expressions gallery
510.644.4930
2035 Ashby Ave. Berkeley, California, 94703

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Expressions Gallery Arts and Educational Center

Expressions Gallery Arts and Educational Center is a 501 (C) (3) non profit corporation. We offer workshops, seminars and classes to artists, kids and adults. For more information go to our website at: www.expressionsartsandedcenter.com or contact our Educational Coordinator: Marge Essel at 510-548-2617 You can also call the gallery at 510-644-4930 and leave a message.

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Artist Biographies -
Amazing Blooms
April 21 2007-June 3, 2007

Click on Thumbnails to Enlarge Artwork

Nancy Ballard

 

Nancy Ballard is a native San Franciscan who has had the good fortune of being surrounded by wonderful and amazing blooms all her life.  She is forever enchanted by the vibrant color she sees in all living things. Nancy’s art career came after raising her family and working for many years in corporate America. Mainly self taught, Nancy states, “I have bloomed under the recent guidance, kindness and palette of Mary Harden, teacher extraordinaire!” Nancy brings to the paper the vitality and exaggerated color of each flower and leaf while keeping the integrity of the flower, the simplicity and intricacies of each species. She has sold both pastel figure drawings and water color botanicals internationally, enjoying shows and representation in both the U.S. and
Mexico. She has managed galleries and curated shows, including Black Tie Botanicals.  Her work has been shown at the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture at the SF Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park and she is currently involved in a botanical project on Alcatraz. Nancy teaches art/volunteer at UC Hospital in San Francisco, offering youngster on dialysis an opportunity to put
color to their feelings and pain.  Her book, “Loving You: Celebrating the Body through Art”, promotes self acceptance with stories and poetry, together with her lovely, vibrant drawings of people and botanicals.

 

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Bart Borland

 

Bart Borland lives in Oakland,  Ca.. Born in New York, he was influenced by his parents in his choice of careers. His mother was an artist and his father a scientist and businessman. Bart studied Chemistry as his major and took art classes on the side. In 1967, he moved to the Haight-Ashbury and by 1969, he had a one-man show that was reviewed by Thomas Albright in the SF Chronicle and was described as “hallucinations that follow the tradition of psychedelic posters” and his work was compared by Albright to “Rauschenberg’s silk screens”. His work was loaned to the SFMOMA and he was represented at theVorpal Gallery during this period. He gave up art while raising a family and returned four years ago when he discovered digital art. The digital medium opened a door and gave him powerful new tools to create art. He states: “This medium is revolutionizing art in America. It enables fantastic composition of patterns, shapes, colors and images inviting the viewer to closer inspection. Photographs are inset among amorphous shapes to give the impression of looking through one reality to another.” Bart seems to embrace the changing times and take an enthusiastic lead in exploring new art tools and creating new art forms that express the times.

 

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Ella Driscoll

 

Ella Driscoll is a native San Franciscan. She attended the University of California, Berkeley and graduated with a B.S. degree in Public Health. For many years she worked as a medical technologist in bay area hospitals and clinics.  Regarding her formal art training, she studied art at Berkeley Evening High School, City College of San  Francisco, and with Richard Yip, watercolor artist, and with Rupert  Garcia, Chicano artist.  She also studied photography with master photographer, Allen Stross and at San Francisco City College and San Francisco State University and continued her formal art education when she was awarded a scholarship to the Academy of Art in San Francisco, California.  Ella has had a number of solo and group shows and has received a number of prestigious awards for her work. Her work has been shown in juried shows in New Mexico,  Idaho,  Washington, Krakow in Poland and locally at the San Francisco Women Artists Gallery.   Her awards include, Purchase Prize, San Francisco Art Festival, Best of Show, San Mateo Art Festival, New Brunswick  Bureau of Tourism, State of Alaska, Photography, Pacifica,  California, Photography.  She has several Merit Awards from the San Francisco Women Artists. In this show, Ella uses does assemblage pieces that comment on today’s changing world and states: “I try to portray in my work the area between life and reality and the unreal or fantasy, while still maintaining a sense humor.  I find this leads me to collage, assemblage., sculpture, "shoe art" , photography and boxes. In this show Ella, presents her shoe art and photography.

 
 
 
 

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Mary T. Faria

 

Mary T. Faria has lived and worked in San Francisco for over 20 years, where she studied photography at San Francisco State University and at City College with Morrie Camhi, Minette Lehman, Meridel Rubinstein, Melanie Walker, and John Collier, receiving a BA in Art/Photography from SFSU in 1991. Since completing graduate work in museum education studies, Ms. Faria has returned to making photo-based work. The Giclée reproductions of cyanotype contact prints in this exhibit are from a current series-in-progress combining botanical imagery with images of the human figure. Emulating one of the first uses of photography from the 19th-century (that of creating botanical imagery using cyanotype emulsion), these images explore the tension between body and spirit— the desire to be both in the physical and beyond it, and experiment with what may be contained within the photographic frame vs. what may lie beyond its boundaries as metaphor for this desire. Ms. Faria has exhibited earlier work in group-exhibitions in Berkeley and San Francisco, and more recently through SF Open Studio. The botanical imagery in these works speaks to a relationship of wonder with the natural world that Amazing Blooms expresses.

