Thursday, August 23, 2012

Occasional Gunshot Sounds ~ Paintings and Skate Decks by Yvette M. Buigues

The FLOAT Gallery is Proud to present…
Occasional gunshot sounds ~
Paintings and skate decks by Yvette M. Buigues
Opening Party Saturday September 15th, 6pm – 9pm
With live music by Laura Inserra
Show runs September 9th through October 28th, 2012

FLOAT, Floatation Center – Art Gallery 1091 Calcot Place, Unit # 116 (located in a store front loft of the historic cotton mill studios) Oakland, CA 94606 (FYI- No gunshot sounds in this district of OaklandJ)

Paintings & original art skate decks by fine artist Yvette M. Buigues. From the streets of West Oakland, her work contains great whimsy, subtle observations and a dark sense of humor.

Yvette M. Buigues:
Paintings emerge from my intuition, dreams and sentiments; rarely do I know where a blank panel will take me.  Working with icons and discovering the full text of the story as I move through a painting, I often find I have been directed to a place that is real yet far away. And when finished, I have gained new insight and understanding in my surroundings.

Using acrylic paint, colored pencil and, sometimes, collage and found objects, I work in translucent and opaque layers creating many textures.  Paint brushes, dental tools, screw drivers, sticks, rocks, and palm sanders are some of the tools used.
Upon first glance, my images appear as silk-screens or stencils; a closer look reveals that each subject is an original, each icon unique.

Why skate decks?
“I needed a birthday gift for my husband, I grabbed his skateboard and the fun began!
I allow myself to get very playful with these, using characters that, up until now, have not made it out of my sketchbook along with those that are regular subjects in my paintings. A healthy mix of humor and darkness, these decks are an escape to a place where hurt is healing and “doom & gloom” is bright. I am currently working on finding a licensing representative to market and reproduce my designs. “
- Yvette M. Buigues

About the Music:
Laura Inserra is a vibrant and talented composer, multi-instrumentalist, teacher, performer and artistic director.  For the opening party she will be performing HANG. The sound of the Hang creates an ambiance, a sonic tapestry, an atmosphere that is spacious and easy to immerse oneself in. The sounds drift in and out of awareness, like the scent of nearby incense.

An urban art spa is the only floatation center & art gallery in the San Francisco Bay Area, floatation therapy is a unique and powerful tool that allows you to shut out the world, and drift into the deepest possible level of physical and mental relaxation. FLOAT offers new, public exhibits of local artists to stimulate and challenge your senses.
Come for a Float – Stay for the Art

FLOAT, Floatation Center – Art Gallery 1091 Calcot Place, Unit # 116 (located in a store front loft of the historic cotton mill studios) Oakland, CA 94606 (FYI- No gunshot sounds in this district of OaklandJ)

For more information  please contact: Allison Walton, 510.535.1702 ,

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Paul Ryan likes to hunt--just like me ! We both like the NRA too.

I like to hunt just like Paul Ryan. I just read the quote below and had to let everyone know how much Paul and I like to hunt. On weekends I hunt bargains at Walmart, hidden treasures at the Salvation Army Store, the cheapest food at local grocery stores, close 99cent stores, and lots more.  My weapons are a car, a pen,  and a shopping cart. The car is registered and insured and kept locked when not in use--for safety. Just like the VP candidate I too use bows--in my hair so I go hunting for bows every week--looking for new fabrics and colors.We have a lot in common. I belong to the NRA-Nice Retail Ads-and I am proud of it.  I do bare my arms in my latest tanktop and have the right to do so thanks to the Bill of Rights.. I do also use scissors to cut the coupons out but always use them carefully.I love to collect stuffed, decorated squirrels too--just like Paul. I learned to hunt like this from my grandmother who clipped coupons every week and then took me shopping. Our whole family hunts like this too! I'm just a regular girl!

Quote about VP Candidate- "When Paul was a young child, he'd go to an area near his home, referred to as Cullen's Woods, and he's shoot maybe a squirrel occasionally," Bill Westphal recalled. "He loves to hunt -- he's bow hunter -- and he was no danger to anyone with a pellet gun but he would sometimes decimate a squirrel. And he kinda liked that. He's just a regular guy."

