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

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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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Current Show | Show Archives

Artist Biographies -
Suggestion of Sensuality
February 14 – April 3, 2009

Artists
Poets

Click on Thumbnails to Enlarge Artwork

Miriam Abramowitsch

 

Miriam Abramowitsch was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the daughter of a concert pianist. Following in her father's footsteps, she devoted her life to music and has experienced a long and fulfilling career as a singer and teacher of voice. She has also had a lifelong love for color, style and texture (as a child she wanted to be a clothing designer).   Two years ago, having never before attempted any visual art medium, she became interested in felting and took a number of classes at Deep Color in Kensington.  Since then she never looked back and has been creating and selling her colorful felted scarves throughout the Bay Area and beyond.  The artist states:  “Felt is created by the alchemy of wool fiber with warm water and pure olive oil soap to produce a versatile material that ranges from spider-fine and soft to thick and strong, depending on its intended purpose. My scarves are designed in a number of different ways. Some are crafted entirely of felt made from wool, or from fiber containing wool and silk or tencel, sometimes decorated with ribbon. Others are made by felting the wool directly onto silk chiffon or fine china silk.”  You can view more of her work on her website: www.miriabra.com

 

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Salma Arastu

Salma Arastu currently lives in Emeryville and owns a studio at Sawtooth building on 8th strret in Berkeley, after moving from Pennsylvania in 2006. She grew up in Rajasthan, India and was passionate about art since childhood. She has been painting for last thirty some years, since graduating in Fine Arts from MS University, Baroda, India in 1975. Her work with continuous and lyrical line is influenced by her native culture and her residence after marriage in Iran and Kuwait before coming to the US in 1987. Born into the Hindu tradition in her native India, she later embraced Islam through her marriage. Her personal triumphs have been defined and shaped by the simple principle of faith in The Divine, as the compelling force which has guided her life and work. As for her present work she states: "Folk art, miniature art and Arabic Calligraphy are three strong influences on my art, adopted along my journeys. All textures and all colors are assimilating on my surfaces. I am creating a body of work of through continuous, lyrical line, to express joy in the universal spirit that unites humanity". She has won many awards and has had more than thirty solo shows including New York, Philadelphia, and Internationally in Germany, Kuwait, Iran and India. Her website: www.salmaarastu.com,

 

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Lili Artel

 

Lili Artel’s roots are in New York City but she has flourished creatively in the East Bay area of California. She now lives in Berkeley, Ca.  After getting a bachelor’s degree (English Major, Social Studies minor) at Hunter College, NYC and after being wife, mother of two daughters, teacher and newspaper stringer, she went to California State University, Hayward to study Art. Her Art education was primarily in sculpture from ceramic to direct, metal and casting in metal.  She began working in non-art related materials: packaging papers, plush fabrics, nylon pantyhose, ropes and cords, leather and felt and found objects, i.e. feathers, bones and metal shavings. Her original intent was to be a writer, particularly of short stories.  Her fiction has appeared in anthologies, “Thursday’s Child”, “Across The Generations”, “A Baker’s Dozen”, and literary journals in California and Oregon.  Her poetry was published in the 25th Anniversary issue of “Room of One’s Own”, a Canadian feminist literary journal in 2003, making her a poet of international dimensions.  A retrospective show of almost 40 years of art work took place Dec. 1-17, 2005 at the Sun Gallery in Hayward. Both in her art and in her writing she has marched to the beat of a different drummer. She states: “It is a challenge to transform the ordinary and utilitarian materials into art though use of my imagination.” Her artwork is abstract from nature, heavy on texture and diverse in technique. She may sew paper rather than glue, tear it forcefully rather than cut it. Whe weaves, wraps, knits and knots, hammers, burns and distresses the materials--- “whatever it takes”, she states, “ I feel that I am spinning straw into gold.”   

 

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Kay Athos

 

Kay Athos of Castro Valley became interested in drawing at a very early age and studied art in high school and college; she took post-graduate courses at San Jose State; The College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland; Cal State, Hayward; and at Guadalajara, Mexico. In hands-on workshops she studied with well-known artists in all media. She paints in both realist and abstract styles on canvas with oils and acrylics. Her paintings are in the collections of major corporations. Currently her work can be seen at Marin Society of Artists, Ross; and Valley Art Gallery, Walnut Creek. Her oil, “Lost in Thought” is on the cover of “Women’s Wisdom,” by Meg Bowman.

 
 

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Georgia Bassen

 

Georgia Bassen, who "never met a process she didn't love" grew up in New York, Seattle and northern California, but always in "bohemia"-- her father was a novelist and family friends were panters, actors, writers and the odd professor.. From as early as she can remember she was painting and drawing and taking art classes. In high scool she worked intensively with Windsor Utley and at 17 went off to Smith College to major in art. There a scheduling glitch led her into a philosophy class, eventually into the Ph.D. program at Berkeley, and to teaching human rights, logic and critical thinking at Cal State Hayward. While teaching part time, she went through the CSUH studio art program and from there to an MFA at San Francisco State (1991). She worked in ceramics, (Leslie Ceramics prize, 1986) painting (Mel Ramos, Ray Saunders), bronze casting, sculpture (Stephen deStaebler), set design, and digital art. For the past 5 years she has been happily making jewelry, working with Hadar Jacobson in Metal Clay.Favorite artists: Franz Marc, Paul Klee, Hadar Jacobson. Icons: trees, fish and tall buildings.

