expressions gallery
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: 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 -
Abundance and Joy
November 17, 2006 - January 3, 2007

Click on Thumbnails to Enlarge Artwork

Lili Artel


Lili Artel was a late bloomer starting her artwork in her fifties. She didn’t obtain her art education until long after an A.B. in English from Hunter College in New York City and a M.A. from San Jose State University, San Jose, California in Librarianship.  Her art studies were received at California State University, Hayward, CA.  She received her Fine Arts credential in 1972.  Her primary focus in art school was in sculpture --ceramic, direct metal, cast metal (bronze), wood and stone carving.  Lili uses primarily non-art materials, rope, all kinds of paper, nylon hose, hair, fur, leather, feather and found objects to create her work.  She uses craft/ textile techniques (embroidery stitching, knitting, knotting, wrapping and weaving often distorted and transformed to achieve textures. She calls in “needle drawing”. Lili describes herself as a process artist who creates through curiosity and play.  “What if I tear rather than cut? What if I unbraid the rope or yarn? What if I glue two pieces of paper together and then pull them apart? Play enters into my work in that I do not start out with a blueprint.  My hands and the materials do a dance and chance plays a part in the process.”



Bart Borland


Bart Borland lives in Berkeley, 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.



Carol Jones Brown


Carol Jones Brown, has been painting and doing art for over 40 years. She has a BS degree in journalism and a teaching certificate for adult school in fine art, crafts and communications. She has taught art classes at the Adobe Art Center in Castro Valley, then 30 plus years with the Hayward Adult School where she is still teaching one class. She works primarily in oils, acrylics and mixed media. She has had many exhibits over the years and has shown in a number of galleries. Her paintings are in many private collections around the world.   She is a member of several active Bay Area art organizations that display her work. Carol says, “There was a time when I created works that would look great over someone’s sofa—florals, seascapes, etc.   But now I’ve been painting for over 40 years and sofa paintings just aren’t fun to do any more.  Today my goal is to make something that is exciting—a surprise, even for me.  Lately I have been attacking my empty canvases with globs of hot colors in acrylic paint, dancing my brushes around the canvas for a challenging start. “ Her works are magical, stirring and exciting and Expressions Gallery is proud to present her work as part of Abundance and Joy.



Nancy Calef


Nancy Calef was born in Bronx, New York, went to Bronx High School of Science and received a scholarship from the College of New Rochelle to study painting and sculpture. In 1977, she moved to San Francisco. She has lived abroad and traveled extensively in Europe, Thailand throughout the U.S., Mexico, Central America, Southeast Asia, India and Nepal,. She paints society from her imagination, juxtaposing characters in ordinary situations and tackling difficult issues using humor and adding the third dimension (sculpture and found objects on canvas).  Her work has been exhibited in various shows and has drawn various comments: "When I first saw Nancy Calef's paintings I thought, 'Now here's an original idea.' As a traditional, old workhorse I don't have much use for and don't believe in classifying contemporary art. I do think a picture should say something and Nancy's subject matter and palette express a view of the world beyond her years. "Jack Levine-- former President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  "Nancy Calef creates "peoplescapes." With a nod to Richard Lindner, a glance toward Red Grooms and a wink at Jack Levine, Calef respects traditional artistic roots when she breaks the plane of the canvas with sculpture and found objects. Calef's satiric eye views the planet from a unique perspective. The journey that began in the Bronx,  was nurtured in the Far East and flourishes in North Beach, has influenced her style, exposing society's foibles with humor - a thread of tolerance in this complicated world. "  George Krevsky-- Owner, George Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA.   “Her Peoplescapes are a must-see!" Nicole Meoli -- Where Magazine.  “Now, this is art with an attitude!” Former Mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown



Zwanda Cook


Zwanda Cook is a Bay Area Artist who holds an AA Degree from the College of Alameda and attended San Francisco State College and the College of Marin where she studied dance painting, drawing and jewelry making.  Her work in clay and paper mache is self-taught.  She has exhibited her work at the Marin County Fair and won honorable mention in their juried show; Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross, CA., the College of Marin and the Finley Art Center, Santa Rosa, Ca.  After seeing the Black Nativity Perfomance at the Loraine Hansberry Theatre in 2005, Zwanda states “ I was so inspired by the performance that I went home and created my version of a Black Nativity using my favorite medium -- clay.”  This piece is beautifully done and perfect for a show that runs through the holidays and celebrates Abundance and Joy.



