Am I Dead Yet

San Francisco artists Robin Dick and Sandoval explore and celebrate life, love, and loss through mixed media using discarded and found artifacts, reclaimed wood, paper, string, photographs, plastic, metal, and objects from nature. Am I Dead opens Friday, January 10th with refreshments from 5-7pm and will continue to be on view through Feb 21st, 2020.

 

Circle Study, by Robin Dick

Robin Dick

Using her subtle sense of art and design, Robin invokes complex feelings by blending ordinary and found objects. Motivating her work is a strong desire to work with her hands and communicate artistically in a non-digital medium.

In her constructions, she merges her passion for the aesthetic nature of objects with inspiration from travel, music, the beach, and the many people who’s lives have touched her own.

Robin was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and raised in the Midwest. After some formative years in Colorado, she headed farther west, landing in San Francisco where she’s resided since 1988.

She earned her Bachelors degree in Design from the University of Kansas, with minors in metal smithing and painting, as well as an Associate’s Degree in Design from the Art Institute of Colorado.

Artist Statement

I have always been drawn to the way objects and images make me feel. My process starts with my tendency toward accumulation – the gathering of the silent bits and pieces that occupy my world…clues that might someday speak to me as I search for links between myself and these precious, discarded raw materials.

Sorting through an arsenal of found treasures – mined everywhere from the street, and trash bins, to flea markets, estate sales, and antique stores – I decide which objects I want to use, always searching for an emotional and spiritual connection between myself and these materials.

As I begin to position objects together – adding and subtracting – I move forward, never feeling satisfied until I’ve reached what I feel is a visual absolute. The merging of my personal feelings with the alchemy of textures, color, and materials is key.

Over time, my compositions begin to reveal a nature behind my materials, enabling me to create works that mirror my own feelings and communicate my discoveries to others as well.

It’s rare that a piece is meticulously planned; it’s a very spontaneous process. Though these pieces are outwardly an assembly of visual elements, the work’s origin stems from my intuition and emotions.

 

Block art 2, by Rondoval

 

Rondoval

Ron Sandoval’s creative talents are inspired by his passion for paying attention to the the small details and artful beauty of nature, little structures and odd mediums. His childhood dreams of floating fantasies like lilies in a fountain are recreated in his work as an artist, landscape and floral designer, where his imagination and depth of vision are suspended in his works. His breakout was his LACMA installation in 1990, where his recycled use of rose stems as a crucifix, sphere and box, caught the attention of the LA art world and catapulted him onto the Hollywood scene where his pioneering work influenced the floral design industry internationally. Fleurish, his acclaimed Los Angeles design studio on Beverly Blvd, attracted regular clients such as Quincy Jones, Yves Saint Laurent and Judy Knapp.

Artist Statement

My work concentrates on the mythology of process and elements of nature. My installations’ emphasis is in the pockets of natural curiosities and the beauty of their materials. One can reflect, meditate and interact with the importance of recycling. Through this woven balance of mystery and ever changing nature, , we can hear the message of “conserving the life on earth.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women’s Work, an exhibit of textile work

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For our next show, we will be featuring textile art by these fine artists: Dale Eastman, Rachel Leibman, Karin Lusnak, Stacey Shuster, Ileana Soto, Sharon Steuer and Ellen Weinstein. The show opens with its opening reception on Friday, September 13th and will run thru November 8th, 2019. We will also host an artist’s talk Sunday, October 6th, from 1 – 3pm. This group of artists was curated by Rachel Leibman and she had this to say of its inspiration: “I have long been enthralled by fiber art – the weavings of indigenous peoples around the world, the quilts of Gee’s Bend, Renaissance tapestries and oriental carpets. Textile work straddles the boundary between craft and art, frequently created for functional purposes, but still with a strong sense of design and imagination. Different regions and tribes have their own unique styles for creating fiber art, often passed down from generation to generation. With globalization and modernization, these traditions are sadly being forgotten. This has encouraged me to sew, weave and dye, and to seek out like-minded people.”

“This exhibit features textile artists who work with reclaimed or recycled materials in creative and surprising ways. These artists approach their artwork with a nod to long established crafts such as sewing, quilting, embroidery and dyeing, but each artist brings a singular and contemporary approach to a traditional, and overwhelmingly women’s, mètier. I have selected artists who work with different types of source materials and produce very different kinds of creations. Some use fabric and thread while others create textiles from non-traditional materials such as discarded moth cocoons or vintage watch parts. Some of the pieces are vibrant and colorful, while others are detailed and meticulous. All are interesting, original and innovative.”

