Composing the Future II

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Northern California Women’s Caucus for Art Curated Member Exhibition Jennifer & Philip DiNapoli Gallery San Jose State University Library December 3, 2021 - January 14, 2024

Catalog design by Elizabeth Addison Catalog edited by Laura Abrams, Copyright 2021 by Northern California Women’s Caucus for Art


Table of Contents 3

About Composing the Future II

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About Northern California Women’s Caucus for Art

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About The Jennifer & Philip DiNapoli Gallery

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Exhibitions Chair and Jurors’ Statement

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Note from NCWCA President Sawyer Rose

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Exhibition Committee

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Artwork

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Artist Directory

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ABOUT COMPOSING THE FUTURE II This time of transition offers unique opportunities. Artists, traditionally, have been both witnesses a nd the raw material for envisioning potential futures in turbulent times. In Composing the Future II, NCWCA artists were challenged to flex their artistic powers in response to the extreme events o f the past two years and to project their hopes, dreams, and ideas into the future. Composing the Future, a NCWCA member exhibition, originally premiered May-June, 2021 at the Bankhead Performing Arts Center in Livermore. Composing the Future II is a curated iteration at the Jennifer & Philip DiNapoli Gallery at San Jose State’s King Library. It features a selection of works from the original exhibition as well as many new ones. Composing the Future II continues to engage on many levels – wonder, worry, hopefulness, and activism, in an inspired array of visual media. Many works consider how the events of 2020-21 confront history or provoke change. Just as many reveal inspiration in isolation, blooms in the chaos and clarity of purpose. Artists have found beauty in the shadows, have reassessed priorities, adjusted their joy thresholds, and reset expectations. NCWCA is pleased to continue and expand this visionary theme with Composing the Future II. The exhibition is sponsored by the Northern California Women’s Caucus for Art, a nonprofit. It runs December 3, 2021-January 14, 2022 at the Jennifer & Philip DiNapoli Gallery at San Jose State’s King Library and online. For Composing the Future II documentation and accompanying materials, please visit www.ncwca.org. 5


ABOUT NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WOMEN’S CAUCUS FOR ART Founded in 1972, the Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA) is a national member organization and an affiliate society of the College Art Association (CAA) as well as founding partner of The Feminist Art Project (TFAP). The Northern California Women’s Caucus for Art (NCWCA) is one of its earliest chapters, formed the same year as the national WCA. It is one of six California chapters and serves members in San Francisco, East Bay, South Bay, Marin and all parts of Northern California. The mission of NCWCA is to create community through art, education and social activism. The NCWCA is committed to: • Recognizing the contributions of women in the arts • Providing women with leadership opportunities and professional development • Expanding networking and exhibition opportunities for women • Supporting local, national and global art activism • Advocating for equity in the arts for all Visit www.NCWCA.org

ABOUT THE JENNIFER & PHILIP DINAPOLI GALLERY SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY The Jennifer and Philip DiNapoli exhibit gallery, named after two prominent Silicon Valley philanthropists, is dedicated community space aimed at hosting educational, cultural, and thought-provoking art exhibits year-round for the San José State University and San José community. This joint gallery, located in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, reflects the unique partnership between San José State University (SJSU) and the City of San José, which opened in August 2003. It is the first library in the United States to integrate the services and collections of a major university and public library system. Located in downtown San José, the King Library is an impressive 475,000 square feet with nine floors of collections, collaborative work spaces, meeting rooms, exhibit areas, and unique resources dedicated to lifelong learning for all to enjoy – for free. It is the main library for both SJSU and the San José Public Library and a cornerstone for the entire community. Visit https://library.sjsu.edu

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NCWCA EXHIBITIONS CHAIR & JURORS’ STATEMENT The concept for NCWCA’s Membership exhibition, Composing the Future I, germinated in the summer of 2020. The concept for Composing the Future I germinated in the summer of 2020. Our nation and the world were gripped in pandemic fear, social upheaval, and political polarization, and haunted by pervasive uncertainty about the future. However, after the 2020 presidential election, I chose a path of personal and collective agency. The theme gelled as one of visionary potency and NCWCA members were invited to take a visionary approach to persistent crises and societal shifts. Composing the Future I premiered in May, 2021 with 64 artworks. It was a resounding success. When NCWCA was offered an exhibition just months later at the DiNapoli Gallery, I seized the opportunity to continue the momentum. A smaller physical space meant we couldn’t include all works from the previous show. While this was a disappointment, it also provided the opportunity to refine the theme, and include new works through a juried curation process. We are honored that Karen Gutfreund, independent curator and artist, and Carolina Quintanilla, SOMArts Gallery Director and Curator, served as jurors for two-dimensional works. They selected a reduced collection of works from the original exhibition as well as taking multiple works from the same artist to enhance the narrative. Karen and Carolina found “all of the works compelling and strong” which made their experience both “exciting and challenging.” They considered a range of criteria: How the work responded to the theme, the artist’s concept and unique creativity, aesthetic qualities, media, execution and skill. I personally curated sculpture and three-dimensional works, and had to rethink the presentation of sculpture due to the unique environment of the DiNapoli Gallery. Thus, most of the three-dimensional work is new! One of the most rewarding, and often challenging, tasks asked of an arts professional is to jury or curate a show. To make the necessary decisions, I initiated “conversations” with each artwork asking “How successfully and uniquely do you address our theme? What is your message to, or from, the future and a world in flux? Are you pushing boundaries, taking risks or doing something unique? Do you engage and invite further exploration or activation?” Craftsmanship, technical skill, and presentation were also considered as I sought to create a balance of materials, media, and process. As always, I am amazed by the skill, talent, and messaging of the NCWCA Chapter artists. Composing the Future II reacts potently to the past two years by confronting history, provoking change, challenging predictions, and calling out priorities for the near and far future. Karen Gutfreund, Carolina Quintanilla, and I are honored to present the visionary artwork of Composing the Future II. Elizabeth Addison, NCWCA Exhibitions Chair Karen Gutfreund, Independent Curator and Artist Carolina Quintanilla, Gallery Director SOMArts Cultural Center, Arts Administrator and Curator 7