 

 

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Mark Fischer

 

Mark Fischer is a Cetacean Acoustic Artist -- an artist who works with the sounds of whales, dolphins and birds he records while out on the ocean.  He then uses a mathematical formula and a computer to convert these sounds into images each unique from each other.  He was born in Pennsylvania, stationed in Amberg, Germany in the US Army and earned a B. S. in electronics and computer engineering from George Mason University.  For 10 years he worked in software development, defense and telecommunications and since 2002 has been doing independent research in cetacean acoustics using wavelets, exploring both the science and the art of the way they use sound.

 

 
 

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Rinna Flohr

 

Rinna Flohr lives in Oakland, California. She grew up on the East Coast in Montclair, New Jersey and New York. She graduated from Syracuse University with a BA in theatre arts and a later completed a Certificate from the Moreno Institute of Psychodrama to use drama as a psychotherapeutic technique, which she did for a number of years. She went back to graduate school at Syracuse University, in New York and completed her Master Degree in Clinical Social Work in order to better understand the psychotherapeutic uses of psychodrama as a psychotherapeutic approach to working with people with psychological problems. She received her license as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and then for 37 years she worked as a Licensed Psychotherapist in private practice and for both the Alameda County Mental Health and Community Behavioral Health Services in  San Francisco, Ca eventually becoming Assistant Director. In 1991 her house burned down in the Oakland fire, which led her to study Interior Architecture and Design in order to rebuild her home. She completed the program at UC Berkeley in 2001. With an interior design background she began doing remodels and interiors that later led her to floral designing. She studied floral design with Ron Morgan. Her floral designs were part of the Bouquets to Arts show in the past and she is a member of the S. F. Museum floral committee. She also makes jewelry from recycled materials left over from interior design projects and later from other found objects such as found rubber from inner tubes of tires, or cement from building sites. Currently she is Founder and Director of Expressions Gallery in Berkeley, Ca. She presents her floral art as part of the current show.

 
 

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Devon Gaster

 

Devon Gaster lives in San Francisco and is a florist and floral design instructor with 26 years experience in the Floral industry. He had his own retail floral store for 13 years and taught floral design classes in Hawaii and in San Francisco. For the last two years, he has been teaching classes at the San Francisco Flower Market. Devon Gaster presents his interpretation of Abundance and Joy as part of this current Expressions Gallery show. He will also be doing some demonstrations and classes at the Gallery and will Jury a couple of floral artists, student and public entrant floral art shows and contests during the run of the show. Expressions Gallery is proud to take the lead from the San Francisco Museums who have brought us the Bouquet to Arts Shows at the Legion of Honor and De Young Museums over the years and feature floral arts as another regular art form offered for viewing and sale in its Gallery and as part of its educational program.

 

 
 
 
 

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Judi Morales Gibson

 

Judi Morales Gibson was originally from the Bay Area. Judi has lived in Southern California, Amsterdam, and Mexico and now resides in Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula. With no formal art education, Judi learns new mediums through workshops and reckless experimentation. Judi currently paints in Encaustic (hot beeswax medium), Mixed Media and Acrylic, but also designs found-object jewelry, costumes and alternative-wear for her annual pilgrimage to Burning Man. Inspired by Mark Rothko, Judi paints pure abstracts, abstract landscapes and seascapes, with color themes and abstract textures inspired by the sandy beaches, lush ocean and forest scenes of the Monterey Bay and the West coast of Mexico. Her works show her love of heavy texture and the concept of wabi-sabi, which often look distressed and well worn. Judi is enjoying incorporating unusual things into her recent encaustic works, like henna paste and organic material like yard clippings. Judi's work has been exhibited in galleries and venues in San Francisco, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Benicia and Vallejo.

