During this historical time of drought, Californians are connected to the water in our region now more than ever before. The Sacramento Delta and San Francisco Bay Area have a unique landscape with rice fields, pastures, orchards, vineyards, farmlands and wetlands juxtaposed to urban centers that emphasize the vulnerability of water issues in California.
As seen from above, our local waterways become a rich patchwork of colors and textures, a collage of velvety greens, rich earth tones and bright blues. The next exhibit at the Gallery at 48 Natoma in Folsom, “Bird’s Eye View,” will show two artists’ work from aerial perspectives with stitched paintings by Linda Gass and watercolors by Elaine Bowers.
The exhibit opens Sept. 5 and continues through Oct. 30.
For artist Bowers, the inspiration for her “Earthscapes” series came from flying in and out of the Sacramento California International Airport. The aerial view provides a perspective very different from the ground. Her aerial landscape paintings in watercolor featuring the Sacramento Delta and surrounding farmlands take on an abstract pattern, while simultaneously reflecting her photorealistic style. From the air one can sense the environment’s delicate beauty and vulnerability.
“Flying in a 1940 Piper Cub allowed me to photograph the incredible aerial views below. Painting these scenes gives me the opportunity to share my observations in hopes the land and earth may be preserved,” said Bowers.
Bowers has won many awards including the AWS Bronze Medal of Honor in the 146th American Watercolor Society Annual International Exhibition in 2013 and is a “Signature Status” member of the National Watercolor Society, has had her work in numerous publications and shown her acclaimed work internationally.
Gass is inspired by the connections between humans, water and the land that sustains them. By blending painting with textile techniques she creates multi-layered aerial landscapes and maps showing the human marks that affect our water resources.
“The aesthetic of beauty is important to my work; it helps make the seriousness of the subject matter more approachable. I work in textiles because of the allure and luster of silk and the way I can sculpt the material through stitching to convey terrain,” said Gass.
The works in this exhibit address water issues in California, including the destruction and restoration of wetlands around San Francisco Bay, the impact of land use on water quality in San Francisco Bay, the effects of diverting too much water from our rivers and streams on native species and the consequences of the 2013 Rim Fire in the Tuolumne River watershed.
Gass exhibits her work internationally in galleries and museums, most recently at the Oakland Museum and at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and her work is widely published in books, magazines, journals and television.
In the adjacent Community Gallery at 48 Natoma, paintings created by the animals from the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary will be on display Aug. 25 through Oct. 30. Led by trained zoo professionals, animals including monkeys, snakes, rodents, bears, tigers and birds are given non-toxic, washable paints and using their paws, crawl, wiggle and stamp on canvases. Their abstract paw prints, claw marks and scratchings became beautiful abstract works of art and will be offered for sale as a fundraiser for zoo programs.
The public is invited to celebrate both exhibits at the free opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5, with refreshments, wine and live jazz saxophone music by Jerry Fairlie.
The Gallery at 48 Natoma is managed by the Folsom Parks and Recreation Department and showcases art by regional and national professional artists, area museum collections and traveling exhibitions —offering high quality original art exhibits to the community that may otherwise not be experienced in this area.
The gallery is free and open to the public and art is available for purchase. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with additional hours from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Free tours can be arranged by appointment. For more information contact Cindy Abraham at (916) 355-7285 or [email protected].
This exhibition is generously sponsored by a grant from Target.