Monday, August 13, 2012

'Petey' Baby Puffin Dead In Maine Due to Lack of Ocean Fish

Petey was viewable on puffin burrow live cam at Audubon -There are other live cams to watch but I loved to watch Petey the baby Puffin in his nest in Maine.!/live-cams/player/puffin-loafing-ledge-cam

We are sad to inform you that "Petey" the baby puffin passed away on Friday, July 20th likely due to a shift in the area’s fish populations. We are all thankful for the opportunity to learn from him and encourage you to stay tuned to the Puffin Loafing Ledge and Osprey Cams. To see a full statement from Audubon and learn more, go to the bird blog. Watch for the parents returning to the burrow and protecting it from intruders.

Friday, August 10, 2012

"Dancing on a Volcano" See movie free at Expressions Gallery in Berkeley, CA

Sunday, August 12, 2012
Movie Day from 2pm – 5:30pm

Expressions Gallery
A Fine Arts Gallery in the Ashby Arts District in Berkeley, CA.
2035 Ashby Ave,
Berkeley, California 94703

Come and view the recently released: “Dancing on A Volcano, The Story of Nadja Merino” about Nadja and her family who escaped Nazi internment and came to America  and flourished as artists.

‘Dancing on a Volcano’ is a feature documentary that debuted at the Sarasota Film Festival this
April and tells the compelling story of Nadja Merino.Nadja’s father, a uccessful businessman, was imprisoned.  Each family member was given a task in the aftermath of their father’s capture, and Nadja was wisely chosen to try to get her father out of prison. Nadja was successful and got her father out.

In 1939 Nadja came to Paris seeking exit visas for her family from the Chilean consul
general, Armando Marine. A single kiss was the price Nadja had agreed to pay in exchange
for Armando's help, a kiss that developed into a secret romance. Armando liberated
hundreds of refugees from the Nazis due to Nadja's influence. In 1941, Nadja and Armando
left Paris and, through her artistic talent she went on to become the lead
 fashion illustrator at the New York Times.

Nadja recently turned 100 years old.

Nadja's artwork can be found at the Federal Street Gallery in Milton, Delaware
(302) 684-1055
ovie Created by Gary Metz and Abraxas Hudson

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Johnny Depp or Jay Silverheels: Two Tontos Too Many?

Tonto was me even if he were on a fuzzy TV screen.  He was not just a Native American fictional character, dreamt up by writers for radio and television as a companion for the Lone Ranger.

Jay Silverheels as Tonto was bigger than life. Sitting in front of our big television in New Haven, Connecticut waiting for the next episode of The Lone Ranger, my sister and I would not move for the next 30 minutes. I liked the Lone Ranger, but my love was for Tonto.

He was such a good friend to The Lone Ranger--quiet, logical, faithful and very intelligent.  He and his horse, Scout, got his companion out of many dangerous situations.  Tonto was excellent at reading other people who meant them harm and could warn the Lone Ranger. In addition, Tonto was a great scout and could find his way anywhere. There was a lot of hoopla about Tonto from all sides--intellectuals and native Americans.And there still is, but Jay was my perfect Tonto.

Both Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels  as Tonto became influential role models and lived by this creed below created by writers Fran Strker and George W. Trendle:
 I believe...
  • that to have a friend, a man must be one.
  • that all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
  • that God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.
  • in being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.
  • that a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
  • that 'this government of the people, by the people, and for the people' shall live always.
  • that men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
  • that sooner or later...somewhere...somehow...we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.that all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.
  • in my Creator, my country, my fellow man.

If that weren't enough, The Lone Ranger and Tonto could carry and use their guns, but allowed only to disarm an opponent as painlessly as possible, they could never drink or smoke and had to use perfect grammar.  A tall order! Can Johnny Depp live up to Jay Silverheels' persona? Tonto was perfect, at least I thought so.  He was so handsome, especially when riding his horse.  I had a real crush on Jay that's for sure,  I remember feeling a secret pleasure in my little heart from ages six to eight.  My sister, Diana, loved all cowboy shows, but saved her heart for Route 66s George Maharis.