 

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Seeding the future, by Dale Eastman

Dale Eastman

Objects evoke an ambivalence in me. Even still, for more than a decade, I’ve spent half of my time making some sort of object, typically using natural, electronic or salvaged materials. Discarded moth cocoons have been my material of choice for the last several years. Like so many soft sculptures made from fibrous materials, these cocoon pieces constantly shape shift each time they’re moved. While sewing, I sometimes hold the pieces out in front of me, almost a gestational pose, and it’s true that the proliferating, generative nature of the material and the work is as mesmerizing to me as the second hand on a clock. As I sew, I periodically wonder about the point at which a particular artwork began, where it will end, or if it ever will. Isn’t each piece often, in some way, a continuation of another? Some of the cocoons are riddled with holes, allowing the viewer to see both the outside and the inside of the work. For me, though, the artwork’s hollow, lacy ephemerality has an additional focus: the space that arises around the work itself. Could it be that it is this space that I’m most in search of (even longing for?) when I’m creating artwork? Objects are necessary: they define cultural space and provide helpful boundaries that direct and delineate. But they can also circumscribe and calcify; they even risk fitting us with cataracts that blind us to what isn’t yet. That’s a shame because what I’m learning from making objects is that what isn’t is often just as important as what is.

I’m a multimedia artist and a fiction writer who originally trained as a seamstress. Frequently, I combine these practices in order to explore the subtle or overlooked connections between different aspects of our lives. My artwork has been in numerous group and solo shows the San Francisco Bay Area.

daleeastman.com

 

Rachel Leibman website photo

Temporal Tapestry, by Rachel Leibman

Rachel Leibman

I am a mixed media artist, living and working in San Francisco. After becoming enamored with textile arts during travels around the country and abroad, I taught myself to sew and dye with natural materials. My most recent project is the “Chrono”  series. I make quilts and weavings embroidered with vintage watch parts. I also create textiles by weaving together watch parts with wire and using this new textile to construct tapestries and hanging sculptures.

I love working with watch parts not only because they are beautiful and exquisite, but because they provide such a wonderful metaphor for so many aspects of life. Our stories are bound up in time. No matter what we do, time marches on, leaving us with memories and hopes.

rachelleibman.com

 

Karin Lusnak website photo

Stepping Out, by Karin Lusnak

Karin Lusnak

Originally from Pennsylvania, I worked as a Research Associate in genetics and molecular biology laboratories at the University of California in Berkeley until retiring in 1998. During this time, I developed an interest in textile arts as a student at Pacific Basin School of Textile Arts and eventually received my MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts, now CCA.

While at CCA I discovered how much I enjoy three-dimensional work. I created “Can’t Becomes Act” sometime after graduation. This piece speaks for itself.

Although my love of fiber art often takes me toward two dimensional pieces, my desire to create something sculptural again coincided with my desire to let things go.  This led me to build a house with thread spools that belonged to my mother, to another dear friend, and to myself.  “Stepping Out” is and will always be filled with memories. The image of the house is often described as a symbol of the self and the figure of the woman represents my effort to move forward.

Another of my pieces, also a house, is built with wine corks and recycled denim. It addresses many issues from politics to personal. A lovely and gentle song based on Paul Gauguin’s painting called “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” served as my inspiration.

“Getting THERE From HERE” describes a personal effort to move forward in life. The letters have an inner structure of sycamore branches covered with layers of fragile, pliable fabric sewn together and representing personal history and the multitude of experiences that compose a life. Bound with colorful silk fiber, the letters stand upright suggesting solidity, strength and perseverance.

KarinLusnak.com

 

Stacey Shuster website photo

Sanctuario, by Stacey Shuster

Stacey Shuster

My passion for machine quilting started in eighth grade home economics, I love the way you can create warmth and beauty for every day use, transforming old and new fabrics as women throughout the centuries have done. Quilting has largely been women’s work – from slaves in the south to immigrant women in northeast mill towns to plantation wives and pioneer women to contemporary art quilters – all with little recognition.

For this exhibit, I used donated quilts, fabric pieces and scraps to refashion them into entirely different creations. Inspired by traditional quilt patterns as well as the Gee’s Bend quilting collective of Alabama, I aim to demonstrate ways in which reclaimed fabrics focus on the current immigrant experience. As with the Underground Railroad, quilts can be used to guide endangered immigrants to safety and sanctuary. I want my quilts to tell stories that reflect and comment upon what is happening in the larger world.

 

Ileana Soto website photo

Women’s Work: Creativity, by Ileana Soto

Ileana Soto

Art has always been a theme, from the use of thread and color under the guidance of my Romanian grandmother, to a degree in Art History, from a year’s study at the California College of Art and Craft (now California College of Art) to the use of art therapy as a communication tool in my previous work as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I’ve created textile art in the forms of woven cloth, fiber sculptures, sewn collages, pieced quilts, and now “art quilts”.