A NOTE FROM THE NCWCA PRESIDENT Conceived in 2020 and exhibited in early 2021, Composing the Future I at Bankhead Performing Arts Center in Livermore, CA asked artists to visualize an improved tomorrow for humanity and our world. As we grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as reckonings for racial and socio-economic injustices, curator Elizabeth Addison looked to the members of Northern California Women’s Caucus for Art to craft concepts for a more positive, healthier future – and NCWCA’s membership delivered an inspiring and instructive exhibition. Now, at the end of 2021 and moving into 2022, the show has been adapted for the DiNapoli Gallery in San Jose, CA. Composing the Future II has been fine-tuned for a smaller space, with a tighter conception of the exhibition theme and number of new works. Once again addressing issues of social justice and environmental preservation, this fresh take on the Composing the Future concept continues to encourage viewers to look forward to, and as a necessity help create, an improved future world. Sawyer Rose, NCWCA President EXHIBITION COMMITTEE Composing the Future II’s success is ultimately due to the tremendous support, talent, and ingenuity of our exhibition team. Elizabeth Addison, NCWCA Exhibitions Chair, Curator, Catalog Design Mariah Ramsour, MLIS, Communications & Events Coordinator San José State University King Library Karen Gutfreund, Independent Curator and Artist, Juror Carolina Quintanilla, Gallery Director SOMArts Cultural Center, Arts Administrator and Curator, Juror Laura Abrams, Editor, Installation Assistant Vicki Gunter, Installation Assistant Juliet Mevi, Installation Assistant Priscilla Otani, Past President WCA, Webmaster, Online Gallery, Mentor Sawyer Rose, NCWCA President, Volunteer-at-Large Durba Sen, Installation Assistant Mary Shisler, Assistant Editor 8


Exhibition Artwork

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Laura Abrams Artists Together Charting a Course

Mixed papers, foil, ink, drawing on vellum, transferred imagery 24 x 24 inches 2021

Artists Together Charting a Course projects optimism that artists can use their creative powers to process the past and imagine better ways to move forward. I asked musician friends to send me their musical notation. Five wonderful artists who contributed their creative spirits to this project inhabit four “paper quilt” squares, seen clockwise from top left: Full Chroma charts a hopeful course, with a compass rose celebrating a composer on each point. This is circled by music from Jake Heggies’ opera INTELLIGENCE, seen also in a character silhouette. Elements of earth, air, fire, and water and sunshine that “breathe” through the center color wheel are continuous, creative life forces. Cool Colors (air and water) features jazz pianists Rodney Franklin and Myra Melford, along with Myra’s handwritten notes, piano imagery, a snowy egret (Myra’s band’s name) and two of Rodney’s songs. Warm Colors (earth and fire) host rock guitarist Shelley Doty and vocal activist Melanie DeMore, along with Melanie’s “Lead With Love” choral score and Shelley’s notebook. Melanie performs in silhouette with pounding sticks, while Shelley rocks out on the north point. Black and White (air) holds Jake Heggie’s opera INTELLIGENCE, commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera. It tells the story of Mary Jane Bowser, an educated Black woman, and Elizabeth Van Lew, a Texas abolitionist who together passed Confederate secrets to the Union army during the Civil War. Story elements are on the left, with Jake composing at his piano on the right. laura-abrams.com

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Elizabeth Addison Mandala 011421 Pandemania Day 304 - Augury Archival Digital Print on Moab Entrada Bright 300 paper 24 x 24 inches 2021

During mandated shelter in place restrictions–March 17, 2020-June 15, 2021–I posted a daily artwork series, Pandemania Days. For 456 days, I created unique digital assemblages with botanical themes. Inspired by my daily walks, they’re accompanied by journal entries and respond to our confounding times. I created Augury during the intense period of social upheaval with COVID vaccines on the horizon. Instead of waiting for the Pandemic to end, I turned my focus to a future of environmental equity. There were days of clarity and days where I waited for signs. Pandemania Day 303–Augury, 011421. Thursday. In ancient Rome, Augury was a practice of interpreting omens from the observed behavior of birds. When augers looked for and analyzed these signs, it was referred to as “taking the auspices.” The word auspice is from the Latin root that literally means, “one who looks at birds.” I’m not an augur, but bird chatter is up a few notches. While on a still and leafy pedestrian path, I paused to admire and photograph curling green fronds from which a band of jays suddenly emerged. They chorused angrily and scolded me to leave their hideaway. “One photo, please,” I pleaded. They melted back into the greenery as I departed. The auspices have been gathered and are ready for interpretation… - journal entry, Augury I ended the series on June 15, 2021, the official lifting of shelter in place restrictions, with the caveat that the pandemic was not over, just this “phase” of it. elizabethaddison.com

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Salma Arastu Earth Is Spread For All Creatures Acrylic, pen and ink on canvas 36 x 56 inches 2020

The painting is inspired by a verse from the Quran that clearly urges us to recognize the rights of other creatures, thereby respecting and preserving the balance that enables all of creation to live in peace and plenty. It emphasizes the Divine reminder that the earth was established for all living things. Ecological living is about protecting and preserving the environment of planet Earth, through recognizing the uniqueness of its various ecosystems and species. Every individual habitat supports all manner of life. Awakening a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. Earth was given as a gift for humanity and the human being was created and established on this earth as vicegerent. My heart pains to see that earth has become a commodity, land or real estate, or capital of natural resources, in today’s material world. What we are witnessing in our world is the failure of humanity to maintain the balance. Through this delicately rendered painting with thin acrylic glazes and details embroidered in pen & ink, I humbly hope to amplify awareness of the imbalance that humans have created in nature, and to encourage people to care for the Earth and live in harmony with other living things. And ultimately to reinforce the scientific concept of the ‘chain of life’ the concept that each species depends on another and connection between nature and humanity will bring joy forever. salmaarastu.com

