Strokes of inspiration

Artists share their creativity


Lissette Urbina

Los Medanos College students Ashley Martinez and Gianna Di Ricco engage over Ken Alexander’s painting titled “Eve” during the Art Show Reception Thursday Sept. 7.

Azi Carter, [email protected]

A constant flow of art enthusiasts filled the Los Medanos Art Gallery for the sixth annual “Faculty and Staff Art Reception” Thursday, Sept. 7.

Cheese and crumpets with grapes and fruit -soaked water refreshed the connoisseurs of fine art as they browsed and conversed over their favorite pieces.

The artists were on hand to chat with gallery visitors and explain the concepts of their masterpieces.

“This is the best way to meet faculty,” commented Pamela Tabel. “I’ve been working in the ceramics department for years as Lucy Snow’s teacher’s assistant.”

Having retired as an art teacher herself two years ago, Tabel worked to instill in her students the value of appreciating all art — whatever the medium. She believes that there are sometimes pieces that guests will connect with right away when visiting the gallery.

For Tabel, the artwork that she connected with the most at the gallery was large-scale drawing “Poplar” by Judi Petite. This drawing captured Tabel and left her feeling as if she were standing on train tracks, leaving her to feel an overwhelming feeling of déjà vu.

Julee Richardson was one of the artists who had artwork displayed at the show. One of the pieces that Richardson showcases was a sculptured ceramic piece titled “Mamma.”

This artwork paid homage to her beloved grandmother who was the respected matriarch of her family.

“Mamma didn’t take no stuff, she didn’t have to say a word. She just had a way she would look at you and you knew it was time to straighten up,” Richardson explained. “She wore dresses made of cotton that had flowers and small print.”

To effectively recreate her grandmother, Richardson used different mediums.

“I had to use a special tool to get the effects I wanted —I textured the hair, and the eyebrows.”

“Mamma” started from humble beginnings with 1-½ bags of clay, making up the 28 pounds that the sculpture weighs. Three months later, when the material was hard enough to hold it’s shape effectively, “Mamma” was cut in half to fit in the kiln.

Richardson’s finished masterpiece sat on its own pedestal in the gallery where everyone could easily admire it.

This show closed on Thursday, Sept. 14. Preparations are underway for the next upcoming show featuring Karrie Hovey on Sept. 26 to Oct. 26.