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August 16, 2011 > State of the Arts

State of the Arts

By Margaret Talt, Fremont Cultural Arts Council

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." Pablo Picasso

Forty-eight plus twelve equals sixty and still counting. That's sixty pieces of public art in Fremont. In addition to the three sculptures featured in last month's column, here are three more public works to illustrate the city's wonderful artistic offerings.

A graceful and mysterious abstract can be seen in front of Boston Scientific Company at 47215 Lakeview Boulevard. Any further south and the sculpture would be in Milpitas, which has many of its own beautiful public works of art. Nothing is known about the source of this sculpture; unfortunately, too many companies install art selections without interest in the art other than to check one more item off their to-do list, then keep no record or information about it.

To see art that fools the eye you need to be inside the Fremont Bank Aqua Adventure Waterpark located at 40500 Paseo Padre Parkway. John Pugh, the artist, specializes in Trompe L'Oeil paintings; the French term means deceptively real painting.

Pugh attended California State University at Chico, received his BA in 1983, and was awarded their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003. He has received numerous public and private commissions in the U.S., Taiwan, and New Zealand. His particular mural style inspired the term, "Narrative Illusionism." In his website statement, Pugh says, "It seems almost universal that people take delight in being visually tricked."

One piece's name, "The Messenger," is a bit of a play on words. The artist is a woman from Thailand, Taaro Seesurat. Seesurat did this piece in memory of her father, Sompop Seesurat, and it is located in front of Wat Buddhanusorn Temple, 36054 Niles Boulevard. "The Messenger" contains a mailbox (thus the title) and the tail feathers show the address number. Seesurat studied architecture at Silpakorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, and has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the State University in Logan, Utah.

If you like imaginative art, you will enjoy the beautiful mosaics of Kathleen McCabe-Martin, currently on display at the Fremont Cultural Arts Council located at 3375 Country Drive. McCabe-Martin has been a mosaic artist for over six years, and studied at the Institute of Mosaic Arts in Oakland. She has also studied with master teachers Laurel Skye (well-known in the mosaic world and author of "Mosaic Renaissance"), Vatican-trained Enzo Aiello, and Australian Sandy Robertson. Her work can be purchased at Fremont Flowers, 37085 Fremont Boulevard in Fremont. In addition to creating mosaic art, McCabe-Martin is a fifth grade teacher at Mission San Jose Elementary School. Her art can be viewed at the arts council Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. through September 16th. The exhibit is free.

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