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Salma Arastu Betrayed Trust

Acrylic, paper collage, pen and ink on canvas 27 x 58 inches 2020

The Know-It-All Mask series. My inspiration for this series of paintings is a verse from the Quran. “There is not an animal on the earth, nor a flying creature flying on two wings, but they are communities like you. (Al-Anaam 6:38)”. Understanding this verse serves as a Divine invitation to follow the concerns of ecologists in our present times. Ecological living is about protecting and preserving the environment of planet Earth, through recognizing the uniqueness of its various ecosystems and species. Each habitat supports all manner of life. Awakening a wider ecological consciousness requires acknowledging and celebrating our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. Earth was given as a gift for humanity and all other creatures to share as one community, and the human being was created and established on this earth as vicegerent. My heart pains to see that earth has become a commodity, land or real estate, or capital of natural resources, in today’s material world. What we are witnessing in our world is the failure of humanity to maintain the balance. We are told in the Quran that human beings willfully assumed a trust that was declined by other forms of creation. This trust is closely associated with our duties and custodianship toward each other and the earth, which ultimately reflects our knowledge of our Creator. The human being has betrayed that trust by abusing fellow creatures and spreading corruption on the earth. salmaarastu.com

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Salma Arastu Grace and Glory

Acrylic, paper collage, pen and ink on canvas 27 x 58 inches 2020

The Know-It-All Mask series. My inspiration for this series of paintings is from a verse from the Quran. “There is not an animal on the earth, nor a flying creature flying on two wings, but they are communities like you. (Al-Anaam 6:38) Understanding this verse serves as a Divine invitation to follow the concerns of ecologists in our present times. Earth was given as a gift for humanity and all other creatures to share as one community, with humans created as vicegerent of the earth. Ecological living is about protecting and preserving the environment of planet Earth, through recognizing the uniqueness of its various ecosystems and species. Every individual habitat supports all manner of life. The awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. My heart pains to see that ear th has become a commodity, land or real estate, or capital of natural resources, in today’s material world. What we are witnessing in our world is the failure of humanity to maintain the balance. Every living being in nature glorifies the Creator except we human beings. Wearing masks of masculinity, The Know-It-All Mask, we wander with hubris on the mother earth. Recognizing the spiritual dimension of all things ought to encourage humanity to preserve nature, respect boundaries, eliminate greed, reduce waste, and root out corruption. salmaarastu.com

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Susan Bercu Sheltered in Poppies (Women Warrior series)

Altered photos, recycled wood scrap objects, newspaper, paper bags, beer cans, paint 23 x 16 x 3.5 inches 2020

Sheltered in Poppies from my Women Warriors series emphasizes the dichotomy of nature—her voraciousness that is both beautiful and terrifying. I am a visual storyteller with themes focused on the war against scientific evidence and substantiated fact. I began this assemblage wall mask when a strange new pandemic was galloping across the planet. Sheltered at home, I had the germ of an idea when picturing Gulliver tied down by the Lilliputians. Since I employ recycled materials, I was stymied; thrift stores were closed. I turned to what was on hand and built the paper mâché face with alarming Covid-related newspaper clippings. Amidst this doom, I went for a walk where I was met with an astonishing display of golden poppies. The sun surely fell to ear th. Well, nature has a dark sense of humor with her juxtaposition of this California Super Bloom and COVID. I used grocery bags to fashion the poppies and painted them bright yellow. The shield base and sword were constructed from scrap wood. The head for the sword’s handle and butterfly wings came from my junk stash. I nailed squares cut from beer cans onto the blade. When I answered the call for “Composing the Future,” poppies were blooming again. Nature revitalizing itself is represented by the bee hovering over the mask’s mouth. Just as Gulliver broke his bonds and aided those who initially feared him, “Sheltered in Poppies” is an appeal to our better selves, to face the truth, to serve all humanity. susanbercuart.com

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Lorraine Bonner Mending: Rescue Clay 9 x 7 x 7 inches 2020

This piece, Mending: Rescue, represents the coming together of the three major themes of my work to date. The head of the child, in black clay, represents the trusting and innocent hear t of each of us human beings, as well as the natural world within which we evolved. Over the last few centuries (an eyeblink in the million year history of our species), that trust has been broken, and we are faced with the possibility of our own self-inflicted extinction. In this piece, the brokenness has been repaired with gold, using the ancient Japanese tradition known as Kintsugi, a way of creating beauty out of what would otherwise be thought of as scars or flaws. In addition, the mended child’s head is held by hands made of different colors of clay, representing the various ways that the pigment melanin manifests itself in the skin of members of the human species. Mending: Rescue calls on us to imagine a future in which our multi-hued species takes on the responsibility of mending those broken by the betrayal of trust: not only the humans, but also plants and animals, the mountains and soil, oceans and atmosphere. I use the word “mending” and not “healing,” because in my mind, healing, like justice and freedom, is not something to be attained by any individual. It is only when we are all mended that we will be healed. This piece represents that hope. lorrainebonner.com

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Christine Cianci California Summer

Ceramic, gold leaf, pigment 12 x 7 inches 2020

As we seek to compose our own futures, we cannot afford to ignore what is happening in the world as a whole. The planet’s problems have become the responsibility of each individual, as our planet’s health impacts all of us. If we all do not act and speak for change, humans could destroy our own habitat to the point that of triggering a global extinction event that would make our world uninhabitable, and all to benefit the avarice of a powerful minority. The science and evidence are clear. A sculptor and a painter, I strive to use my ar t as my voice, my platform to induce awareness. In my sculpture, I use obsidian clay, a clay that fires to black, with applied gold leaf and powdered pigments. California Summer depicts a young woman whose home was destroyed by a fire. This woman walks into her own future with only her dog, and a blanket. Each year fires destroy more forests and homes in California, fires that are directly linked to climate change; a consequence of the egregious lack of accountability of unregulated capitalism holding human advancement in a stranglehold. A hold which must be broken if we are to save our world. As we compose our own futures, let us each do so with intent to change our world for the betterment of all, and not fur ther the corruption of unfettered greed for the few, to the detriment of all. cac@ccianciar t.com

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Marguerite Elliot Hanging Seed Pods Bronze, steel, wire 14 x 14 x 4 inches 2018

