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Auburn Art Walk celebrates 20th anniversary

"Irises" by Connie McLennan
"Irises" by Connie McLennan

AUBURN — In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Auburn Art Walk, PlacerArts and the Auburn Art Walk Committee present special activities throughout downtown and old town on Thursday, Aug. 8, beginning with a 5:30 p.m. ceremony honoring long-time artists and venues at The Arts Building.

Commemorative cakes are served at The Arts Building and Auburn Old Town Gallery. Balloons beckon on the red sandwich board signs in front of participating businesses from 6 to 9 p.m. Renowned artists and their mentees are exhibiting together to acknowledge their involvement in early Auburn Art Walks while ushering in up and coming artists.

Wine tastings are offered at selected venues: Vina Castellano at Roper’s Jewelers; Casque Wines at the California Welcome Center; Fawnridge at OLAS; Bonitata at Avant Garden; Bear River Winery at Cherry Avenue Therapies and Mt. Vernon Winery at Studio 49.

Invited artists and several new venues include Keith Sutter and his sons, Gavin and Tate, showing photographs at Cabe’s 958 while Jennifer Johnson Reilly exhibits her metal sculptures at Avant Garden. Ernie Kleven shows at Placer County Air Pollution Control District. New co-op artists are featured at the Old Town Gallery.

OLAS, the Old Library Art Studios, presents Gerda Francesca’s and Jeanne Culhane’s ceramic sculpture, batik and watercolors, as well as blown glass from Rick and Janet Nicholson. Their group show is entitled, Art’s Evolution. Sharing the show with Rick and Janet Nicholson are Matthew Eaton and Chris Stenzel. Eaton is a former employee of Nicholson Blown Glass, now a glass, metal, ceramics, wood and mixed media artist, who uses traditional Venetian, hot sculpting and different forms of assemblage to create his works. He has been a full time glass blower for nearly twelve years and has created large-scale installations in both residential and corporate settings. Currently working on his BFA in sculpture at San Jose State University, he is a teaching assistant for Cassandra Straubing and the president of the San Jose State Glass Artists Guild.

Chris Stenzel, a current employee of Nicholson Blown Glass, first met Rick at the renowned Pilchuck Glass School in Washington in 2012. Chris grew up in Newcastle and, ready to be with his family and work with the Nicholsons, has since become an integral part of the team. Chris developed a fiery passion for glass at Palomar College in San Diego in 2008. Chris studied with Karen Willenbrink Johnsen, Jasen Johnsen and Czech Republic artist, Martin Janecky, last summer while at Pilchuk, and returned this past January for three weeks to work under Karen and Jasen while also acting as their teaching assistant at Public Glass in San Francisco. This August, Chris will attend Pilchuck once again with Maestro Pino Signoretto, from Murano, and share another class with Rick Nicholson. A life adventure in glass awaits Chris who says, “Glass completes me!”

Also at OLAS is Hannah Nicholson, a recent graduate with a BA in Art and minor in Art History and Visual Culture from UC Santa Cruz. Hungry for new inspiration, she found this desire more than satisfied with her recent travels through South America, where she was influenced by the “mind blowing landscapes.” For three and a half months, making her way from Colombia to Bolivia and finally Argentina, she experienced everything from beachscapes set aflame from the massive setting sun, to the cooling presence of some of the world’s most beautiful mountains.
Created using acrylic and spray paint, this series, Exaggerated Landscapes of South America, is a sneak peek into that time of wonder and growth. Inspired by the vivid scenery experienced throughout her travels, Nicholson seeks to reveal images that are infused with her own intuitive interpretation. The paintings shown in this Auburn Art Walk are just the beginning.

Rocklin artist Connie McLennan is showing at the Auburn City Hall Gallery with local artists Patty Pieropan Dong and Paula Amerine. Their show entitled, Beauty and Bounty of Auburn Gardens, focuses on agriculture and gardens, tying in with the Community Gardens behind City Hall where music, garden explanations and garden art complete the theme.

McLennan’s oil on canvas entitled, Echo of Eternity, depicts a heritage oak in Rocklin estimated to be more than 400 years old. The piece was selected for display at the State Capitol in the California Contemporary Art Collection through September 2014, was also chosen as Best of Show in University Art’s 2012 Open Exhibition in San Jose and received a judge’s choice award at Ironstone Vineyards’ Spring Obsession Show in 2011.

Pieropan Dong noted, “I’m so pleased to be part of the. Auburn Gardens Show at City Hall and the 20th Auburn Art Walk season. The oils and watercolors I’m showing include impressions of local orchards in bloom, tractors, giant pumpkins at the Community Festival, and a view of the Apple Festival at Machado’s Orchard, among other subjects. I very much enjoy getting outdoors with easel and paints, experiencing and capturing local scenes and activities.”

Local nature photographer Grace Bourke shares “Celebrating Light” at the Christian Science Reading Room during August and September. Bourke, a long time photographer said, “Photography is about capturing a moment through the light and sharing it. This collection is all about celebrating the diversity of nature through evocative light. From a sunrise over the ocean to sunlight shining thought a wave or a leaf, all these moments of light are unique treasures.” When asked about her favorite places, she smilingly answered, “My quest for the magic and wonder of light has taken me all around the world and yet my favorite places are right here at home in Northern California.”

Enjoy an evening of vibrant art and conversations with the artists in more than two dozen businesses while being entertained by live music in a number of locations. A free shuttle connects all venues every 20 minutes from 6:30 to 9:30 pm including the additional venues that are a part of this special art walk. The art is for sale and, after the Art Walk, hangs for two months. Auburn Art Walk is a free family-friendly event.

Warren Davis is playing the keys and singing the blues at Herschel Young Park. Davis has a career spanning more than four decades playing with a variety of groups, but his true love is the Blues. This self-taught dynamic performer has played at numerous venues and festivals such as the Monterey Blues Festival, Nor Cal Blues Festival, and Shoreline’s New Orleans by the Bay Festival to name a few. He was also selected by the Sierra Blues Society to perform at the world-famous International Blues Competition in Memphis with the Jeff Watson Band. His charismatic performance style has enabled him to share the stage and perform with artists such as B.B. King, Etta James, The Neville Brothers, Elvin Bishop, Tommy Castro, Coco Montoya, Lydia Pense, Chris Cain, Sista Monica, Terry Hiatt, Terry Hank, John “Broadway” Tucker, Shane Dwight, Jeff Watson Band and many more.

The Pine Street Ramblers provide entertainment at the City Hall Community Garden and Crackerjack Jazz Band plays retro jazz and standards at the Clock Tower. Music and entertainment is provided by the Auburn Arts Commission.

View the online map at PlacerArts.org/programs/artwalk for a complete list of venues and featured artists. Free maps are available at PlacerArts, 808 Lincoln Way, or at any of the participating venues, marked by the red “Auburn Art Walk” signs.

PlacerArts, now celebrating its Jubileee year, is the Arts Council of Placer County, a non-profit, public benefit agency: the catalyst for the arts and humanities in Placer County and the designated State Local partner of the California Arts Council for the County of Placer.

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Posted by on Jul 28 2013.
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