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February 5, 2013 > Phantom Art Gallery hosts local sculptor

Phantom Art Gallery hosts local sculptor

By Mahima Goel

As New Year celebrations fade, the city of Milpitas makes sure that the arts continue with their latest exhibit, "Life of Sculpture" at the City of Milpitas Phantom Art Gallery. Featuring artwork by renowned sculptor Jan Beran, the gallery is home to a wide variety of masterpieces ranging from metal sculptures to clay busts to semi-abstract paintings and drawings.

Founded in 2000, the Phantom Art Gallery has stayed true to its goal of presenting the works of artists of all ages, genders, and experience. The gallery has hosted over 20 exhibits and continues as one of Milpitas' most culturally and artistically diverse centers. "Life of Sculpture" opened Monday, January 28 and will continue until March 15. The grand opening was celebrated by attendance of the Beran family and friends as well as Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves, Milpitas Vice Mayor Althea Polanski, and Beran's fellow board members of the Milpitas Arts Commission.

"We are excited to have Mr. Beran show his work in the Milpitas Phantom Art Gallery. He is a past Arts Commissioner and long-time resident of Milpitas," says Renee Lorentzen, Coordinator of Marketing and Cultural Programs in the City of Milpitas. Beran says that Milpitas has been his home since 1968 when he immigrated to the United States with millions of people from what is now known as the Czech Republic. As much as his home was an inspiration for Beran because he was able to observe many styles of artwork - from Baroque to Romanesque - he claims that the Bay Area gives him so many opportunities and different materials to work with that he loves his city from the core of his heart.

With a son who works at UC Davis and another son who studies in Oregon, Beran tries to visit his family including grandchildren often, but also eagerly works on new projects to add to his collection of extraordinary works. He has designed religious statues for clients in Florida and Alabama as well as sundials for Adobe Park, statues for Milpitas City Hall and a worked with a myriad of restoration projects for construction companies in San Francisco.

Although only a glimpse of his collection is displayed in the gallery, he is especially fond of his clay busts, drawings that date more than 45 years ago, a chocolate cake still life piece, abstract birds made from cork, and the relief of a poppy field made from strips of aluminum coated with red and silver metal. One piece that holds a special place in his heart is a statue of a 10-year-old girl named Ileana who visited him for four months and modeled every weekend for a year, finally ending up as a plaster mold at the exhibit in Milpitas.

"I grew up surrounded by art my whole life. My father was a famous artist and I later attended the Academy of Fine Arts for sculpturing," Beran says. "I don't need motivation for my art. I am motivated by the fact that there isn't much sculpture around me here, so every day I try to change that with my artwork."

The Beran exhibit reminds visitors of the significance of little beauties in our lives often taken for granted.

Life of Sculpture
Through Mar 15
Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phantom Art Gallery
Milpitas Community Center
457 East Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas
(408) 586-3409

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