Hanging Pods reflects my ambivalence about the future of our planet. We are in the midst of a manmade climate crisis yet seem to be oblivious to the catastrophe that surely awaits us unless we change our course. Species are becoming extinct at an alarming rate. We are losing biodiversity. I found the seed pod I used in this sculpture several years ago. This beautiful yet fragile seed pod inspired me to create a wax pod and from there I cast it in bronze, thereby making it indestructible. I hung them in a steel cage to protect or encase them. It is wrapped in steel wire, which allows the viewer to peer in, but offers a flimsy barrier if someone had the inclination to steal them. The seed pods swing somewhat precariously on a thin wire. Perhaps the bronze seed pods are all that is left from a beautiful tree. The seed pods are a metaphor for life, wisdom, and regeneration. In imagining the future, our civilization has many choices. We can protect our mother ear th, with all that grows on it, or we can die a slow death from fires, extreme heat, floods, and drought. margueriteelliot.com

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Miriam Fabbri Storm

Chalk pastel on prepared paper 16.5 x 13.5 inches 2020

This image was inspired by both a trip to New Mexico and an NCWCA Ar t Tag activity where participants create work based on a theme chosen by members. “Storm” was the theme for which this piece was created. The New Mexico trip was also an NCWCA activity. Members gathered for a week’s residency at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu near where Georgia O’Keefe lived and worked. Creating ar t in this shared space with other artists was a unique and exhilarating experience. Having grown up in the Midwest, I was fascinated and excited by the intense warm color of the deser t landscape. This environment that so captivated O’Keeffe, colors of the clouds, sky and sunsets, inspired the colors I chose to use. I worked with the medium of chalk pastel because it gave me the brilliant orange and red hues of that land. I came away with a new appreciation of O’Keefe’s work and a head full of thoughts about her tranquil environment vs. the world around us today. The storm of information, ideology, and conflict that we live with leads me to a search for personal improvements and community actions to preserve our health and that of our planet.

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Anna Friesen Flight Home

Mirrored wooden box, original 35mm photograph, found feather, pastel 8 x 12.25 x 3.5 inches 2021

Contemplating imagery for Composing the Future, my thoughts turned to trees. For me, trees carry a sense of history. History is knowledge of the past, as seen from the viewpoint of the present while assuming there will be a future. Trees are key to determining what the future we are heading towards will be like. Therefore, the fate of trees speaks directly to the kind of future we compose for ourselves and for the winged, microbial, eight, four, and two-footed creatures whose lives are dependent on trees. I collect images and bits of nature whenever I leave my house. The photo and feather in Flight Home are artifacts from my experiences. I present these in a box, using out-of-normal perspective and size relationships, to facilitate a renewed awareness of the world around. The mirror allows me and other viewers to identify as equal victims to environmental problems, with the tree and bird, and to recognize that even in peril, we hold the power to be part of the solution to environmental woes that affect the future of trees. It is my hope that the experience of being pulled into Flight Home will increase the viewer’s resolve to protect environmental health as we compose OUR future. annafriesen@mac.com

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Stacey Gregory tech...tech...tech...BoOM!

Scrap computer parts and circuit boards, clay, light boxes, saw horses 44 x 48 x 33 inches 2020

An aerial view of San Francisco as the city experiences a 5G technological cataclysm is the basis for this work composed of scrap computer parts, circuit boards, and clay on a stand the color of the Golden Gate Bridge. This work depicts the tech industry’s stranglehold on the Bay Area. Tech dictates the ways we communicate, fall in love, order food, travel, work, exercise, and go to school. At the dizzying pace big tech accumulates our personal data, what is becoming of our privacy? What happens when privacy is compromised for the marginalized, the low-income workers, and the essential workers, who are so vital to the city’s critical functioning? Tech...tech....tech...BOom shows technology taking over our lives, widening the demographic chasm. Societal fault lines fracture revealing an underworld of glowing computer screens populated by oversized app icons into which buildings star t to fall. The cityscape splits and undulates as the tremors of a technological ear thquake contor t our 5G connectivity. A viewer’s guide for this work is available to identify over 100 landmarks and neighborhoods (including Golden Gate Park and its museums, the San Francisco Zoo, SF State University, Apple Headquar ters, The Chase Center, Giants Stadium, FIDI, City Hall, the Palace of Fine Ar ts, and crumbling Golden Gate and Bay Bridges) recreated in computer par ts. skgregoryart.com

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c.j. grossman Woman Flying Over City Cut paper 4 x 8 feet 2017

What will be our future? Will we be caught in the midst of an ongoing pandemic that refuses to die? Will we be entangled in a divided world of hate, vaccination refusal, and climate change denial? I prefer to have hope. This ar tist and her dog fly into a flowery future in which people, birds and animals can survive and thrive. Making paper cuts is such an impor tant process for me. When a good friend died, all I could do was make a book about the grief of losing her. Cutting the paper was therapeutic, and helped me to concentrate on her, as well as the book. Conversely, when I am joyful or want to be, I also use the act of cutting paper to heighten my mood. artjazzstudio.com

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Vicki Gunter One Nest

Clay, stains, underglaze, beeswax, plastic grocery ties 9 x 15 x 15 inches 2020

My first image of One Nest formed upon hearing of the Yemen famine in 2017 and the UN warning in 2018 that 13 million people there faced starvation in “the worst famine in the world in 100 years.” I “saw” the hungry, cautionary Canary and baby human together, in our one nest, the earth. I love birds… They thrill me when they visit my native plant garden, which attracts the insects that thrill them. While writing this statement I spotted 16 species including some with fledglings here in East Oakland. The baby birds won’t all make it. They have to survive feral cats, pesticides in neighbors’ yards that leach into the creek, and a lack of habitat to build the next nest. Let’s plant more native plants to attract the most critical baby-bird food– yummy, soft, caterpillars! The entire food web depends on insects for all those who eat. One Nest’s final shape (Yes, it’s shaped like a STOP sign!) was inspired by ar tist Elizabeth Addison’s digital assemblage mandalas and our duo collaboration we called O.N.E. standing for One Nest Earthworks. One Nest is from my Canary & Elephant Series. Each piece includes a yellow, canary-in-the-coal-mine, alerting us to different social and ecojustice issues. The challenge–the BIG choices we need to make to remove the profit-driven, incorporate Elephants-in-the-Room. I feel an urgency to create art in this revolutionary time and value clay’s infinite potential–mirroring our own. VickiGunter.com