 
 

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Bob Bralove

 

Bob Bralove has been a resident of the Bay Area since the late 1970s.  He is an award winning composer, performer and songwriter.  Moving to the visual world in the last ten years he has been performing his own psychedelic multimedia compositions throughout the United States and Japan.  When painting on canvas he maintains his psychedelic aesthetic revealing his roots of years working with the Grateful Dead. Shifting perspectives and sense of context is a feature of Bralove’s work as he has his feet planted in both the visual and audio worlds.  Just the Two of Us is one in a series of acrylic and ink canvases that he calls Tattoos of the Psyche

 
 
 

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Carol Jones Brown

 

Carol Jones Brown of Castro Valley, grew up in Sacramento, began painting in oils more than 40 years ago. She graduated from the University of Oregon in journalism and later became an arts educator, teaching local adults to paint and draw.  She attended many workshops and classes by regional and national artists, is inspired by the colors of Matisse, whimsy of Chagall, and quirkiness of Jaspar Johns.  Although not a sculptor herself, she admires the madcap colors of Niki de Saint Phalle and the freedom of Magdalena Abakanowitz. Carol now works in acrylics and mixed mediums in an abstract manner, frequently beginning with no objective in mind.  She craves strong, bright colors, saying, "I love to attack my blank canvases with globs of hot color or luscious cool tones, then try on a variety of textured papers or fabrics to see what will happen. My goal is to create a surprise, for myself and for the viewer".  She has shown in many galleries and her pieces are in private collections around the world.  She is a member of several active Bay Area art organizations and currently president of A.R.T., Inc. in Castro Valley. Her website is www.silktreegallery.com

 
 
 

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Thierry Bys

 

Thierry Bys grew up in Fontainebleau, near Paris, France and now spends his time between his country home outside Paris and two studios in Paris and Los Angeles. Self taught, Thierry became interested in photography when he lent some space to a friend in need of a darkroom. Thierry puts it best when he says, "That first print hooked me, like something magic." Working in photography, Thierry has found, "It helps me to make life livable, the only thing I've found."  Although primarily a beauty and fashion photographer, Thierry enjoys making thought provoking images for organizations such as Amnesty International. Thierry says he has found inspiration in the works of Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Egon Schiele and Jean-Baptiste Mondino. Over the many years of his career, Thierry has been privileged to have shot for magazines including Vogue, Votre Beaute, Femina, L'Officiel and Telerama.His credits include shooting the stills for Givenchy's campaign with Liv Tyler and shooting the runways of some of fashion's icons including Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gauthier, Issey Miyake and Thierry Mugler.  In addition, Thierry has been featured on the cover and been interviewed by French magazine, Le Photographe and has had his work exhibited all over the world. More of Thierry's work can be viewed at his website, www.thierrybys.com.

 
 
 
 

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Aaron Carter

 

Aaron Carter lives in the East Bay. He works in various mediums: ceramic, drawing, sculpture, design and painting. He went to Castlemont High where his drawing teacher put one of his works in an exhibit at the Oakland Museum. This spurred his interest in learning more about different forms of art and he took classes at Laney College (drawing, design, silk screen, advertising art and art history); at  San Francisco State (advanced drawing, metal arts, film, advanced ceramics, and Raku and at Merit College (advanced ceramics}.  He is continuing his studies and is very close to a degree in art. He was hired as part of the college staff doing the firing for one class and helping students as a mentor.  A teacher gave him a Raku kiln and he also bought a small kiln and started doing his work from home and selling his ceramics on Telegraph Ave and in Street Fairs and art galleries. As a Member of the Richmond art center since 2003, he had a one of his pieces displayed with the featured artist that year.  In 2006 he became one of the featured artists and won the Jan Hart-Schuyers Artistic Achievement award.  Currently, he is a member of Pro Arts and is now also showing his work at Expressions Gallery.

 
 
 

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Lidia Colman

 

Lidia Colman was born in Belgium of Polish descent. Early childhood was spent in Poland infused by the Drama of WWII in a family of musicians and painters. She attended the Academy of Art School Krakow for a year before arriving in the USA. She had formal instruction from various artists and attended workshops held in the USA, Hawaii, Bali, France and Mexico. She has had two solo shows in Honolulu Hawaii and held and open studio in San Francisco in 2007. She has been greatly influenced by Matisse, Gauguin, and Frieda Khalo. She states: “I love color and fall in love with animals, people and places. Once touched by their magic, I am compelled to paint. I use various media entering into a kaleidoscope of shapes, colors and fantasy, a form of meditation, a restful moment away from the mundane day-to-day world. I love the process and hope the viewer will enjoy the product.

 
 

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Elizabeth Dante

 

Elizabeth Dante was raised in the rural south and now is living and working in Richmond, Ca.  Dante has worked and traveled in Central and South America, Southeast Asia, Germany and Italy.  She has attained an affinity for the third world, and acquired the skills of the old world This ever present influence has provided Dante with a stylistic inspiration for works ranging from classical naturalism to primitive stylistic narration. Much of her work explores the dynamics between round organic forms and hard ridges angles, and the spaces in-between.  By exaggerating this interplay, her work creates a sense of tension which is both lively and sensual.  Dante states, "My world combines ancient and modern rituals, extracting stylize motifs and archetypes, ancient and I pay homage to the many facets of the human sprit, characterized by warmth, humor and sometimes political commentary.  Her works have been showcased in "Art on The Rock At Alcatraz" and "Dead of the Dead" exhibition at the Museum of Mexican Art. In 1990, The City of Oakland purchased her sculpture "Woman’s Liberation", as a gift to Nelson Mandela. She also received the Art of Peace Award the same year.

