Alameda Women Artists' eighth annual Alameda Museum Exhibit features three dozen works by 19 local artists.
One piece that immediately catches the eye is Patricia Edith's mixed media "Out of Sight," the largest work in the show. It shows society segmented with much finer granularity than the traditional upper, middle and lower classes, dividing them instead into nine layers.
"I've always been obsessed with that subject but I read this book by Paul Fussell called 'Class,' and he came up with nine layers, which I thought was much more helpful," Edith explained.
In her piece, both the top and bottom layers bear the stenciled words "OUT OF SIGHT. Both are represented by bars: The ones at the top are at the entrance to the gated communities and, at the bottom, the bars of prison cells.
"I've always wanted to do something on the prison system because I just think it's outrageous," Edith said.
Briana Learnihan's "Shadows" is a mixed-media collage of 42 identically sized cards, many wrapped in glittering string, mounted in neat rows and columns.
Its tidy presentation belies the fact that they are crafted entirely from recycled material, from magazines to Cheez-It boxes.
It is perhaps the most "decorative" piece in the show, and would look classy in any living room.
Miriam Infinger exhibits three encaustic or "hot wax" paintings. Of this medium she said, "I love it. You can't control it ... I like the fact that it tells
She said that her "Beach Find," "Unearthed" and "Captured Dreams" are not explicitly related although, "Probably everything I do almost has an element of the visual aspect of earth in abstract ... An abstract of anything you see out in nature."
Infinger only recently began creating encaustic paintings, inspired by her friend and AWA colleague Teddy Goldsworthy-hanner, who exhibits two less abstract but similarly pastoral acrylic paintings, "Chipping Sparrow" and "Flower of Power."
Another highlight are Barbara James' two delicate Chine-collé prints, "Flowers in Vase" and "Fish.
Unfortunately these lovely pieces are not for sale, but the rest of the work in this exhibit are, most reasonably priced.
There is also a silent auction of pieces contributed by the artists, with proceeds supporting the Alameda Women Artists' scholarship fund for high school students.
The exhibit ends Aug. 27. The Alameda Museum is at 2324 Alameda Ave. 510-521-1233.