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Jennifer Jigour Nature’s Return Oil on canvas 14 x 11 inches 2021

In a world that is obsessed with the distractions brought about by television, computers, and iPhones, mother nature is often overlooked. Nature’s Return is mother nature taking back her power. With a rose, she breaks through the electronic barriers of an iPhone left on the ground. In composing the future, I wished to see a future where nature is more impor tant to the world than our electronic devices. In this future, we engage with nature’s good vibrations and healing beauty and in doing so, we also heal ourselves. It is a future where nature wins over technology. I completed this oil on canvas painting during the pandemic in social isolation. The rose is symbolizes life that grows after death and is modeled after the rose bush that was planted over the ashes of my own grandmother. It was my grandmother’s wish to live on in nature. I painted this work at her resting place on a small mountain top surrounded by oak trees, insects, birds and deer and overlooking the city of Silicon Valley. jenniferjigour.com

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Kay Kang The Journey II

Collage, sumi ink, rice paper, and acrylic on canvas 48 x 48 x 2 inches 2018

During the pandemic, I compared my parents’ experience during the Korean war to our current circumstances. In the midst of those dark and terrifying days, my grandmother made it a priority to teach me the Korean alphabet and calligraphy. I watched her writing a letter with sumi ink on rice paper. She insisted that it was very important that I learn how to read and write so that I could be well-positioned for the future with a proper upbringing. Even though our circumstances were uncertain, she had tremendous optimism and taught me to compose my future. This pandemic is now par t of our life journey. My work describes an immigrant’s journey into American society. This story is of special impor tance to my work–a journey filled with myriad hopes, joys, sorrows, fears, and expectations. I incorporated traditional Korean socks, or beosun, in this work, reflecting my longing for my family. The beosun are made with sumi ink and acrylic on hanji (handmade Korean paper) that I collaged onto canvas. The Journey symbolizes the life journey and evolution of women. Traditionally, Korean women wore white cotton socks to keep warm and also to make their feet appear daintier. Bare feet were not considered feminine especially in front of one’s elders and men. My beosun depict the transformation from a protected woman to a bare-footed, independent, strong-minded woman in America. kaykangart.com

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Karen LeCocq Awakening Awareness

Wood, tin, driftwood, bones, pottery shards, digital images on paper, acrylic paint 48 x 50 x 10 inches 2007

The animals pictured in this work are either threatened, endangered or somehow compromised and harmed by the actions of humans. Some of this harm has been caused inadver tently, as in the pollution of air and water. Some is done deliberately, like the killing of hundreds of one species by hunting from helicopters using high-powered rifles. Other animals die from lack of food or shelter when their habitat is destroyed. Global warming is melting the polar ice caps, and animals are drowning. The fur trade claims the lives of thousands of animals that are clubbed to death so humans can appear stylish. In the sea, active sonar testing causes pain and death from massive internal hemorrhaging. Pesticides kill millions of pollinators. The list of atrocities goes on and on. What are the consequences of these thoughtless actions? As in the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (later made into the film Blade Runner), we may eventually wipe out the entire population of animals and even ourselves. We appear to be heading in that direction. Imagine for a moment a world without animals. What kind of a world would that be? Awareness and positive action are the keys. The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction. - Rachel Carson karenlecocq.com

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Karen LeCocq Awakening Awareness

Wood, tin, driftwood, bones, pottery shards, digital images on paper, acrylic paint. 48 x 50 x 10 inches, 2007 43


Karen LeCocq The Gulf (After BP)

Wood, bamboo, steel, printed paper, pelican bones, resin 24 x 25 x 3 inches 2015

The BP Deepwater Horizon spill was an industrial disaster that began on April 20th, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. It is regarded as one of the largest environmental disasters in American history. The disaster spilled 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico: killing fish, dolphins, whales, shrimp, and seabirds, and continues to pollute coastal and ocean ecosystems. Thousands of smaller oil spills occur every year that don’t make headlines. We need to stop this insanity of poisoning and destroying our only home. We need to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels. The technology is there. We belong to the earth and we must protect it. karenlecocq.com

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Karen LeCocq Not Yet (Have We Saved the Earth?)

Wood, tin, driftwood, bones, pottery shards, digital images on paper, acrylic paint 72 x 26 x 5 inches 2006

What are we humans doing to the earth? In the Arctic, oil drilling poisons the tundra, leaving fields devoid of vegetation and wildlife, disrupting the habitats of rare birds, fish, and mammals, like polar bears and caribou. Seismic blasts deafen marine wildlife like whales who depend on sound to communicate. The temperatures are rising there more than twice as fast as anywhere else on Earth. In the western United States, fossil fuel development has decimated the once vast sagebrush desert. Gas fields and oil infrastructure have mutilated the landscape, disrupting migratory patterns for wildlife and poisoning waterfowl who come into contact with toxic ponds. Development has driven down the population of critical species. Fracking contaminates groundwater aquifers, a critical source of water. The BP Deepwater Horizon disaster spilled 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico: killing fish, dolphins, whales, shrimp, and seabirds, and continues to pollute coastal and ocean ecosystems. Thousands of smaller oil spills occur every year that don’t make headlines. Much of the earth’s topsoil is disappearing because it’s been exhausted through intensive agriculture. Land is also being lost as the water levels rise. Insects are vanishing and they are necessary for the reproduction of plant life, including the food we eat. Is it hopeless? No. Awareness and action are the keys to stopping this insanity of poisoning and destroying our only home. We belong to the earth and we must protect it. karenlecocq.com

