Art imitates life, an abstract mix

Celine Gossage, Staff Writer

Students will find themselves greeted by the pop of colorful patchwork painted on a long sheet of canvas as they enter the newest art gallery at Doyle Library.

Six California artists express their art in abstract ways at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Robert F. Agrella art gallery.

Stephanie Sanchez, the Art/Studio Department Chair, curated the exhibit titled “Abstract Mix,” which features artwork from William Lane, Keisho Okayama, Marie Thibeault, Claudia McCain, Robert Poplack and Tom Thompson.

“They all were very dedicated people who have matured as abstractionists,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez’s curator’s statement explains that abstract is art representing line, color and nonrepresentational form. She also explains that abstract art is non figurative, but it can ‘draw from’ sources common to all art.

Each of the artists has his or her own artistic process. Although the art is a mix of styles, the exhibit flows together and students are able to see artists’ distinct styles.

One of the featured artists is Claudia McCain, an art instructor at SRJC. McCain has an energetic style of applying paint and is considered an expressive painter. One of her untitled pieces, formatted onto a small canvas, shows three pink and dark blue abstract shapes over multiples black lines.

William Lane, a Long Beach painter, was inspired by the colorful walls of Mexican architecture. Judging from his work, the paintings featured are blocks of bright reds and oranges put side by side.

Tom Thompson, a San Francisco artist, is inspired by the garbage on the city’s streets, and incorporates political messages in his pieces. One piece titled “KT-13-13,” seemed to represent a dirty sidewalk. Another untitled piece painted on a circular canvas scattered around bits of tape on the edges. The painted peeled back its layers to reveal mixes of blue and white representing an ocean taking in reflections of light.

Keisho Okayama, a Los Angeles based Japanese American artist, takes his inspiration from Buddhism. His work features a colorful patchwork that is very pleasing to the eye.

Marie Thibeault created the show’s standout painting, “Night Tree,” which was inspired by a combination of urban architecture and nature. The work is featured on the Abstract Mix poster and is a sight to see in person. The painting nearly takes up half of a wall from head to toe, and features geometric shapes set over a cascade of blues, greens and rectangular patterns.

The Abstract Mix art show will run Sept. 19 through Oct. 13 on the first floor of the Doyle Library. The artists will give a talk at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 4.