From murals to sculptures to gateway features and more, RAD’s installations are the genius of a growing group of local and international recognized artists and artisans unified in their belief in the democratization of art. Out of the galleries and alive on our streets, their works are lightning rods of creativity in our community.
MEET THE ARTISTS
Bezt and Natalia RakView
THE ARTISTS: Born in 1987 in Turek, Poland, Bezt is known for work that resists definition or excessively assigned meaning. Known primarily for large-scale murals painted with Sainer as part of the Etam Cru duo, his art juxtaposes saturated colors and loose brushstrokes with delicate, refined lines and patterns. The dream-like compositions often feature a central figure, silently contemplating the unknown, capturing the moment when someone is lost within their own thoughts.
Born in 1986, Natalia Rak’s passion for painting began at age ten. A graphics arts graduate of The Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, Poland, she has been associated with the international street art scene for three years. Rak has been featured in several group exhibitions in Poland as well as Walk and Talk Festival and Madeira Island, NYC Art Battles, amongst others. Focusing on female imagery, her dayglow paintings are noted for their mystery and metaphor.
"My influences are old photos, daydreams, book illustrations, Marvel Comics books, and artists like Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy), Jacek Malczewski, Norman Rockwell and Hans Rudolf Giger."
- Natalia Rak
THE ART: A mysterious and moody 152 ft. by 30 ft. mural depicting a woman wearing a backpack, looking backward and reaching out toward glowing pink butterflies.
THE STORY: “Knocking on Heaven’s Door is about finding beauty and never giving up hope, even when you may feel lost. The old houses and overgrown part of town represent being lost and unease, to an extent. The girl finding beauty in the butterflies is a metaphor for always finding light in the darkness, to never give up and always think positively.” - Thinkspace Curator, Andrew Hosner
THE PLACE: Soscol Avenue, south of Vallejo Street on the back of the Napa Valley Register building.
THE ARTIST: Felipe Pantone is an Argentinian-Spanish artist. He started doing graffiti at the age of 12 and graduated university with a Fine Art degree in Valencia, Spain where his studio is based. Felipe travels the world ceaselessly with his art. His work has been exhibited all over Europe, America, Australia, and Asia.
"Someone who aspires to do something important in art must understand the world and time they inhabit. Felipe Pantone understands this perfectly.”
— Studio Manager, Omar Quiñones
THE ART: Vivid, high-contrast and kinetic, this 123 ft. by 20 ft. mural features a geometric wave pattern that’s an op-art meditation on life in the digital age.
THE STORY: Felipe Pantone’s work is anchored in the present, using elements that can only be found in modern times and visual imagery of the present. His art is always from a point of view of dynamic and tensioned compositions. Pantone started experimenting with pixelated displays to prepare his “Artifact to Human Communication” exhibition. He believed that the RAD Napa mural would be a perfect trial, creating a dynamic experience for those who were already in movement inside the Napa Valley Wine Train. He battled the hot sun for four days in order to complete the piece. Conforming to the brick wall structure, he created a dynamic work of art that changes with the observer’s point of view.
THE PLACE: 1551 Soscol Avenue, at Matthews Mattress
THE ARTIST: Barcelona-based artist and illustrator Cinta Vidal Agulló defies gravity and architectural conventions to create encapsulated scenes of intersecting perspectives. Cinta has been drawing since childhood. When she was 16 she started an apprenticeship at Taller de Escenografia Castells Planas in St. Agnès de Malanyanes, where she learned the scenography and backdrop trade from Josep and Jordi Castells. On her approach to illustration she says, “never stop experimenting.”
“I decided to...paint houses blowing away because that is what you see while inside the train.”
— Cinta Vidal
THE ART: A dimensional, surrealist 25 ft high x 30 ft long depiction of houses tumbling in the air.
THE STORY: “The mural is about the movement of the train. I decided to paint houses blowing away because that is what you see while inside the train. I also did a bit of research about the architecture of the area to paint similar buildings from Napa. I added a green background to reference the beautiful natural surroundings.”
THE PLACE: 800 Vallejo Street on the back wall of the Napa Auto Parts building.
THE ARTIST: Mikey Kelly is a contemporary artist living and working in Napa, CA. His work explores his interest in spirituality hacking by using language and polyalphabetic ciphers to create algorithmic programs that direct the paintings. Each piece is painted one line at a time to exacting angles to create woven layers of paint creating fields of interference patterns and vibrations.
