Contemporary wildlife paintings by Sarah Soward are presented in "Colorful Creatures" at the City Arts of San Mateo Gallery at Peninsula Ballet Theatre. The show is on view through Aug. 15.
Soward describes herself as "an artist and designer with a rather profound love of rhinos." She has been painting the creatures off and on since 1999. The show also includes a selection of her other contemporary wildlife paintings.
She is an instructor at the Bay Area Video Coalition and Academy X. Her bachelor's of fine arts is from the California College of the Arts.
A reception for the exhibit will be held at 6:30 p.m. July 30, followed at 7 p.m. by a poetry reading and music event featuring San Mateo poet Maurine Killough and her husband, Daniel Swetlik, a songwriter, artist, and musician, and Thomas J. Burks, a singer/songwriter and actor from Carmel Valley. An open mic period will follow.
The gallery is at 1880 S. Grant St., San Mateo. Hours are 2 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Call City Arts at 650-522-7522, extension 2787, or visit www.cityartsofsan mateo.org.
Photographs by Alan McGee are featured in "Onions Observed -- An Animistic Perspective" at the Portola Art Gallery. A reception for the show will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.
McGee's photo project began, not unexpectedly, in his kitchen when he was making a pasta sauce, which called for half an onion. Later, he purchased a 10-pound bag of onions, which he sliced and photographed.
He saw in the onion halves photographed against a black background "a primitive world view that nonhuman entities possess a spiritual or supernatural essence." Over time, the onions "took on qualities that catalyzed my imagination," he notes.
The show will continue through July 31. The Portola Art Gallery is at the Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Call 650-321-0220 or visit www.portolaart gallery.com.
Student curatorial projects
A reception from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday on the fourth floor of College of San Mateo's College Center (Building 10) celebrates the curatorial projects of three Peninsula Museum of Art interns, former CSM students Eryn Espiritu, Diana McNutt and Justine Wuebold.
The public is invited to the reception and viewing of the exhibit. For directions and a map of the college, visit http://collegeofsanmateo.edu/map/.
The paintings are on a 10-year loan from the museum. College of San Mateo is at 1700 W. Hillsdale Blvd., San Mateo. Call Ruth Waters at the Peninsula Museum of Art at 650-692-2133 or email email@example.com.
An opportunity for "IMAGINING" will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Brisbane Community Center, 250 Visitacion Ave., Brisbane. The free event will be hosted by Beth Grossman.
"IMAGINING" is what Grossman calls a "national movement for equity, empathy and social change through creative cultural action." She invites people to attend who "want our neighborhoods, institutions and landscapes to become more vibrant and welcoming through the power of art."
Those interested should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, contact Grossman at 415-467-1836.
Paintings by members of the Peninsula Outdoor Painters are presented in "POPs in the Orchard" at the Los Altos Library through July 31. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Call 650-948-7683.