 
 
 
 

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Barbara de Groot

 

Barbara de Groot started her artistic interests when she was in grade school. By the time she was a teenager and had devoured the book Lust For Life, a biography about Vincent Van Gogh given to her by her nanny the dye was cast.  She was drawing whenever the opportunity arose.  In her early High school years she drew and painted from live models at the Brooklyn Museum Art School with Isaac Soyer, one of three brothers who worked with figurative imagery. She also was fortunate to study in high school with very talented and comprehensive artist/instructors. Much later in Berkeley, CA she joined a group of artists and drew weekly from live models for about 12 years.  Barbara de Groot is a local Berkeley Artist and teacher of art who works in various types of media such as monotypes; Chine Colle with other media; Wood Block prints; Linoleum Block prints; Mixed Media Collage, as shown here; Drypoint; Transfer Methods; painting and drawing. She was an Art Major in Hunter College in New York. Where she learned basic printmaking under noted printmaker, Gabor Peterdi and later attended Academie Goetz in Paris, France where she learned many of her specialized printmaking skills. She also takes photos to capture inspirations for future paintings and prints and has developed her photographic skills as well. Some of her photographs were shown in Expressions Gallery show, “Around the Globe”.  Her work is in many private collections, has appeared in many exhibits in various galleries here and abroad, is archived in the Women’s Museum in Washington, DC, and in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

 

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Joan Di Stefano-Ruiz

 

Joan Di Stefano-Ruiz lives in the Bay Area and is perhaps most known for her work with Stained Glass. She has an M.A in Studio and Environmental Art from New York University, Venice, Italy. She has a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute. And she has studied at the Pilchuck School – Washington and Dale Chihuly's international Mecca for the study of art glass.  Her studio is well respected and has been commissioned to do restoration stained glass work for places such as the Bohemian Club, San Francisco, California, Residential creations in Paris, France: Chapel window in St. Mary's in the Mountains; Virginia City, Nevada Interior art restoration at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Oakland, California Garden Art for Musee De Brux, France and Private Residences.  Di Stefano-Ruiz pioneered the use of stained glass as the main component of mosaic stepping stones and tabletops. A local mosaic mural can be seen at Blondie's Pizza, Berkeley, California. A fireplace mosaic creation of Ms. Di Stefano Ruiz is included in the published work 'The Art of Mosiac Design: A Collection of Contemporary Artists' by Joann Locktov. Her work can be commissioned through Expressions Gallery.

 

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Julia Nicole Feld

 

Julia Nicole Feld, a San Jose, California, artist, was born and raised in Russia. In conjunction with High School, she supplemented her studies at a four-year Art School, but chose a different path in college and became a scientist. After moving to the USA she resumed her art education at various Community Colleges; studying design, drawing and painting. By accident, she took a ceramics class and found that clay was the medium she was searching for to implement her ideas about the three-dimensional world which were impossible to convey through her paintings. She has always been fascinated by human psychology and it reflects in her art and how she makes a connection between sculptures, viewers and herself. Making analogies helps her to conceptualize ideas. She incorporates a narrative and 3D form in one work of art. She paints on clay with underglazes and creates an illusion of interchangeable reality. During the past four years her work has been shown nationwide at different shows and galleries. She studied ceramics at SJSU under Stan Welsh and received her BFA in the fall of 2008. In 2008 she won the 19th California Clay competition and received an Aftosa award, in 2009 she was accepted to the Regional Student Exhibition at The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA).

 
 
 

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Debbie Fimrite

 

Debbie Fimrite is a deaf, Japanese-inspired artist with over 30 years of experience studying, creating, exhibiting and occasionally teaching art. She enjoys painting, drawing, sculpture, computer graphics, photography, origami, creating art dolls and altering Barbies. Always interested in art as a means of inspiration, self expression and healing; she was fortunate to grow up in the presence of many supportive artists including her mother who is a painter and sculptor. Over the years she has exhibited in a number of Bay Area Galleries including the Fort Mason Art Center, the Nanny Goat Hill Gallery, Gallery Sanchez, The Tea Spot Cafe,  the Japan Center, Red Ink Studios, the Market Street Gallery,  Art 94124 Gallery, Age Song Gallery and participated in San Francisco and East Bay Open Studios.

 
 

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Marin Fischer

 

Marin Fischer was born in New York City, lives in Berkeley, CA. and has been an artist as long as she can remember. She attended Brooklyn College in New York, Wayne State University in Detroit, and received her Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees from Arizona State University. Ms. Fischer is a nationally known painter and muralist. Her drawings and paintings have been shown at U.C. Berkeley, the Phoenix Art Museum, and galleries throughout the United States. Her murals can be seen on the Claremont Avenue underpass in Oakland, California, the O’Farrell Theatre in San Francisco, the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, and various locations in Phoenix, Arizona. She has also been a teacher of art, murals, and theatre; a scenic artist--painting sets for the Lyric Opera Theatre at Arizona State University; and designed, built, and painted sets for a local theatre production of the rock musical “Hair.” The artist states: “My watercolor paintings and colored pencil drawings of water/landscapes deal with the effects of light and shadow on smooth and textured planes, lines, and surfaces. These images are figurative reflections of the physical and emotional impact of light and color reflected onto the eye, and of the impact of civilization on our wild and beautiful earth; inspired by my impressions during the years I spent dazzled by the light of the American Southwest.” “Art is the creation of forms symbolic of human feeling.”—Suzanne Langer, Feeling and Form, 1952

 
 
 
 

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Rinna B. Flohr

 

Rinna B. Flohr lives in Oakland, California. She grew up on the East Coast in New Jersey and New York. She graduated from Syracuse University with a B. A. in theatre arts and a Masters of Social Work. She also completed a Certificate in Psychodrama at the Moreno Institute of Psychodrama in New York. She received her license as a clinical social worker and for 37 years she worked as a licensed psychotherapist in private practice and as Deputy Director of Mental Health for Alameda County, Director of the Center for Special Problems, San Francisco Community Mental Health and Assistant Director for San Francisco County Behavioral Health Services. 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 degree she started Design Ideas (www.designideas.us)  and she began doing remodels and designing new interiors that later led her to staging and floral design. She studied floral design with Ron Morgan. Her floral designs were part of the Bouquets to Art Show at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco in the past and she was a member of the San Francisco Museum flower 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. She was President of San Francisco Women Artists in San Francisco, one of the oldest women’s art galleries. Currently she is founder and Director of Expressions Gallery in Berkeley, Ca. (www.expressionsgallery.org )

