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October 8, 2008 > An autumnal feast for the senses

An autumnal feast for the senses

By Vidya Pradhan

It may be autumn, but all the pretty colors are not just on maple trees outside your window. On Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19, the Hayward Arts Council invites us to this year's Hayward Area Open Studios, the 15th year of the event. Art-lovers are in for a treat as over 40 artists exhibit and demonstrate their skills in various locations throughout the city of Hayward.

Denise Oyama Miller of Fremont is one of the artists selected to display her work. A multi-genre artist, she paints in watercolors and has been working in the textile arts for over 30 years. Some of the unique items she brings to Open Studios are hand-dyed silk wraps, art clothes and cute socks made on a World War I machine - great gifts for this holiday season. She also has a wide selection of watercolors and pastels. "I am part of a group called Artists 7," says Denise. This group of artists will exhibit together at member Jean Bidwell's house in Hayward.

Open Studios are a delight to both the artists and the visitors. For artists like Denise who show through galleries, this is an opportunity to meet with art aficionados and get feedback. "We get to meet such wonderful people," she says. For the visitors, it is a great way to see a variety of art in a small amount of time and meet the creators. Apart from painting, textiles and jewelry, there are also ceramics, sculptures and photographic exhibits. Refreshments including wine are provided at each location and as one artist joked, "You might want to consider having a designated driver!"

This is Denise's first year as a participant of Hayward Open Studios though she has exhibited earlier in a similar program in Fremont. "Open Studios are great fun," she says, "Visitors will have a great deal to look at because we have such a diverse group of artists presenting together. There will be jewelry, painted gourds, metal sculptures, and a gamut of paintings from silk to watercolors." Price points range from as low as $28 to large paintings in the 1000's, so there is something to satisfy every budget.

Francie Shaw is another artist exhibiting this year. Her interest is in handmade jewelry and she offers her creations under the brand Renewed Jewelry. "I like to find old pieces like necklaces and pendants and use them to create contemporary works of art," says Francie. She scours flea markets and antique shops for her finds. "Any object with a hole in it, I can turn into jewelry," she adds with a laugh.

Shaw was part of Hayward Area Open Studios last year and has wonderful memories of the event. She is exhibiting her pieces ranging in price from $8 to the $50s at fellow artist Liz Chavoor's place which can be found on the artist map provided by the Hayward Arts Council. The Hayward Arts Council specifies distance limits between studios to facilitate travel between venues.

This year marks a departure from last year's event in that interested visitors can get a sneak preview at the Green Shutter Gallery in Hayward beginning on October 10. Each artist will display one artwork for this preview. A reception will be held on October 11 from noon to 3 p.m. at the gallery - the artists will be present.

Brochures with maps and samples of the art are available at and at the Green Shutter Gallery, 22654 Main St. in Hayward or call Hayward Arts Council at (510) 538-ARTS.

Hayward Area Open Studios
October 18 and19
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Preview: Oct 10-11 and 15-18
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Artist reception: Oct 11
Noon to 3 p.m.

Green Shutter Gallery
22654 Main St., Hayward
(510) 538-ARTS

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