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Tanya Lin Inner Outer Space

Photography, digital layer of augmented reality video 20 x 16 x 2 inches 2021

Just as so much of the last 18+ months have been lived virtually from our screens, so too does this artwork glow like a screen, with a digital layer connecting through an augmented reality app Artivive. So many of us have lived life inside out, upside down, and very, very constricted, restricted and obstructed during the times of COVID. At times it has been hard to tell what’s real and not, a lie or true, in our head or out-loud said. Misinformation oozed. Drug overdoses soared. Cracks in mental wellness surged like the king tide through the neighborhoods of what used to be the normal us–like a levee no longer strong enough to hold back the waters of pain. In Inner Outer Space, imagery and connected shor t video make a pilgrimage to the hallucinogenic state of unknowing knowingness, and the desire to escape reality while unexpectedly and sometimes rudely colliding into a fundamental reality. We Are. We Exist. Having been involuntarily forced into a position of introspective oppor tunity, we have almost been given a “reset” button from which we can eliminate the superfluous, recognize and rank what truly matters in our life and our world, and reorder the messages shared through the tendrils of our interconnectedness. Perhaps replacing the venomous with nourishment. To build both a better world and a better us. Please download the Ar tivive app, open it, and view the ar t on your screen right now through your smar tphone. A 45-second video loop will then play. blackandwhitelight.com

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Juliet Mevi Other Side Of The Wall

Mixed media, book cover with paintings and monoprint 28 x 14 inches 2020

I was born and raised in Los Banos in the Central Valley (food basket) of California. Since I was a toddler, I have known that the field crops were picked with seasonal labor from Mexico. The laborers were called “Braceros.” They were primarily young men from the mountainous villages of Mexico, and back then they still wore white shir ts and trousers with red cloth belts. I was not raised close to the border. It is about 300 miles south of Los Banos. However, a trip to San Diego meant visiting Tijuana, I have visited Mexico often and my children and I have witnessed the lines of people attempting to cross. It is a vision etched in my memory. In Los Banos, the workers lived and still live in labor camps. Today, whole families come to work. My brother used to provide free medical care to them. Seasonal farmworkers are considered essential and respected by the people of Los Banos, but today, border crossings are a much more complex issue as seasonal workers are joined by people fleeing oppression, poverty, wars, misery, drug lords, and sex traffickers. It is heartbreaking. My ar twork is a mixed media book that includes original relief prints and acrylic paintings on paper collaged to a found book cover. The story is still to be written. facebook.com/mevi-art

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Tomyé Neal Madison Ancestors Emerging From the Shadow Fused slumped glass, metal 19.5 x 11.5 x 2.5 inches 2017

The fragility of glass is when it’s only single strength. Envision multiple layers like a thicker skin. My sculptural side view head has a substrate (background) made of kiln-fused brown beer bottle glass. I suppor t the impor tance of retelling, so I mention the color as a nod to fabricating a self por trait. If you move your eyes from left to right, you will see a darker green edge along the forehead to the lips, where you can view the substrate only when light permeates. Towards the right, there are adhered pieces that simulate a beaded headband, white hair, a wide open eye, a decorative earring, and a colorful beaded and banded neck piece. Here’s what it represents: Imagine a reshaping of geographic populations by embracing the most significant resource, enacting the legacy of remarkable ancestors. The leverage of incorporating humanity into every aspect of living will become a commonality. Alternative ways of living from the devastating past leads to hear tfelt resolute compassion. Evidence of this enormous turnabout will be seen in every form of communication. In this reshaping, Social Media will have a big shake-up. Its immense influence, which previously captivated people, will be re-oriented as the references of ancestors corroborate the stories that are told. The constant fact-checking of everything, noting the sources and cultures that provide backgrounds, are for all to view as lessons to layer us in a humane strength. It’s for the good of all. tomye4arts.wordpress.com

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Namita Paul Just in Time

Graphite rubbings and photographs in a digital composition, printed on aluminum 18 x 12 inches 2021

Taking a cue from poet Mary Oliver to “love what is mor tal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it, and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go,” this digital assemblage is an ode to the Oakland campus of California College of the Ar ts—a 100-year-old wooded oasis in humming, busy Oakland—that is in its last year. As a first-year MFA student at CCA, it occurs to me that our paths have crossed just in time. I am grateful for the oppor tunity to witness this moment of transition and gratified by the encounter. Using graphite and tracing paper, I walk around the campus capturing rubbings of various surfaces and taking photographs. Slowing down to look, listen, and feel the underfoot textures, the bark of the old, magnificent trees, a metal plaque, a broken sundial sculpture, I soak in the spirit of this very special place and for a short while, feel its beating heart. Combining evidence of this fortuitous crossing of our paths—the rubbings, photographs of trees, a picture of my graphite-stained hand— and turning it into an object, I am encapsulating this historic place and this fleeting moment of contact, forever. Going forward, I resolve to bring the same attention and love to our planet. In this time of rapid global transition and transformation, I am witness… just in time, just in this time. namitapaul.com

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Katalina Prince Introflection

Basalt, charred old growth fir, copper 9 x 9.5 x 17 inches 2019

The figure peered into the pool of its own subconscious. Reflecting on the processes of life, the growth, formation, and acceptance of the inevitable change. This piece of basalt was discovered when ‘digging deeper into the borrowed garden space to prepare the soil for planting seeds. The figure formed intuitively as shape, angle, and movement were explored. Though as an artist or conduit, the spirit in the stone was not only the medium but the channeling director. Losing oneself in a cloud of dust is a satisfying space of metamorphosis. Not only reflecting on the intergalactic relations of mineral stardust and gravity-bound geological formations, but the shape-shifting action and result of carving stone also parallels the choices one may make when considering the present, past, and unknown future. Commitment, decisions, and forward motion. As this figure sits on a charred piece of old-growth fir from the land the two are intimately connected with, the process and presence of the fire-treated wood of creation and the water pool fur ther express the duality of yin/yang as well as the phoenix emerging in a new place: both within and without. Sometimes the honest reflection is one that comes from letting go and looking in fur ther. The water changes hue depending on action, reaction, and environmental impact. Introflection is a reminder to pause, look within, consider, and to move wisely and with grace, from the seat of contemplation. katalinaprince.com

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Sawyer Rose Losing Our Balance: Working Women Lean Out Gold and silver leaf on paper 24 x 18 inches 2021