 
 

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Sue Mary Fox

 

Sue Mary Fox splits her year between her winter workroom in Berkeley, CA, and her summer workroom in the village of Robbinston, Maine.  Born and raised in a rural hamlet on the wild Maine coast, Fox spent her early summers organizing bits and pieces of nature’s “art parts” into patterns on 2- and 3- dimensional surfaces.  Much of her outdoor time was spent along beaches assembling installations of flotsam & jetsam that would become rearranged by time, tide, and weather.  Participating in the long term process of building & observing the progress of disintegrating beach installations has been a life long interest. Although she trained in ceramics at university, Fox spent 32 years in the field of design & construction using the sewing machine– at various times employed making Art to Wear clothing; costumes for theater, dance, opera, & circus; and more recently in creating site specific installations for commercial interiors.  A full time studio artist since 2001, Fox maintains a fully equipped sewing studio on each coast where she primarily produces boldly colorful quilts with an abstract contemporary edge. Her large format quilts have been exhibited across the United States and in Europe. Scarf making offers the joyful opportunity to play with color and texture.

 
 

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Chandra Garsson

 

Chandra Garsson lives in Oakland, California. She grew up in Los Angeles, California. She has two degrees in fine art, including a Master of Fine Arts from San Jose State University, with her B.F.A. from U. C. Santa Cruz. The mixed media sculptures presented in this exhibition are made from wire, bone, doll parts, mannequins, beeswax, fishnet, metal, wood, paper, paint, jewels, cheesecloth, nails, an antique toy bank, hands praying from a religious reliquary, gold leaf, a Barbie doll torso, an ancient red toy windmill, and various other materials. The “Three Wise Men” are actually a depiction of three little sisters: Devine Justice, Devine Maternity, and Devine Contemplation. They play divinely with notions of role reversal with the most powerful of our world, men, but with a sly twist, for they are wise.  "Worship” keeps spirituality in the troublesome box of all that we hold dear in most of our human cultures, namely money, alluding to the old saw, “all that glitters is not gold.” Finally, Barbie on a cross reminds us, along with the three little wise men, that we the woman, we the man, we the baby, we the people. No one is better than anyone, and we all must be the best that we can be, our own most Devine selves. In the last show in the old space of Pro Arts Gallery (the first solo exhibition of the gallery at the time), over two hundred of Chandra Garsson’s works were shown in the exhibit, Insomnia (Awakening), a mid-career retrospective of the artist’s work.

 
 
 
 

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J.M. Grace

 

J.M. Grace was raised in Chicago, lived in New York and now chooses the Bay Area as home.  After a B.S. and a M.A.in art, Grace now teaches art to adults.  Art, fine craft and gardening are all a professional part of her family and personal history. Growing up in beautiful natural surroundings and vacations at the ocean, created a life long love of the beauty in nature.  As a self described ‘nature mystic’ Grace expresses her love and awe through; photography, mixed media, paint, ceramics and glass works. “ I consider beauty to be a necessity.  Creating pieces of art that mirror the beauty and the higher energies that live around us and in our hearts is my spiritual path.” Her idea is that being with a piece of art that mirrors the best around and in us helps us to be our best.

 

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Adam Heffler

Adam Heffler is an east coast ex-patriot currently rooted in Oakland. He’s been a doodler since way back when, he started looking at his art as a "serious venture" shortly after leaving the academic womb. He is a self-taught artist that specializes in a very precise, detail-oriented pen and ink style that he has cultivated over the past few years. He feels that his art is somewhere between linguistic and totemic, and absolutely loves it when people tell him what they see in his art. Sometimes they see things that he saw too, sometimes, it's something completely unexpected.

 

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Patti Heimburger

Patti Heimburger lives in Alameda and has an art studio in Oakland. Patti had her first painting class at the age of thirteen, and received a BA in Studio Art from the University of California in Santa Barbara. She has had a real lifelong love affair with art. Her textured oil paintings have evolved over many years of painting and are just a natural step into something that is different from the norm. These paintings are created through fabric and yarn that is then attached to a canvas surface. These textured surfaces have no reference to the subject matter other than adding complexity. Patti chooses to show optimism, caring and goodness in her paintings. She is currently exhibiting at Hotel Nikko San Francisco. She has had many solo and group showings in California and Washington, in galleries, art centers, universities, and the Oakland Museum. Her artwork is part of a corporate collection, and private collections in many states.  Patti enjoys depicting loving couples in whimsical surroundings. You can view more of her artwork at: www.artistpatti.com.

 

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Bruce Heppler

 

Bruce Heppler was born in Berkeley 1955 (Kaiser).  He graduated Berkeley High in 1973 and  worked at Lawrence Berkeley Lab from 1975 to 1983 as a mechanical technician.  He moved to Covelo, Mendocino Country and opened a welding and repair shop.  Bruce has been working with metal all his life. He did an art sculpture for a nefit for a local music teacher whose mobile home burned (made a phoenix from trailer frame), got positive comments and started making other things.  He takes inspiration from many sources, notably Louis Armstrong, the Three Stooges, and the Marx Brothers.  When he’s not working on farm equipment, he’s making art.

