Take a tour of the world without leaving Folsom thanks to its new exhibit, Wish You Were Here. “Vernazza, Italy,” a sketch by Phillip McDonel. Courtesy art

Entertainment

Gallery’s exhibit takes visitors on vacation

By From page A6 | July 12, 2017

Summer is traditionally the time for vacations, but if you can’t go abroad this time of year do the next best thing and come to the Gallery at 48 Natoma in Folsom to see the newest exhibit, Wish You Were Here.

Three Northern California artists have specialized in subjects from their many travels. Beautiful towering cathedrals, colorful houses clustered on hillsides and quaint city cafés are just a few of the scenes portrayed by Barbara Kempe watercolors, David Crosby photographs and Phillip McDonel sketchbooks.

The exhibit opens July 14 and continues through Aug. 31.

Kempe has traveled extensively in Portugal, Spain, Morocco, France, Italy, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Mexico, as well as the U.S., with plein-air painting as the focus of every trip. She has sketched in wide-ranging locations, from sitting on a riverbank in Uruapan, Mexico, to looking out over the balcony of St. Mark’s in Venice, Italy. With these travels as inspiration, exotic foreign locales have been featured in a new series of travel-themed studio paintings. The paintings integrate complex graphic shapes with vibrant exaggerated colors to create strong value contrasts and unexpected color combinations for a dramatic and unique personal statement.

“My painting has always been devoted to the challenge of transparent watercolor,” Kempe said. “I love exploring the diverse properties of this elusive medium, and I look forward to the beginning of each new painting as beginning a new adventure.”

Kempe is a signature member of both the National Watercolor Society and Watercolor West and has exhibited and won awards in many regional and international juried competitions.

Crosby has traveled to dozens of European nations including Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Netherlands and Belgium, and said he thinks visiting Europe can be a real history lesson.

“I never tire of being surrounded by all the antiquity and seeing how other cultures live,” the photographer said.

“The camera cannot see like the human eye,” Crosby continued. “It is up to the photographer to develop his images in such a way as to mimic what the eye can do — reach into the shadows and tone down the brightness, control contrast and of course determine the composition. There is no substitute for starting out with a good image but the artistry continues with the development of that image. That is the difference between snapshots and fine art.”

Crosby has been taking photographs since 2005 and continues to love the mountains and the ocean in California.

McDonel is an award-winning graphic designer who also enjoys drawing, painting and copper plate etching. His travels have taken him all over the world as he sketches on location. He has taught at the Academy of Art College, California College of Arts and Crafts and San Jose State University. His work has been exhibited in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Quebec.

“Art has been my life-long passion,” McDonel said. “I have tried to include that passion in all aspects of my work.”

Gallery visitors will be encouraged to look through more than a dozen of McDonel’s fantastic sketch books that will be on display.

In the adjacent Community Gallery at 48 Natoma, the Annual Student Show will showcase artwork from a variety of adult art classes held at the 48 Natoma Art Center. Classes include Chinese Brush Painting, watercolor, ceramics and more.

The public is invited to celebrate both exhibits at the free opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 14, with refreshments, wine and live jazz saxophone music by Jerry Fairlie.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday with additional hours Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. and monthly Second Saturday hours, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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. Free tours can be arranged by appointment. For more information contact Cindy Abraham at (916) 355-7285, or [email protected]

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