2017 Exhibitions

The Art of a Community, January 21 – February 19, 2017
We will begin our 30th year with one of our most important exhibitions, showcasing the multifaceted talents of our artist members!
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 28, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Family Art Day: Sunday, January 29, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Ekphrastic Poetry Event with the Benicia First Tuesday Poets: Saturday, February 4, 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Spheres of Influence, 8th Creative Women’s Symposium, March 4 – 19, 2017
A collaboration between the Benicia-Vallejo American Association of University Women and Arts Benicia
The symposium will feature a pop-up art exhibit of visual, word and performing art sharing the expression across four generations of women. A panel of artists will discuss who and what influenced them. Artists include performance artist Maria Stats, Vallejo Poet Laureate Genea Brice, visual artists Sarah Barsness, and Pearl Jones Tranter and the event will be moderated by artist Susan Street. A viewing reception begins at 1 p.m. with music provided by Jazz Guerilla. The panel begins at 2 p.m. followed by sale of art pieces and raffle.
Saturday, March 11, 1:00 -4:00 pm

Mike Kendall: Off the Wall, April 8 – May 7, 2017
Mike Kendall is a well-known Benicia artist who has lived and worked in the Benicia Arsenal for over 25 years. He considers himself a mixed media artist but has crafted sculptures in steel and stone inspired by works of Giger, Bosch, and Gaudi. Kendall is known for his collaborative sound performance, “Windows of Sound”, and his commissioned work, including Wind, Water, Land a public art piece at the Benicia Community Center. Kendall’s studio is filled to the rafters with his unconventional art, ranging from intricate sculptures made of junk, recycled materials, and rocks to large-scale acrylic paintings. He an incredibly active and generous member of the community, always opening his studio space to share with multiple artists during Open Studios. This exhibition will be a unique opportunity to see and interact with Mike’s exceptional work.
Opening reception: Saturday, April 8, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Benicia Open Studios, Saturday & Sunday, May 6 & 7
Benicia is well known for its vibrant artist community. Each year scores of artists open the doors of their studio spaces throughout Benicia’s Historic Arsenal District and all over town, providing a unique glimpse into their creative world. Visitors can ride a SolTrans Shuttle free of charge between the arsenal and downtown and explore artist studios on Jackson and Tyler Streets in the arsenal, see glass blowing on F and H streets, tour galleries and other venues on First Street, speak with artists about their work, watch demonstrations, and purchase original art.

Magical Realism: Allegory, Dreams and Myth
Paul Pratchenko, Juror
June 3 – July 9, 2017

Magical Realism is characterized by an acceptance of the unreal as a natural part of reality, thus creating imaginative and sometimes disturbing worlds. Magical Realism reveals the interior mystery of the mundane and the magic that is contained in the unseen and hidden. The term “magical realism” was coined in 1925 by German art historian Franz Roh to describe the burgeoning art movement known as Neue Sachlichkeit (“New Objectivity”), which depicted ordinary subjects with a mysterious and detached manner. More recently Magical Realism although still anchored in everyday reality may have overtones of fantasy or wonder.

About Paul Pratchenko — After receiving the Master of Arts in Painting at the San Jose State University in 1972, Paul Pratchenko began a career teaching art in Bay Area universities and as a professional artist. Active in painting, drawing, and collage, Pratchenko’s art often depicts scenes of mystical illusion set in ordinary locales in paintings composed with realistic precision. Currently Professor Emeritus in Art (painting and drawing) at San Francisco State University, Paul has shown his works extensively in solo exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout California, as well as in Washington, D.C., Kansas City, New York City, Chicago, and Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Reviews of his works have been published in Art Ltd, Art in America, Flash Art, Artweek, Artnews, and others. In 1979, Simon and Schuster published Paul’s artwork in Dream Riddles, Fragments of Daydreams and Nightmares.
Member Preview, Thursday, June 1, 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Opening reception: Saturday, June 3, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Mapping Your Terrain, July 29 – August 27, 2017
Katharine Harmon, juror
Mapping Your Terrain focuses on the many ways artists use or create maps for personal expression. Art maps can be used for exploration of the personal, the political, or as a tool to investigate the experimental.

About Katharine Harmon: Katharine Harmon produces books that showcase the work of artists, photographers, and illustrators, and use engaging writing and graphic imagery to explain sometimes-esoteric concepts. She is principal at Tributary Books in Seattle, WA. and author of “You Are Here, Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination”, “The Map as Art, Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography”.

Member preview: Thursday, July 27, 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Opening reception: Saturday, July 29, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Arts Benicia Annual Art Auction Preview Exhibition, September 9 – 23, 2017
The Art Auction is Arts Benicia’s biggest fundraiser. The revenue it generates is crucial for supporting all of our programs.The centerpiece of our auction is the beautiful, original art work donated by our generous artists. This is a great opportunity to purchase unique and valuable works of art from the highly regarded artists who make up our extensive creative community. This year, the auction has returned home and will include a two-week preview in the gallery.

Bay Area Clay – A Legacy of Social Consciousness, October 14 – November 19, 2017
Lisa Reinertson, Curator
Bay Area Clay is a legacy of hopefulness for our future. Whether artwork is expressing something beautiful in the human spirit, or the artwork is an expression of social criticism; the underlying idea is that artists are called to speak the truth. And, as Dr. Martin Luther King stated, “speaking truth is ultimately a powerful weapon for change.”

Lisa Reinertson is known for both her life size figurative ceramic sculptures and her large-scale public sculptures cast in bronze. Coming from a family of peace and social activists, Reinertson’s work has an underlying humanism that can be seen both in her poetic ceramic figures with animals, to her more historic public commissions that express ideals of peace and social justice.
Member preview, Thursday, October 12, 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Opening reception: Saturday, October 14, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Gems IV: Exquisite, Intricate, Intimate Small Works of Art, December 2 – December 25, 2017
Donna Seager, Juror
Arts Benicia is proud to once again present Gems, a small works show with a focused approach on exquisite, intricate, intimate works of art on a small scale. This juried exhibition includes works in a variety of media by select Arts Benicia members, and other local and regional artists. Gems is intended to present unique, first-rate work created in Benicia and the greater Bay Area and offers an intriguing alternative to more commercial shopping. The small scale of the work draws viewers in, creating an intimate, personal experience that is meant to be shared.
Member preview: Thursday, November 30, 6:00 – 7:00pm
Opening reception: Saturday, December 2, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Donna Seager is a partner at Seager-Gray Gallery in Mill Valley, CA., a gallery which specializes in contemporary fine art with a focus on works that combine content with a mastery of materials.