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Exhibition March/ April 2013

10 Feb


Urban Visions by Eight Bay Area Artists

Our show has been extended by popular demand

Additional Artist receptions:

Friday, April 5, 6pm to 9pm

Friday, April 12, 6pm to 9pm

Also open by appointment

Featured Artists:

Sherrod Blankner Paintings


Artist Statement

Sherrod Blankner paints urban scenes to express her empathy for the landscape around her. She is deeply attached to places she has lived and creates artwork to capture the mood of certain familiar scenes. Her series “Alameda” was inspired by an unexpected trip to the Alameda Air Station on a cold, rainy January day, for a birthday party. In the midst of hurrying to one of the hangers, Ms. Blankner was struck by the beauty of the sun shining on the old navy buildings after the rain in the pale winter light. The grand scale of the buildings and the leftover shipyard speaks of a different, World War II era, that still lingers in the airstrip.

Gabriele Bungardt Paintings


Artist Statement

Gabriele Bungardt describes the world as she sees it, the people, animals and objects who inhabit this world and the situations that they find themselves in, through paint. In her artwork the manipulation of paint as a material that can hold a narrative is essential. Broad brushstrokes suffused with energy and intent cover the canvas building complicated social scenarios and intimate still-life commentary with consummate skill and complete sincerity.
Her artwork focuses on contemporary life viewed through that most historic of lenses, painting. Whilst remaining relaxed and painterly her images bring objects and relationships encountered routinely into sharp focus as they become meditations on social and economic values. Her treatment of light suffuses the paintings, drawing attention to minute detail and rendering figures, both isolated and in groups, through the interplay of light and shadow as it wraps around subject and environment. Although her subjects are, for the most part, humble and unassuming, the physical pleasure and tactile sensibility associated with the act of painting is essential to her artwork.

Mi’Chelle Fredrick Drawings, Paintings


Artist Statement

 Graphite and watercolor are my primary mediums. I typically use them as separate mediums. Recently I have begun to explore techniques that blend the two mediums in a single image. Introducing a spark of color within a graphite drawing seems to add a slightly surreal dimension to the work.
For this exhibit, I have created a series of drawings called “Through the Window – City Stories”. These drawings offer a glimpse into the lives of people we might find in any urban setting.  My imaginary city dwellers represent the invisible poor as well as those living in luxury – each existing behind a protective facade in a world we usually cannot enter without their permission. They are people we might pass on any sidewalk or see through any window. They are strangers, yet their stories are somehow familiar.
Chris Johnson Video, Photography


Chris Johnson’s Questionbridge Project has been shown at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and in Museums across the Nation.

Artist Statement

The Question Bridge project emerged when, in 1996 I was commissioned by the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego to produce a video piece dealing in some way with race as part of a multi-media exhibition.
The result was a very rough experimental project that tried to show how different familiar concepts like “race” look from within a racial group when compared to the view from without.
I think of Question Bridge as essentially a process based upon a few basic principles:
– First, consider the significant divisions that exist within a clearly defined demographic;
– Next, create a setting where both sides feel safe to express sincere questions they have for the other, and then, in a similar way, give the other side an opportunity to express relevant answers to those questions.
Black people who live their lives in working-class inner-city neighborhoods, have very different views of the world and themselves, than do those who spend all of their time in white-dominated parts of our culture.
At a time when children are killing children in the black community, whose job is it to nurture these children? This is just one example of the important and penetrating questions and answers. The process of looking inward to find long-held but perhaps unexpressed questions, or to finally voice answers to questions and assumptions that they have lived under for years has made this project possible.

Rob Nehring Metal Sculpture


Artist Statement

Rob Nehring received his BFA from the University of Milwaukee Wisconsin in Inter-arts that included theatre, dance and sculpture.  After professionally dancing for 17 years and 18 years in the candy business, he dropped everything to take a class at The Crucible. 
An accomplished artist, Rob’s sculptures are in galleries and part of private collections throughout the US.   Rob began at the Crucible as a volunteer in 2002 and now serves as the organization’s Adult Program Director.

Fortune Sitole Mixed Media


Artist Statement

I want to foster an awareness of the conditions suffered by South Africans, who create makeshift shelters by optimizing outside space and leftover materials – metal, tires, stones, etc., whatever they can find to build their homes.
Fashioning my work as homage to my ancestors, family and community, these pieces are a reminder of the day-to-day life in black South African townships. But shanties exist throughout the world and my art actually tells a story of the universality of poverty.
The characters in my scenes are about communities who have overcome adversity and have progressed into the 21st century. Complex dimensions allow a peek down streets at women washing clothes, children playing, girls braiding hair and wandering drunken fathers. Pictures of everyday events, ironically set against the backdrop of vivid dawns and dusks, reflect the darker issues of economic enslavement, discrimination, poverty and hardships.
Shanties are slowly disappearing from South Africa’s landscape. Redevelopment and investment begin to paint a brighter picture for the future of South Africans, an encouraging example for the people of the world who are experiencing poverty today.

