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"Cypress Gallery Art Walk"    

May 2019

by Elizabeth Monks Hack

It's officially springtime, and the birds have descended upon Lompoc! Our feathered companions are currently roosting at the Cypress Gallery, but unlike their Hitchkockian counterparts, these birds are friendly, playful, and consummately creative. As are their makers. Earlier this spring the gallery initiated "Come Fly With Me," a community-wide art event in which participants were given a plain plywood template of a bird, to be returned by the artist after undergoing a metamorphosis by their own creative juices. The results of the challenge are in, and they are absolutely delightful. The birds have been adorned and transformed by not only paint and feathers, but every conceivable media, including but not limited to, pennies, seed pods, yarn, glass, wire, copper, bark, flower petals, glitter and beads. They sit in nests, on branches, a gourd, and one even sits on a skull. Barbara Curtis has incorporated two of the cut-outs into a painterly work in which watercolors and her unique drawing skills play a part. Don't miss this whimsical, uplifting, downright aerial show!

Several of our artists have submitted wonderful works to the main gallery that reflect the avian theme. The subject of birds is a favorite of Linda Gooch, in harmony with her exquisite technique of soft edges and finely rendered textures. Five Gooch pieces demonstrate a quiet world of nature's beauties, including "Dove in my Windowbox." In them she shares a private visual and emotional experience.
Artist Mikel Nicarrato employs a keen sense of abstraction in many of his works, and in the enigmatic "Ceasura," he brings it to a pure state. The acrylic is a composition of soft floating color shapes stained into the canvas, that upon study, anchor themselves around a central neutral shape. Is it a figure, or a crossroads? Abstraction often takes us to a place of mystery.

Photographs in the gallery this month have a painterly feeling of color and handmade texture. Debby Fuller's "Little Yellow Hills" and Suzanne Schenk's "Ball-Man at Surf Beach" take the viewer to a place both familiar and extraordinary, personal and universal. For more texture, art lovers, visit the charming "Squirrel " by Lee Hill, a delightful study of tree bark and animal fur, set in an intimate composition. And swoon over the precision and beauty of tooled design wrought by Tammy Evans on a large black gourd, entitled "Circle of Bears," a museum-quality piece decorated with bone and turquoise. Also, pay some homage to the tall, elegant, smooth "Geisha" by Mary Whitmore, who won the People's Choice ribbon last month. Congratulations! Mary also created "Filbert," our dog-artist who paints in front of the gallery when we're open.

Once again our installation team has done a terrific job arranging two-dimensional with three-dimensional work, including gift items, set in enticing vignettes. Joellen Chrones' felted wool hats of berry, emerald and mint green complement Betsee Talavera's charming gouache "Coastal Memories" on the wall behind them, wherein similar colors can be found. Small touches such as this make the Cypress Gallery a great place to recreate, and also a great place to shop! This month, come for the bird show. Stay for the visual delight. Tweet this one to your friends!

Looking at art is a life-enhancing gift that is free. We can't emphasize enough how fortunate we are to be able to buy charming, original cards and gifts by local artists at competitive prices. Please consider the Cypress Gallery as your go-to gift store, as well as your "Imagination Station," and your monthly art venue!

The Cypress Gallery is operated by the members of the Lompoc Valley Art Association, which is a 501c(3) non-profit organization, committed to expanding and supporting access and exposure to the arts in the Lompoc and Santa Ynez Valley. The gallery is located at 119 East Cypress Avenue, Lompoc. Winter Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 12 noon to 4:00 PM. Phone (805)737-1129. Visit our Facebbook page and venture further on our LVAA website for more information.

Are you an artist, photographer or artisan crafter or simply want to support the local art community? Consider joining the Lompoc Valley Art Association. You can pick up a membership application here and drop it off at the gallery.

Two Birds by Barbara Curtis

Ceasura by Mikel Naccarato

"Two Birds" by Barbara Curtis "Ceasura" by Mikel Naccarato