Elizbeth Dante

Elizbeth Dante is an artisan who is highly skilled in all aspects of casting and carving, She works in numerous media; notably bronze, and other materials such as cast stone, aluminum, resin, concrete, and carved marble.  While a gemologist living and traveling in Brazil, Panama and Southeast Asia, Ms. Dante attained an affinity for the Third World.  This ever-present influence has provided Elizabeth with stylistic inspiration for her work ranging from classical naturalism to stylistic narration.  Much of her sculpture explores the dynamics between round organic forms and hard rigid angles.  By exaggerating this interplay, her work creates a sense of tension which is both lively and sensual. Ms. Dante has said that her work combines ancient and modern rituals, extracting archetypes and stylized motifs. ”I pay homage to the many facets of the human spirit, characterized by warmth, humor and sometimes political commentary.” Although she utilizes an academic background that includes the Gemological Institute of America, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the College of Marin, Ms. Dante remains essentially self-taught.  She has honed her craft by working for established sculptors, most notably Elio Benvenuto.  While an artist assistant to German artist Toni Bruchert in Pietra Santa,Italy, Ms. Dante learned traditional techniques and methods for sculpting/enlarging and casting/finishing bronze; patinas; and marble carving.  Most recently as a patina artisan, Ms. Dante has  worked with Bay Area Artists Steven De Staebler, Bruce Beasley, and Ruth Asawa.  Ms. Dante has exhibited in numerous shows in the United States and Italy.  Her outstanding works have been showcased in collaborative efforts such as “Art on the Rock at Alcatraz”, and “The Day of the Dead” Exhibition at The Museum of Mexican Art.  In 1990, she received the prestigious Art of Peace Award from the Artist Embassy International for her sculpture “Woman's Liberation”, which was chosen by the Oakland Art Commission as a gift to Nelson Mandela and the people of South Africa.



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, 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.  Her work is in many private collections and has appeared in many exhibits in various galleries here and abroad and is archived in the Women’s Museum in Washington, DC and in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.



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, 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.  Ella 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"  and boxes.



Rinna B. Flohr


Rinna B. Flohr is an interior architect and designer who also is a floral designer and makes jewelry.  Her jewelry consists of bracelets, pendants,  and earrings which she calls “sculpture for the ear”.  Rinna believes that in a world where we have become so mobile and where we no longer have offices but cubicles, that walls have disappeared and that our bodies have once again become the pedestals for art as in times long ago when we wandered as nomads and wore our trophies and precious adornments.  She is also a floral designer and has had her floral designs exhibited in the Legion of Honor Museum and as part of the San Francisco De Young ‘Museum’s Bouquets to Art show.   Her floral art for this show uses silk flowers in arrangements she makes to compliment and express the artwork next to which it is placed, as  in the San Francisco Bouquet to Arts Show .  This is one of the only galleries that features floral arts.  Her work is on display as part of Abundance and Joy. Rinna is also the founder and Director of Expressions Gallery. More of her earrings and floral art can be seen on her website:



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.



Paul Graf 


Paul Graf has a BFA degree from CCA and is currently a member of the Sculpture Faculty at the Academy of Art University in SF, as well as a yearly guest instructor at the Mendocino Art Center. He was originally from Maryland. He presents “sculptural paintings” that reflect his approach to the interface between 2 & 3 dimensional art through the raised textures that are the graphic results. In different lightings and viewed from different angles, many aspects of the image come forward or recede as you move about.



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.



Sofia Harrison


Sofia Harrison is self-taught, she started creating artwork in 1999 and since then has participated in numerous gallery and juried exhibitions in the bay area, with selected shows in New York. She lives and works in Napa and has been commissioned by clients across the country. Sofia uses glass and words with an entirely fresh perspective to create a mixed-media piece that is visually pleasing, intelligent and soulful. "I gather words in much the same manner as a painter mixes paints," she explains.  Magazine advertisements are her favorite source for words and phrases: "When taken out of context, they become either particularly funny or especially poignant." Her work embodies the collective thought patterns of our society: fractured but connected, expressing individuality, desire, spirit and reason.