“This fence was designed using words that describe our city: active, caring, fuerte, amor and home. Each letter corresponds to a colored line and through the layering of these lines, patterns and color shifting takes place.”
THE ART: A multicolored, 700+ ft. op art style fence mural in homage to the users of the Napa Valley Vine Trail.
THE STORY: Mikey Kelly creates drawings and paintings through a repetitious network of hand drawn lines. A mathematical framework provides the basis for each piece, while a quiver or smudge belies its human touch. Eye-bending patterns recall Op Artists like Heinz Mack and Bridget Riley, while process-driven constructions nod to Minimalists like Sol LeWitt.
THE PLACE: The Napa Corporation Yard fence, at the Napa Valley Vine Trail between Lincoln Avenue and Jackson Street.
THE ARTIST: Kristina Young received her BFA in Painting from Richmond College, in London, studied art history at University of British Columbia and illustration and design at California College of the Arts. Since settling in California in 2000, she’s been heavily involved in arts advocacy, eventually serving as Executive Director of Arts Council Napa Valley. Today, she continues to create paintings, mosaics and large-scale murals for private and commercial clients while maintaining her commitment to arts advocacy on the local level as Curator for the City of Napa's ARTwalk sculpture program and Chair of the Public Art Steering Committee for the City of Napa.
THE ART: The basic design will resemble a rectangular ‘core sample’ of the earth, sitting on top of the ground, composed of horizontal bands of various sizes, shapes and colors. These long bands of mosaicked material contributed and sorted by the community will be organized by color and texture, inspired by the earth’s underground layers of strata. In addition to the broad horizontal bands of color, the design will incorporate small figurative elements such as roots, animals, shells, insects and other items. There will also be a ring pattern based on an aerial view of the August 2014 earthquake center and aftershocks.
THE STORY: A mosaic installation to honor and memorialize those affected by the 6.1 earthquake that hit the City of Napa on August 24, 2014 and the autumn 2017 wildfires that also ravaged the Valley. It will be primarily fabricated using donated, remnant household objects resulting from those natural disasters.
THE PLACE: The mosaic will be installed on a vintage rail car located on Napa Valley Wine Train property near Soscol Street below Vallejo Street in downtown Napa at the Southern Gateway of RAD.
THE ARTIST: Born and raised in the southeastern part of Los Angeles County, Bumblebeelovesyou uses stenciling and mixed media to create images of children on unloved walls of his hometown. Considerate and thoughtful, Bumblebee’s work also deals with issues such as child homelessness and the impact of modernity on nature. Despite the seriousness of his subject matter, his works are not heavy. Instead, they are whimsical, playful and exude a sense of childish innocence, freedom and joy. He has completed several high-profile murals including, “Keep Up,” at Google headquarters in Venice Beach, “Final Cut,” on the KODAK building in Hollywood and “Beach Day,” in Santa Monica, Calif.
“The image is a classic in my body of work, a boy in love with a girl, truly inspired by my own relationship while still referring to moments of being a kid when we had no care in the world.”
THE ART: A 110 ft. by 17 ft. mural depiction of two schoolchildren, a boy and a girl, casually facing each other. A juice box, lunchbox, book and backpack contribute to the innocence and nostalgia of the typical after-school scene. This is the artist's largest work to date. This mural was funded in part by the Napa County Board of Supervisors through a Napa County Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee grant.
THE STORY: “The pose of how the kids are sitting is inspired by a Norman Rockwell image that I saw briefly while going through my bookshelves. My goal was to create a modern version of that pose, while keeping in mind the train ride, Napa Valley, nostalgia, contemporary. The image is a classic in my body of work, a boy in love with a girl, truly inspired by my own relationship while still referring to moments of being a kid when we had no care in the world. Some people have asked, why is the book blank? My answer to that is that I did not want to dictate the viewers’ imagination. It could be a book, or maybe it’s a sketchbook, or maybe you can take a picture of it with your phone and draw in your own page…”
THE PLACE: The back wall of the Central Valley Building at 1785 Tanen St., south of Jackson Street.
