gallery 48Yellow Hibiscus, Downes, 30x30 collage

"YELLOW HIBISCUS" by Eileen Downes Courtesy art


Hawaiian Summer comes to Gallery at 48 Natoma

By From page B14 | July 04, 2014

Tropical breezes and soothing waves, the scent of plumeria and suntan oil, shaved ice and sun-baked sand will come to mind in the next exhibit at the Gallery at 48 Natoma in Folsom.

The seasonally appropriate exhibit, Hawaiian Summer, will showcase the artistic talents of artists Wade Koniakowsky with paintings and surfboards, watercolors by Leslie Ruth and collages by Eileen Downes.

The exhibit opens Friday, July 11 and continues through Aug. 28 and is generously sponsored by a grant from Target.

Koniakowsky’s painted boards are some of the most sought after in the art world. The most popular style is the Polynesian Collage which incorporates mixed media of gold leaf, block print and painting in figurative, scenic and abstract.

Each fiberglass board is finished with a rich, deep-gloss finish. His wooden Alaia boards incorporate the same components, without the glossed fiberglass finish — having a more organic feel.

“The ocean is my inspiration. My art is a reflection of this great force that has shaped my life,” said Koniakowsky who is thought by many to be on the cutting edge of the new-school of marine art. He lives and works on the Southern California coast and his work is shown internationally.

Downes’ collage artwork is composed of many layers with bits of torn magazine papers as her palette of paint, working the image by adding and subtracting tonal values of this paper until she creates the desired effect.

Words, phrases and imagery from the materials that make up the collage become visible upon close observation of the work adding to the meaning of the piece.

“I am continually amazed by specific words that appear almost magically between the torn edges as if they are themselves part of the creator of the artwork,” said Downes.

She often uses unusual collage materials such as band-aids, gum and candy wrappers, heirloom family photos and sentimental letters from which to create layered images. Downes adds a small amount of oil pastel to each piece to increase the textural appeal and leaves the rough collage edges visible to add to the layered effect.

She has an extensive résumé with her work represented regionally, throughout the US as well as many international exhibits.

Ruth continues a family tradition established by her grandmother and mother. Although trained as a commercial artist as well as in the fine arts, Ruth’s warmth and sensitivity have led her back to the watercolor medium again and again.

Her work has been accepted in many juried shows, winning her awards, including the 1995 Excellence in Realism Award at the Hawaii Watercolor Society 33rd Annual Open Exhibition.

Ruth captures the beauty of the islands in her watercolor scenes. She gives us her view of the common surf shop or a bunch of coconuts and magically transforms them into a nostalgic memory. Her latest paintings express her love of detail, color and life.

Her work is represented in galleries in Hawaii and the mainland.

In the adjacent Community Gallery at 48 Natoma, the Annual Student Art Show from 48 Natoma Art Center Adult Art Classes will be on display Aug. 21.

Featured are a selection of classes including Chinese brush painting, watercolor, oil painting, photography, ceramics and more.

The public is invited to celebrate both exhibits at the free opening reception on Friday, July 11, from 6-8 p.m. with refreshments, wine and live Hawaiian music by Joe Lapuz and dancers from Polynesian dance classes taught by Natasha Forsberg at the Art Center at 48 Natoma. Guests are invited to wear their luau attire to the reception.

The Gallery at 48 Natoma is free and open to the public and art is available for purchase. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with additional hours Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m. Free tours can be arranged by appointment.

For more information contact Cindy Abraham at 916-355-7285 or [email protected]

Gallery At 48 Natoma

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