I am passionate about bringing the themes of culture, community and Climate Change/Crisis to an “alert” stage for viewers of my pieces. I discover, inform, and encourage activism through a process of internal and external artistic expression.

My work is tied to a commitment to personal deepening and exploration. I strive to create a dialogue between myself and the cloth as I develop the piece. Layers are generated, reflected in the layering of dye, of paint, of cloth over cloth. Once the piece is completed, I listen to the viewer’s perspective and participate in that dialogue.

With my invitation to join the “Women’s Work” exhibit, I have become interested in the use of recycled materials. Each piece is done on an originally white vintage cotton or linen textile, adding fused elements that were given to me, or recycled from my own original printed fabrics, “left over” from other art pieces. I enjoyed the layering of history, known and unknown. There will be more of these pieces in my future!

My mentors include surface design artist Jane Dunnewold, Dutch batik artist Els Van Baarle, quilter and artist Angie Woolman (she has been my quilter for over 12 years), and educator/founder of Formative Psychology, Stanley Keleman, now deceased. They, coupled with my personal work in therapy, help me focus, articulate, and form an expression of the complexity of our actions as they influence our internal and external worlds.

ileanasoto.com

 

Sharon Steuer website photo

I Will Fly Away, by Sharon Steuer

Sharon Steuer

For more than thirty-five years I’ve explored techniques that allow me to move back and forth between traditional and digital tools to merge painting, drawing, printmaking and collage. In the two smaller works from my ongoing “Letters From My Father” series I recreate imaginary worlds of childhood from adult chaos. Objects and letters sent to me as a child by my estranged father form the metaphorical (and sometimes literal) background for these works. “Branded By Her Genetic Mutation” is from my “For Our Own Good” series that poses taboo questions surrounding medical privacy and genetic surveillance. In 2011, I was diagnosed with a BRCA1 genetic mutation through my Jewish ancestry. With an exponentially increased risk of developing ovarian and/or breast cancer, medical professionals advised significant surgery and genetic surveillance “for my own good.” “Branded” is a unique monoprint-transfer created by digitally collaging a watercolor-pencil drawing with a portion of my genetic code (downloaded from an unsuccessful attempt by Myriad Pharmaceuticals to patent my genetic mutation).

sharonsteuer.com

 

Ellen Weinstein website photo

Over Under 1, by Ellen Weinstein

 

Ellen Weinstein 

My art is driven by my extensive interest in textiles. I sew, quilt, weave, dye, paint and print on fabrics. My ex-mother-in-law, Barbara Eiko (Hiura) Fukuchi shared her Japanese/Hawaiian culture and fabric, warm smile and oishii (tasty) tsukemono with me. She inspired my interest in Japanese art, specifically textiles. I fell in love with Shibori tie-dyeing after seeing an exhibit curated by Yoshiko Wada many years ago. Recently, I have been learning Japanese language and calligraphy, which enhances my artistic perspective and is incorporated into my art.

In this exhibit, I deconstructed vintage Japanese kimonos and textiles to create unique appliqué art and noren curtains. Noren are fabric dividers hung between rooms, on walls, in doorways, or in windows. I appreciate that they are functionally designed to serve as signs with store names and logo, protect store goods from the elements, be room dividers, and beautify homes. My art is not strictly traditional. I embrace an aesthetic of random surprise and create art that is imperfect, with elements of East and West cultures.

For the past 30 years, I have taught art to children of all ages at the de Young Museum, Legion of Honor, and Clarendon Elementary School in San Francisco. I have a degree in Drawing and Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-Visions

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For the show Re-Visions, San Francisco based artists Danielle Satinover and Gregory Vernitsky bring a school of creative thought together. Both artists take a similar approach to the idea of found materials and come from a background where the financial ability to source materials for work was very limited. Vernitsky, originally from the Soviet Union with limited resources to artist materials, and Satinover by a lifetime restricted by socio-economic circumstances, have instilled in them the skills to see something in the ordinary and often discarded. Both artists have been able to see beyond the ordinary to discover new interpretations.

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Tall Bird, by Gregory Vernitsky

Vernitsky combines carved and painted found wood, tossed metal, and plastic into a joyful play with time, scale, and narrative. Concepts and structures of public art, relativity of meaning, and reflection on human frailty and feelings, are realized through his innate ability to see possibilities in things as simple as a block of wood, or grace in a rusty scrap of metal.

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Rattlesnake, by Danielle Satinover

Satinover also plays with concepts of the human condition but focuses more on the connection between humans and our environments and structures.  She often takes discarded man made items to create abstract forms. Her current work has been more descriptive, but still plays with the tensions between man’s creations and natures.

Both Vernitsky and Satinover often approach their subject matter with a sense of lightheartedness. This ease with which they come to their subject matter does not take away from the significance of the work, but rather adds a dimension to the story telling and gives the viewer a place to reflect on the history of the object as well as the new vision given to it by the artists. In the end, these two artists take discarded material and use it to bring us back to ourselves and reflect on our humanity and our connections to our surroundings and each other.