Avi Stachenfeld Photography


Artist Statement

Relatively new to photography, and only recently moving from ‘nature’ to ‘people’, Avi Stachenfeld takes photographs in a way that dignifies the subject and rarely proclaims either the presence or the point of view of the photographer except in the broadest definition of humanism: a man heading home after a day’s work; teens gathering after school in the subway; young Chassids walking in single line; a young woman waiting for a night train; a guard near Ground Zero riding the escalator; a young girl curious about the stranger with the camera.
Mr. Stachenfeld approaches photography with a painterly eye, the expressive gesture  manifesting itself as he captures the calm within the more dynamic environment.  These works are beautifully composed with a restraint and appreciation of scale that is not always evident in photography.  Each is a moment within a moment, a passion subsumed, a question left unasked.  Mr. Stachenfeld uses this strength of composition to locate content within the human drama.   An old man…a young artist.  We look forward to his new work.

Mark Zaffron Print Making

Zaffron_Laws of Variation_Etching_20x16_web

Artist Statement

 I find that making art is about satisfying a series of curiosities–visual, technical, and intellectual.  I enjoy the challenge of giving visual and physical form to what was once an abstract notion.
Thematically, my work is concerned with a long-held fascination with evolution as it applies to human environments.  With the neighborhoods surrounding my studio as subject, the work examines adaptation, mutation, and the influence of a specific environment on the people and infrastructure.
The images are composed of many layers of information that offer a great deal of visual complexity with which to experiment.  Similarly, I explore numerous ideas borrowed from diverse fields of inquiry–particle physics, abstract mathematics, economics, anthropology, etc.  These generate contextual layers to create a conceptual complexity that is central to the work.
Mark Zaffron is Founder and Director of the Center for Research, Art, Technology & Education (The CRATE), a non-profit printmaking studio in Oakland.
Zaffron has taught Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Academy of Art University.  He has been a visiting artist at numerous institutions including Cooper Union, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University, The Corcoran, The Museo Nacional in Buenos Aires, and the Galilee Intaglio Studio in Israel.
His work has been prominently featured at venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Seattle Art Museum Gallery, Plains Art Museum, Barret House Galleries in New York, Triton Art Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artist’s Gallery.
The gallery also showcases a Creative Collaboration between
Avi Stachenfeld, photographer and Gabriele Bungardt, painter
An intriguing collaboration between Ms. Bungardt and Mr. Stachenfeld offers a rare opportunity to experience different interpretations of the same scene by these two artists. Subjects carefully caught and held in suspended animation by Mr. Stachenfeld seem to have been reanimated in Ms. Bungardt’s paintings. It is as if figures captured by the photographer come to life in the paintings, drawing the viewer into the action.
17 Dec

We have received a wonderful review in the Oakland Tribune and Alameda Journal:

Exhibition November 2012

21 Sep


Eleven Bay Area artists present their interpretations of the human figure exploring not only its endlessly beautiful geometry but extending their reach beyond the figure into concepts of self-image, the rhythms of daily life, and spiritual essence – who we are as well as what we are. This exciting collection of paintings, drawings, photography and sculptures celebrates the beauty and diversity of “everybody”.

Opening Reception Friday, November 9, 2012 from 6 to 9 p.m.

 Additional receptions:

Saturday, November 24, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Friday, December 7, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Also open by appointment

Featured Artists:

Rob Anderson, Drawings

Artist Statement

The drawings are in charcoal pencil on handmade paper with occasional touches of charcoal white.  They are of sculptures from the Great Altar at Pergamon, now housed in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. I worked on the project on-site in the museum for several months over a period of three years. The Great Frieze depicts the battle between the Olympic gods and the giants for control of the world (Gigantomachy) and represents the gods’ moment of victory. It is the “mother of all battles” in Greek mythology and art.  The smaller frieze, represented by the Attendants of Telephos, tells the life of Telephos, the mythical founder of Pergamon. Standing with the sculptures, drawing day after day for several hours at a time, I discovered their power.

