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September 18, 2007 > Artists get ready to open Hayward studios

Artists get ready to open Hayward studios

By Mekala Raman

Hayward Arts Council will treat visitors to exquisite artwork by more than 30 local artists from Hayward, San Leandro and Castro Valley at their 14th Annual Hayward Open Studios. Artists are busy painting and sculpting preparing to host visitors to their studios featuring ceramics, painting, photography, glass, sculpture, jewelry, and fiber art. Along with refreshments, some artists will demonstrate how they craft their pieces. Works on display can be enjoyed or purchased by visitors. Arts Council offices, Sun Gallery, Linekin Building, and Adobe Arts Center will display art works of studios unable to accommodate the public.

Lenore Brest, a member of the Hayward Arts Council for about a decade, will be displaying some of her pottery for the event. Although her love for this art was strong, she, like many of the other artists, had to take a "day job" to make a decent living. "I had to do various other jobs before - basically anything that pays," she says with a chuckle. Later, Brest earned a degree in art at California State University, East Bay. She also became a graphic artist for the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency.

Now retired, Brest has found time to focus on pottery. As a member of the Hayward Area Recreation Department, she took ceramics classes at the Adobe Arts Center and was asked to join the Hayward Arts Council. She has been teaching sculpting, hand-building (using a rolling pin to work the clay), and throwing pots (forming a pot on a wheel) at the Adobe Arts Center. One of her pieces this year is a "totem." To make a totem, Brest uses a solid, nonmalleable rod and makes pottery pieces with one hole through them. She then slides the pieces down the rod through these holes and stacks them. She likes to make her creations colorful and uses what she calls "garden art."

The event will also feature jewelry and photography by Francisca Shaw. Shaw joined the Hayward Arts Council at the encouragement of her friend and fellow artist Sharon Dwyer. She likes to get old pendant pieces and jewelry at antique stores, flea markets, and thrift stores and use them to make new jewelry, which she calls "Renewed Jewelry." She also likes to find unique objects that can serve as a piece of jewelry. Like Brest, she had a different job before she started making jewelry; she worked for the SBC telephone company for 32 years.

After retirement in 2000, Shaw had more time to work on making jewelry. She started working again as a contractor in 2004, but she still manages to continue with her art, which she finds relaxing and satisfying. "It feels good when I look at the piece when it is finished. Sometimes I think to myself, 'I made that?'" Shaw remarks. She feels even better when people buy her work because, as she says, "It validates me and my worth. I feel as if I have given a piece of myself to that person." Although Shaw feels that she is a novice at photography, she travels quite a bit and enjoys taking pictures wherever she goes. As of now, she is focusing on making cards out of the pictures, but may eventually make prints and fram them. More importantly, she likes to tell people the story behind the pictures and share her memories. Shaw will be sharing a studio with her friend Sharon for the event.

Suzanne Scott of Castro Valley will be displaying her Fiber Art for the Open Studios. She recently joined the publicity committee for the Hayward Arts Council. Previously, Scott was only able to work with art intermittently while working full time. However, when she was laid off in 2002, an opportunity opened for her to make decisions about the rest of her life. She went back to school and studied Transformative Arts at John F. Kennedy University in Berkeley. Her studies emphasized the process of making the art and allowed for more emotional involvement than just producing art for selling. Even though Scott does sell her pieces, she benefits from the healing qualities and balance of life that the art provides. She has started working full time again, but still finds occasion to make her fiber art. This type of art is textile or fiber-based, usually wall hangings or three-dimensional sculptures. Scott's pieces for the Open Studios will be canvas with fiber or textiles added to it in some way. Her pieces are representational or abstract.

Other artists opening their studios to visitors are Kristen Egan, Harriet Moore, Barbara Berrner, Marlo Duffy, Cecil Gertz, Kathy Ramirez, Claudia Schwalm, Aran Mimram, Lydia Osias, M. Barta Atkins, Jean Bidwell, Kathy Ries, Alfredo D'Annunzio, Bertha Jones, Steve Amaral, Valerie Snart, Christine Bender, Valerie Caveglia, Veronica Dondero, Leona Nichandros, Phillip Owen, Clarice Roberts, Htain Win, Elizabeth Chavoor, Sharon Dwyer, Robert Wolff, Georgia Whitaker, and Suzanne Gayle. All are proud to display their work to the public and happy to talk with and answer any questions the public may have.

A free brochure and map of the location of the studios will be available at the Hayward Arts Council, Hayward libraries, Hayward Book Shop, Sun Gallery and Adobe Art Center. Join these artists for this spectacular event.

Hayward Open Studios
Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
(510) 538-2787
No admission fee

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