Join them in celebrating this journey at the opening reception Friday, July 12th from 5-7pm. For a more in-depth exploration of the artists’ processes, an artist talk will be held Saturday, July 27th from 1-3pm. Try your own hand at their process with an art making session August 10th from 1-3pm; finally, Re-Visions will end with a closing reception Saturday, September 7th from 1-3pm.

 

Beauty on the Periphery

We don’t even see most of the stuff that’s thrown away – its on the periphery of our vision. All four of us picked up discarded items and gave them intention again. These items once had a purpose. We are now revitalizing them into forms that can be aesthetically appreciated. We hope that our intention will make an impression on viewers and help them see ways to consider and appreciate the potential of everyday throwaway bits and pieces.

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Emily Cruz

Emily Cruz is an artist born and raised in Escondido, California but moved to the Bay Area in 2009 to pursue her degree in art at San Francisco State University. While she dabbles in sculptured fiber, you can find her perusing printmaking, photography and life.

 

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Dierdre Weinberg

Dierdre Weinberg is a painter and muralist in San Francisco and uses recycled canvases to paint on. For this show, she scraped the bottom of paint cans and palletes  and attached them to used canvases, showing the colorful and and interesting patterns that the paint itself creates. The material is not seen at all, much less as a possible artistic venture, which is what she likes – to see the overlooked or unseen and it in a new way.

 

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Andrea Allen

The insect invasion series combines technology, biology, and geography to stimulate an aerial view of the earth. The digital laser discs represent the ocean while the land is grid-like and abstract. This series reminds us of Pangea, how approximately 300 million years ago all land was one super continent. Maybe we need to be reminded that we all are one, and that everything was/is connected. Each piece is an island, similar yet different. The scale of the insects are much too large and invasive in comparison to their surroundings. Their wings are made from the internal programming of keyboards, both delicate and detailed. This body of work came about as a playful exploration inspired by Sci-Fi “B” movies. Technology has made insects mega powerful. We have underestimated them. Insects have bee on this planet way longer than we have and are taking it back!

My process begins with an object that intrigues me. I reconceptualize the intended purpose of that object by transforming it into another. Much could be said by the discovery of self by researching the materials we surround ourselves with. Growing up in the United States with its abundance of materials and tendencies toward wastefulness has influenced my fascination with being resourceful. Art is a part of my whole being, my raison d’être. Playful and conceptual sculptures take life.

I received my degree in Fiber Art and Combined Media Sculpture from the University of Arizona, which set the foundation for learning the importance evolving relationships. Like a tapestry, everything is connected to everything else. Patterns in nature, humanity, and technology inspire me. Color, line, form, and texture are prominent design elements in my creations. My bold and colorful sculptures incorporate many different materials and processes in order to get my ideas across.

 

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Sophie Lee

Sophie Lee uses packaging and plastic and weaves them with the idea of using them as a canvas but they become works within themselves.

 

This show opens Friday, January 11th 2019 with an opening reception from 5-7pm and will be on view thru March 1st 2019.

 

Collage & FUSE, the art of Asher and Muse

 

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Opening November 23rd, 2018, The Reclaimed Room Gallery presents Collage & FUSE, the art of Asher and Muse. It features the works of two Bayview based artists, Lani Asher and Jes Muse. Together, they bring the hard and soft in the juxtaposition of mediums. From paper to metal and vinyl to glass, Asher and Muse find whatever materials they can use and reuse to create two and three-dimensional works of art. The Opening Reception will be Thursday, November 29th from 5-7pm. This exhibit will be on view daily through January 4th with the exception of December 25th and New Year’s Day.

Lani Asher

Untitled, by Lani Asher

Lani Asher lives and works in San Francisco. She maintains a studio in a San Francisco industrial park alongside motorcycle and classic car repair shops and Chinese food wholesalers. Born in Los Angeles, Lani Asher attended the University of California Santa Barbara where she studied with Charles Garabedian, John McCracken, and James Turrel at the College of Creative Studies. Afterwards she moved to New York City and taught art, worked at an erotic bakery, and attended film classes at NYU and Columbia. She spent a year studying video, photography, book making, and film at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York. After living in Madrid, Spain, she landed at the San Francisco Art   Institute in the New Genres Department for graduate school. During her independent study project in Brazil she created a video examining the relationship of Brazilian Baroque art and architecture to the beauty of imperfect pearls, and transgendered Brazilian sex symbol Roberta Close. Over the years she has taught art for numerous Bay Area non profits, including teaching art to prisoners, elders, artists with disabilities, and is an online arts writer. Find her online thru laniasherart.com .

