College student ‘emerges’ at show

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A colorful Charming Chair sits outside the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce.

Blak Sage Gallery preview show features new artists, Open Studio artists and charming chairs April 13
Blak Sage Gallery preview show features new artists, Open Studio artists and charming chairs April 13

The art scene in San Benito will be at the Blak Sage Gallery tonight when the San Benito Arts Council celebrates an artists’ reception with work on display as part of the Emerging Artists and Open Studios Preview. The evening will also feature the display of Charming Chairs, decorated by downtown Hollister business employees who will auction off the pieces as part of a Hollister Downtown Association fundraiser, and an open mic night starting at 7 p.m.

The artwork, which has been on display since March 31, is a mix of pieces by artists who will open their studios to visitors at the end of the month as part of the annual Arts Council tour. Other pieces also on display are those of emerging artists who do not have an established studio to participate as part of the tour.

Imelda Osana, a Gilroy resident and Gavilan College student, is one of the emerging artists featured this year. She heard about the show through Gavilan art teacher Jane Rekedal, who has long been involved with the Open Studios Tour. Rekedal has several pieces on display at the preview show and encouraged her art students to submit pieces for the emerging artists segment of the show.

“I usually create and take it all home,” Osana said. “I don’t expose (my artwork) as much as I’d like to.”

Osana, who described herself as a bit of a rookie compared to the more established artists on display, said she thought participating in the show would be a great chance to see the process of how things work and develop. She has three paintings and one ceramic mask on display in the show. She said the pieces she is showing this year are often a reflection of the emotions she has felt while trying to balance school with her personal life as she prepares to transfer to San Jose State University next semester.

She said she has taken art classes on ceramics and drawing, in which she has worked to improve her technique. But she often paints in her free time as a break from other mediums.

“That was hard,” she said of choosing what pieces to submit for the show. “Sometimes I am my own critic. It really represents the emotions I was feeling.”

She talked about one of her paintings which is done on three vertical pieces of canvas. It is a silhouette of a tree with branches and roots coming out against a green and blue background. She said it was inspired by a dream she had where she felt like she was daydreaming. The tree represents how she is branching out as she prepares to transfer to SJSU, but that she still feels planted to the ground.

“I realized one day I was so busy I was not taking care of myself,” she said, of another piece that is entitled “Control.”

The image has a green-tinted background with a black half circle along the bottom of the canvas with black strands coming up from it.

“Sometimes I like the response I get more than creating it,” she said, of her work.

With the piece many of her friends have ventured a guess of what the images are – from a messy head of hair to an onion to seaweed to an eyeball.

“An event like this is a great opportunity,” Osana said. “Maybe there are things I don’t know how to do.”

The week before the reception, she visited the gallery. She hadn’t seen the space since the artwork was put in place. She talked about her pieces and also explored the other pieces up on the wall. She commented on some of the other artists she has met from San Benito County. She said she was looking forward to the reception so that she could talk with the other artists.

“It’s been creating butterflies,” Osana said, of feeling a little nervous. “This is really happening.”

She said she thinks she will look back in a few years fondly on her first gallery showing. Many of her family members and friends planned to attend the show.

“My family and friends have been supportive of my dream,” she said. “This is such an amazing event.”

April events:

The annual Open Studios Art Tour & Emerging Artist Exhibition

Preview Exhibition: through April 26 at the Blak Sage Gallery. Open 1 to 5 p.m., Wednesday thru Saturday. Artist Reception: April 13, 5 to 7 p.m., at the Blak Sage Gallery, featuring Open Studio & Emerging Artists, Charming Chairs Silent Auction, Wine Tasting by Aimee June & Cetani Vineyards

Open Studios Art Tour: April 28-29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Maps can be found online at www.sanbenitoarts.org or at Blak Sage Gallery.

Charming Chairs will be on display at downtown businesses through April 11. Shop downtown and bid on your favorite chair. Final bidding will take place April 13, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Blak Sage Gallery. Chairs will remain on display in the gallery through April 26. All proceeds will be given to the Downtown Endowment Fund.

Open mic night

Blak Sage Gallery will host an open mic night April 13, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., 727 San Benito St. Admission is free and signs up to perform begin at 7 p.m. Details: 634-0263.

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