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May 14, 2013 > Group show shares "A Triptych of Art"

Group show shares "A Triptych of Art"

Submitted By Jean Witzke

Foothill Gallery is currently hosting "A Triptych of Art" featuring three exhibits: "Wanxian Chinese Art Class," "Vigil," and "Project EAT." The exhibit, which remains on view through May 17, brings together very different groups of local Bay Area artists.

"Wanxian Chinese Art Class" shows the Chinese brush paintings by students of Chinese-born Chen Wanxian, a multifaceted artist. He explains that in Chinese brush paintings "You only use one stroke of the brush to paint. It is not like oil painting, where you layer the paint on the canvas." He uses his paintings as an example for his students. A forest of bamboo with a single bird, an explosion of pink cherry blossoms, plump baby chicks with tiny beaks, and statuesque cranes are just some of the subjects of the brush paintings. Mr. Chen instructs his aspiring artists to paint the simplicity of the natural world with style and elegance to create a serene quality that pleases the eye. The exhibit includes Mr. Chen's paintings, student art, and a display of all the materials needed for this type of painting. Mr. Chen teaches Chinese brush painting at his home in Castro Valley.

"Vigil" was created as part of a Global Art Project for Peace in 2010. Brainstorming sessions with Linda Longinotti, Peggy Harris, and other artists created the design-12 life-size plywood figures, each painted by different artists, joined together in a circle. Linda was inspired by the book "Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace" and also by the international organization Women In Black. "The piece is the vigil," says Longinotti, who designed each figure, cut them out with a jigsaw, and painted one side black. The fronts of the figures were then finished by her fellow artists according to their own interpretation. "Some figures have wax, paint, even barbed wire on them." The juxtaposition of the black back of the figures with the multicolored, cross-cultural dress of the figures makes "Vigil" a strong statement for peace and hope in the world.

"Project EAT" (Educate, Act, Thrive) displays the unique photographs taken by 12 and 13 year old students at Cesar Chavez Middle School. Fred Frazier, Youth Development Specialist, wanted photographic images that convey a message of improving health and wellness. "The photographs became part of a series of studies done in school regarding nutrition, exercise, hydration. Establishing friendships and working with each other was something the students added," says Frazier. Along with the photographs, the students write a description to complete the story. All of this is done through the students' perspective and produces delightful, spontaneous and imaginative images and stories. A picture of water gushing out of a drinking fountain, a silhouette dancing inside the lines and circles drawn on the pavement of a basketball court, and the garden at Cesar Chavez School make up some of the over 20 photographs at the exhibit.

A Triptych of Art
Through May 17
10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Thursday - Saturday
Foothill Gallery
22394 Foothill Blvd., Hayward
(510) 538-2787

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