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City, by Jes Muse

Jes Muse, a resident of the Bayview here in San Francisco, is a native New Yorker with BFA from the State University of New York at Purchase. Jes is a third generation artist following in the footsteps of her grandmother, Jean Cobean, and her mother, Lisa Muse. Having found a balance between the aspects of the mid-century modern shapes and forms of Jean’s sculptural stone work and the figurative forms of Lisa’s two-dimensional works, Jes creates work ranging from mid-century inspired, brutalist works to figurative three-dimensional constructions. Jes enjoys reclaiming industrial refuse like railroad spikes, horseshoes, horseshoe nails and live-edge wood from the forest floors and northern California rivers. Jes’s incorporation of railroad spikes is a tribute to her father’s work as a Track Supervisor for the commuter railroad in New York.

The main body of Jes’s work is in steel and glass. Having different cooling and heating points, steel and glass are not the most compatible mediums. The glass becomes marred by the sparks created in the act of welding and if heated too much will crack and split apart, so it is a challenge to secure the glass well enough without overheating it. Jes dabbles in many mediums and was recently inspired by the work of Bay Area duo, t.w. five, to create pieces with adhesive vinyl, in fact, you may have seen her cruising around in the Mondrian Volvo Recently.

 

Crossover – 2 Artists, 6 degrees of Separation

CrossOver – 2 Artists, 6 degrees of Separation is a collaboration between Reddy Lieb and Jennifer Ewing. Each artist has cross-pollinated each other’s approach to express the ways we all are connected. Their art is designed around a continuum of lines that are the underlying energies that hold all things together in a common space.

Through their exploration of painting, sculpture, and mixed media pieces, all created and inspired by recycled materials (mirrors, paper, plastic and string)they are crossing over any boundaries of separation to express the greater whole.

The artists have collaborated recently on Currents, a 2015 exhibition at the China Brotsky  Gallery in the SF Presidio using repurposed materials to inspire their work. They meet regularly to critique their work and share new concepts for exploration. Both artists are passionate about reusing found materials in their art and in their concerns for the health of the planet.

Reddy Lieb has created a wall of paintings and mixed media pieces that includes both abstract and realistic imagery, old and new, opposite forces that coalesce into a whole. Everything is connected…even seemingly random and unrelated materials, or concerns.

Jennifer Ewing continues her work with the symbol of the Spirit Boat as a metaphor for passage. In this exhibit she has created a large ship that pulls along a trail of plastic debris that references our tragic and growing Sea of Plastic. Her smaller sculptures are inspired by Christo’s technique of wrapping subjects and are made using light fixtures that become mysterious yet familiar feeling objects.

 

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Reddy Lieb

“Art is a form of nourishment (of consciousness, the spirit), ” – Susan Sontag

This is how I describe my passion for art and the ideas that I explore through mixed media. Artists have transformed found materials into “art” for as long as there have been artists. I have been using recycled materials in my work for over 35 years. In 2000, I was awarded an artists residency at Recology, where I put together a portfolio of work based on my exploration of the mythical character Demeter, and her dilemma in the 20th century. After completing this residency, in 2002, I went back to graduate school at CCAC, when I experienced the collapse of American idealism after 9/11. Working with broken glass, burnt wood and grown grass I built installations. My final installation was creating a glass tower of cards that referenced the myth of King Minos and the collapse of the kingdom on the isle of Crete.

Sites of transformation have always interested me. They are mysterious spaces, a fertile void, ripe for renewal. I created work based on demolition sites and the Phoenix rising.

Now, in the midst of major social, political and economic upheaval, I am exploring the illusion of security.  What we need in this time is to know how we are all connected, like mycelium of mushrooms that forms an immense underground communication network. Referencing sacred geometry and ideas from the string theory I am creating connections.

“The artist vocation is to send light into the human heart.”  – George Sand

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Jennifer Ewing

A life long artist, Jennifer has worked as a teaching artist, an illustrator, muralist, entrepreneur and workshop facilitator.

Her major theme of “Spirit Boats” began in 2005 as a response to the death of her father and is dedicated in his honor. Her boats become symbols of transformation that are created as sculpture, paintings, drawings, prints and installations that reference one’s movement through life.

In her personal work and workshops, Jennifer uses recycled materials with an emphasis on plastic and paper. She is inspired by the universality of Spirit Boats and demonstrates how little boats can be made of cut-apart plastic water bottles or stained papers. She is also influenced by how the artist, Christo, has wrapped objects that has given her new ideas on how to treat recycled lights that have become sculptures.

