Alameda Museum exhibits Alameda Women Artists
By Michael Singman-Aste
Twenty members of Alameda Women Artists (AWA) converged on the Alameda Museum for their 17th annual exhibit, beginning with a reception on November 13. There are some very pleasant surprises. Much of the work is not only good, but interesting, and most is reasonably priced.
Wendy Lee Gadzuk’s mixed-media assemblage is easily the most arresting work. The bony remains of her first Thanksgiving dinner with her boyfriend’s family are the centerpiece of her “This I Know To Be True.” She said the title and her choice of materials refer to the truth you find in “getting down to the essence of things. Getting down beneath the surface.”
Gadzuk, former frontwoman of punk/metal band “The 440’s,” (among others) wrote that her work evolved in part from “a love for Gothic architecture, flea markets, and rock ’n’ roll … I strive to create a world that illustrates the beauty of the dark side.” Her work is indeed beautiful, and quite unique.
On the opposite wall, and other end of the spectrum, are oil paintings by Thelma Richard, who wrote: “My inspiration and passion come from my feelings of love of life, experiences, and biblical beliefs.” Clearly this is an exhibit with something for everyone.
Kathy Duncan was also “into religious paintings” as a teenager learning her craft at the Corcoran Museum of Art, but has since moved on to saucier imagery. Of “Locomotion,” she wrote: “The train steaming into the depot can mean a lot of things. It did for me.” Her painting is both precise and evocative. Judging by her understated artist statement, she’s a better painter than she thinks she is.
One artist capably exhibiting in multiple media is Barbara James, who in April of this year exhibited her photography at the museum along with the Alameda Photographic Society. She returns now not only with a photo but two Chinese brush watercolors as well.
Another highlight is Miriam Infinger, who also exhibited at the museum this past July in the Island Alliance of the Arts’ Cross Currents Exhibit. Her mixed-media “Adaptation” (2010) appears to show a flower valiantly coping with its environment and pushing through the hard earth.
Also among the best work are Deborah Griffin’s digital paintings, in which she builds “an arranged and developed space; an environment layered with images, symbols, and meaning, thus creating worlds that are practically bursting at the seams with content.” Griffin is also the current solo artist exhibiting at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts.
The AWA exhibit concludes December 4 with a silent auction. The Alameda Historical Museum is located at 2324 Alameda Avenue. Their hours are 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed Monday and Tuesday.