 

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Andrew Greene

 

Andrew Greene was born September 17th 1982 in Tarzana, CA and raised in a small-town outside of Los Angeles.  He has been living in San Francisco for the past two years where, he has and still is attending the San Francisco Art Institute as a Painting Major.  His Latest body of work deals with the fluidity of paint and its direct correlation to water.  His paintings are created by combining numerous types of paint on the same surface all in liquid form.  By doing this, chemical reactions start to occur and the paint takes form to the surface: Moving, searching, and finally finding its resting place.  After each piece is finished, it is still alive for a period of 24-100 hours depending on the surface and the amount of paint used. The paintings are done in a state of mind that is regurgitating feelings of every thing from complete and utter sadness to pure ecstasy and joy.  The artist has learned over time how the various chemicals react to each other and now guides the process to better express the result he wants. The end result is a painting, which leaves you free to roam, and full of questions. The rules of painting are being broken as represented in each individual piece of art.  Andrew hopes to continue pushing not only the boundaries of art but also the boundaries of life.

 

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Denise Hart

 

Denise Hart began painting the large flat rocks in front of her beached house at the lapping edge of British Columbia's rainforest when she was a young girl. The desire to make, create, and connect has never left her. Although the majority of her schooling has been focused on gaining a scientific understanding of the natural world and on a political understanding of how we manage and interact in it, and includes degrees in resource management and environmental planning, she has taken many classes in watercolors, drawing, painting, landscape architecture and design. Denise began to paint full-time in 2004, first in acrylics and more recently in oils. Her art is her response to her travels in the deserts, mountains and ocean environments of California and beyond. Painting is the means she uses to convey her strong connection to these wild places. Denise particularly enjoys exploring color as a means to express her understanding and love of remote places. In 2006, Denise received an Honorable Mention for her painting “North of Saddlebag” in the Yosemite Renaissance XXI juried exhibition. She has also shown work in juried shows at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center, the Coastal Arts League Museum in Half Moon Bay, the Alameda Arts Center and the Laredo Center for the Arts in Laredo, Texas. In addition to her pieces “Lupines #1”, “Golden State”, and “Blooming in Blue” in this show, Denise participated in Expressions Gallery's holiday season Abundance and Joy show.

 

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Melanie Hofmann

 

Melanie Hofmann graduated with a BFA in Textiles from the California College of the Arts in 1996. Her home and studio are located in Berkeley.  She first explored the joy of creating art in pre-school and she has not stopped since.  As a teenager Melanie fell in love with fiber art, specifically with weaving and dyeing fabrics. Two of her recent printed and dyed fabric pieces are in this show.  Melanie has received awards from the Taegu International Textile Design competition and from Manhattan Arts International.  Limited edition prints of her digital art are in the corporate collection of Lifescan, Inc. in Milpitas. This year, Melanie had a solo exhibition of textiles in the corporate lobby of 255 California Street in San Francisco. Melanie works with both textile and digital media. Her digital work primarily takes the form of limited edition prints, digital video and projected art for theatre and custom designed bracelets. Her work has been inspired by a number of artists including, Jean Miro, Rene Magritte and Magdalena Abakanowicz. She was also influenced by the artwork of her maternal grandmother, Zura Young, an abstract painter. Melanie seeks to convey through her work the interactive process with her media and a visual representation of her inner world. She is available to custom designed bracelets with digital images of family or other photos incorporated.  She offers in addition, a hot plate, a pendant and two oval boxes for Amazing Blooms.

 

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Angela F. Hunkler

 

Angela F. Hunkler is a native of North Dakota who relocated to Berkeley, California after completing her art degree at Minot State University. For more than fifteen years she has worked to integrate her landscape design interests with her painting. Angela began exhibiting publicly in June 1998 and has had works on show from the San Francisco Bay Area to Fargo, North Dakota. Angela’s primary medium is watercolors, and she also works in acrylics and oils. She has facilitated art grief groups in Berkeley and San Francisco for the last eight years, using various modes of creative expression. To support this work, Angela has studied art grief therapy at UC Berkeley Extension and John F. Kennedy University. Angela recently retired from a 19+ year career at UC Berkeley in order to join her partner’s law practice as a paralegal intern and pursue certification through San Francisco State Extension.

 
 

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Pamela J

 

Pamela J resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, which has been home for over thirty years. She was raised and educated on the East Coast where the seeds were planted for her future career as a professional photographer. While working in the New York publishing world as a photo researcher the ready access to the richly stocked archives of the Time Life photo library unleashed her passion for photography and inspired her to acquire her first camera. A self-taught amateur for years, she was always the “one with the camera:” her children, friends, travels and country life became ready subjects for her camera’s eye. In 1996 upon returning to California from a year of study in Spain, she decided to “go professional” with her love of photography. Introduced at this time to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Bouquets to Art event, she soon found herself combining her two passions - flowers and photography.  In 2001 she collaborated with renown floral designer Ron Morgan as photographer and graphic –designer of his book, The Center of Attention Bouquets to Art at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, published in the spring 2006, captures a nine year legacy at the Legion of Honor and introduces a new legacy at the beautiful new De Young Museum. The book offers a window into the magic of this event with breathtaking creative imagery and fascination commentaries celebrating the pairing of fine art ad floral art.  ”The San Francisco Chronicle recently stated: “Pamela J’s photos have the distinction of being art about art about art... Pamela is currently working on another book documenting an international floral symposium held in Northern Ireland last year that will be published in the autumn of 2007.