I would always be faithful to my first love, Jay Siverheels as Tonto.

Johnny Depp will of course play the part of Tonto and I can't wait to see this new movie which is scheduled to be released March 2013.  Here are some pictures of Johnny as Tonto, modeled after a painting of Tonto by a white artist.  I don't think he looks as cute as my Jay. but I will wait until I see him in the movie to decide.

Depp seems perfect for the role of Tonto if the directors let him do his own version of the character. Until then "Git-um up, Scout". !"  Jay will always be my one and only Tonto. Johnny can be my favorite pirate. Meanwhile, "Hi-yo Silver! Away!"

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"Who We Are” Art by Matthew Kowalski,Marla Fibish,Janet Brugos

"Who We Are” A Revealing Art Exhibit by a Radical Relief Artist, a Quilter and Mixed Media Artist
 Matthew Kowalski,Marla Fibish,Janet Brugos

YWCA Berkeley
2600 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

Friday July 6 – Friday September 7, Open Monday – Friday 9 AM to 5 PM for Matthew Kowalski
Friday July 6 – Friday September 28, Open Monday – Friday 9 AM to 5 PM for Marla Fibish
Monday August 6 – Friday September 28, Open Monday – Friday 9 AM to 5 PM forJanet Brugos

**As there are frequent classes and other events at the YWCA, please call
ahead 510 848-6370 to ensure that exhibit rooms are available to view.

Who We Are Artists Reception: Friday August 24, 2012 6:00 – 8:30PM
At the reception each artist will talk briefly about experiences that influence 
and inspire their art: 7 – 8 PM
Partial benefit to the YWCA of Berkeley

The “Who We Are” artists welcome all who enjoy the diversity of the art world.
Contemporary Abstract Quilts, Vibrant Radical Relief paintings and highly textured 
Mixed Media works will appeal to a wide audience of art followers and collectors.

Artist Websites-

Marla Fibish, a musician and composer as well as a quilter, takes pleasure in the fundamental idea of
piecework – making something new out of things that already exist. It is also the primary endeavor in
composing music. Fibish’s work is often drawn from traditional themes and is greatly inspired by the
bold improvisation in African-American quilting – offering a slower lasting version of the temporal thrill
of improvisation in music. Her work is visually striking and contemporary.

Matthew Kowalski was homeless, disenfranchised and invisible for many years. He now explores
how to belong and where to take his place. Kowalski is a person who develops, creates and
collaborates. He is now a part of an evolving new community. He believes the abundance we all have
is an endless supply on which to build to share. Art has been his continuing strength for 30 years.
Kowalski philosophy of “start where we are” is expressed in his strong, bold and vibrant work.

Janet Brugos’ extensive travel and desire to know people in depth contribute to her intricate art.
She gathers experience, mixes with texture, plays with proportion and uses a variety of materials,
conventional and found. Brugos’ concept of equality began with her Chicago roots. It has grown
through her travels and friendships with persons of varying backgrounds. She values each individual
equally without regard to gender, race or income level. Brugos’ philosophy is expressed in her
textural mixed media piece “The Statute of Liberty.”

 "Who We Are" encompasses all three artists as individuals; each presents their own work, with their own statement of "Who I am."

“ be still" Photographic Work of Christine Benkert

Gallery 621 presents “ be still", the Photographic work of Christine Benkert
Exhibit runs August 9 - Sept. 2, 2012 - Gallery hours: 12-6pm, Thursday - Sunday

Reception- Opening Reception Saturday August 11, 2012,5-8pm 
Wine, soft drinks, finger food
Meet the artist, view the art and enjoy our Gallery

Gallery 621 Contemporary Art 
621 First Street Benicia, CA 94510 

Gallery 621 is a collective gallery supported by the participants listed below. 
Every month one of us rotates asthe Artist of the Month, but the other artists also show their work 
throughout the Gallery continually. 

