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May 8, 2012 > A taste of the odd

A taste of the odd

Submitted By Diane Leys

"That's Odd," an art exhibit featuring the work of two Berkeley artists, Pamela Blotner and Jim Rosenau, opens at Olive Hyde Art Gallery in Fremont with a reception on Friday, May 11.

As the son and grandson of publishers, Jim Rosenau was raised in a house with 5,000 books. Having read an essay, "Lumber," about how the term meant not only wood, but the ideas stored in your head, Jim wondered if books could be made into lumber and what could be made from them. After collecting outdated reference books and novels which attracted him because of the subjects, titles, or the color and texture of the covers, Jim began to creatively experiment with his ideas. The resulting book furniture has earned him a wide following; his work has shown and sold in almost 50 states and countries. A San Francisco Chronicle review of Jim's work reads, "Books that have gone lifeless as literary objects are reborn in Jim Rosenaus's hands... The results are as witty as they are sturdy."

Pamela Blotner's work has been influenced by her experiences as an Illustrator/Mission Specialist on missions for Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, and the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center. Pamela recently returned from Rangoon where she paired drawings and paintings by Burmese artists with works created by Bay Area artists in an exhibition held at the American Center in Rangoon. After bringing these works out of Burma, she plans to exhibit them in the Bay Area with art by local Burmese in exile.

Pamela has exhibited her drawings and sculpture throughout California and in many other states. In addition she is a member of the Graduate Faculty of Meridian University, a member of the faculty of Pixar University at Pixar Animation Studios, and an advisor to the Board of Artist's Rescue Mission in Houston, Texas.

In selecting artists for "That's Odd," Olive Hyde Art Gallery Director and Curator Sandra Hemsworth says, "I was first attracted to the work of both Pamela Blotner and Jim Rosenau for the way in which they use everyday functional objects to create very conceptual, sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical works. There is a sense of maturity and wisdom or truth to their work. You can't help but want to understand the history behind the ideas they are trying to convey, the stories they are attempting to tell. There is also an accomplished level of 'Craftsmanship' in their art-making, and at times also a nod to "Craft" itself. By their careful choice of materials they create both detailed stories and simple statements, all with great meaning, allowing a variety of viewers to connect to humanity through their work."

"That's Odd" offers viewers an opportunity for a different experience in the world of contemporary art, its interpretation and value.

That's Odd
May 11 - June 9
Thursday - Sunday: Noon - 5 p.m.

Opening reception
Friday, May 11
7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Olive Hyde Art Gallery
123 Washington Blvd., Fremont
(510)791-4357
www.fremont.gov/Art/Olive-HydeArtGallery

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