Before Covid-19, mothers who also had jobs outside of the home were shouldering 35 hours of unpaid domestic labor per week, almost a full-time job in itself. Then at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as schools and care facilities closed, those same women were averaging 65 hours per week on household tasks and childcare on top of their paid work. Because of these added burdens, studies show that 1 in 4 working women in the US were having to scale back or leave their careers because of their domestic responsibilities during the pandemic—a staggering 25% of women in the workforce. In this piece, the gold shapes represent women continuing in their careers despite the challenges they are facing, and the silver shapes represent the one quarter of women who have had to scale back their careers during the pandemic. Looking at this pattern through a wider lens, this trend is setting back progress on gender equity in the workplace, which hur ts us all. The different perspectives and skill sets of a gender-diverse workplace lead to teams that are more creative, more profitable (up to 21% more, in fact), and better at communicating. Gender-inclusive companies also report better morale and less employee turnover. In order for us to reap these benefits, though, we, as a society, have to do more to support women with their domestic labor loads. carrying-stones.com

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Sondra Schwetman Inauguration Dress Silk, pins 48 x 18 x 2 inches 2021

Symbolic languages are used to communicate and explain aspects of the physical world, as well as the internal world we each inhabit. Myths, fables and fairy tales explain culturally accepted ideals about these worlds by presenting the unexplainable, unknown or other through archetypes understood on visual, verbal and pre-verbal levels. Inauguration Dress addresses a ray of hope after four recent years of uncertainty. Building on this future together, healing our political and racial divides. The United States as a whole needs to create a way out of our present turmoil so that we can see the future in a positive light and make that future one we want to see. We need to compose that new future. The dress is constructed of hand-dyed silk organza and pigment. It represents a women’s body with reference to clothing, with an embroidered anatomical heart speaking of hope within that body. This work from my clothing-based series uses many levels of understanding to address the ambiguous space between reality and fiction where the female form and therefore female often dwell. These works concentrate on psychological, religious, cultural and social issues that women deal with everyday such as reproduction and reproductive rights, discovery, knowledge, success, creativity, class systems, colonization, compliance, silence, war and hope looking to the future. sondraschwetmanart.com

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Larraine Seiden The Safety Nets Sculpture Project: Calling In T.P. tubes, twine, wax 24 x 33 x 2 inches 2021

The Safety Nets Sculpture Project: The Space Between T.P. tubes, twine, wax 16 x 35 x 2 inches 2021

The Safety Nets sculpture project was born out of the uncertain time of the mass quarantine in early 2020. They are my response to the prolonged shelter in place that made us cherish our personal connections against a new backdrop of thrift. To make them, I use the simplest domesticallysourced materials; cardboard rolls and kitchen twine with wax, as a metaphor for our sudden awakening to our interconnectedness. Through the repetitive act of connecting through knotting, I create something conceptually that is lacking. I call them Safety Nets, because against the backdrop of the pandemic and profound political and social upheaval, we could all use suppor t. The Nets grow organically into biomorphic shapes that look like hives, crowds, or continents, while the titles reflect my vacillating hope and despair that surfacing tensions will move us forward and more together. For Composing the Future II, I submitted the Safety Net pieces titled Calling In and The Space Between. Both pieces respond to the state of division we find ourselves in. It is my hope more and more of us will choose to practice the quiet act of “calling in” each other instead of the prevalent act of “calling out” that dominates the public sphere. As an educator, I know we are capable of learning from each other and growing because I witness it every day at school. larraineseiden.com

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Durba Sen Unapologetically Resilient Acrylic on canvas 20 x 20 x 1.5 inches 2021

Being a woman of color and an immigrant, women’s status in this country —voting rights, equality at home, in the workspace, equal pay, opportunity, to pursue higher education, right to say “No”, the right to choose, right to equality—concerns me. 2020 saw the centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing a Woman’s Right to Vote. Unapologetically Resilient was painted in honor of that, to relay a positive message of uplifting and empowering women of all colors; not only to dream big but to embody them. This painting depicts female resilience and diversity while asser ting basic rights. Women are incredibly resilient, finding inner strength to take care of their children, family, work and earn a living. Women need to stand beside and for each other, empower each other to fulfill and realize their dreams. This can be our shared future! In India, where I’m originally from, female goddesses are worshipped and put on pedestals. But their ear thly counterparts are treated as second class citizens and discriminated against. It’s disappointing to see the same gender bias here, and this work ties to address this. Picasso’s cubism and Piet Mondrian’s modern abstract expressionist style influenced the abstract depiction of this painting. Vivid colors have been integrated with geometric abstraction to give a playful twist to the positive empowering theme of having a future without gender bias. durbasen.com

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Na Omi Judy Shintani Flora Spirit Bristlecone

Watercolor, thread, repurposed paper bag 16 x 24 inches 2020

We humans are not the center of the universe. The traumatic experiences of late remind me that there are other kinds of earthlings we are connected to and can turn to for insight. Walking in tree filtered light calms me, while taking in the patterns and aliveness of plants inspires me. I feel my body absorb this energy, creating a grounded-ness and connection to the Earth. Plant wisdom gives me solace during turmoil and the unknown. This aroused me to create these art pieces, which I crafted as a meditation intended to remind us to connect with the ancient flora spirit for resilience and support. I selected plants with which I have a personal relationship and those that provide lessons. The steps of researching, drawing, painting, sewing, and cutting gave me time to develop a closer relationship with these plants and to honor their ways. The Bristlecone Pine is the longest-lived life form on Ear th - more than 4,800 years old, making it the oldest known individual of any species. It is highly resilient to harsh weather and bad soils, growing slowly where few other things survive. naomishintani.com

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Na Omi Judy Shintani Flora Spirit Horsetail

Watercolor, thread, repurposed paper bag 16 x 24 inches 2020

We humans are not the center of the universe. The traumatic experiences of late remind me that there are other kinds of earthlings we are connected to and can turn to for insight. Walking in tree filtered light calms me, while taking in the patterns and aliveness of plants inspires me. I feel my body absorb this energy, creating a grounded-ness and connection to the Earth. Plant wisdom gives me solace during turmoil and the unknown. This aroused me to create these art pieces, which I crafted as a meditation intended to remind us to connect with the ancient flora spirit for resilience and support. I selected plants with which I have a personal relationship and those that provide lessons. The steps of researching, drawing, painting, sewing, and cutting gave me time to develop a closer relationship with these plants and to honor their ways. The Horsetail plant is also called “eyes of fire.” These were the first plants to emerge following the eruption of the Mt. St. Helens volcano. Equisetum is a “living fossil” that has dominated the Paleozoic forests for over 100 million years. This plant inspired John Napier to invent logarithms and has been used medicinally to support the urinary tract, kidneys, and connective tissues. naomishintani.com

