artists could come together to support one another. This was also to provide a place to exhibit their work.  The group often hosts free art demonstrations, exhibitions, and social events. The organization is funded by its own members as well as grants issued to them by the Alameda County Arts Foundation.

The Adobe Art Gallery exhibition featured 2D and 3D abstract, visual and fine art on various media. The theme “Moving Forward” is described by A.R.T Inc. member Valerie Snart as “a view to the future.” The exhibition will feature the work of 57 Bay Area A.R.T Inc. artists.

Exhibition attendees can expect to see the work of Artist Guild East Bay vice president and watercolor specialist Barbara Berner. The exhibition will also feature the work of landscape and aviation artist Attila Cziglenyi, a recipient of multiple local, regional and national art awards. Additionally, impressionist painter Biz Rasam, born in Kabul, Afghanistan, will have his work featured. “My work is mainly representational and influenced by my surroundings and culture,” said Rasam.

Of the 57 entrants, five received judge Angela Johal’s award of merit. Award recipients include Mercie Harris’ “Breeze”, Nick Calarco’s “Star of India”, Lynne Shephard’s “Migration”, Lisa Rigge’s “When Life was Simple”, and Kay Athos’ “Secrets”.  In addition to the merit award, the five recipients also a received a $100 cash prize.

Johal is an artist and San Jose State University Alumni who is represented by the Slate Contemporary Gallery in Oakland, as well as the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. Artistically, she is recognized for her use of recycling materials and geometric figures. Her artist’s portfolio is known for its uniqueness and variety.

Dozens of Bay Area residents came to the exhibit on Saturday.

“This exhibition is a perfect representation of the diversity that the Bay Area possesses. You can definitely interpret something about the artist’s cultural or personal background by looking at their work,” said Oakland residents Shawn and Isabella.

Each piece of art uniquely represented its artist. Honorably mentioned by Judge Johal and one of my favorites was Marie Kulka’s “Early Morning Fog Glow.” This panoramic artwork depicts a view of the bay at dawn. Kulka’s composition makes you feel as if you are there, in person, viewing the bay at dawn.

A.R.T Inc. Vice President Winnifred Thompson also showed her piece entitled “Sun,” which combines oil, pastels, wall compound, and gauze. “Experimenting with color and expressing myself in a free and uninhibited way is invigorating,” Thompson said. “Creating dramatic texture and combining different mediums that can be challenging, exciting, and ultimately fun.”

The Adobe Art Gallery resides behind a park, so it’s hidden from pedestrians and traffic.

Despite its accessibility, A.R.T Inc. member Valerie Snart refers to the gallery as “One of Castro Valley’s best kept secrets.”  Opening day will run from 1 to 3 pm. Regular hours will extend from 11am until 3pm and by appointment by calling (510)881-6735. The exhibition is only open Thursday through Sunday, and admission is free.