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February 27, 2007 > Green Shutter Gallery fends off winter blues with engaging art

Green Shutter Gallery fends off winter blues with engaging art

By Julie Grabowski

The Green Shutter Gallery looks out onto Hayward's Main Street from appropriately colored awnings amid retail shops and restaurants to offer up an array of artwork from talented locals. The forerunner to the Green Shutter was established by a volunteer group of art lovers including John O'Lague, Marlene Teel-Heim, and Virginia Mackenzie, and took its first breaths in a small room of the city's main library in 1983. It eventually moved to its current downtown location in 1996, adopting their name from the building's Green Shutter Hotel.

All participating artists at the gallery are in-state residents and mostly live within Alameda County. The Green Shutter serves as their showcase. "We try to focus on and highlight our members," says Valerie Snart, President of the Hayward Arts Council whose office shares quarters with the gallery. However, it is not necessary for showing artists to be members. People are always welcome to bring in their work, and the gallery puts on a New Members and Emerging Artists show during the summer. "We have never been short of work," Snart says.

The gallery operates on a rotational basis with four shows per year of varied artwork accompanied by an opening reception. Two walls are always reserved for the artwork of Hayward Arts Council members, while the third wall is labeled the "feature wall" and contains pieces for a specific show. All shows are non-juried and any discipline is accepted at the discretion of the Hayward Arts Council. Submissions with political or religious statements, nudes, or depictions of violence will not be considered.

There are currently 18 artists displaying their work in the gallery's Winter Member Show, running through April 20. The offerings are diverse, including photography, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, ceramics, gourds, jewelry, and a colorful curtain of scarves. Carol Jones Brown is a standout with her mixed media collage "Radicchio," a beautifully enticing piece composed of gorgeously rich hues. The black and white woodcut prints of Robert Wolff are also of interest, as well as the watercolor "Old Timer" by Atilla Czigleny, and the pastel "St. Thomas Sunrise" of Elizabeth Chavoor. Guests can discover a little more of the artists via a gallery notebook containing brief biographies and other interesting tidbits.

Two shelves on the back wall of the gallery contain the Petite Boutique, which offers small pieces of artwork for sale, such as miniature paintings, pottery, and decorative wood and paint boxes. There is also a carousel of artist note cards available.

Snart, a jewelry maker herself for 20 years, considers the Green Shutter Gallery to be a "visual enhancement" for downtown. "We think that the Hayward area deserves to look at fine art."

The Hayward Arts Council is a volunteer organization that promotes the arts in Castro Valley and San Lorenzo in addition to the city of Hayward, and always welcomes help from interested parties. For more information or upcoming shows call (510) 538-2787 or visit www.haywardarts.org.

Winter Member Show
February 2-April 20
Wednesday through Saturday
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Green Shutter Gallery
22654 Main Street, Hayward
(510) 538-2787

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