Jennifer has lived and worked in an historic SF Mission District artist community, Developing Artists, since 1986. She has exhibited her work widely in various Bay Area venues over the past twenty years with solo shows including: Kimball Gallery, deYoung Museum, Living Shaman Museum of the SF Presidio, Gallery 190, UCSF Memory & Aging Center, and Ruth’s Table. She is a senior teaching artist at the SF Fine Arts Museum and a museum educator at the Contemporary Jewish Museum where she works with adult and children’s programs, designs projects and leads tours of exhibitions.

Since 1989 she has ran her mural business, Ewing and Germano, with husband, Leo Germano that specializes in fine arts services for commercial and residential clients.

In 2012, she launched two additional businesses for organizational learning: How to Navigate Change for Team Building and Making Your Mark Now, offering drawing programs in partnership with Leo Germano. As an artist and entrepreneur, she is a bridge to help people incorporate art and right brain thinking into their daily lives.

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This exhibition is on view through the 13th of July, 2018.

WHAT IF?

Opening March 16th, 2018 The Reclaimed Room is excited to present WHAT IF? a group exhibition featuring the puzzling creations of three Bay Area artists whose process-based work draw attention to societal chaos and conflict. WHAT IF? artists Clint Imboden, James Shefik and Jamie Banes provoke viewers to question the reality and truths of the structures displayed before them. Although recognized for their use of everyday materials in unexpected and unusual ways, these artists’ sculptures and installations also stimulate and challenge their audiences’ preconceptions of material, purpose, and intent. This exhibition will be on view through May 11th 2018.

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Crutches, by Clint Imboden

“I come to making art with the perspective of a therapist. Just as a good therapist can act as a catalyst for change in a client, good art should elicit a strong reaction from the audience, provoking them to explore the reasons why they’ve been affected.”

“I find my materials at local flea markets and estate sales. I start with the artifacts of daily living, things that most people overlook: battered globes, worn shoes, and dilapidated tools. I’m drawn to old materials because they foster purposeful imperfection in my art, an attribute that’s connected to their previous lives. I use them for their connotative, associative or narrative possibilities. My installation work is tactile and handmade; as an artist, I focus on process and on topical, issue-based content.”

“Viewing my artwork is not meant to be a passive experience; it involves reading, deciphering, taking the initiative to engage physically and psychically with text and objects. I use materials that challenge my audience to consider multiple references in order to understand the full meaning of a piece. I want people to be caught up in the experience of my work, just as I am, in making it. My goal is to have them come away from an encounter with the work knowing something new about themselves.”

 

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Insomnia, by James Shefik

Conceptual, multidisciplinary artist James Shefik lives in Oakland. Along with making art in his studio, he is a scenic artist and scenic foreman on movie and television sets (Sense8, Thirteen Reasons Why, Steve Jobs, Big Eyes, Chasing Mavericks, and Milk, to name a few).

Primarily a sculptor, Shefik creates artwork that reveals his strong concern for the environment, for the government’s tyranny of purposeful invasion of our privacy, and social political absurdity that often accompanies concentrations of power.

His latest work employs photographic prints to mutate small transient into an almost theatrical experience. His work has been exhibited at the Aqua Art Fair in Miami, the Richmond Art Center in Richmond, CA, Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica, CA, and Autobody Fine Art in Alameda, CA. Shefik was a recipient of a SF Weekly Mastermind Grant in 2011.

 

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Nominative Determinant, by Jamie Banes

“Growing up in a blue-collar construction family, I connected with tools and materials at an early age. Exposure to the job site as a youth helped shape my interest in architecture and the ever-changing organism of the built environment. These early experiences continue to inform my work and contribute to my own sense of place and identity.”

“The built environment serves as a multilayered record of human activity, mirroring the effects of society’s needs and motives over time. The concept of structures as living entities is a natural starting point for my experiments, often stemming from themes of origin and decay within the urban landscape. The breakneck speed at which this life cycle revolves in the Bay Area underscores the socioeconomic and political issues of our time and further influences my work.”

“My process results in quirky assemblages reminiscent of childhood forts or tree house constructions in miniature. My most current work presents as a collection of eccentric architectural models and maps, wryly alluding to the seriousness of many ominous societal issues on our collective horizon. The materials I collect are typically found, bartered or bargained for in keeping with my inclination to reuse when possible.”

 

 

 

 

CONFIGURATIONS: Three Artists Assemble Themselves

This upcoming show, opening Friday January 12th 2018, will feature puppets, sculpture, jewelry and furniture, all deeply crafted from 100% salvaged material. The three artists, Francesca Borgatta, Charles Foss, and Miles Epstein, each bring work with personality, humor, and a recognition that a long studio practice will always reveal new surprises. Especially when the work is assembled in a new context and new configurations.

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Blue Monkey, by Francesca Borgotta

Francesca Borgotta has been building puppets since the 1970’s, having been apprenticed with Bread and Puppet Theater in New York.  Since then, she has lived a full life of dance, drama and puppetry.  She comes to the Reclaimed Room from the East Bay, where she works at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.