 

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Melanie Hofmann

Melanie Hofmann. The textile piece in this exhibit is one of the fruits of my near lifelong love of fabrics and the process of changing their character through the use of surface painting and printing. Since the time when my grandmother taught me to sew as a child, I’ve loved stitching together these various bits of fabric to make something new that I could wear, give as a gift, or hang on the wall.  Rather than starting a piece with a particular result in mind, I prefer to allow the material to speak to me as the process unfolds; creating its own identity. Often thoughts from my subconscious will come to the surface as I complete a piece, giving me its message and title.  In the case of this work, Regeneration, I found myself thinking of the process of pro-creation with the design elements appearing especially in the screen-printed part of the piece. My home and studio are located in Berkeley. I’m also featuring my work on Italian charm bracelets in this exhibit. I use a heat transfer process to create the custom photo and art charms. Please ask the gallery how to order your own custom bracelet that features your personal photos and artwork.

 

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MLE Hofmann

MLE Hofmann lives in South Berkeley and grew up in the East Bay Area. She has been influenced by her mother, Melanie Hofmann, to express herself through art. This inspired her to pursue art as a way of life. She is a self-taught 17 year old artist who is greatly inspired by the world she lives in. Her art is experimental. She hasn't quite decided her true medium, but she especially enjoys photography and drawing. The piece in this exhibit is a photograph she took in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. MLE states" "Yeah....nature's sexy".

 

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Stan Huncilman

Stan Huncilman was born in Indiana but he is a product of the San Francisco Bay Area art world.  He attended San Francisco State University where e was introduced to Funk Art and Happenings in the ‘70s.  He received his M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1984.  S.F.A.I. is the home of the Bay Area’s leading art instructors. He has been a sculptor for more than 25 years.  Stan works in a variety of materials.  As a matter of practice he uses the material that is most expedient to creating the sculpture he wants rather than “pushing a particular material.”  His sculptures often begin from a simple sketch.  He prefers to work in a in a direct manner tan her than making molds of models before the final sculpture. The artist states: “I combine a child-like playfulness with primitivism. This creates a wonderland of intriguing forms and convoluted messages.  When I enter my studio there is a mental sign post reading “Linear Thinking Stops Here.” Through my sculpture I create a world of nutritiously puzzling paradigms whose roots may be in religion, folk art, nineteenth century industrialisms or Greek mythology.  In this world, a whimsical sense of humor walks arm in arm with an obstinate determination to create.  The sculptures in this exhibition are part of his “All My Psyches” series, a whimsical yet intriguing observation of the complexities of consciousness.  His solo exhibits include Holy Names College in Oakland, California and the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

 

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Diane Jacobson

Diane Jacobson lives in Oakland, CA. She is a transplant from the Little League capital of the world, Williamsport, Pennsylvania. As a veteran teacher in the Oakland schools, she used many art projects and visual cues to instruct her English learners. Although she dabbled in art classes an undergraduate, her interest in glass art was not kindled until the 1990's.  Through classes at Studio One and the Crucible, she has expanded her areas of expertise to include kiln casting and working deep, as well as fusing and slumping glass.  Her pieces are represented in Pro Arts Open Studio as well as several galleries in the Bay Area.  Artist states, "What I like best about fused glass is its element of surprise.  Glass is a chameleon.  Observe the pieces as the light changes.  Glass is a fickle and somewhat undependable medium, as reactions to color and temperature cause a visual dance of light and texture.  Enjoy the dance."

 

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Jenny Sueyoun Kim

 

Jenny Sueyoun Kim lives in San Francisco, CA. A daughter of Korean immigrants, Jenny was born and raised in Los Angeles. She comes from a long line of artists, mostly painters, and she herself has been drawing and painting since before she started school. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in Linguistics, her passion for art intensified, and her interest in three-dimensional media flowered from her “love of decorating the human body—from tattoo art to jewelry." In 2004, she began taking Metal Arts classes at the City College of San Francisco, and metal immediately became her favorite medium. She states: “What's so amazing about working in metal is its coldness and hardness, and with it, being able to create a sense of elegance, movement, and life--which really spoke to me like no other medium has.” Her jewelry pieces reflect her love of organic forms: floral and figural. Her work is entirely hand-sculpted from wax, which she creates in her home studio, and then casts into sterling silver at Scintillant studio in the SF Mission district. She does all steps of the sculpting and casting process herself, from start to finish. In 2007, she began working as a silversmith and jewelry designer on a full-time basis. Her website is at www.jennykim.org. Her website URL is www.jennykim.org..

 
 
 

 

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Nina Lasant

Nina Lasant lives in Oakland, Ca.  She is a practicing nurse, energy healer and nursing instructor.  She is known within the East Bay art community and has exhibited her art locally.  She studied with Peter Lee, Chandra Garsson, Stephen Kelly, and Dave Robbins.  Originally she pursued her love of art as a photographer. She began painting 20 years ago while a participant in an Art Therapy Group with Art Therapist, Marcia Weisbrot.  Nina states "For me art is all about something magical for the viewer.  I like to use a broad range of materials and methods: drawing, collage, found objects, jewels and offerings from nature.  Sometimes the dialogue between the abstract and figurative wants to take center stage.  So I let it happen, gratefully."

 
 

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Charles Lucke

 

Charles Lucke lives in Hercules, CA. He began borrowing his father’s cameras while growing up in Stratford, CT, and has been a freelance photographer since the 1970s. He added a darkroom to each of five consecutive residences, and though he shoots mostly digital today, he continues to mine an inventory of thousands of slides and negatives for images to exhibit. His first solo exhibit, “Four Ways to Abstraction,” was on view at the XZIBTit Gallery in Hercules for two months in 2007, and in July 2008, the Hercules City Council awarded him First Place in the first annual Hercules Photography Contest. Charlie’s inspirations include Hugo Steccati and Ruth Bernhard, who, though their work is very different, were both creatively involved in photography to end of their long and interesting lives. Regarding his interest in abstract photography, the artist states: “There’s a desire in me to create something that no one else has created (or at least, not precisely the way I have created it.) It’s a way to free the form and change it from a visual reality to an unreality. It’s a way to free the process from the precise reproduction of tone, colors, and forms and let the right brain reign.”

