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April 21, 2010 > The Wild, Wild West

The Wild, Wild West

By Mona Shah

America's western frontier has been a vital part of this country's myths and reality from the earliest exploration beyond the territory of the first colonies to the wide expanse of western prairies and deserts.

Sun Art Gallery's latest exhibit "The Wild, Wild West II" brings the fascinating history, lore and culture of the great American frontier to life. If you love horses, wide open spaces, and the thrill of the rodeo, this show featuring Western and Native American images is a must see.

Curator Amy Smith's vision for this exhibit is to demonstrate the reality of a vital rural component in our area, helping patrons to broaden their horizons as different ways of life are depicted in the show.

A majority of the artists are local, but one of them, Htain Winn is from Burma. Winn is known for his paintings of cowboys in particular. Participating artists include: Benny Alba, Monica Garcia, Larry Gipson, Frances Grant, Celia Huddleston, Esther Jobrack, Ranjani Mohana, Colin Maisonpierre, Joan Miller, Samantha Meyers, Jane Neilson, Fred Roessler, Sheila Tajima-Shadle, Pat Van Ornum-Oakman, Htain Win, Kathleen Winker, and Juliet Wood.

Painter Mani Narayan expresses himself with a vibrant joie de vivre through his art. Continually influenced by the ever changing world around him, and his rich cultural heritage from India, Narayan creates bold images that cannot be ignored. He has a contemporary style with minimalist overtones. Horses are a common subject which he turns into iconic entities.

Artist Benny Alba states, "Every work that I create has a challenge to myself in it. The challenge maybe the size of the art, the materials used, the colors and their combinations, the shapes, the symbols, and/or the message I intend to convey."

Artist Juliet Wood's formal training was in the textile arts. Wood's work is unapologetically about art as a means of spiritual journeying. "I now work primarily on 'frescoed canvas' I craft in my studio. I call this 'frescoed canvas' because it is a direct descendant of the ancient frescoes of the renaissance masters. I make, cure, and dry the canvas, then cut and mount it on board. The power of metaphysical plaster or (clay) and its ability to enhance raw pigments (secco), as well as a variety of other color techniques gives the paintings a unique presence."

Esther Jobrack squeezes in landscape and renovation design projects for friends, and gets inspired in the middle of the night to hit the studio and put what she calls "the snapshot of the essence" down on paper. Sometimes the inspiration is subtle and delicate.

An artist reception will be held on April 24. There will be paintings for sale and refreshments will be served.

Art displayed includes work in oils, acrylics, photographs and wood block prints.

A School Tour (90 min.) can be scheduled for $125 per class of up to 33 students and includes an art project. Contact Christine Bender at (510) 581-5040 for information.

The Wild, Wild West II
April 14-May15
Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays:
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fridays: Noon to 6 p.m.

Artists Reception:
Saturday, April 24
2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Sun Art Gallery
1015 E. St., Hayward
(510) 581-4050

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