“To make my artwork, I look for recycled materials. I bind random things together, say a crab’s shell and an insect husk. Then I add new things until they appear as a single configuration, a form which needs completion. I like puppets because each one has a name and a story, and is meant to be manipulated.”

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Wooden Tablet, by Francesca Borgata

“At the Reclaimed Room, I will present each puppet with bits of dialogue to indicate the story. The wall hangings include a set of tablets describing these five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. I started these in 2015 when I was studying Chinese traditional medicine where each element is assigned a color, a season, an emotion, and other qualities. To understand this interaction, I gathered objects in that material and arranged them on a plywood panel.”

“I am very happy to be showing my work in the Reclaimed Room. This wide open space celebrates both the aesthetic beauty and practical value of recycled materials. Artists are encouraged to work together to plan their show, and explore possibilities for collaboration, to generate a much-needed sense of community. Hopefully, through our artwork, we can encourage a sense of ecological awareness.”  fborgotta@puppetfigures.com

 

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Crystalline Spheres, by Charles Foss, aka c.H.u.K.

Charles Foss, also known as c.H.u.K, brings to the gallery work from his “Landfill Interception Project”, specifically his “Fauna” series. From his website freektures.com: “..an exploration of inanimate evolutionary improbabilities, using common everyday items which have been deemed useless, cast aside, and abandoned.” Originally from Maine, Charles has been a toy maker, prop fabricator, performance artist, part of a circus crew, a magicians assistant and a scary clown pie maker (among other things!) Currently he is creating “Funky Found Flora” and “Decolletorations ~ talismans created with magical parts and pieces we step on every day.”

 

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Miles Epstein

 

Miles Epstein uses salvage materials and simple tooling to design and build art and other useful objects. His work ranges from furniture, sculpture and installation and uses paper, metal, cork and concrete. By allowing the qualities of his materials to drive many design decisions, Miles’ work is sometimes unpredictable and often quirky. The work is often very labor intensive but strives to appear natural, even relaxed.

For this show he says: “I’m revisiting the west-facing windows in the gallery, working with two new materials for me: clear acrylic sheets and colored, tumbled glass. By gluing the glass to the sheets with two-part epoxy I hope to create a hybrid visual experience, combining elements of graphic design, stained glass and painting. The process is exacting and fussy but has great potential for beauty. I am also bringing to the floor of the gallery a new collection of cafe style tables built primarily from cardboard and cork. The cardboard comes from salvaged bicycle boxes, and the cork is a mixture of reused  rolled cork sheeting and recycled wine corks. These materials are very familiar to me and I’ve been using them in furniture work for over 12 years. But they still amaze me with their resilience, strength-to-weight ratio, and their subtle color palette.

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Cork Cafe Tables, by Miles Epstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

for the LOVE of ART

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This is a group show honoring the tradition of gathering around the table among friends and socially producing art for pleasure. It will feature multiple mosaic artists, metal sculptures, craft jewelry, knitted critters, crochet, cast paper, glass tableware and original lighting designs, all sourced from reused materials. We open this show on November 17th from 5-7pm and it will run through January 5th 2018.

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Dana Albany

“From the very grandest scale to the very minute, my artwork is a medley of recycled and discarded materials. I enjoy working alone, as well as collaborating amongst many! Gathering together with fellow artists has been a meeting ground of genuine support and swirling creativity. It has taken me out of my darkest moments, inspired me, and brought depth to my art, that left alone would not have arisen.”

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Haideen Anderson

Haideen Anderson works with a variety of materials in her sculptures but focuses mainly on paper-casting for mask-making and mild steel for nature and dream influenced sculptures. With both the masks and the metal, she is interested on exploring pairs of opposites and the healing potential in art.

The masks that she makes are from reused materials – paper grocery bags for the casting with the surface collaged on with out-of-date calendars, old magazines, cigarette packages, etc. Much of the metal she uses is also made from scraps. In a few sculptures this is obvious. They are constructed from car parts, door knobs, cake pans and other recognizable objects.

She is glad to be part of Reclaimed Room’s exhibit “for the LOVE of ART” with so many artists who are a part of the Art Nite gatherings. Making art is often such a solitary activity. Coming together, each person with their own project to work on, balances the lone time. Old friendships are strengthened and new ones are formed on Art Nite. The atmosphere is warm and supportive. Love of creativity is the unifying force.

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Art Nite participants,clockwise starting from the top left corner: Angel Gurgovits, Chula Camp,         Haideen Anderson, Dana Albany, Aaron Harlan, Dave Hasse and his mother, Kathleen Hasse.