 

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Joan Frances Keyes

 

Joan Frances Keyes grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is now living in Richmond California. She says that the distance and difference between these two places-between the before and now-is the nutrient base for her paintings. The distance traveled was the fertile ground for study. She earned a degree in Drawing and Painting in San Diego, studied painting in Pasadena then painting and drawing at U.C. Berkeley. “The difference between where I was born and where I live -between the before and now- creates the creative spark” she says. The difference informs her definitively that the calla lily is an uncommon creation and causes her to paint it large and dramatic.

 

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Jill R. Kroh

 

Jill R. Kroh is a New York native, who earned a B.S. degree in Education, at SUCO, New York, and studied art privately with noted artists in Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, and San Jose, CA. She has been juried into various art competitions, receiving First Prize and Honorable Mentions, and, exhibited in solo and group shows, as well as, represented at several galleries, cafes, and shops around the country. Her work is in private collections nationally and internationally, and she does commissioned work.  She lives and paints in the California Bay Area.  For Jill painting is a passion…a celebration of life!  As a creative being, she imagines, dreams, “paints” ideas in her “mind’s eye”, almost every waking and sleeping moment…these visuals may eventually “land” on canvas, paper, or other surfaces.  Having grown up in an artistic family of Dutch and German descent, with parents, grandparents, and siblings each involved either in painting, composing music, writing, dance, drama, or photography, Jill’s expressionistic acrylic, mixed-media works were born. Jill says “I will always be exploring in this challenging search for new and fresh ways to communicate my personal ‘voice’ in the amazing world of art!”

 
 

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Barbara S. Lewis

 

Barbara S. Lewis has been a resident of Berkeley for the past 40 plus years. Her painting  experience began six years ago after she retired when she had the time to express her creative interests which include photography and watercolor.
She states, “In the artistic process, I am just one of the components along with the brush, the water and the colors.  Each part contributes to the process. Whatever is conceived at the beginning of the work changes culminating in an
original painting.  The spontaneity of watercolor is a delight for me. In photography my eye is the composer as it directs my attention  in selecting and framing the image.” Her most chosen subject is flowers, both in painting and photography.
She took classes at the Richmond Art Center under the instruction of Annette Goldberg. Her work has been shown at numerous venues in the Bay Area and the Gold Country, including Bucci’s Restaurant in Emeryville and South Pine Café in Grass Valley. Says Barbara, “Being in the AMAZING BLOOMS show allows me to integrate my love of painting and photographing flowers and my desire to be
part of  a community art gallery.”

 
 

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Sandra Lo

 

Sandra Lo was born in China. She grew up in China and Hong Kong and immigrated to the US in 1989. She started learning drawing at a very young age. Her father, William S. Hung a famous oil painter, has been her teacher. Sandra took some workshops, figure drawing and painting classes but other than that, she is mostly self-taught.  She is following in her father’s footsteps, and has become an accomplished painter who works primarily in oil and pastels. Sandra has a full time job in another field but still finds time to paint on lunch hours, evenings and weekends.  She is a member of San Francisco Women Artists and her paintings are exhibited at SFWA Gallery in San Francisco, every month. Sandra’s portraits are extremely well executed and she offers commissioned portraiture through Expressions Gallery. Her still lifes and an example of her portrait work are part of Amazing Blooms show now at Expressions Gallery.

 

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Jennifer Wallace Mack

 

Jennifer Wallace Mack has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute.   She works in various media: painting, photography, mixed media, and jewelry. Her work is consistent in the quality and detail in each medium she applies.  She has exhibited at a number of solo,  and group shows, many of which were juried.  Shown at Expressions Gallery are her mixed media paintings and her magnificent jewelry.  Jennifer has served on various Board of Directors for long standing Artist Organizations such as the San Francisco Women Artists where she was a past President and continues n the current Board as Vice Treasurer and The San Francisco Gem and Mineral organization where she is currently Treasurer.