THE ARTIST: Mario Martinez, known as Mars-1, paints from a penetrating perspective of great depth. Viewers are drawn into his imaginative compositions, overflowing with colorful geometric and organic shapes, which are layered to form unique patterns and textures. His early inspirations include graffiti, animation, comic book characters, ufology, extraterrestrials, unexplored life, mysteries of the universe, alternate realities and the abstract quality of existence. At the age of 13, Mars-1 began writing graffiti in his hometown of Fresno. He later attended Academy of Art in San Francisco, where he currently lives and works, remaining heavily active in the city’s contemporary art scene.
THE ART: A 40 ft. by 16 ft. mural done in the artists signature style of vast, abstracted, quasi-extraterrestrial looking imagery of surreal distortions, contained within spherically convex transparent bubbles. It skillfully combines optical color blending with perspective line work, resulting in a three-dimensional form which echos the anatomy of architecture and the microcosmic structures of biology.
THE STORY: Donated by Kyle Unciano and the Javorina Family, the themes explored in Infinite Tapestry Napa range from very scientific to more esoteric phenomena. From theoretical physics, metamorphosis and collective consciousness, to ufology and examining possibilities of otherworldly principles, the relative link between physical and life sciences are applied throughout. Transitional energies, natural multiplicity, helixes and spontaneous biological occurrences all come together, forming imagery with hypotheses beyond the scope of modern technology.
THE PLACE: 1739 Action Avenue, building wall on the west side of the Napa Valley Wine Train tracks.
THE ARTIST: Northern California artist Bryan Valenzuela lives and works in Sacramento. For over a decade he's been perfecting a unique drawing technique involving the atomization of the figure by carving out shape and light with handwritten text. Though virtually unnoticeable from afar, once the viewer steps closer to each work they are engulfed in a barrage of words intermingled with other mixed media elements such as needle and thread, acrylic paint, and collage. Recent winner of both the Leff-Davis Fund for Visual Artists and a Best in Show prize at the 2015 California State Fair Fine Art Exhibition, Valenzuela was chosen by the City of Sacramento in 2016 to create a large scale public art piece for the new Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento. When not working in the studio, he's composing and recording music, performing and touring with the band Exquisite Corps.
“I want to make a visual statement that celebrates a shared sense of community through these hands lifting one another up out of a background of abstracted swirls and patterns that resemble the chaos…”
— Bryan Valenzuela
THE ART: 8 ft. by 20 ft. acrylic and acrylic marker on wood panels mural of two hands clutching one another in a metaphoric symbol of a “helping hand.” The figure drawing consists of thousands of handwritten words that create shape, shadow, and light. The text is a loose, poetic narrative that tells the story of and emotions surrounding Napa’s devastating wildfires of 2017.
THE STORY: “...When I'm creating something that is site-specific I want to comment...on the place that the artwork will have its home. The tragedies caused by the [Napa] wildfires in October of 2017 have devastated much of the area—people's homes, their land, their loved ones, their memories. Yet always when these tragedies occur there solidifies a sense of commonality, of community, a bond where people look to their neighbors and unite in their mutual sense of place and home, even suffering and struggle.”
THE PLACE: Inside the Napa Valley Wine Train Station at 1275 McKinstry Street.
THE ARTIST: Jeremy Dan Fish was born in Albany, New York in 1974 and relocated to San Francisco in 1994. He received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1997 with an emphasis on painting and printmaking. Fish’s education and work experience have led to a career as a successful fine artist and commercial illustrator, including projects for a wide range of corporate and independent clients all around the world. Balancing exhibiting his work in the U.S. and in international galleries and museums, Fish was the first San Francisco Arts Commission artist in residency at SF City Hall in 2015 to celebrate the 100th birthday of the building. Further credits include being the artist in residence at Coit Tower in San Francisco during the summer of 2017 and creating the Haight Street Bronze Bunny statue in 2016, the largest crowd funded public bronze statue in California. In 2015 Mayor Ed Lee officially declared that November 19th is "Jeremy Fish Day" in the city of San Francisco.
“I…hope it is a gentle reminder not to give up on those whiny days when life's locomotive needs a little more steam to keep progressing.”
- Jeremy Fish
THE ART: 24 ft. x 10 ft. mural depiction of a Dachshund wearing a cap and smoking a pipe as the locomotive of a train with a body shaped like a bottle. Inside the bottle, the viewer sees a small sailboat afloat at sea.