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Chicken Wire-Glass Platter by Lauren Becker of Recycled Glassworks

Lauren Becker can occasionally be found at the yard (B R) sorting re-usable window glass and shelves for her work. The up cycling process involves cutting the glass to size and a kiln firing that softens the glass just enough to render it flexible. In this state it can be embossed with design from below, enhancing the aquatic virtues of glass and the natural aqua tint present in plate-glass. An extensive line of functional tableware with dishes, bowls and serving pieces has evolved in a wide variety of sizes. Currently working through a pile of glass display shelves from See’s Candy warehouse in Daly City, Recycled Glassworks has been diverting plate glass from Bay Area landfill since 1996. More info on her work can be found at recycledglassworks.com

 

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Chula Camp

“I am a self-taught jewelry designer and work with traditional and uncommon materials. Every collection is designed and hand-made be me one at a time. I work in a tiny art studio in the historic Dogpatch District near the central waterfront in San Francisco. I have been designing wire and glass jewelry since 2003. In 2010 I entered my first competition in the recycled category and won. The excitement of winning inspired me to explore more options of designing jewelry with broken, found or discarded trash.”

“It’s been almost a decade since the recycling design challenge. Since then I have rescued over 48 different waste items and made many pieces into reclaimed and wearable art. Some of these rescued items have included chop stick rests, retired traffic signal lenses, key hole covers, chandelier crystals, bullet casings, champagne boxes, calendars, credit card tape cores, buttons, quilter’s scraps and vintage spools..”

“I love sketching new ideas and discovering the value in what others may consider junk. Creating new jewelry from broken, found and discarded objects fulfills my current creative instinct. There is no such thing as away. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.”

 

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Kat Pk Delurgio

“When I rediscovered crochet in 2013 there was an ‘A-ha’ moment. I was bed ridden in post-trauma-recovery, and this act of crocheting was Good Medicine. It tickles both sides of my brain as the process blends the sensual aspects (texture, color, visual aesthetics) and thinky-thinky (math & structural engineering.) The first hook I used was MacGuyver’ed from a chopstick, duct tape and a paper clip. About 95% of my materials are secondhand scores. I enjoy experimenting with non-conventional materials and find great inspiration while Crafternooning with friends!”

 

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Sconce designed by Michael Donnelly

Mike was drawn to shadows and light, natural forms, and dumpster diving at an early age. These influences are ever present in his work with lamps and light fixtures.

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Michael Donnelly with Dana Albany at Burning Man 2017

 

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Angel Gurgovits

Angel Gurgovits has been a recycler her whole life.  She has worked at Building REsources for 13 years and counting, the last two years also curating the Reclaimed Room Gallery as well. She began to make mosaic art with Dana Albany back in 2010 and the advent of Art Nite was born. The duo was joined by others and they collaborated on many great projects together, including the Youth Educational Spacecraft which toured Maker’s Fair , Burning Man and Las Vegas in 2013.

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Youth Educational Spacecraft, designed by Dana Albany

“Learning how to mosaic really changed and enriched my life. I feel like I can recycle anything into something beautiful with just a little glass and glue. My favorite projects now also include functional light fixtures,  and each day I am inspired to make more!”

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Marble Lamp, by Angel Gurgovits

 

 

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Anne Jatta

“I love knitting. Since I learned to knit in 1st grade (in Denmark), knitting has been a big part of my life. I can never just sit, must have needles in my hands. These creatures, composed of re-used materials, have been so much fun to make.”

 

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Ady Larsen

“I think of mosaic as life! When life falls apart (and our dishes) we have the option to transform the results. We pick up the pieces and glue them back together, allowing the unlimited possibility of fun colors to reflect the beauty in our world.”

 

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Pauline Tolman, adding some touches to Dana Albany’s Tara Mechani

Pauline Tolman is a San Francisco artist best known for her large scale sculpture and architectural installations. She has achieved three major public commissions as well as a number of site specific commissions. She also enjoys figurative bronze work. During the pour for one such sculpture she was fascinated by the “splash,” the over pour of bronze into the surrounding sand. The very raw, primal forms created by this splash are the core and inspiration for the wall charms displayed here.

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Bronze “Splash” Wall Charm by Pauline Tolman

 

“All of us who are in this show have spent time at the table, collaborating on something together and enjoying each others company whilst doing so. We have formed a strong bond with one another and continue to work together as often as we can. It is with great pleasure that we present this show, for the LOVE of ART.”

departure, closing reception

On Sunday, July 2nd, we will host a closing reception for our current show, departure. New works have been installed by Miles Epstein and Tim Armstrong, in place of ones that were sold.

Miles Epstein with his sold tissue painting; nicely framed by Rachel Leibman’s “Daily Dose”.

Tim Armstrong ‘s new art; made from branches, flour, instant coffee, burlap and elastomeric paint.

The celebration will be held July 2nd, 4:30 – 7pm. The show closes a week later, on Friday, July 7th.