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June 4, 2013 > Victor Habib Sculpture

Victor Habib Sculpture

By Mary Lunning

Creations of exotic wood inspired by artistic vision will be displayed at the John O'Lague Galleria in the Hayward City Hall from June 3 through July 25. Judy Lively, curator of the gallery, is delighted to announce the June opening featuring the work of Victor Habib along with the paintings of Mark Mertens. Habib creates carved musical instruments, birdhouses, and clowns, just to mention a few. Included in the exhibit will be Mertens' pastel paintings which delight the eye with tranquil landscapes of Northern California.

Sculptor Victor Habib sees himself as a green artist since he hates to see any piece of wood go to waste. Habib decided to recycle driftwood and used fence board by making birdhouses. "I've made over 750 birdhouses. A florist from Los Altos bought 27 of my birdhouses before he even asked the price!" The birdhouses look like something you would find in "The Hobbit" film series. They are all uniquely made with moss and various flowers and plants adorning the tiny awnings of the birdhouse.

But Habib's passion is exotic wood-bocote, bloodwood, zebra wood, Bolivian rosewood, tulipwood, birds-eye maple, ebony, black walnut burl, and cherry. Most of these strong, durable woods are hardwood trees from tropical forests in Central and South America where trees are smaller. His favorites are zebra, which has lines in it, and bocote. "Working with bocote is like experiencing a sand dune - the grains of the wood are always different and changing."

An early project was a Chinese Junk made of oak, bocote, walnut, and cocobolo taking over 300 hours to make. Then came a rendition of the New York City skyline containing 15 buildings with 180 windows! He makes clowns that are a child's delight with the largest clown weighing in over 100 pounds standing 61 inches high. The clown sits on a unicycle and juggles balls. The tire for the unicycle has 100 pieces of wood in it. Habib's musical instruments are guitars so real that they look like they could be played, a stand up bass which is 6 feet tall, saxophones, trumpet, piano keys, and violins. "I don't draw or measure. I have the picture in my head, it explodes into puzzle pieces which I cut out and then put back together," says Habib. A lion fish, jester's hat, sting ray, and woodie station wagon are more of Habib's fantastic creations.

He says that "97 percent of my work involves making parts, building, sanding, and lacquering." He does not use stain, but instead seals the wood and then applies 15 to 20 coats of satin lacquer. "I work in my two car garage using band saws, chop saws, and sanders. I have an oscillating sander. The chop saw can cut from 0 to 90 degree angles." You can explore more of Habib's art on his Web site: www.woodcreationsbyvic.com.

Mark Mertens uses pastels to paint natural landscapes of Northern California. The landscapes have a pastoral quality that gives a peaceful tranquility to each scene whether it is a river, vineyard, ocean, or mountain. The colors are vibrant with warm light and shadows from the changing times of the day. The paintings draw the viewer into them with their beckoning trails and winding rivers. In some paintings, one can imagine what the land was like before man came into the picture. Mertens' work gives us a well needed break from the rigors of urban living and is a feast for the eyes of anyone who is a lover of nature.

Come and experience a world of wood that you have never seen before, and inspiring California scenes! The John O'Lague Galleria is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Join the artists at a reception with live jazz and hors d'oeuvres on June 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.. Art pieces in the exhibit are for sale.

Victor Habib Sculpture
June 3 through July 25
Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Reception
Friday, June 7
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

John O'Lague Galleria
Hayward City Hall
777 B St., Hayward
(510) 538-2787
www.haywardarts.org








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