Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

May 31, 2005 > Open Studios

Open Studios

by Veronica Velasquez

On the weekend of June 4 and 5, art lovers will have an opportunity to explore the works of over 40 artists and artisans at nine local sites during the Fremont Art Association's Fourth Annual Tri-Cities Open Studios tour.

Several stops on the tour are actually artists' homes giving visitors the chance to catch a glimpse of various stages of the creative process. There will be demonstrations at some studios, such as a pottery wheel demo at 1901 Mandan Court in Fremont, where four pottery artists will be gathered to display their crafts. Bob and Mary Bobik will demonstrate Mary's technique of forming leaf-shaped plates and clay bracelets. Fellow clay artist and engineer Akio Aochi will also be on hand to display his functional pieces such as plates, flower vases and mugs.

"It's therapeutic," Aochi said of his work. "To make something out of a chunk of clay gives me great satisfaction and pleasure. I encourage people to use the pieces in a functional way. I have an aunt who still uses the salad bowl I made her 20 years ago."

Valerie Manning, who will be located at 4669 Deadwood Drive, Fremont, noted that all of us need to find ways to satisfy our physical and emotional requirements. Manning took up painting in 1995 after being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.

"It was pretty much near the end for me when I was diagnosed," said the artist, who works in acrylics, oils, water colors, pastels, and mixed media "I've been through chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and losing my hair more than once. So I needed something to take my mind off of the cancer. I went to Jan's Art Studio, where I met Dimitri Grudsky. He taught me painting and drawing, and I've been doing it ever since. It's my whole life now."

This is the third year that Manning's house will be featured on the tour. In addition to cancer, she must also deal with congestive heart failure and has found art to be her saving grace.

"I've poured my heart into this," Manning said. "I believe in miracles. I like to see the ocean [in my work], where it stretches out to the sky, and you can't see the end of the water. You can't see the end of your life, either, yet you know it's there."

Manning is offering a discount on her art work to cancer survivors and support members.

Cindy Sullivan, an artist for the past 20 years, will have eight different artists' work at her site. She started her work at Ohlone College, and has had shows at the Olive Hyde Gallery in Fremont.

"I have some new work no one has seen yet," promised Sullivan, a photo realist of medium that started with Robert Bechtal, who was an Alameda artist in the late '60's and early '70's. I've looked up to his art."

Sullivan teaches water colors and art history to 300 children a year at St. Joseph's school at Old Mission San Jose and enjoys the reaction she can elicit from them.

"The kids inspire me when I can see the light bulb go on in their heads," Sullivan said. "It's when they can visualize and then draw what they're seeing that's that ultimate 'aha!' moment. I wish there'd been someone like me to teach me art when I was growing up."

Sullivan enjoys helping her students improve and grow as artists. "Whether they're first graders or 72-year-old women, it's exciting to the artist to witness how people see the world differently."

Sullivan's house, which she proclaimed a "hodge-podge of eclectic works", is a favorite on the tour with its garden, Koi fish pond, ceramics, jewelry, photography, collages, pastels, water colors, skulls, and various things "dragged home from the desert."

The house currently holds 30 pieces of Sullivan's own artwork, as well as 200 pieces from other artists, including the colored pencil works of Marcia Ritz and the hand-formed ceramics of Dorothy Highbaugh.

The Tri-City Open Studios tour will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Refreshments will be served at various stops. Maps are available at the Fremont Art Association Gallery, at 37659 Niles Blvd., or online at For more information, call (510) 792-0905 or visit

Tri-City Open Studios
Saturday & Sunday, June 4-5
11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
(510) 792-0905

Open Studio Locations and Artists:

4669 Deadwood Dr., Fremont
Valerie Manning & Carol Pulliam
(oil, watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, graphics, photography, sculpture)
(510) 796-9635

38215 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
Jan Schafir, Therese Ely, Ann-Marie Haley, Dmitry Grudsky, Ron Newcomb, Michael Bennett, Pat O'Rourke, Florence Stronck, Sheweta Agrawal, Jacqueline Deridder, Kathy Schwab, Marilyn Thorne, Lei Hocking
(oil, watercolor, mixed media, fiber art, glass, jewelry, works on paper, sculpture)
(510) 791-9290

2146 Country Dr., Fremont
Donna Sanson
(watercolor, mixed media works on paper)
(510) 792-3549

270 Tordo Ct., Fremont
Denise Oyama Miller, Donna Arrillaga, Gene Arrillaga, Adriane Dedic, P. Kay Hille-Hatten, Deana Miller, Judy Oyama Olson, Simone Archer
(oil, watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, fiber art, works on paper)
(510) 651-8593

1401 Lemos Ln., Fremont
Barbara Nagel & Joel Heinz
(watercolor, acrylics)
(510) 656-0344

1423 Deschutes Pl., Fremont
Cindy Sullivan, Marcia Ritz, Kathy Ries, John Ries, Marge Atkins, Susan Helmer, Francie Shaw, Dorothy Highbaugh
(oil, watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, silk, photography, ceramics, metal sculpture, jewelry, works on paper)
(510) 651-5685

1901 Mandan Ct., Fremont
Mary Bobik, Gene Bobik, Akio Aochi, Margie Dickerson
(ceramics, jewelry, works on paper)
(510) 770-0266

41653 Gifford St., Fremont
Kim De Young & Dawn Lunn
(acrylic, ceramics, fiber art)
(510) 656-1602

40167 Balnchard St., Fremont
Jan Small
(510) 656-1844
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