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Originalitude: Arthur Bell’s Amazing Paintings

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Great art will be celebrated all year long at the Sanchez Art Center and Pacifica Center for the Arts, starting with three simultaneous shows, running Jan. 11 to Feb. 10, 2013. 


“Originalitude: Arthur Bell’s Amazing Paintings,” curated by DeWitt Cheng, will take place in the Main Gallery. The East Wing hosts the Art WaVeS “Winter Salon,” and the Art Guild of Pacifica’s first show of the year, “Noir,” takes place in the West Wing. 


All three exhibitions open with a reception on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 from 7 to 9 p.m.


Arthur Bell painted in San Francisco in the 1970’s and 1980’s until an unfortunate series of strokes left him temporarily unable to paint. His work was virtually unseen until well known Bay Area art critic DeWitt Cheng made it his personal charge to bring Bell’s work back into the public eye. 


Cheng describes Bell’s paintings as “involving strange characters in mysterious, amusing events; blending pop culture references such as Gershwin, Zappa, and Costello with Poe’s fantastic literature and northern California lore without a trace of self-consciousness.


His paintings can include feathered-hat-sporting llamas, narwal-shaped paddlewheel steamboats, pterodactyl hunters, a canine Wyeth heroine, a harp-playing robot, a quadrapus (half an octopus), a dolphinette, or even a handstanding pink elephant.  


In Arthur Bell’s hilarious, absurd, and sometimes mordant dream world, all this makes perfect sense; he is a bona fide original – an American Ensor.”  This is your opportunity to glimpse rarely seen and truly unique works.


The Art Guild of Pacifica’s very first exhibit of 2013 is called “Noir” and features the works of at least 30 artists. The works thematically recall dark, dangerous images of the past, reminiscent of the cinematic term “film noir,” and crime literature featuring tough, cynical characters in bleak
settings. The visceral fantasies of Main Gallery artist Arthur Bell being presented in tandem with the evocative images of “Noir” in the West Gallery promises the viewer a truly captivating and compelling experience. Plan to spend some time.


A short stroll across the courtyard brings you to the East Gallery, where there is even more to see, and where the works of the 13 artists of ArtWaVeS Gallery are featured in “Winter Salon.”


Art WaVeS existed as a small art gallery in the outer sunset from 2005 until 2008. Two years later, Art WaVeS began again as a virtual gallery on the internet, with actual Summer Art Salons taking place at FOGBELT STUDIO in 2010 and 2011.  This year’s “Winter Salon” includes works by Jennifer Alpaugh, Susan Black, Kathy Dybeck, Linda Fitch, Richard Herring, Charlotte Kay, Melinda Lightfoot, Kathy Miller, Leigh Radtke, Nancy Mona Russell, Louis Webb, Roxanne Worthington, and Pauline Yeckley.


Gallery hours at Sanchez Art Center after January 11 are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. and by appointment. Call (650) 355-1894 for more information or visit on-line at www.sanchezartcenter.org.

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