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July 30, 2013 > Wags and Whiskers

Wags and Whiskers

Submitted By Diane Leys

Drawings and paintings of animals date back to the Stone Age when man decorated caves with the images of animals they hunted for food. Ancient Egyptians illustrated their gods with the heads of animals. During the Middle Ages, animals real and fanciful decorated elaborate manuscripts. Hunting scenes became a popular subject in the 17th century. By the 18th century, artists celebrated the beauty of animals in their natural habitats and in the 19th century, Victorians painted sentimental pictures of their pets and livestock. Twentieth century artists explored a range of traditional compositions and created originals of their own.

Nine contemporary 21st century Bay Area artists will exhibit their work featuring animals in "Wags and Whiskers" opening at Olive Hyde Art Gallery in Fremont with a reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, August 2. The exhibit will be on display until August 31.

Artist and lover of all animals, Kimberley Russell grew up showing sheep in the county fair with 4-H. Knowing she wanted to be an artist since second grade, Russell obtained a BS in Applied Arts and MFA in Fine Arts. She seeks to portray animals' personality and emotion, and will be exhibiting watercolor dog portraits at Olive Hyde. Currently she is developing a children's picture book about her own dog, a collie/lab rescue, named Rocket.

With a BFA from California College of Art, Karen Frey has chosen to exhibit watercolor paintings of her own pets. Painting in a figurative style, Frey reveals the character and personalities of her animals. Her work is held in many collections, including the Springfield Art Museum in Springfield, MO; the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI; and The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog in St. Louis, MO.

KG Greenstein, an Ohlone College librarian since 1999, incorporates materials found at flea markets and thrift stores into her mosaics of animals. With four rescue dogs of her own, Greenstein chooses to portray her love of animals through art, finding inspiration in the colors she sees in found objects.

Beginning at the age of 10 with a love of drawing, Antonio Ruperto nurtured his skill and developed it as his life's work. With a BFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Ruperto's work includes figurative welded steel sculpture as well as realistic and surrealistic paintings. His art has been featured in many exhibitions including a "Burning Man" installation. He has also been featured in segment 1 "Celtic Forest" by Comcast SF.

First meeting at the College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, Nancy Overton and husband Chuck have always worked in the arts; he as an art director in television, and Nancy as a new product development person in arts and crafts. Loving the joy and humor their own dogs have added to their lives, they have always drawn and painted dogs. Both artists have explored different breeds; Chuck in oil and Nancy in collage.

Debbie Claussen enjoyed sketching animals as a small child. She became an accomplished porcelain painter. Adding watercolor, colored pencils, and oil to her list of mediums, Claussen has continued to include animals in her work. Her desire to capture the essence of the animal is a welcome challenge to her as an artist. In addition to exhibiting in numerous shows and museums and receiving many awards, Claussen has been featured in and on the cover of the AKC Gazette. She is an AKC dog show judge and raises Golden Retrievers.

Working weekly with the SF Urban Sketchers, graphic designer and artist Micaela Marsden finds herself naturally drawn to depicting animals because of their interesting habits and appealing antics. She works in oils, acrylics, pen, pencil, and watercolor.

Painting whimsical animals, Fremont artist Jaci Daskarolis seeks to make people laugh, or at least smile. Originally working with various instructional books and television lessons, Daskarolis was first encouraged by artist and instructor Donna Sanson. Finding both a challenge and pleasure in improvement, she has taken many workshops to improve her painting skills. Daskarolis' paintings hang in the offices of several Fremont doctors.

Each artist exhibiting in "Wags and Whiskers" portrays animals in their own unique style and using a variety of mediums. Be sure to visit Olive Hyde Art Gallery and experience the joy and love of animals the artists all communicate through their art.

Wags and Whiskers
August 2 - 31
Thursday-Sunday: 12noon - 5 p.m.

Opening reception
Friday, Aug 2
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Olive Hyde Art Gallery
123 Washington Blvd., Fremont
(510) 791-4357

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