THE STORY: “The dachshund by nature is a bit of an underdog. He suffers from having a very big attitude with very tiny legs and is perhaps the Napoleon of the dog world. My mural here in Napa is titled "The Whine Train" and is dedicated to those "whiny" days we all have. When the world feels much bigger than we are, and we have to find some inner strength to move forward. Those days when you need something inside to boil up from within, to power us forward, and move on to accomplish life's difficult goals and tasks. When people view this mural, I hope that it makes them smile, and feel compassionate to the task of this little dachshund train. I also hope it is a gentle reminder not to give up on those whiny days when life's locomotive needs a little more steam to keep progressing.”
THE PLACE: 1819 Tanen St. on the back of the building and East side of the train tracks.
THE ARTIST: Fintan Magee is one of Australia’s leading public artists known for his murals throughout his country and world in cities such as London, Vienna, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Moscow, Rome, Jordan, and Dublin amongst others. Born in Lismore New South Wales he grew up in Brisbane, gaining a reputation as a graffiti writer before obtaining a fine arts degree and relocating to Sydney.
Magee’s practice is informed by a profound interest in political murals, inspired by exposure at a young age to those of his Father’s native Northern Ireland. He often uses personal stories to talk about broader issues like climate change and the migrant crisis for instance his 2015 solo show at Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne, which was themed around his own personal experiences in the 2011 Brisbane floods.
Magee’s work is driven by his recognition of the power of murals to communicate political and social viewpoints and thus divide or unite communities.
“This work acts as a monument to the firefighters who have died in the line of duty while also commenting on the cycles of life, death and regrowth after forest fires.”
— Fintan Magee
THE ART: The 122’ x 18.5’ mural is an animated portrait that is a tribute to firefighter Cody Zetlmaier who belongs to the Big Bear Hotshots unit and helped saving the building owners’ Ryvonne and Mike Bruno’s home during the Northern California Wildfires. He is depicted holding a co-worker’s helmet as a single flower grows from it.
THE STORY: The October 2017 California wildfires were a series of 250 forest blazes that burned across the North of the State. 44 people lost their lives in the fires while over 6,000 structures were destroyed and hundreds of thousands acres of forest and farmland were incinerated. With seven of the 10 largest fires in California history occurring in the last 15 years, many scientists are now pointing to climate change as one of the major factors behind the increase. During the incident more than 10,000 firefighters battled the blaze, with crews arriving from as far away as Canada and Australia.
This work acts as a monument to the firefighters who have died in the line of duty while also commenting on the cycles of life, death and regrowth after forest fires. Consisting of 14 hand-painted portraits, the mural is designed so that each portrait acts as an animation cell. As the viewer passes the wall at speed on the train, the work animates, giving the portrait life and movement.
THE PLACE: 1730 Action Avenue on the back of Ace Automotive & Truck Repair.
BEYOND THE WALLS
Murals are just the beginning.
As part of our mission, we’re improving awareness of, access to and safety on the Napa Valley Vine Trail and Napa Valley Wine Train corridor. To that end, our master plan includes creative gateways, crosswalk continuations and sculpture installations that will not only draw people to RAD, but also encourage outdoor wellness and alternative transportation modes in the community.
The most recent of these installations is our Utility Box Project. In the fall of 2017, we invited local and regional artists to submit their ideas for art “wraps” of the Napa Valley Wine Train’s railroad signal boxes in an open competition. Of 45 submissions, we commissioned 12 artists. Their work is currently displayed on boxes between California Blvd. and the Wine Train on Soscol Ave. at railroad crossings adjacent the train’s downtown route.
Developing urban greenscapes and parks is also part of the RAD master plan including edible gardens, pollinator habitats, greenbelt features with native and drought tolerant plants and other verdant spaces for the community to gather, appreciate art and learn about our local terroir.
Felipe Pantone - ContinuationView
THE ARTIST: Felipe Pantone is an Argentinian-Spanish artist. He started doing graffiti at the age of 12 and graduated university with a Fine Art degree in Valencia, Spain where his studio is based. Felipe travels the world ceaselessly with his art. His work has been exhibited all over Europe, America, Australia, and Asia.