She affixes the words to the hand cut glass pieces and then attaches them to mannequins, boxes, sash windows, baby dolls and furniture. The framework chosen is often dictated by what she can, to put it plainly, garbage-pick. "I was driving in Berkeley and spotted an old stool half buried in tall grass in a vacant lot. I almost caused an accident by making a b-line to nab it." Now encrusted with verbiage, the work is entitled Tossed in Berkeley. "I love the process of reincarnation."



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 and windy places. In 2006, Denise received an Honorable Mention for her painting “North of Saddlebag” in the Yosemite Renaissance XXI juried exhibition, which is currently on tour in central California. She has 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. She has also participated in the Pro Arts Open Studios and has had shows in Bay Area cafés and the YWCA in Berkeley. Denise also loves to sing.



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. Her pieces in this show represent her desire to inspire feelings of abundance and joy in the viewer.  She offers for the holidays, custom designed bracelets with digital images of family or other photos incorporated.



Luitgard Ilg


Luitgard Ilg was born and raised in Oberwolfach, in the middle of the black forest in Germany. She is in Berkeley with her husband who is teaching at UC Berkeley. Her interest in art stems from her love of nature. Her first activities in art were beautiful flower arrangements. Later, she started to paint on eggs, mainly flower motifs. At the beginning she used acrylic, but soon she began to experiment with watercolors on paper. She attended numerous courses by well-established artists in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, amongst them Bernhard Vogel. All these artists influenced her style, which is basically naturalistic, but often with a little change to create an artistic expression. Most motifs are taken from nature. The work she is presenting in the show were inspired by here recent visit to Central Park in New York, where the fascinating abundance of colors inspired her. She combined this with grapes from the vineyards of California during her visit to California and entered her work as her interpretation of Abundance and Joy.



Talya Arianna Jackson


Talya Arianna Jackson (DBA TAJ publishing and Studio TAJ), is a self-taught artist from Walnut Creek. She started drawing about 5 years ago as a self- prescribed form of therapy when she was in a bad place in life. She says that drawing enabled her to make sense out of what she was feeling.  It also brought a sense of peace to her soul.  The mediums she uses are oil pastels and most recently oil paints. Her artwork is abstract and vibrant.  She intentionally draws people with unique skin color such as blue or pink because she believes the color of one's skin is irrelevant. “ I detest all forms of ignorance, “ she says, “ I think the world needs more tolerance and compassion towards one another.”  Her greeting cards are currently in 7 stores throughout the Bay Area. This is her first gallery show.



Francine Kohn


Francine Kohn was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in Long Beach, California, She has studied art with Art Holman, renowned color-field painter & has been a student
of Hans Hofmann for three years. She is an abstract painter and teacher. Her greatest influences are metaphysics, the potential of the human being and these artists: Johannes Vermeer, whose magic turns light into life; Vincent Van Gogh, for his unique and delightful use of color; and Art Holman, who shared with her the technical aspects of painting. She brings over 25 years of independent study, experience and practice in painting, metaphysics, quantum mechanics, and sacred geometry to her work as an artist and teacher. Hundreds of individuals have experienced her painting and creativity workshops, classes, and lectures that assist participants in getting to the place of creative flow and energy with ease. She provides an environment for the full development, power and expression of the individual.  She works in acrylic and oil and her paintings feature rhythmic layers of unique color harmonies with glazing techniques from the Masters. Their roots are in Western art, Hindustani music, spiritual traditions, and computer technology. Francine has been featured on the award-winning cable TV :Bug Girl Show; in a half-hour interview "Inside the Artist's Studio"; collected and exhibited nationally and Internationally and her work was included in the Palm Springs Desert Museum nationally juried show by Ann Philbin, director of the UCLA, Hammer Museum, Palm Springs, CA with over 800 entrants and 46 selected.



Athens Kolias


Athens Kolias known as Athens K. Designs lives in the Bay Area and handcrafts elegant and whimsical purses.  A veteran of the fashion accessory world, Athens started designing her handbags as an answer to the need to carry some essentials when she went out dancing.  She uses many wonderful fabrics collected over the years. These include fabrics from the window displays of the high-end fashion and interior design worlds. All her bags are made individually, with no purchased handles.  All zippers are embellished with either a tassel or a bead or something interesting.  Linings are just as important as the visible side of these purses, and many times present a whimsical design sense.  Tassels, beads and dangles frequent these artful wrist bags.



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.   



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, Through The Eye of The Artist where her landscapes are featured.