 

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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 is her magnificent jewelry.  Jennifer has served on various Boards of Directors for long standing Artists Organizations such as the San Francisco Women Artists, where she was a past President and continues in the current Board as Vice Treasurer and The San Francisco Gem and Mineral organization where she is currently Treasurer.

 

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Janette MacKinlay

 

Janette MacKinlay grew up in Florida, England and Montana and now lives in Oakland.  She loved art as a child and as an adult  studied Gallery Management at CCAC, had her own gallery,  and served on Oakland’s Cultural Affairs Commission. Janette moved to New York City in 1997 and lived  across from the World Trade Center.  She was homeon 9/11 and was fortunate to survive when the windows to her loft were shattered by the cloud of dust created by the collapse of Tower One. She has studied Ikebana since 1995 an used her skills in Ikebana and her interest in contemporary art to heal from the trauma.  She presented a memorial exhibition  called, “There But For the Grace of God”, and wrote about her experiences in a book called, “Fortunate, A Personal Diary of 9/11”. Janette has exhibited her work in galleries and museums for several years and most recently  in an Ikebana exhibition at the Oakland Museum. Janette is now concentrating on a series of “Organic Assemblages”using natural materials in exciting and dynamic ways.

 

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John Mallon

 

John Mallon grew up in the East Bay Area being born in Oakland, his present residence. Arts and crafts have been an interest since early childhood. While in the Navy, pencil portraits were a hobby. From there sculpture and painting became an interest as time went by, resulting in private painting instruction from a bay area teacher. A long list of “How To” art books have helped along the way with sculpture and pencil drawing, as well as a teacher in woodcarving. Awards came from Art shows presented by the Oakland and Alameda Art Associations the past 20 years.  Mallon is still a Member of both and has been President of both Associations. Mallon states: “Monet, Dali and CA painter George Otis are an inspiration to me.  Color and graphite pencil is my favorite and best mediums. In this show he presents artwork that uses beads, or dots of acrylic paint to build up texture.  I also have fun decorating hats and t-shirts using fabric paints and making fun clocks.”

 

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Maj-Britt Mobrand

 

Maj-Britt Mobrand lives in Berkeley, CA but was born and grew up in Stockholm, Sweden.  As a little girl, she saw her grandmother’s loom in the attic and was very intrigued by it and knew she wanted to master one of those.  She has taken weaving classes both in Sweden and the U.S., but is for the most part self-taught.  She has been teaching weaving here in Berkeley since 1968.  Some of the juried shows she has participated in are U.C. Berkeley and Live Oak Art Galleries in Berkeley (1969); Artist League of Vallejo Gallery (1975); Olive Hyde Art Gallery in Fremont (1988); and Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland (2006 and 2008).  She has also participated in many Open Studios and has shown her work at various local venues and as a result has weavings in many private collections. Artist states:  “I enjoy using traditional weaves and patterns in a non-traditional manner and am striving to find a harmonious balance between the natural and the artificial or planned.  My inspiration is derived from music, nature, travels, and from my students.  It’s wonderful to see the enthusiasm of my students as they develop their projects on their looms after I’ve given them the ‘know how’.”

 

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John Pearson

 

John Pearson lives in Berkeley with his wife Liz Lamson. He grew up in Virginia and went to college at Duke University and to graduate school at Union Theological Seminary in New York city. He became interested in photography when he moved to California. He learned photography by trial and error and from friends. He was very inspired by the work of Wayne Milller and Ruth Bernhard and studied with both of them. Dorothea Lange’s work was a big influence on his photography as was the book The Family of Man. He has been photographing for about forty years, and is still in love with it. He held a day job with the University of California Extension so he could keep doing what he loved in photography. He was a coordinator of special programs in the arts for eight years. He has published eight photography books including To Be Nobody Else, The Sun’s Birthday, Begin Sweet World, Magic Doors, The Calligraphy of Nature, and The Music of Life. For several decades he has performed “Visual Concerts” with various musicians including Richard Stoltzman and Eddie Gomez. The concerts feature a blend of slide projections and music, including improvisation, jazz, and classical pieces. They have presented concerts at Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum and the Kennedy Center, and universities throughout the United States. Locally he and Charlie Lucke have presented “Visual Concerts” at “Strings” a house concert venue in Emeryville. Local musicians he has performed with include, Caren Armstrong, Nicole Milner, Tom Rigney and a variety of others.

 

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Leera Rahman

 

Leera Rahman lives in Berkeley, CA. Originally from Bangladesh, Leera moved to the United States when she was five years old.  She grew up predominately in Frankfort, KY.  During her youth her aunts from Bangladesh would send her letters adorned with their drawings.  It is this need for intimacy with her family that initially drew her to create her own art.  Although she took a very different path in her education and pursued a career in chemistry, Leera always fell back to her art whenever time allowed.  Largely a self-trained artist, Leera has taken studio classes throughout the years. During her early years, Leera sketched in charcoal and then progressed to watercolors.  During the last few years her predominate medium became oil on panel. The translucent quality that can be acquired through board allows the interaction between the figure and backdrop which is an important essence in her paintings. Leera’s paintings try to capture an ephemeral point in time.  The subject and the world that it inhabits coalesce into one integral form.  The lines and colors that are constructed have a fluid interplay that sets the tone for the paintings.  Despite the impermanence that is portrayed, a solidity exists that can be translated to the environmental captivity of the human experience. Leera has shown at the Montclair Gallery in 2007 and at the Berkeley Art Center in 2008 as part of the Member Showcase, in Berkeley, Ca. where she received Honorable Mention

 

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Neshat Rezai

 