 
 

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Sonia Melnikova

 

Sonia Melnikova was born and trained as an artist and architect in Moscow and holds a Master’s degree in Fine Art and Architectural Design from the prestigious Moscow State Architectural Institute. Her artworks in various media were exhibited in art salons in Moscow and, since 1987, in San Francisco, including The Jewish Museum San Francisco; Fort Mason; College of Marin; De Anza College; Gallery Route One; and Virginia Brier, Spectrum, Bradford, Euphrat, Koret, Expressions, Liquid Spaces, and San Francisco Women Artists Galleries. The artist’s current medium is digital photography but her training and “inner eye” as a painter and architect shows throughout her works, which have an uncanny resemblance of painted media. She tends to work in series, the central theme of which is often a nostalgic reflection on things of the past. The artworks selected for the “Amazing Bloom” exhibit add a new dimension to this theme by focusing on a contrast between old and new. Out of the death and decay of an old tree, new life arises. The gentle petals of an orchid against the patina of peeling paint of an old crackled door, or the lush summer blooms against the ancient walls of Mission Carmel, all create a contrast between new and old, young and aged, and evoke reflections on transience and new beginnings (“White Orchid”, “Old Walls and Blooms”). All works are signed hand-produced high resolution digital photographs printed using archival quality fade-resistant inks on acid-free fine art rag-textured paper or canvas.

 
 

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Dawn Ming

 

Dawn Ming was born in New York City. Her parents immigrated to the US from China.  She attended Ohio State University where she completed a degree in Fine Arts. She painted and exhibited in New York and Long Island where she lived and raised her family. When she retired to San Francisco, she took up printmaking. Dawn is a painter and a printmaker. She enjoys working with the richness and intensity of color and texture in oil painting; where, in printmaking there is the beauty of the paper and many techniques. The results can be varied and different. Her subjects are things from nature to images of her Chinese Heritage. As an artist, Dawn strives to make a picture bring pleasure to the viewer. Dawn Ming has won numerous awards. Her art can be found in private collections all over the US and world. At the 4th World Conference on Woman in Beijing, China 2 etchings were selected and exhibited in Moscow and then traveled all over the US and now in the achieves of The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC. A monotype was selected for exhibition at The Yerba Buena Center for the Art’s.  Her work can be seen at the San Francisco Women Artists and Oakland Museum Collector’s Gallery and currently at Expressions Gallery show, Amazing Blooms.

 

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Bea Pincus

 

Bea Pincus grew up in Bellingham and Seattle in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Naturally her favorite color was green.  She moved to San Francisco with her husband and family in 1955 and to Millbrae in 1963.  With that move, art entered her life.  The wonderful museums and galleries found in the city greatly added to her interest. She was fortunate to have her first art course conducted by Leonard Breger, who has been her teacher, mentor, and friend for over 50 years. She was also greatly inspired by the artist, teacher, and author, Robert Henri. She states: “ His book,  “The Art Spirit”, as far as I am concerned is the bible for artists.”  Her medium is acrylics.  ”The fun of painting is in seeing and then inventing my own visualization, whether it is a landscape or a blossom, and getting that feeling on canvas. “  She takes a lot of photos and uses them to make sketches for paintings.  She has shown her paintings in a number of group shows in San Francisco and the Peninsula, culminating last May in a solo 50 year retrospective at the Kings Gallery at the SF First Unitarian Universal Church and Center. “ I love color, landscapes and nature in its lushness” and she presents some of these works in Expressions Gallery show: Amazing Blooms.

 
 

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Britt-Marie Pazdirek

 

Britt-Marie Pazdirek is a Swedish born artist who came to the Bay Area in the late seventies. As long as she can remember, she has been in love with painting.  Her mother painted and so did her uncle. She dreamed of going to an art school but her parents discouraged her. The closest she could come to art was to study history of art, which she did for four years, both in Gothenburg and Paris. She got a degree in journalism and for many years she worked for the Swedish Television. She ran regional news programs in Gothenburg and appeared daily as the news anchor. In 1979 she emigrated to the U.S. with two small children and settled down in Berkeley, where she became a business woman, running her own restaurants. Discovering another outlet for her creativity, she immersed herself in the world of culinary creations. Art has always been a necessity in Britt-Marie’s life and in the nineties she finally started to paint. She studied color with David Hardy in Oakland but is otherwise self-taught.  She is initially interested in the subject matter, but soon she is drawn to the effects of light and shadow. Painting is her passion and it enables her to study the beauty of everyday life. For Britt-Marie art is a heightened state of awareness, which forces her to be alert to the senses and elevate the ordinary to the awe-inspiring. Britt-Marie paints portraits, still lifes and plein air landscapes. Her preferred media are oil, pastel and charcoal. Her work has been exhibited in Hayward City Hall, Gualala Art Center and at the Giorgi Gallery in Berkeley. She has done several portraits on commission.

 
 

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Laura Rattay

 

Laura Rattay is a local artist. She is self-taught as an artist. She only recently started to make unusual purses out of cardboard and images she assembles. She has sold her work to local clients and other artists. She has included purses with floral imagery as part of this show at Expressions.