“Someone who aspires to do something important in art must understand the world and time they inhabit. Felipe Pantone understands this perfectly."
- Studio Manager, Omar Quiñones
THE ART: The artist authorized RAD to use the design of his mural, Chromadynamica for Napa, to wrap the utility box. We wrapped his design in such a way that when an observer looks at the mural and wrap from the front, a visual illusion makes the box disappear.
THE PLACE: Vallejo St.
Bryan Valenzuela - ContinuationView
THE ARTIST: Northern California artist Bryan Valenzuela lives and works in Sacramento. For over a decade he's been perfecting a unique drawing technique involving the atomization of the figure by carving out shape and light with handwritten text. Though virtually unnoticeable from afar, once the viewer steps closer to each work they are engulfed in a barrage of words intermingled with other mixed media elements such as needle and thread, acrylic paint, and collage.
“The text narrative acts as a conversation with the image, here touching on themes of transforming chaos.”
— Bryan Valenzuela
THE ART: The four images from this work, Shape Shift, are all close details taken from larger works. The chosen sections highlight the drawing technique consisting of thousands of handwritten words that carve out shape, shadow, and light, imbuing the forms with their own content. The text narrative acts as a conversation with the image, here touching on themes of transforming chaos.
THE PLACE: California Blvd. South
THE ARTIST: Tracing her Napa Valley roots back to her great-grandfather, Teri came to photography after raising a family and working in the wine industry. Napa College provided ground for her initial foray into photography, from there she earned her fine arts degree and studied at the prestigious Lorenzo De Medici Art Institute in Florence, Italy. Teri's signature is the sense of calm and familiarity expressed in her images – from animals to landscapes, portraits to nude studies. She is also lauded for the unique techniques she employs to further enhance and shape each image.
“My art style has been developed through formal studies, curiosity, fortuitous errors, and the love and magic of photography and all arts.”
— Teri Blodgett
THE ART: The fundamental basis of my work is rooted in black and white photography. The use of simple studio lighting and infrared film gives my models' skin a glow and porcelain appearance. At the same time the portrait's strength is seen through the models' gestures and expressions.
After establishing a working print, I begin reworking the image. First, I transfer the image digitally so I can enlarge the portrait onto a larger scale. I use a number of art techniques that I have developed. I work dyes, ink, paint, wax, charcoal, glue, and heat into the canvas. Then subtract using solvents and sandpaper. I rework the piece over and over until I gain the right look of , hopefully, timeless beauty.
THE PLACE: Jefferson St.
THE ARTIST: A California native, Melissa Arendt studied graphic design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. In a constant state of creation, the artist says her illustrative work is characterized by organized clusters of colorful cells juxtaposed with technically lined pencil drawings of people, places and things that intrigue her. Featured at the Verge Center for the Arts, Sacramento, 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco and the Roll Up Gallery, San Francisco, amongst others, she’s been covered in the popular press as a need-to-know artist by Bustle.com and California Contemporary Art Journal.
“Within my work I encourage chance associations of disparate visual elements.”
— Melissa Arendt
THE ART: My work is characterized by organized clusters of colorful cells, juxtaposed with technically lined pencil drawings of people, places and things that intrigue me. I get a kick out of extracting disparate visual “fragments” from the world as we know it and forcing them together, thus creating a new whole. In my RAD Napa piece, I chose to layer a floral pattern, a desert scene, and my signature cluster pattern. This resulted in a unique otherworldly landscape.
THE PLACE: Napa St.
THE ARTIST: Oscar Aguilar Olea is an expressionist figurative painter, sculptor, and printmaker from Guanajuato, Mexico. His signature technique includes different types of egg tempera. In the mid 1970s, he was a member of a small group of artists who called themselves “SUMA” and gained much attention painting murals in Mexico City. His work has been exhibited at Vinoce Art Gallery, Napa, Ca.; Yo el rey Gallery, Calistoga, Ca.; Justin Robert Galleries, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Michelangelo Gallery, Santa Cruz, Ca.; and the Napa Valley Museum, among others.
“These ghosts play an important role in the general vision of my work…”
- Oscar Aguilar
THE ART: Among masterpieces of the past, the "Pentimento" was another unexpected element that appeared due to some chemical reactions due to the oils and varnishes. These ghosts play an important role in the general vision of my work and taking advent of this effect, instead of erasing it, I leave it as an important role following the best samples of the Florentine paintings.
