Friday, June 10, 2016


Hey, there, art fans! There's still one week left to see a great show at the Pajaro Valley Arts gallery (recently rebranded from the former PVAC) in Watsonville.

Titled Sculpture IS, the show is devoted to — you guessed it — sculptural work, in all its many fabulous forms. It was curated by the mighty Susana Arias, who makes skillful use of every nook and cranny of the charming gallery space, a converted Victorian just off the main drag on Sudden Street.

Over 30 artists are featured in the show, working in a variety of materials, from clay, stone, wire, wood, and metal, to paper, fabric and assemblage.

I was especially taken by this Aborigine-inspired ceramic grouping, The Dreamtime, by Carla Powell. I love the stacked shapes, the earthy color palette, and the coordinating, but not identical patterns. Even the shadows thrown on the wall behind it are cool!

Not exactly figurative, nor functional, but I found it completely hypnotic.

I was also drawn to John Babcock's paper tapestry, Tyger Tyger. I love that the first two lines of William Blake's lovely poem are cut into the paper vertically, left and right, and how "the forest of the night" is represented by tree-like silhouettes posed against a flame-colored interior, "burning bright."

What else is new at PVA? The gallery has recently joined the North American Reciprocal Museum Association (NARM), a confederation of over 800 museums, galleries, historical sites, and cultural exhibits, nationwide.

What this means for you, dear art lover, is that if you become a member of PVA, you gain access to any and all of the other NARM venues for FREE! This is a big deal, since participating NARM venues include the Asian Art Museum, the De Young, the Legion of Honor, and the Walt Disney Family Museum — and that's just in the Bay Area!

This actually works, as Art Boy and I found out on a recent visit to the Legion of Honor, to feast our eyes on Rapahael's "Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn." Admission to the venue and the entire permanent collection was absolutely free! Had we wanted to see the traveling Pierre Bonnard exhibit, we were told, there would have been a nominal charge ($10, I think it was), but the Raphael was part of the package. Such a deal!

The Sculpture IS show is up in the gallery until June 19. Meanwhile, a sister show, Sculpture IS In the Garden, has just gone up at Sierra Azul Nursery, one of the coolest sculpture venues in the county. Visit the PVA website to find out what's going on at the little gallery that could.

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