Gabriele Bungardt, Acrylic on Canvas

Artist Statement

Inspired by events in the news – the faltering economy, the Occupy Movement, the 99% –  my “American Working Man” Series depicts the daily struggle for survival that fills the lives of men and women across this country. Everyday tasks, like the backdrops in my paintings, loom larger than life, overshadowing the figures whose strength and determination is still evident though their burdens are heavy. These are the everyday heroes who scratch out a living and hope their paychecks will stretch far enough to cover the basics. Beyond these exhausted faces, we see the families who depend on them; we imagine their dreams and share in their hopes for a better future.

Mi’Chelle Fredrick, Drawings, Colored Pencil and Watercolors

Artist Statement

For as long as I can remember, I have looked at my surroundings as if sizing them up for a role in a drawing or painting – examining textures, analyzing shapes, watching colors change with shifting light and shadow. Drawing is the foundation for my creative work and influences my approach to painting and photography. An extensive background in architectural rendering and technical drawing brings detail to my work.

The human figure presents unique challenges. The body is an exquisite container for all that makes us who we are. It holds our memories and our dreams in a delicate balance of strength and frailty. To convey not only a likeness, to reveal something of the person beyond the surface and create a relationship between the viewer and the subject is the challenge for me.

Bob Giles, Photography

Artist Statement

Photography for me has always been informed by the history of painting as well as the classic style of vintage photographers.
I’ve concentrated on the realm of black and white photography but have
often toned my prints with sepia or selenium to get secondary tones beyond the basic black and white.

My subject matter has often been documenting the sculptures of the Victorian era cemeteries of the United States and Europe. The idea of photography as a way of preserving an art form that is rapidly disappearing through age or vandalism strongly appeals to me. I seek out the mythological angel figures which for me are symbols of hope and a desire to connect to the spiritual world.

Irene Hendrick, Acrylic on Canvas and Limited Edition Prints

Artist Statement

Irene’s paintings originate partly from historical and old photographs and stories told to her by her mother of post-war time England.  Although many of the characters in her paintings are of a certain era, Irene brings to them a modern sensibility by isolating them from their “space” and placing them into a different scene, thus creating a new visual narrative.

She purposely leaves the characters faces vague in order to keep within the memories of past stories, while at the same time allowing the viewer to insert his or her own narratives into the scene.

Irene was born in England and has made her home in San Francisco for the past several years.  Her collectors come from across the globe and her work has been featured in numerous solo and group shows.

Diane Komater, Wire Sculptures  

I call myself a Wireist. I make 3 dimensional sculptures, mostly figurative, using various gauges of annealed steel wire. I literally “draw in the air”. I started using this wire when I lived in Los Angeles and was making jewelry that was featured in a few galleries around LA, San Francisco and Japan. I was invited to participate in a figurative show at one of the galleries representing me. I made a couple of 7 foot long figures using my wire and detailing them with primary color glass marbles. This intrigued me very much and soon I was making wire people anywhere from 3 feet to 10 feet tall.
I am inspired by mostly everything; movies, artists, the landscape, comedians, children…with a special interest in graphic novels. I love Robert Crumb for his amazing renderings and his sense of humor. Charles Burns is another favorite of mine.
I have been working with wire for 26 years and the possible imagery is endless, like doodling.

Suzanne Lacke, Oil on Canvas  

Artist’s Statement:

I have been able to engage a love of paint, texture and color through a series of paintings of dresses which I find in thrift stores, hang on the wall and render with light coming on them from the side.  As I am painting, a life comes into the empty dress as if there were a person inside, a person who lives on in the dress although the original wearer is anonymous and gone.

The dress covers and reveals the skin beneath which just covers the heart, the nerves and the soul.  We use them to pretend, to put on a face, to prepare for going to a particular place.  Once they were objects for “dress-up” . In the end they are a self portrait as all paintings are.

Judy Miller, Ceramic & Darjit Sculptures

Artist Statement

Creating art has been a driving force in my life for the past 30 years. Although sculpture is my first love, I believe that creativity is actually what drives my work. I love the creative process, exploring something new in a different way. I seem to never run out of ideas and never cease finding new art forms to explore. Therefore my various series have a widely different feel to them using different media and subject matter in a variety of ways. These differences excite me, and I hope I never tire of opening a new door.

Stephen Namara, Watercolor or Dry Pigment on Paper

Artist Statement

Not only do I find it hard to find the appropriate words to describe one’s own work, but I also prefer to let my work speak for itself. I have always felt that it makes no difference what you draw or paint as long as you paint or draw well.

However, if it necessary to speak out, I might say that specifically, my subject matter is the human nude, despite the general impression that “no one paints the figure anymore”.

They are some of us that have never abandoned the time-honored human body as an image for picture making.