THE PLACE: Main St. North.
THE ARTIST: Born 1968 in Chula Vista California, Patrick Marasso grew up in the Sacramento area. Currently represented by JayJay Fine Arts, Marasso has exhibited widely in Sacramento since 1996. Having been previously represented by The Michael Himovitz Gallery, Exploding Head Gallery, and Verge Gallery, Marasso is a full-time instructor of painting and drawing at Sierra College in Rocklin, California.
Marasso carefully recreates the tiniest detail of old photographs that likely once languished away in attics, moldy cardboard boxes, or albums before being pulled out of obscurity. On the surface these paintings seem like little odes to obsession, technically impressive recreations of a forgotten moment. Beneath this technical mastery is a tinge of the painterly, a softening of edges and forms like the fading detail of a memory.
“I find there is a universal sentiment in the veracity of vernacular photography that evokes a shared narrative, further strengthened by painting’s uniquely private/public vision.”
- Patrick Marasso
THE ART: The work selected for the wrap project was from a series of paintings called Album Selections, which is a continuing exploration of the poetic possibilities that lie between the conventions of a traditional oil painting process and the analog snapshot. I find there is a universal sentiment in the veracity of vernacular photography that evokes a shared narrative, further strengthened by painting’s uniquely private/public vision. The snapshots on their own, facilitators of social relations, are often delegated to a life in seclusion, but through painting find function as a greater gesture of social inclusion.
THE PLACE: Soscol Ave.
THE ARTIST: Susan Silvester is an interdisciplinary artist who is from greater New York City. Her experiences working on TV shows sculpting prototype toys has influenced her current artwork. During her freelance days, her projects included working on TV commercials (the Pillsbury Dough Boy, Twizzlers Candy, and Teddy Graham Cookies); creating illustrations (Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Santa and the Snowmen, and the retired Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios); and making sculpture prototype toys sold as kids meals (for Wendy’s, Burger King, and Texas Instruments educational division).
She received her Masters in Fine Art from California State University, Sacramento and Bachelor of Fine Art from Long Island University, Greenvale, New York. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the region.
“The narrative is psychological, rather than literal.”
- Susan Silvester
THE ART: My interests lie in the use of imagery, specifically young adolescents, creatures, and imaginary landscapes as a vehicle to express emotions and relationships. The work is influenced by art history, current events, pop culture, fairy tales, and my own personal history. The narrative is psychological, rather than literal.
THE PLACE: Pueblo Ave.
THE ARTIST: Elisabeth Higgins-O’Connor received her MFA from UC-Davis in 2005. She has exhibited at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, the San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art, the Torrance Art Museum, the De Saissett Museum and the Kohler Company Space in Kohler, Wisconsin. Her work has been reviewed in numerous publications including Artforum, LA Weekly, Artweek, Artillery, and Beautiful Decay. She lives and works in Sacramento, California.
THE PLACE: Yajome St.
THE ARTIST: Mark Parfitt's practice draws from sculpture as a process and how it relates to situated experiences within the everyday. Coming from the position of art as action, Parfitt produces autobiographical and participatory work in the form of documentation, performance and sculpture. Since 2004, he has exhibited in many group and solo exhibitions, featured in several institutional and private collections and has attracted the funding of numerous grants, residencies and prizes. Mark is the course coordinator for Fine Art at Curtin University, a member of the National Association for Visual Artists (NAVA), Artsource (Artists' Foundation of Western Australia) and a consultant for the City of South Perth Arts Advisory Committee.
“This collage project has been, and continues to be, an exercise in accepting randomness and serendipity.”
- Mark Parfitt
THE ART: Four years ago I started making collages on ordinary playing cards. I make one every evening, and I now have over 1600 of them. I go into the studio with no preconceived ideas. I just start with a pile of random paper scraps—magazine pages, photocopies of antique images, gift wrap, junk mail—plus odds and ends like ribbon, fabric, hair and found objects. The collage comes together somehow. It’s all stream-of-consciousness and go-with-the-flow. Usually a title will pop into my head before the piece is finished, and sometimes I have no idea how the title relates to the collage but I accept it. This collage project has been, and continues to be, an exercise in accepting randomness and serendipity. I used to plan my work very carefully, but now that seems so boring. It’s exciting to not know what I’m going to end up with every evening. For the RAD Napa project, I bought a deck of 8” x 10” cards so I’d have more room to work with and incorporate elements, but the process was the same. What do the cards mean? Whatever you want them to.