Neshat Rezai was born in Shiraz, Iran and moved to the U.S. at the age of 14 where she completed undergraduate and Dental School.  She currently resides and practices in Berkeley. Neshat is a glass artist specializing in kiln form glass fusing.  She uses glass as her medium with occasionally incorporating metal and gold leaf.  She finds glasswork very similar to dentistry where one needs to have artistic ability and precision.  Her work is largely inspired by Persian patterns and nature. “My work is a celebration of colors–LIFE.  Glass is truly a medium that is limitless.  Since childhood art has always been part of my life.  When I found glass, I found my passion. Glass is so fragile, yet so powerful.” You can see more of Neshat’s work at http://www.neshatglass.com

 

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Christa Schanda

 

Christa Schanda lives in Castro Valley and was born into a family of artists in Vienna, Austria. Christa received her formal training at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, Austria, and completed her formal training at San Jose State University with a Masters degree in Fine Arts. Christa traveled to Sheffield, England, where she studied intaglio printing and lithography. Two artists who have been inspiring Christa are Georgia O’Keeffe and Vincent Van Gogh. Christa loves primary colors and strong contrasts. Her other passion is dance and she compares the strokes with her paintbrush to dancing across the canvas. Christa prefers acrylics, because they allow to be applied in thick layers or can be applied in thin washes. Several series of paintings have evolved over the years including flowers, marshlands, dance, communication, and her newest series of abstract paintings. Christa Schanda had an opportunity to exhibit her work in 3 different galleries in Vienna, Austria, and also had a retrospective of her work in the U.S. Christa has received many commissions and her art is accepted in numerous juried shows as well as acquired by collectors. This show exhibits her latest abstract work which is spontaneous and has universal appeal. Christa Schanda conceives her paintings as dialog with the viewer and a way of healing the world.

 

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Deborah Robins

 

Deborah Robins is a real live folksinger who lives in Berkeley, CA.  She makes fun and wearable jewelry out of repurposed and found objects like paper clips, safety pins, and sea glass, with the addition of colorful vintage buttons gathered from flea markets around the worlds.  Originally from Chicago, she was exposed to fine art through innumerable trips to the Art Institute of Chicago, where the colors and shapes from several Grant Wood landscapes, captured her imagination.  For two years in a row, Deborah has been selected to participate in the unique Maker Faire as “Folkiedokies: Repurposing with a Purpose”.  Deborah Robins is the Executive Producer of a PBS/WETA television series about the history of American folk music, “THE MUSIC OF AMERICA: History Through Musical Traditions”. www.themusicofamerica.org  Deborah is the sister of Chicago painter, Laura Olear.

 

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Katherine (A.K.A. Delilah) Smith Ph.D

 

Katherine (A.K.A. Delilah) Smith Ph.D. lives in Berkeley and paints in 4th Street Studio. She was a refugee from Lithuania after WW11 and her war experiences led her to
become a psychologist first and later a painter.Her work in acrylic on canvas is an expression of raw paint energy, revealing abstract expressionism, untamed and primitive. Canvases are hung as tapestries, reflecting her Eastern European heritage. She has exhibited in Honolulu HI, received In 2000 a Chow Hee award for a watercolor and in 1995 a United Nations “ Forum on the Status of Woman” award. She taught courses in “Overcoming Conceptual Blocks in Art” “Visualizing Creative Images” an Art as a Transformative Healer”  Artist states :I live in the clouds and come to earth only to run errands, paint paintings and write poems. My paintings reflect spiritual and pagan themes all of which are invoked to produce good fortune

 

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Kim Smith

 

Kim Hendricks Smith, a resident of Orinda California was born and formally educated in Toledo Ohio, University of Toledo. Kim subsequently attended The American University, London, England; with studies in photograph and public relations. Growing up in Ohio surrounded by an artistic family, she was encouraged to explore a wide variety of artistic endeavors from ballet to painting. While raising her daughter, Kim designed and produced hand painted clothing; selling her creations from small shows to Nordstrom’s. Kim also designed and marketed jewelry and ‘walking sticks’ incorporating Bakelite. After years of interest in Papier Mache, Kim began her first of many classes three years ago. Papier Mache is her true love. Kim has recently had pieces on exhibit at showings in Berkeley and Albany. She has an upcoming show, in Albany, of Papier Mache Masks. One of the many things Kim likes about the Papier Mache medium is it inexhaustible possibilities.

 

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Arlene Risi Streich

 

Arlene Risi Streich, grew up and lives in Oakland, Ca. and cannot remember a time that she has not been interested in art. She received her B.A. ED and A.B. F. A. (Painting) from California College of Arts and Crafts (Now CCA) and has lived and spent much time in Mexico doing painting and photography. She has taught in the Oakland Public Schools, Diablo Valley College (Painting, drawing and fashion illustration) and CCAC (Children’s classes). She is presently exhibiting her glass jewelry, a medium started four years ago, and her painting. Her Jewelry work is influenced by her background in painting incorporating a bold use of color and line. Her painting and jewelry work has been shown in numerous exhibits around the country and in private collections. Artist states: “Our role as artists is to continue to amaze, provoke, stimulate, delight and agitate the senses. The fact that we continue to do so is a testimonial to not being complacent, while trying to process the internal/external creative dialogue.”

 

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Phoenix Toews

 

Phoenix Toews is an expert computer programmer and multifaceted artist with a focus on interactive video and audio. In 2003, he began shooting experimental films, programming custom video effects, and using them in
interactive video-to-audio installations. Phoenix's strong interest in working with light, sound, and interactive art, as well as his skills as a programmer, led him to build unique light-and-motion-controlled synthesizers. He quickly adapted these techniques to video so participants could interact with the projected images as well as the audio aspects of his installations.He has collaborated with local and internationally renowned artists, and his work has been featured in international dance productions, concerts, and theater. In his own words: “Programming is ingrained in my blood, in my breath and in my body. It is the symbolic tool that enables me to express my dreams to the world. I specialize in effected, live video that is viscerally and directly interactive with performers and audiences, creating illusions that transform the ordinary into the extra-ordinary. My work is inherently collaborative. I create interactive environments, where the viewer is immediately implicated as a participant."