 

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Betsy Rick

 

Betsy Rick is a residential interior designer and fiber artist, living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She began weaving in the 1970’s and has exhibited in galleries and at craft fairs. She created a line of pillows and blankets sold at the San Francisco Design Center. Betsy has served on the Board and as President of the Marin Interior Designers’ Association and is currently an Associate member and serving as Vice President/Marin of the Wine Country Chapter of the Interior Design Society.  Betsy’s wall hangings reflect both literally and figuratively her interest in color and light and bring not only joyous color but also texture, pattern, movement and dimension to a room.  The use of Mylar reflects and refracts light bringing a twinkle to the space where they hang. Visit her website at http://www.betsyrickinteriors.com.

 

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Helene Sobol

 

Helene Sobol was drawn to photography at an early age and developed a special interest
in travel photography. She studied at the University of Oslo, Norway, the University of  Hawaii and received her B.A. in Art history from U. C. Berkeley.  She also took photography classes and studied darkroom techniques.  She established Images of the North, a gallery in San Francisco specializing in Inuit Art and retired in 2004 to pursue her longtime interest in photography and to develop collections for future exhibitions. Helene’s photography is versatile and includes people, animals, architecture, landscapes and close-ups of nature. Inspired by the beauty of nature and flowers in particular, her images often reveal details that make for compelling and painterly compositions, some
naturalistic, some abstract.  In 2004, she introduced “The Bark Series”, a collection of close-up images of tree bark, at the Botanical Garden Library in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. In the spring of 2006, she presented “Memories and Moods – Norway Revisited “ at the Nordid Heritage Museum in Seattle, Washington. http://www.HeleneSobol.com

 

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Emily Jurs Sparks

 

Emily Jurs Sparks is a native Oaklander. She is a soprano with the Oakland Symphony Chorus, and she also likes to write. She has had no formal art training, unless you count after-school art at Peggy Calder Hayes' Berkeley studio during elementary school, but she has been drawing and making things since toddlerhood.  Her house and yard are her main canvas, where her biggest installations are the deer mural on the hillside retaining wall, Allegra the garden dryad, and the pique-assiette mosaic wall on the driveway that delivery trucks like to keep breaking.  Inside, few surfaces are safe (so far her Saab is untouched) from paintbrush or glue.  Her current art form is toy-sized Art Cars.  In April, her work can be seen at DakotArt on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland and at Expressions Gallery where she presents a small traffic jam of these art pieces as part of the Amazing Blooms Show.

 
 

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Chaya Spector

 

Chaya Spector was born in The Bronx, New York in 1950. She is Self-taught Photographer and mixed media artist living in Oakland. She began shooting slides with an Olympus OM1 back in 1970 but has more recently been shooting with Canon SLR digital equipment using natural light. Nature has been a primary for her images, being drawn in by the many colors and textures. She fills her frame with both lushness and simplicity. Chaya has shown her work in Ithaca New York, SF and Oakland having had pieces at the California Modern Gallery in SF, State of The Art Gallery in Ithaca, NY, The Napa Library, Go West, Richmond Art Center and SomArts, as well as various cafes in the bay area. Her images  add a depth of color and a sense of sensuality to this show highlighting amazing blooms.

 
 

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Jessica Stafford

 

Jessica Stafford was raised and currently lives in Sonoma County.  Jessica has been creative and enthralled with art as long as she can remember.  In May 2006, Jessica graduated San Diego State University with her BA in Painting and Printmaking and a minor in Art History. The mediums Jessica uses in her work are oil painting, and mixed media.  She is interested in examining ideas of gender and exploring ideas of femininity in her work.  Jessica has shown in group shows at San Diego State University and San Diego Art Institute.  Jessica has also had various solo shows in restaurants, cafes, banks, and salons throughout Petaluma and San Diego.  Jessica presents her black and white photography of her sensual cacti as part of Amazing Blooms.

 
 

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Alex White

 

Alex White fell in love with California when she first visited it over 25 years ago and has never regretted her subsequent move from the East Coast. She says that “The light here is completely different, crisp and clear – it makes the colors sing.” She  received her BFA with honors from the California College of the Arts, and since then has taught pastel drawing and acrylic painting at the University of California, Berkeley, at many Bay Area public, private and adult schools, and at the Berkeley School of the Arts. She primarily paints landscapes in acrylic and pastel. “In my work, I invoke the energy and brilliance of the physical world as revealed through the intensity of light and color.  The active brushstroke and layered colors set up a visual vibration that conveys the constant pulse of life – our connection with the earth, “ she says.  Her work has been in numerous solo and group shows, most recently in juried shows in Albany, Alameda, Marin, and in the Pastel Society of the West Coast’s annual juried show.  The two paintings in the spring show of “Amazing Blooms” are testaments to the power of nature – how the earth itself blooms, how every year, there is new life, new color, new vistas. Amazing!