Does my work satisfy the needs of those who look hopefully to the artist to throw some clarifying beam on the existential maelstrom, which surrounds us?

You be the judge.

Dickson Schneider, Oil on PVC Panels 

Artist Statement

Texas born painter Dickson Schneider lives and works in Alameda, California. He teaches Painting and Art at California State University East Bay. His eclectic attitude to art has lead him to traditional media, video, digital prints and writing. His current work applies high realist technique to emphasize the unlikely reality found in fashion advertising. Oil painting on PVC panels offers the richness of the traditional with post modern materials.

In the current work, models are placed in fine art contexts (the art gallery/museum). Thus a super-model drifts past the crucified Christ while showing off her beautiful handbag.

The paintings create a deliberate cognitive dissonance between real/unreal and desire/humor.

Darcy J. Sears, Clay Sculptures

Artist Statement

Life is clay; clay is life.   Darcy Sears is an artist whose work is driven by the need to mold life from clay.

Darcy’s work expresses the spiritual, historical and inevitable relationship between the human form and clay.  She feels that there is an inescapable cycle of life, through the earth, spirit, air and back again.  Years from now when this artist is forgotten and the sculpture gone back to the earth, a new artist will use the same earth to create a new sculpture in a new millennium.

The evolution of her work has ranged from realistic to whimsical, classical to abstract.  Clay knows no boundaries or limits.

Exhibition July 2012

23 May


– A New Point of View –

7 Bay Area Artists show their latest work during the month of July 2012

Painting, Photography, Steel Sculpture, Glass Sculpture

Gallery Reception July 13, 6 to 9 pm

Sue Averell

Acrylic Painting

Artist Statement:

I approach my Botanical series of works differently than the other subjects I paint. Unlike my Urban Landscape series where the composition and color is meticulously planned, my botanical series allows me the freedom to explore form and content in a more abstract way. The content is always the same; floral shapes, leaves, stems and a clear vase. With all this decided and deliberately sketched with marker on my orange primed canvas, my mind is free to explore the paint application. A good painting session is where I like the result, a great session is where I discover a new way of making a mark with paint or a different color story unfolds before me. The difficult part is recognizing that something is different and incorporating it into the subject. After this new way of making a mark is practiced I often incorporate it into my Urban Landscape series. By experimenting with my technique I am challenged to grow as an artist and that growth inspires me to continue.

Gabriele Bungardt:

Acrylic on Canvas

Artist Statement:

I’m more interested in the shadows than the object, because the presence of the shadow (often overstated in my paintings) represents the light I crave so much, and which to me is equivalent to happiness. Light inspires my still lives and its’ depiction in my artwork is a form of homage to California and the lightness of being and positive attitudes that are a reflection of a culture that takes its essence from the presence of light.

Ken Draizen

Steel Sculpture

Mi’Chelle Fredrick:

Graphite and Watercolors

Artist Statement:

For me, it’s all about the details. Whether I’m working outdoors on a landscape or in my studio on a still life, my focus is on the details that make each object come to life on the page or canvas. I am fascinated by textures. It’s a challenge to convey the smoothness of a polished stone or the roughness of tree bark in a medium such as graphite. I enjoy that kind of challenge. I want the viewer to not only see the object as I saw it, but to get the feel of it as well.

Dan Granett


Artist Statement

Photography is an art and a science. Straddling both for over 5 decades gives me a perspective that welcomes technical breakthroughs in optics and software that “cheat nature” out of what we naively thought were limits to her laws.  Some of my photos are software derived composites of many focal plane slices of small subjects that could not be captured with such clarity otherwise. Extending my senses turns me on.  An amplifier that converts the ultrasonic voices of insects into human audible sounds, a visualizer of the normally invisible electromagnetic fields we are swimming in, – if it takes gadgets to extract some beauty out of the vast sea of energy and particles that is our reality, that’s just fine.

Chris Tedesco

Glass Art

Artist Statement:

“In my work, glass is transformed into three dimensional paintings of light and color. Complicated techniques used in the making of these pieces fade away as the presence of the artwork makes itself felt. The intention of my work is to create an environment for the viewer- a place where one feels encouraged to ponder and reflect.”

Elizabeth Zanzinger

Oil Painting

Artist Statement:

Elizabeth Zanzinger is an emerging artist from the San Francisco Bay Area. The developing theme in Elizabeth’s work explores the relationship between humanity and nature. Both are consuming forces in daily life, whether through technological advances or the inevitable decay of all things.  She views the life of an artist as a journey through continually evolving processes, whether the focus is technical or conceptual. She explores the beauty in that journey, the process, and the rendered material form with all of the work she creates.