Teresa Moore


Teresa Moore is a Bay Area Artist who is self-taught. She paints mainly with her fingers. Moore creates an atmosphere of night life, good times, and fleeting romances.  Her images bring to life a world at once sensuous, sophisticated, sometimes sweet yet always alluring.  Never one to shy away from her inner perceptions, Ms. Moore for many years through her paintings has delivered a nocturnal existence in which "her girls," with sophistication and yet a certain disenfranchised gravitas, reach out beyond the canvas and inhabit an alcove in the viewer's spirit. Teresa Moore's oil on canvas works stage strong, independent women in a cocktail palette of boozy yellows, gaudy greens, and lusty reds. Her work is described in San Francisco Socialite Magazine as a combination of the sensibilities of Federico Fellini and Tim Burton, takes us to places that seem oddly familiar, whose figures that subtlety and with femininity, suggest the decadence of Weimar Germany and the sensuality of  Modigliani. Ms. Moore¹s work has been showcased at exhibits in San Francisco, New York, Miami, Chicago, San Diego, Spain, Italy, and Canada, and is owned by collectors around the globe. This is another side of Abundance and Joy; the dark underbelly - a not so shiny Abundance of Vice and Danger and the edgy Joy of Decadence that is portrayed in this world.



Scott David Plumlee


Scott David Plumlee lives in Manhattan, Illinois and is an authority on ancient chain jewelry designs. He has recently published a book entitled “Handcrafting Chain and Bead Jewelry” which is available at Expressions Gallery. He is an educator and an artist. He offers classes at Beadisimo periodically. His jewelry in on display at Expressions Gallery, Abundance and Joy holiday show.



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 chosen to use whimsical, seasonal images of abundance and joy for the purses she made as part of this show at Expressions Gallery.



Eleanor Ruckman


Eleanor Ruckman lives in the Bay Area and is an Art Therapist with a Masters Degree in Art Therapy Counseling from College of Notre Dame in Belmont, Ca. Her own artwork, she states: “tells stories of spirit, that connect her & the viewer to the universal flow.” Her work is colorful, dramatic, & figurative. Her oil paintings & oil pastel drawings integrate visions, myths, & archetypal symbols with observations of nature. She has exhibited in a number of juried shows and has been published.. She does commissioned portraits and cards. Expressions Gallery is proud to present her work as part of its show: Abundance and Joy



Sandra Ruhl


Sandra (Sandy) Ruhl was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Educated as an RN, most recently she has worked in oncology and cardiology research.  About 10 years ago Sandy discovered photography helped her to see more of the world and gave her a good reason to be outside and others, when viewing her photographs, said she had a “good eye.”  Sandy’s prints and slides have won awards in competitions at the Millbrae Camera Club, the Northern California Council of Camera Clubs, the Mid-Peninsula Photographic Alliance, the San Mateo County Fair, and the San Francisco chapter of the Sierra Club.  Sandy has donated photographs to the Burlingame Public Library, the San Mateo County Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society and the San Mateo Sunrise Rotary Club.  She has taken slides for use by the Friends of Mills Canyon in educational presentations and has led two photography walks through the canyon.  Her prints have been on display at various San Mateo and Santa Clara county locations, including Filoli.  Sandy initially sought to record her impressions of natural beauty.  She now also seeks to capture “interesting” images wherever she finds them.



Susan Von Knopka


Susan Von Knopka was born in Eggertsville, New York. She received a Masters of Fine Art at Buffalo State College in 1974. She has been creating art for over 55 years. Her mediums are painting, etching, sculpture, drawing, oils, and acrylics. Her art is influenced by the four seasons she experienced while living in New York, the wonderful art museums, the historic buildings, as well as her experiences traveling in Europe and Mexico.  Her art has been shown in many places individually and with other artists. In this show, she presents three collages that express "Abundance and Joy". She states:” that sunflowers are bursting forth in life as well as peaches with their warmth and sweetness in a jungle of what life is. I honor the imperfect and see what is beautiful, not what is expected …”.