Names of Gallery 621 Participants-
Jerrold Turner
Christine Benkert
Sharon Payne Bolton
Carol Dalton
Stan Dann
Nikki Basch Davis
Hedi B. Desuyo
Pam Dixon
Linda Stevenson Dunlop
Toby Tover-Krein
Suzanne Long
Jody Mattison
Lisa Reinertson
Jack Ruszel
Lee Wilder Snider

About Gallery 621 - Contemporary Art
Showcasing Benicia, California, as a contemporary center of working and exhibiting artists, and a community of arts advocacy, 
Gallery 621 is dedicated to increasing public awareness of, interest in, and education about contemporary art 
within the community of Benicia and the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
For more information go to

Artist/Photographer Christine Benkert brings her passion to life...still 
her solo exhibit “ be still”. Using the most silent subjects of a single bone 
and some rocks, she masterfully and deliberately creates huge prints, described as calm, 
pensive and, galactical. The subject matter becomes secondary to the magnitude of their 
arena. “It was a meditative process for me. I’d like the viewer to experience that as well”
. 40”x40” Black and White Archival Pigment Prints.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Toby Tover is Artist-in-Residence at C'era Una Volta

Bette Davis Eyes 
by Toby Tover

C'era Una Volta Restaurant announced recently that Toby Tover is their Artist-in-Residence. A perfect pairing-delicious Italian food and wonderful art! Toby is well known, and is a prolific exhibtor throughout the entire Bay Area famous for her colorful acrylic paintings of various subjects from 'divas' to waitresses, to children, to boats and more. She also creates intricate abstracts. Tover's art will be exhibited on the walls throughout beautiful C'era Una Volta.

If That's All There Is 
by Toby Tover

C'era Una Volta is a very popular restaurant in Alameda, California, famous for its Tuscan cuisine.  C'era Una Volta also has many unique events and is a perfect venue for exhibiting works of art. Chef Rudy and Cheryl Principato both run "Cer'a" as their regular diners affectionately call it. From his early lessons in his nonna’s Elba Island kitchen, to the recipes perfected as he studied the culinary arts in Italy, 

Dinner at C'era Una Volta

Chef Rudy prepares the historic flavors of Tuscany for your enjoyment today. C’era Una Volta opened in 2004, and each year since, they have been honored to be recognized by the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, an official organization of the Italian government, as an authentic Italian restaurant.
Cer'a Una Volta is located at 1332 Park Street, Alameda, CA 94501.

Go to Toby's website to view her art, see her exhibit schedule and read her impressive curriculum vitae.She has an upcoming show at Gallery 621 In Benicia in September.

Visit the website for "C'era" to read their history, see their upcoming events and read their enticing menus.

Directions to C'era Una Volta-C'era Una Volta is located at 1332 #D, Park St., Alameda, CA 94501 down the historic Redwood Square walkway, between Park Street and the Post Office in downtown Alameda.

Contact Toby Tover-
707 742-4125 or 925 998-3651

Artist Statement-

Everyday life 'clip shots' have held a fascination for me. Satire, humor and personal isolation are strong threads that weave themselves throughout the figurative work. The images have been processed through my own personal visual filter. I paint the genre of "human/social condition narratives" which come from my absorbing interest in movies, theater and personal or documentary photography.

Nostalgia is a component of the vintage-based work. Nostalgia in Greek literally means "the pain from an old wound". It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. I paint what I feel: you do not have to feel as I do..that you get some emotional reaction from what I create is all that matters... whether it be laughter or a knowing connectedness.

The Divas, painted in acrylic, have one characteristic in common--they all are women with attitude. Displaying a fierce boldness with an undercurrent of intrigue that often turns introspective, they cannot be overlooked, or ignored. The Divas are in our face and we, as viewers have to confront them. Once seen, these images are hard to forget, perpetuating the ultimate diva feminine mystique. I try to capture my subjects in a moment to ensure that this moment will become timeless.