 
 

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Gary J. Wilson

 

Gary J. Wilson is a traveling photographer working primarily in the Northern California area.  He worked for many years in the structural metal trades, and as an engineering technician, until eight years ago, when he was given a thirty-five year old Nikon camera and four simple lenses that were used by his Great Aunt Edna and her husband Wynn Bullock in their photographic work.  He was very surprised to discover that the camera allowed him access to an artistic side of himself of which he had not previously been aware.  His education as an artist comes primarily from looking at lots of art, studying his growing library of books and periodicals, and conversations with other artists.  His work has been exhibited in galleries in Santa Cruz and Eureka, California and Austin, Texas; and he was recently invited for the second time to make and exhibit photographs at San Francisco's de Young Museum during the Bouquets to Art event. "I am constantly looking for moments that resonate with the inner me.  Sometimes I can create a photograph that embodies some of that meaning, and that I hope will evoke for others some meaning that will resonate for them."

 
 

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Leslie Winokur

 

Leslie Winokur began her art career in the 1970s as a ceramic artist working in porcelain. She sold and exhibited nationally, appearing in places such as the Hartford Art School, Hartford, CN, and the Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.  Later, while pursuing a career in education and raising a family, she studied botanical drawing and watercolor painting.  Gardens and travel sparked her interest in photography, which led to the production of a body of work manipulated in Photoshop.  Often she embellishes her photos with painting media such as watercolor and pastels. In addition to photography, Winokur paints, working in watercolor, acrylics, pastels, oil paint, oil pastels and colored pencils.  Her work has been exhibited in juried shows and two paintings were purchased by Alameda County for its permanent collection. Winokur’s pieces in the current show were inspired by leaves, grasses and flowers.  The photos were shot using a 35mm SLR camera, scanned into Photoshop and altered.  Then they were printed by the artist and worked again, either extensively or minimally.  Each is unique; although some of the simpler after-printing work can be largely replicated, results will never be exactly the same.  These pieces are presented as part of a limited edition of 25; unframed prints may be ordered.  The work with more complex after-printing embellishment is one-of-a-kind. The pieces are shown with high-quality, professional frames by a craftsperson with whom the artist has worked for several years.  Each is printed with archival ink and paper.

 
 

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The Magpie 7

 

The Magpie 7, is a group of talented, experienced and dedicated artists who continue through their art to create new visions and to express new ideas with the drive of 20 year olds, although each is over 60, and each has been pursuing their art for many years with more enthusiasm than ever. The Magpie 7 work in their individual studios but come together to inspire each other and to take on challenges that will push them forward to new heights in support of their continued artistic productivity. The Magpies keep moving forward to conquer anything that may in any way impede their continued artistic expression. Diverse in their styles, media, and messages, they do not represent a single era or art style, instead they represent a seasoned yet daring group of people who use their experience to continually build on their past skills and knowledge to create fine art for today. Five of the group’s work is on Exhibit as part of Amazing Blooms. The five in the group exhibiting are: Priscilla Birge, Olivia Eielson, Barbara Hazard, Joanna Katz and Sarah Whitecotton whose bios and images are listed alphabetically. The full group’s work can be reached at http://www.magpie7arts.com

 
 
 

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Priscilla Birge

 

Priscilla Birge, born in NewYork City and raised in New England, moved to Berkeley, California to continue her art education at the San Francisco Art Institute (then the California School of Fine Art) and U.C. Berkeley where she earned an M.A. in painting. She received her B.A. in art history and painting from Brown University before studying briefly at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C.  By the end of her kindergarten year she knew she wanted to be an artist and was fortunate to attend an art-oriented high school. Birge works in multiple media including digital.  Many of her photo based images become abstracted in the creation process and live in a mixed media, shallow space environment.  She works with watercolor, graphite, oil pastel, collage, assemblage, and traditional and non-traditional printmaking processes. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally and she has work in private and public collections. She is one of the Magpie 7 group and can be reached at: http://www.magpie7arts.com

 
 

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Olivia Eielson

 

Olivia Eielson was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In college, Eielson majored in English because she didn't think it possible to capture on paper or canvas what she saw and imagined.  Gradually, however, as she took classes in studio art and history of art, and most especially when she took evening classes with Boston painter Morton Sacks, she realized that painting would be her lifelong occupation.  Encouraged by the fact that she won a first prize for painting as an undergraduate, she attended Oskar Kokoschka's Schule des Sehens in Salzburg, Austria.  After that, she was largely self-taught. For Eielson it's all about the joy of painting, and the struggle to make a finished painting that is somehow "right," and answers the need or vision or question she felt in working on it.  At present she is working on a series called "After Piranesi / After Us," about the possibility that we, like earlier empires, may leave ruins – in our case, dangerously toxic ones, but still beautiful in their way. She has had many solo shows, and representation in many juried group shows.  Her work is in private collections across the country, as well as in Asia and Europe.  For more of her work, see http://www.oliviaeielson.com. She is also a member of the Magpie 7 at http://www.magpie7arts.com