THE PLACE: California Blvd. North
THE ARTIST: Norma I. Quintana is an American photographer and educator working in the tradition of social documentary. She photographs with film, primarily in black and white using available light. Quintana has studied under Mary Ellen Mark, Graciela Iturbide and Shelby Lee Adams. She has lectured nationally at major universities, including art residencies at Penn State and American University Washington D.C. She is a founding member of the Bay Area non-profit, PhotoAlliance.
Quintana's most recent project, Circus: A Traveling Life has been published by Damiani Editore, Bologna, Italy and distributed by D.A.P. Artbook Catalog October 2014. It is her first art book. Quintana currently lives in California with her family.
"Norma takes off where my heroes Bruce Davidson, Diane Arbus and Mary Ellen Mark left off—she clearly enjoys the same level of trust and intimacy as they did. Beautiful pictures."
—Sally Mann, "Best American Photographer" 2001, TIME Magazine.
THE ART: In October 2017 a firestorm incinerated 250 thousand acres of land across northern California. My home and photographic studio was ravaged by the fire. This body of work, Forage From Fire, is a visual inventory of artifacts that remain of my artist and family’s life extracted from the ashes of the Atlas Peak fire.
THE PLACE: Jackson St.
Annie Murphy RobinsonView
THE ARTIST: Based in Sacramento, Calif. Annie Murphy-Robinson uses a relatively unknown drawing technique to create large scale drawings, using sandpaper as a medium to embed dry material into heavy paper. Represented by Arcadia Contemporary in Los Angeles, she also holds a Masters of Art from California State University, Sacramento and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Her work has been exhibited throughout California at the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; Richard L. Nelson Gallery, Davis; Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento; La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles; Hespe Gallery, San Francisco, and at Merced College; among others.
“The intent of my work is to allow the viewer to interpret meaning using their own experience. My feelings and thoughts behind it are directly related to my personal history with the subjects in the work, whether they are animate or inanimate. A certain sadness, hopelessness or resignation seems to always be present, for me it allows for deeper contemplation.”
— Annie Murphy Robinson
THE ART: The artwork chosen for the wrap project was reflective of what I felt to be kind of an Americana. The images reflect a sense of the Old West, timelessness and evoke a sense of memory.
THE PLACE: Lincoln Ave.
THE ARTIST: Joy Bertinuson began to draw at an early age and continued through childhood. It wasn’t until several floundering attempts to pass her community college classes that she ook an oil painting class one summer at someone’s suggestion. That singular class prompted her career in art. Holding a BA in Art from CSU Sacramento and an MFA in Art from Claremont Graduate University, Bertinuson teaches studio and art appreciation courses at American River College and CSU Sacramento. The major themes in her work include the complexities, contradictions and absurdities of the human condition. Specifically, the work is informed by the way she looks at, experiences, and thinks about her own environment, and that of the people around her.
“The meaning that I ascribe my own work is an important element, but it is also unstable and occasionally transient. Sometimes I am only able to articulate my feelings and ideas about something I’ve made, long after it’s been created. And of course, once out in the world, the work is subject to interpretation by anyone who comes into contact with it.”
— Joy Bertinuson
THE ART: Due to the size of the utility box being that of a small building, such as a storage shed, I wanted to create the illusion that the metal surface was instead composed of building materials such as wood, stone, and brick. I was inspired by looking at images of various wineries in the area, and of old train depots. The exploded view, seen on one side of the box, is in reference to the earthquakes of the past and the “melted” view, on another side, refers to the more recent devastating fires. I was also thinking of tipsy wine-train travelers questioning their sobriety upon viewing the distorted melting architecture. The interior of the box remained somewhat of a mystery, so I used images of the insides of electrical boxes, and train-terminal boxes, as points of reference all found online. The faux textures of woodgrain etc., provided a chance to camouflage imagery relating to the railroad and the wine country region, so that viewers might make those discoveries while biking or walking along the bike path.
THE PLACE: Main St. South