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August 27, 2008 > Art association highlights local artists

Art association highlights local artists

By Giovanni Albanese Jr.

The San Leandro Art Association (SLAA) has been displaying local artists' work to the public for more than 50 years. Its purpose is "to encourage the beginner, assist the advanced worker and present to the public the several very fine professional artists who live here."

Established in 1956, its first president, Faye Hammons guided the group to help others enjoy art. Association sponsored classes and field trips for the handicapped were developed in 1956. Creation of "The Dorothy Cunningham Memorial Fund" is evidence that the association's spirit and purpose is alive today.

The first public association art show was held October of 1956 at the City Plaza. A feature from the original show that continues is "Art in Action" in which members demonstrate their skills to the public. Today, SLAA has two open shows a year, in which members display their work at the San Leandro Library in April and October. Saturday, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Aug. 31, will mark the 49th edition of the "Festival of Fine Art." Proceeds will be used to encourage art in local schools.

Originally called the "Annual Show," SLAA members display sculptures, oil and acrylic paintings, watercolor, graphics and photography. The show remained at City Plaza through 1964. As of 1971, Casa Peralta became the home of "Fiesta De Los Arts" (Festival of the Arts).

Three separate contests are judged at festival: SLAA Member Show, SLAA members only; an Invitational Show, including prominent artists invited by the SLAA; and Open Show for all artists.

All paintings on display at this year's event have been judged. Judges for the "49th Annual Festival of Fine Art" contest were Van Waldron, an acrylic painter from San Leandro; Grace Rankin, a watercolor painter from Fremont Art Association; and Carol Tarzier, an oil painter and sculptor from Oakland. There is also a youth show (K-12) which is judged by the 11-member SLAA Board of Directors.

Winners included Ferenc Besze, for the work, "Hiking in the Sierra," entered in the Invitational Show; and "Thames Twilight" by Lynn Kirby, in the Watercolor section of the Open Show. Kirby also took the prize of "Best of Show." All winners are awarded a monetary prize.

All the artwork is 100 percent original, and will be on display for the festival, which runs from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Aug. 31. In addition to the gallery, a silent auction held on Saturday, Aug. 30, from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. All artwork on display is original.

The festival will offer refreshments for guests at a small fee that will support the festival. Pipe music will be played for entertainment. The event is free and plenty of free parking is available.

For more information about the San Leandro Art Association and the "49th Annual Festival of Fine Art," call Secretary of SLAA Schatz Robideaux at (510) 357-4650.

San Leandro Art Association Festival of Fine Art
Saturday, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Aug. 31
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
(Silent Auction: Saturday, Aug. 30, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
Casa Peralta
384 W. Estudillo Ave., San Leandro
(510) 357-4650

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