 
 

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Barbara Hazard

 

Barbara Hazard lives in Berkeley, Ca. She grew up near New York City on Long Island and lived in many Cities of the United States. As a child she wrote and illustrated stories and it seems like she never stopped. After her three children grew up, she finished her college education at the Art Department of the University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois and then went on to get her Master’s Degree in Art Therapy at Lone Mountain College (now USF), in San Francisco. In 1986, she became friends with a group of Russian independent artists and since then has spent two months a year with them in St. Petersburg, Russia, painting, writing, and exploring the world of Russian art and life. “This experience has allowed me to let dark into my life, to allow myself to mix drawing with painting, and to leave some things unstated. I find the growing things of the natural world amazing in their complexity and elegance, each a story of adaptation and integrity. I paint what I find beautiful or funny, breathtaking or haunting,” she states. She carries her needlepoint with her as she travels or sits in cafes or in the park with her grandchildren. She has crafted some exquisite needlepoint pillows this way. Her pillows and her artwork are on display as part of Amazing Blooms at Expressions Gallery. She can be reached at http://www.magpie7arts.com.

 
 

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Joanna Katz

 

Joanna Katz is a long time resident of Berkeley, Ca.  She was born in Princeton, New Jersey, the daughter of a college professor and a poetess. She spent her teens in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has a B. A. in fine arts from the State University of Iowa, Iowa City where she became convinced of the importance of learning the techniques of realistic representation as a foundation on which to build. She has used that foundation for interpreting many different subjects in many media. She says: “ My paintings and collages are of things I love to look at and subjects that disturb me. For example, in the 70’s, I would spend many happy hours drawing coffee house scenes. Recently, my pleasure has been painting watercolor landscapes, On the darker side are my representations of litter and greenery mostly in watercolor. ”  Her work has toured venues from Texarkana Regional Art Council in Texas to Everett Community College in Washington. Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor Michigan, purchased one of her paintings and Chaparral House purchased another, including a panel of text she wrote, here in Berkeley. http://www.magpie7arts.com.

 
 

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Sarah Whitecotton

 

Sarah Whitecotton's interest in Art began in her formative years.  She went to private schools and immersed herself in fine arts and theater. Her formal training began at the University of Miami, where she was nurtured under the wing of Eugene Masson a influential teacher who encouraged her to pursue a career in painting.  In her sophomore year she spent the summer in Oaxaca, and Mexico City where she became familiar with the Mexican muralists and most significantly Rufino Tamayo.  She continued her training at the University of OKlahoma, where she completed her B.F.A and later moved to California in the late 70's and took additional classes at San Francisco Art Institute and CCAC.In the late 70's and 80's I worked in casein and acrylic.  Her paintings are large color fields basically abstract. She was also taking classes in printing in San Francisco and learning various techniques in different workshops around the Bay Area.  In the late 80's she developed Epstein Barr and had to give up working with chemicals. She switched to working with Monotypes and eventually stopped printing altogether to concentrate on her painting and in mid 90's started working with Collage. She states: "In all my art, especially from the 90's on I am expressing my life and communicating how I see and feel about the world around me."  She has received various awards and recognitions at the University Of Oklahoma, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Art Exchange(national juried exhibition), Art in the Redwoods (Gualala), Arts Benicia, U.C.S.F.(extension). More listed at  http://www.sarahwhitecotton.com  and at http://www.Magpie7Arts.com.

 
 

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Participating Floral Shops and Designers

 

Local floral shops and designers were invited to select a painting to interpret in floral design for the first week of the show. The concept is credited to the San Francisco Museums ( Legion of Honor and de Young) Bouquets to Arts show which has been going for more than 10 years and has recognized floral art as an art form worthy of museum display. Expressions Gallery has incorporated this concept into its regular Gallery shows as another art form and is one of the first galleries to offer this medium as an on-going part of the Gallery shows. Participating in the show are the following Floral Artists and shops:

BLOOMIES THE FLOWER STORE
5655 College Ave, Oakland, Ca., 510-547-0444

CITY BLOOM, INC.
500 12th  Street, Oakland, Ca., 510-836-6450

THE MEADOWS
College Ave, Berkeley, Ca.

Rinna B. Flohr, (see bio and image in alphabetical listing) and Devon Gaster, floral designer (see bio and image in alphabetical listing.)

 
 
 

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