Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What a Year, What a Year!

Sharon, Karen, Rita, Sharon & Mary-Austin Bame at the Eye Candy Jewelry Trunk Show

As always, Chemers Gallery has had a jam-packed 12 months! It seems like only a short time ago we were awaiting the start of 2010, it's hard to believe it's already at a close. As one of the few independently owned fine art and custom framing stores left in Tustin, California, we are honored that YOU choose us to be your source of R&R in these difficult times! We can't do this without you, fellow art and contemporary craft lovers, so THANK YOU!

Let's re-cap our busy year, shall we? In February we hosted a special reception for artists Mary Aslin and Bonnie Holmes. Mary shared her luminous floral still life pastels, many of which were musically themed. Bonnie brought her peaceful oil on board river scenes. Together, always and ever a gracious pair.

Cathy Markowitz helps show off Michelene Berkey's jewels

March saw our Eye Candy jewelry trunk show. Jewelry artists Mary-Austin Bame, Michelene Berkey, Joanna Craft, Amy Kekst, and Dinna Yesachar showed off their latest collections of bits and bobs. Ceramicist Maria Counts also joined in the fun with her whimsical and playful teapots, bowls and vases, the perfect accent to all the eye candy around! Ayala Bar and Jackie Jones sent us pick boxes full of goodies that we gleefully displayed and modeled. There's nothing like a show devoted to jewelry to get all the girls together and our favorite man or two! Our 2011 show will be February 12th, get prepared!

Nick Capaci, Karen Raab and Jonde Northcutt next to Jonde's award-winning entry

For the 3rd year in a row, Chemers Gallery hosted a juried show for the Tustin Art League in May with the theme of "Live and Play in Tustin." TAL members and other local amateur and professional artists were invited to submit their interpretation of the theme and we were rewarded with fresh new views of our fair city of Tustin.

Rita, a font of information, was invited by the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana to give a presentation in August about the art of collecting art. She was a huge success, earning top marks from her peers. We hope she'll give a similar talk here at Chemers!

Pete Roberts shared the beauty and inspiration of Tuscany, Cape May and Orange County in September at an informal wine and cheese reception for his latest watercolors. Pete packed the gallery with friends, family and admirers and regaled us with stories from his travels.

Our own Karen Raab gave her second talk to the local OLLI chapter in November - she's getting quite a following! She discussed the ways non-fiction is addressed in children's literature though illustration.

Front Row: Noah, Karen, Cathy, Rita, Gennady Spirin & Jennifer

And, speaking of children's book illustration, who could forget our 19th Annual Children's Book Illustrators Show & Signing earlier this month? With a heavy-hitting lineup of artist greats David Diaz, Julie Paschkis, Patrick O'Brien, S.D. Schindler and Gennady Spirin, this was possibly our busiest show EVER. After pre-selling over 700 books and over 30 pieces of art, we were pooped. We rounded out the year with a special book signing for Dr. James Doti, president of Chapman University, for his very first children's book. Illustrator Lisa Mertins joined in the fun and shared in the biscotti with us.

After all of these events, we are all ready for a nice, long nap!

But, we haven't even touched on all of the new artwork and artists 2010 has seen!

The Deep End by Tina Sotis

Our talented and hard-working aritsts were at it again in 2010, creating stunning masterpieces out of paint, glass, clay and anything else you can think of! Perhaps one of the most exciting shipments to arrive at Chemers this year were two small paintings by Tina Sotis, who took a leave of absense from her studio for a number of years. She's back and is better than ever! James Groleau sent us a trio of European urban river mezzotints. This will probably be the last we see from him for awhile as James has decided to stop his mezzotint process, opting for one-of-a-kind works. His moody scenes will be sadly missed. Another San Francisco-based artist, Carol Jessen, sent some beautiful city scenes our way. We'd love to show them to you, but they flew out of our door before they could even be photographed! Carol, send us more, and quickly!

Country Road by Jim Wodark

We have seen an influx of work from Jim Wodark, a local champ of the plein air scene. He's brought us beautiful mission paintings, serene seascapes, lively city scenes and majestic vistas. Jim's color pallette is shifting into more pure hues that give a brighter feel to his work. Keep 'em comin' Jim! We've also seen new work from Los Angeles-based artist Jennie Tomao. This accomplished painter has been hard at work to bring you gorgeous views of birch tree forests and fields of California poppies. Her series of old world-style landscapes sold out almost immediately, guess she'll just have to get right back to work! The prolific John Sawyer has kept us busy with his paintings of our local hills, canyons and parks.

Birdcage in Tree by Kristina Swarner

We've seen John Maxon a few times this year, and his canvases are getting bigger and bigger! John drives all night from northern California just so he can see us first thing in the morning. His contemporary oils are fascinating to look at and masterfully executed. Another contemporary painter who's had a busy year is Kelly Viss. Her soft and dreamy canvases inspire our imaginations. Chemers has continued carrying Kristina Swarner's charming mixed media pieces after the 2009 children's book show. Her little prints are just so sweet, you'll want to snap them up like candy!

Smokin' by Gerald Schwartz

Other new art throughout 2010 included oil paintings by Gerald Schwartz, watercolors from Joseph Stoddard, mixed media canvases from Max Rodriguez, metal art by Karen Musmeci, ceramics by Lilia Venier and Jane Nishii, to name a few. This just in, Bonnie Holmes visited us yesterday with several gorgeous new pieces!

Garden Lyrics 35 by Kay Flierel

Chemers Gallery welcomed several new artists during 2010. Kay Flierel, a local gal, paints beautiful abstract "Garden Lyrics," but she doesn't stop just there! She's also a talented plein air painter. We know how much you love our "spinner rings," so we found even MORE for you! Israeli artist David Tishbi creates delicate sterling silver and gold rings that are stamped with intriguing patterns. We also started carrying jewelry by Laura Cardwell and Jessica & Ian Gibson. Deborah Jarchow joined the Chemers family with her softly woven scarves. We've also added Kenny Smith, a local ceramicist. Kenny joins his wife, Linda Smith, and son, Joshuah Warwick Smith, both artists already showing with Chemers.

Impromptu by Jeff Jamison

Karen vacationed in the Carolinas and in Utah this year, and made some fantastic discoveries along the way. From her trip to the south in the spring, she found jazz artist John Mitchell, who creates mixed media pieces out of paper, paint, wood and metal. She also found Jeff Jamison and was struck by his arresting rainy day city scenes. Textile artist Doris Grieder and jeweler Q Evon also caught Karen's attentions. During her trip to Utah, Karen stumbled upon the copper and molten glass "Spiritiles" of Houston Llew.

Phew! We're exhausted just thinking about it!

Thank you for making 2010 such a special year!
We hope you all have a healthy and prosperous 2011. See you in the new year!

Karen, Cathy, Jennifer, Robert, Cory, Mary & Rita

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