 

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Lawanda Ultan

 

Lawanda Ultan lives in Berkeley California.  She was born Oklahoma, and grew up in California. She became interested in art to express herself. Her brother was the natural artist in the family, and it was his influence that gave her the courage to pursue artistic interests, which ranged from music, to clay, to painting. She traveled in Europe and states: “I saw at first hand the magnificence of Rembrandt, Picasso, and all the painters that touched me, making me hope that I could speak the same language”. She graduated in art from Berkeley, and has taken many workshops and courses. She sas: “My statement is stolen from a great poet.  ‘This shaking keeps me steady this I know. I go by going where I have to go.’ "

 

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Nad Wolinska

 

Nad Wolinska lives in Lafayette, California. She grew up in France. At an early age she was drawn to art, She studied ballet, mime that she performed and taught in Paris, complemented by music and singing. In a constant state of evolution she journeyed through a variety of Artistic processes, stage management, light &sound designer, decorator, illustrator while pursuing informally, her natural gift of painting. However, it was during her apprenticeship and later collaboration with photo-realist painter Alain Pichereau that gave her a foundation in painting. She became a commissioned painter. Moving to Hong Kong, she stopped all commercial work and turned her creative energy inward while traveling the world, developing her inner life through personal experimentation and revelation. Her spiritual discoveries were a breakthrough for leading to her innate, true style. I paint with the traditional Mische technique using Tempera and Oil, based on recipes developed by the 15th century Flemish Painters. Each painting has 14 layers. Using the 7 colors of the rainbow in succession and then back through the array each color become light layered successively. 7 layers evolve the form, 7 other layers involve consciousness. Her method reflects a search for union. She dives into painting as a medium to reveal a tangible expression of light that shines through the most spontaneous urge and the most natural process as in the origin of Creation. Her work has been exhibited in London, Paris, Italy, Germany, India and New York and include in private collections around the world. She is the recipient of the ART V Muse Awards 2005 in Oil painting category. The artist’s work continues to evolve as she moves forward without regard for trends. “I sit in front of the unknown willing to face Eternity, painting the unseen as a way of discovery.”

 

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Poets

Ann Marie Davis

 

Ann Marie Davis is a lifelong resident of the East Bay. She studied Fine Art at CSU Hayward. She is the owner and founder of Hold On To Your Butt Publishing Co. and recently published her poem "Ourselves Walking" as a gift book. She is working on a collection of poetry and her first novel.

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Charles Entrekin

 

Charles Entrekin was born in 1941 in Birmingham, Alabama,. He received his BA in English from Birmingham Southern College, in 1964. He left Birmingham in 1965 and lived in various states (New York , Tennessee, Alabama, and Montana) while pursuing advanced degrees in philosophy and creative writing. Arriving in California in 1969, he fell in love with the West Coast scene and the Hotel California experience. He now lives In Berkeley with his wife, poet, Gail Rudd Entrekin. Charles has taught at almost every educational level: pre-school language skills to six-year-olds with he Head Start program in Birmingham, Alabama; introduction to set theory to disadvantaged high school graduates with the Upward Bound Program in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; composition, English literature, creative writing, philosophy at the college level, and was the founder of the Creative Writing Program at John F. Kennedy University's Orinda, California campus. For 24 years, Charles was the managing editor of The Berkeley Poets Cooperative and The Berkeley Poets Workshop & Press. The story of the Berkeley Poets Workshop & Press was written up as the cover story in the August 29, 1976 issue of the New York Times Magazine. The Managing Editor of Hip Pocket Press (www.hippocketpress.com), Charles is also the author of "In This Hour", a collection of poems, BPW&P, 1990; Casting For The Cutthroat & Other Poems, BPW&P, 1986; Casting For The Cutthroat, Thunder City Press, 1978, Birmingham, Alabama; All Pieces Of A Legacy, BPW&P, 1975, Berkeley, CA. Charles will read from his novel, Red Mountain, Birmingham, Alabama, 1965, was published May, 2008, by El Leon Literary Arts www.elleonliteraryarts.org .

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Gail Entrekin

 

Gail Entrekin has published three books of poetry, the latest of which, CHANGE (WILL DO YOU GOOD), (Poetic Matrix Press, 2007) was nominated for a Northern California Book Award.  She is Poetry Editor for Hip Pocket Press and editor of the online environmental literary magazine, Canary.  In 2002 she served as editor of SIERRA SONGS & DESCANTS: POETRY & PROSE OF THE SIERRA and in 2007 she edited YUBA FLOWS, a collection of poetry by six Northern California poets.  Gail has taught English Literature and Creative Writing in California colleges for 25 years, and her poems have been widely published, most recently in AFTER SHOCKS: THE POETRY OF RECOVERY FOR LIFE SHATTERING EVENTS (2008), California Quarterly, and Persimmon Tree.

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Prartho Sereno

 

Prartho Sereno is author of the prize-winning collection, Call from Paris (winner of the 2007 Word Works Washington Prize) as well as author/illustrator of the award-winning poetry collection, Causing a Stir: The Secret Lives and Loves of Kitchen Utensils (2008 IPPY Gift-Book Award). Her other publications include  the chapbook, Garden Sutra; a song/ poetry CD, Salt; and a book of essays, Everyday Miracles: An A to Z Guide to the Simple Wonders of Life. She received a 2003 Marin Arts Council Individual Artist Grant in poetry, and has been a California Poet in the Schools for nine years.

 

 

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