André S. Wagner


André S. Wagner was born in 1980 in Burgstädt, Germany. Trained as a photographer, he creates unique photographs of landscapes of his travels around the world. The photographs in this show are taken in India, Spain, Eastern Europe and New Zealand. The pictures are composed by means of long-term exposure and in some cases, the help of a fire-artist. His fascination is with light and the landscape. He photographs the natural movement of light and also creates light with fire kept under control. The fire artist wanders through riverbanks spinning a fireball at the end of a long baton. With long-term exposure, the fire appears to be dancing in circular patterns through the landscape producing a surrealistic effect of energy that when combined with the rotation of the earth as Andre puts it “leads man to delve into the mystic knowledge down deep in his soul.” Andre has entered prestigious competitions and has won several distinguished prizes. Perhaps the one of which he is most proud is the International contest 13 Hasselblad Austrian Super Circuit where he won a gold medal and thirteen recognitions. His work has been published in a book, in many magazine and other publications and in art catalogues. His unique gift is the sensual way of perceiving the surroundings. With his photographs he shares theses with us. As David Hernández de la Fuente, Author and Poet, Spain states, “The real journey is that of a man who is thirsty to travel towards his own center who leaves an unforgettable impression on the retina of a new view of the world and its elements."



Sara Waugh


Sara Waugh has studied painting and drawing at Columbia University and the New York Studio School in New York City, The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and SUNY New Paltz in New Paltz, New York.  Her paintings have been exhibited in solo shows and group shows across the United States.  Waugh graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology and a Minor in Mathematics.  Both of these subjects continue to influence her paintings.    Waugh works primarily with mixed media, including watercolor, ink, gouache, and acrylic on archival watercolor paper.  The works presented in “Masks, Myths, and Magic” are inspired by the idea that science and magic are not as disconnected as they at first appear to be.  Her subject matter comes from the natural world – including pupae, leaves, trees, and human body parts - and she combines this biological imagery to create an otherworldly, magical atmosphere with layers of paint, delicately drawn shapes, and a nuanced palette. Her goal is to bring the viewer on a journey where the everyday becomes mysterious, fascinating, and beautiful.  Waugh is inspired by artists including Richard Diebenkorn,  Frida Kahlo, Pierre Bonnard, and Willem de Kooning.  She lives and works in San Francisco. 



Leslie Winokur


Leslie Winokur began her art career in the 1970s as a ceramic artist working in porcelain.  She was heavily influenced by Japanese Shinto and Oribe ware and ceramic artists such as Shoji Hamada and Bernard Leach.  Her work was very decorative and reflected the spontaneity and the accidental that are so much a part of Japanese ceramic traditions.  She sold and exhibited her work 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. After purchasing a house in 1990 she developed an intense interest in gardens. Botanical imagery and travel sparked her interest in photography, which eventually led to the production of a body of work manipulated in Photoshop.  Very quickly she began embellishing her printed photos with a variety of traditional painting media.  Subsequently, she moved away from the computer and has been painting full time for several years now, working in a wide variety of media including watercolor, acrylics, pastels, oil paint, oil pastels and colored pencils.  Her work has been shown in juried shows and two pieces were recently purchased by the Alameda Country Art Commission for display in a public building.  The artist refers to the abstract paintings in this show as “reconstructions.”  Each piece begins in watercolor, which defines the basic feeling and structure.  The brushstrokes are loose and free, emphasizing the beauty of the medium, and accidents are encouraged.  The work is then cut up and reassembled to create a new, multi-layered composition.  Additional details may be added.  The completed piece is an expression of the artist’s absorption in organic forms and the interplay of sensuous color, line, movement, rhythm and spontaneity.



Mary Melissa Younkin


Mary Melissa Younkin is a bay area transplant from Orange County, CA.  She graduated with distinction from the California College of the Arts in 2004 with a BFA. She now lives and works in Oakland. She did an internship at Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland from Sept. – Nov. 2005 and spent some time in 2003 at the Lamar Dodd School of Fine Art in Cortona, Italy for the Spring semester of college.
She has had some solo and group exhibits around the Bay Area.  Mary Younkin’s current focus has been on creating figurative paintings and drawings inspired by a growing collection of found photos.  Photographs allow her a launching point from which to enhance narratives of family, relationship, color, and expression in the medium of painting and drawing.   Generally said to have a nostalgic or timeless feel, the figures in her work have become, for her, a sort of album.  Her choices of color, pattern, and composition create scenes that are awkwardly happy.  There’s a factitious quality that invites the viewer in to participate in the curiosity.  Mary has experience working with a variety of mediums including oil painting, acrylics, graphite, pen & ink, woodcut, and monotype. 


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