Firehouse Arts Center.

Last Saturday was the FRESH WORKS IX opening reception at the Firehouse Arts Center.  The gallery was packed with enthusiastic visitors and artists.  The community center houses a gallery, theater, and numerous multi-purpose areas.  Diverse creative experiences are welcomed here.


From the venue’s website: “A large yet intimate art gallery adjacent to the Firehouse Arts Center atrium lobby and comprised of two exhibition rooms, one of which is inside the original Firehouse #1 Engine Bay.  Harrington Gallery features seven group exhibitions per year, highlighting works by both established and emerging local and regional artists working in a variety of styles, genres, and themes.”


During the opening reception, gallery curator Alena Sauzade and curator/juror Virginia Tominia presented the Nancy & Gary Harrington award, merits awards, and honorable mentions.  One of my two pieces, a pen and ink drawing titled OPTIC 7, received an honorable mention.  It was an unexpected recognition!

OPTIC 7, pen and ink.

The curation of fifty artists was brilliantly executed.  Each piece became a larger narration within the gallery’s walls.  From the Coffee with a Curator discussion, Ms. Tominia selections highlighted a “spaciousness” and “singular subject matter in composition.”  Indeed, this was true.

LINE, animation (Elaine Coombs image).

A commentary between walls that are invisible and visible could be found in Carolyn Ramella’s Alisal Elementary, Pleasanton and Dave Peterson’s Blue Lady.  Both pieces reveal a vulnerable narrative within the protagonist.  Personal reflection and experience engulfs the viewer.

Alisal Elementary, Pleasanton, Carolyn Ramella.
Blue Lady, Dave Peterson.

Masterful illusion and application was on display.  For example, Elaine Coombs Sun.Set 1 and Angela Johal’s Rhythm and Line No. 3 seamlessly morph together micro and marco perspectives.  While Angel Estacio’s Delicacies of Unbecoming and Shannon Belardi’s Top Shelf/Bottom Shelf meticulously translate order out of chaos.  At closer look, subtle intention reveals powerful introspection.

Sun.Set 1 (detail), Elaine Coombs.
Rhythm and Line No. 3, Angela Johal.
Delicacies of Unbecoming, Angel Estacio.
Top Shelf/Bottom Shelf, Shannon Belardi.

The Firehouse Arts Center is a consistent advocate for the arts in Pleasanton and beyond.  The legend of FRESH WORKS IX continues at the Harrington Gallery.  Here’s to many more years!


FRESH WORKS IX.  Harrington Gallery.  Firehouse Arts Center.  April 28 – June 1, 2019.