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Mary Shisler Take These Broken Wings and Fly Archival inkjet print on paper 60 x 48 inches 2021

Why am I composing the future both literally and metaphorically with insects most particularly with moths and dragonflies? Because we need them. Even though often misunderstood, moths play a vital role in the wildlife ecosystem. Moths are nocturnal and associated with the moon (feminine strength). Moths have a similar life cycle as butterflies, as both break for th from a cocoon to fly. I chose the Lunar Moth because of its luminous beauty. I was drawn to this one in par ticular because of its battered wings. The title of the piece applies to the need to transcend our inadequacies to fulfill our lives to the greatest extent. I use digital capture to create these images. My method allows me to enlarge my subjects exponentially giving myself and the viewer a chance to commune with these creatures intimately. marykshishler.com

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Mary Shisler Neurobasis kaupi (Dragonflies Need Pure Water) Archival inkjet print on paper 28 x 28 inches 2021

Why am I composing the future both literally and metaphorically with insects most particularly with moths and dragonflies? Because we need them. I use dragonflies because they live in three elements - air, water, and earth making them more vulnerable to the invasions of pollution and their fascinating shape and colors. They need pure water to live. Neurobasis kaupi reminds me of a giant luminous pin. Spiritually they correlate to the light of God, looking within and dancing. Dragonflies have agility, power, speed, victory, and courage. They symbolize rebir th, immortality, transformation, adaptation, and spiritual awakening. All good things to bring to the future. I use digital capture to create these images. My method allows me to enlarge my subjects exponentially giving myself and the viewer a chance to commune with these creatures intimately. marykshishler.com

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Fleur Spolidor School of fish

Photomontage and digital manipulation with painted accent 10 x 10 inches 2021

An entire class sits quietly at their desks with fish swimming above their heads. Each child wears a breathing bubble that allows them to stay underwater. Their jungle-like surroundings are lush and colorful but we can hear the deafening silence. They look at us, straight in the eyes, questioning us. With the pandemic, we realized the limits of internet education and the need for students to be together, to go to school in person. I wonder how will global warming shape the schools of tomorrow? In this artwork, I combined a 19th-century school photograph with photos taken with my son during trips to different aquariums. Each chosen image is already a little story in itself, but overlapping them creates a different narrative by bringing them under a new light. This is a projection into a future altered by climate change. What if we don’t make an effort to change our trajectory? What if global warming gets worse? If the arctic ice melts, the oceans will rise and floods become unavoidable? How will it affect our lives? “School of fish” is a scene of a possible future that our kids will have to deal with if we don’t do enough. With the pandemic, we had to change our habits, we are wearing masks and are asked to keep our distance. What changes would we have to do to adapt to a liquid environment? I like to imagine the kind of life we would have, as I waver between wonders and worries. artefleur.com

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Diane Williams Tightrope Walker

Acrylic, rust and stabilo on canvas 48 x 48 inches 2018

Go to the Limits of Your Longing You, sent out to the limits of your longing Embody me. Flare up like a flame and make big shadows I can move in. Let everything happen to you, beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me. -by Ranier Maria Rilke In uncertain times we are walking a tightrope, trying not to lose balance or we could shift the situation to one of disastrous consequences. Tightrope Walker was inspired by a dream. I was crossing a bottomless abyss on a high wire. The feat took an unimaginable act of faith, as any self-doubt would cause a fall and my ultimate demise. By crossing the chasm, I reinforced a belief in my ability to overcome adversity and attain greater goals. Do what you are afraid of. Own it. The future feels precarious so we must strengthen our resolve to reach the other side, fortified by what we have risked and endured. In doing so we embody our true potential. Each time I approach a painting I am again on a tightrope, balancing the meaning of the work with the skill of painting and the purity of the material. As a process painter, I work with the mysteries of what manifests through the material, then respond with the knowledge I have acquired through 40 years of practicing my craft. The most important part is learning to truly see the painting. Let Tightrope Walker inspire you to take risks and build the faith in yourself that is required to succeed. dianewilliamsart.com 76


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Artist Directory

Laura Abrams Oakland, California laura-abrams.com

Stacey Gregory Salinas, California skgregoryart.com

Katalina Prince Arcata, California katalinaprince.com

Elizabeth Addison Berkeley, California elizabethaddison.com

c.j. grossman Richmond, California ArtJazzStudio.com

Sawyer Rose Fairfax, California carrying-stones.com

Salma Arastu Berkeley, California salmaarastu.com

Vicki Gunter Oakland, California vickigunter.com

Susan Bercu Santa Rosa, California susanbercu.art

Jennifer Jigour San Jose, California jenniferjigour.com

Sondra Schwetman Arcata, California sondraschwetmanart.com Larraine Seiden Piedmont, California larraineseiden.com

Lorraine Bonner Oakland, California lorrainebonner.com

Kay Kang San Francisco, California kaykangart.com

Durba Sen Fremont, California durbasen.com

Christine Cianci San Francisco, California ccianciart.com

Karen LeCocq Mariposa, California karenlecocq.com

Na Omi Judy Shintani El Granada, California naomishintani.com

Anna Friesen Santa Rosa, California annafriesen.com

Tanya Lin San Francisco, California blackandwhitelight.com

Mary K. Shisler Oakland, California marykshisler.com

Marguerite Elliot Fairfax, California margueriteelliot.com

Juliet Mevi Oakland, California facebook.com/mevi-art

Fleur Spolidor New York, NY artefleur.com

Miriam Fabbri Berkeley, California

Tomye Neal Madison Oakland, California tomye4arts.wordpress.com

Diane Williams Benicia, California dianewilliamsart.com

Anna Friesen Santa Rosa, California www.annafriesen.com 78

Namita Paul San Carlos, California namitapaul.com


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