ALAMEDA -- Autobody Fine Art is hosting popUp Gallery's new exhibition entitled, "In Other Words," at its Park Street location through Aug. 8.
The new show opened July 11 as part of the 2nd Fridays Art Walk in Alameda. Gallery directors Gabriele Bungardt and Mi'Chelle Frederick have again assembled talented artists with a theme of visual storytelling. The exhibition perfectly integrates visual and language arts in a way that is thought-provoking, humorous and easily accessible to the viewer.
Artist Elizabeth Ashcroft exhibits sculpture and jewelry and calls the entire series a "Dissected Library." She literally carves words and phrases from old books and creates new poems and stories.
"I don't feel so much like a writer but an artist using a palette of words," Ashcroft said.
In the piece entitled, "Somewhere," the artist separates pages from an old book, allows gravity to pull the pages down into an accordion form, then strings beads through each page, literally sewing them together in place. She has cut sentences from the book, which jump out at the viewer like thin bookmarks that can be read.
Gallery director Gabriele Bungardt presents still-life paintings in acrylic on canvas and is interested in capturing moments of daily life. In the painting "Endless Summer," the viewer observes someone's kitchen table with an empty coffee mug left on top of a newspaper whose headline reads, "Global Warming." We watch as a dragonfly perches on the edge of the mug, while an ant casually crawls across the paper. Bungardt's use of palette color and shadow conveys deep summer heat, with a subtext of climate change.
Jan Dove presents sensuous, tactile work she calls "book art." In "Wave," Dove creates accordion construction from an artist's journal. She presents figure drawings done in photo shop with layered photos behind them. They are cut out and pop up like colorful children's books.
"I found that I don't enjoy doing everything digitally. As an artist, I must use my hands, so I created this cut out, pop-up book form," Dove said. "At least no trees or paper were harmed with these drawings."
Adam Donnelly presents pinhole photography in his visual literacy series.
"Pinhole photography dates back to 400 B.C.," Donnelly said. "I believe it was a Chinese philosopher who first wrote about light passing through a hole probably during a solar eclipse. Then da Vinci harnessed this same phenomena into the camera obscura, which then led to one-point perspective.
In his self-portrait entitled, "Irish Californians; Historic, Benevolent, Romantic," words from the pages of the book appear to be floating in the background of the photo.
Artist Bill Ford presents a clever and humorous series of drawings he calls "abstract expression with figures." The series features Krazy Kat as the main protagonist in Ford's retelling of "The Brothers Karamazov." Krazy Kat was a cartoon figure created by cartoonist George Harriman. It ran in The New York Times from 1913 to 1944, and was considered the first artistic and intelligent comic strip.
"I started as an abstract expressionist so I am very gestural and spontaneous. Pollack, Kline and deKooning are my early influences. I wanted to represent the two huge, brooding psychological and philosophical masterpieces of the 19th century. These stories are obsessive and epic, yet I found a way to visually tell the stories," Ford said.
Colin Herrick is a printmaker and graphic artist who creates visuals and packaging for limited edition music. His company is called Time Released Sound. In the piece "Listen to My Nerves Hum," he was sent a music CD by Norwegian musician Benjamin Finger. Herrick created an articulated bird mobile made from parts of a grand piano.
Printmaker Dara Lorenzo creates a narrative of her family history and places that she has either grown up in or lived in as an adult.
"My work is about transience and mapping people and places that I know. I include images of both California and Baltimore, where I grew up," Lorenzo said.
Mi'Chelle Frederick, popUp Gallery director, presents two new graphite on paper drawings that combine poetic prose with her drawings.
In the piece "Old Habits," the viewer sees a simple work jacket left over a chair and empty work boots next to the chair. The prose reads, "fifty years of beans and stew and making do. Supper simmers on the stove, her mind wanders."
In the stunning piece entitled "Childhood," we see the artist as a young child next to a lamb, surrounded by tall corn stalks on one half of the canvas. The other half is an intricate drawing of a single corn stalk with prose that reads, "Childhood caught in fading photographs in dreams of sweet corn summers ... "
Éclat, aka Mark Lynch, wrote personal poetry for each gallery attendee on July 11.
"I chose the name Éclat because in French it means 'brilliance or glimmer,' he said. "It is really what I do when I 'read' a person. I try to write a piece that captures a glimmer or essence of a person, not their personality. In that way, I am different from a caricaturist."
Lynch donated his time to the popUp Gallery show and to an art charity of his choosing.
Leah Virsik produces book art and has created meticulous, labor-intensive books and has hand-stitched them. In one piece, entitled "Traveling by Map," she does embroidery chain stitching across a route on a pop-up map. On others, she has stitched plastic over book covers, and has embellished handmade journals.
Noted local author and artist Mary Wings presented bold, colorful paintings she refers to as "visual storytelling."
Wings works in gouache and mixed media in these paintings. The piece entitled "Fin" is enigmatic, not only because of the title, but because it seems to be an old, large, yet colorful book, not yet opened. In each of her paintings she has included a line of text in Spanish. These paintings all refer to her experiences while traveling in Mexico.
What: "In Other Words" at Autobody Fine Art, 1517 Park St., Alameda
When: through Aug. 8, on which day closing reception will be 6 to 9 p.m.; gallery will also be open from noon to 3 p.m. this weekend during the Park Street Art & Wine Faire
Information: Go to popupautobodygallery.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for gallery appointments.