News

Report on the June 14 General Meeting

An introduction was made of James Morehead, Dublin’s new Poet Laureate who read the poem “Tethered” from his debut book “Canvas.” Announcements were made by representatives of PAL, LAA and DAC; Tri-Valley Artists Studio Tour (TVAST); Patch Posting for Nonprofit Workshops; Instagram Training program for artists. Videos of the workshops are available on the DAC YouTube Channel.

Program by William Wilson, Cultural Arts Supervisor at the Grand Theater Center for the Arts in Tracy presented “The Grand – The Making & Development of a Successful Arts Center in the 21st Century” providing an insightful perspective of one of the few interdisciplinary arts facilities of its kind in the US. The talk included concepts in Creative Place-making and the opportunity for an arts center to celebrate humanity in large and small ways, foster congregation and social interaction and stimulating dialogue while engaging with the arts. Art is a living declaration and it takes practice to understand it. Managing the reciprocal relationship between fandom and patronage while considering the sphere of influence of a center and connecting to an ever-increasing diverse community were key concepts to consider.

Building an arts center is not enough but rather fostering engagement and connection while highlighting supporters and winning over detractors is a perpetual process and the approach should be kinetic and purposeful. Sustainability also depends on consistent funding and investment on a municipal and regional scale. The core question of “Who do you serve?” should be on the radar constantly allowing adaptation to community-at-large and artists needs. William Wilson – Cultural Arts Supervisor. Website: https://atthegrand.org/

 View William’s talk HERE.

Submitted by Dennis Baker


Report on May 10th General Meeting

Thanks to all who joined in on the General Meeting on May 10 via Zoom. We had a full agenda.

Survey Says! … Survey of LAA, PAL and DAC members points to people preferring some sort of Zoom and in-person combination of General Meetings in the fall. This is assuming in-person will be an option. If anyone has suggestions and leads on the types of programs they would like please let your organization know. Review the survey slides on this link: https://tinyurl.com/hs63ybjs.

Jen Huber presented the results of the PAL’s Pals Show. They had 52 students mainly from Pleasanton but also from other Tri-Valley and Bay Area schools and 2 from out of state. The show remains up until the end of May. Take a look at the great artwork HERE

Stephen C. Wagner from San Francisco Artist Network presented a very informative program “Create a Quality Body of Work” based on his many years of experience as an artist and gallerist as well as conversations with other art professionals. It touched on creating a signature style, generating a cohesive body of work, and presentation & quality. The Q&A was particularly good. View Stephen’s talk HERE

You can check out the resources on SFAN website, www.sfartistnetwork.org. Christine Watters, LAA Program Chair


PAL’s Pals 2021 Virtual Show

PAL’s Pals High School and Middle School Virtual Show was found on this website from May 1 – May 31, 2021. A total of 52 entries were received (25 Middle School + 27 High School students) from 26 schools (13 Middle + 13 High Schools) in a variety of media including acrylic, oil, watercolor, alcoholic markers, colored pencils, mixed media, pencil drawing, charcoal, gouache and digital art.

View High School awards HERE. View Middle School awards HERE.


PAL’s Pals in the News

Vanessa Thomas wrote a wonderful article about PAL’s Pals for the Dublin Patch. Read it HERE.

Dolores Fox Ciadelli wrote a piece for the Pleasanton Weekly. Read it HERE.

An article also appears in The Independent. Read it HERE.


Report on April 12, 2021 General Meeting

Submitted by: Meghana Mitragotri (Member PAL Board & Online Tech Team) meghana.ms@gmail.com

Thanks to everyone for coming to the meeting; we had close to 45 attendees. PAL was happy to organize the program!

  • LAA President Clark Streeter announced volunteering opportunities and LAA Vice-president Christine Watters talked about a General Meeting Survey and her talk on “How to Design an Online Show with No Budget”.
  • DAC President Sawsan Wolski expressed heart-felt thanks to Summer Ellis (moving to Florida) for her contributions. While building DAC’s membership, Sawsan is also talking to the City of Dublin about art initiatives in collaboration with the Cultural Arts Council.
  • PAL President Beth Okurowski informed about a possible PAL Online Store, and invited volunteers to form an exploratory team. She also announced the possibility of an exciting partnership with the Firehouse Arts Center!
  • Jennifer Huber shared an overview of PAL’s Pals 2021.
  • Elaine Drew PresentationOur guest speaker, artist and author Elaine Drew gave us a superb presentation about Comics and Storyboards, and paired it up with fun exercises from her thoughtful handbook. She shared an overview about the different types of comics and interesting facts about their origins. She taught us tricks to draw characters and helped answer a million-dollar question -How to get ideas for comics! Elaine’s simple tips like drawing one’s day or dreams were excellent. The last segment of her presentation included concepts about Storyboarding. Did you know that filmmakers use this concept to draw frames of a film or a plot? Elaine explained the various steps and revealed a finished zine. Thank you, Elaine for introducing us to your world of comics – an art form we have all grown up adoring! www.elainedrew.com Elaine’s presentation is available HERE.

 

 

Report on March 8, 2021 General Meeting (Zoom)

Thanks to all who attended the meeting of LAA, PAL and DAC. About 52 folks showed up and enjoyed the meeting hosted by DAC. All the association presidents spoke beginning with Clark Streeter, president of LAA. Clark raved about the New Dawn online show that Meghana Mitragotri, Christine Watters, Joyce Moulden and Craig Varden worked on so hard. See the show at the LAA website: https://livermoreartassociation.org/new-dawn.

PAL president, Beth Okurowski spoke about their annual membership drive. If you haven’t already, make sure you go to the website and renew your membership. It’s that time of year when LAA and PAL refresh the membership rosters. If you don’t get the Portfolio next month it’s because you have not yet renewed your membership. Please get on that!

DAC president, Sawsan Wolski spoke about the first ever quarterly newsletter that DAC published with the tremendous help of Vanessa Thomas and May Giang. The annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Dublin was virtual only this year and DAC member, Gina Gabriel was kind enough to create a video for Dublin residents showing them how to make a paper leprechaun. An Irish friend of DAC made a wonderful video to surprise Gina to thank her for her hard work keeping the St. Patrick’s Day celebration alive.

The evening’s program was a discussion by Way Up Art and Frame owner, Shakeeb Rashidi. He spoke about best practices for preserving your artwork and tips and techniques for good methods of matting and framing your 2-D work for display. Thanks to Shakeeb for your time! Shakeeb has also offered to provide some new products to artists to try out and report back on their experience to the community. We ended the meeting with a short movie of a young Dublin woman performing an Irish dance. See you on April 12th when PAL will host the next combined general meeting.


Winners of PAL’s Thirteenth Museum on Main Show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 13 – Saturday, March 6, 2021

David Wagner, an art instructor at Las Positas College, judged the show awarding ribbons and Gift Cards to Way Up Art and Frame

Merits:
Chloe by Tejal Shah (acrylic)
Portrait of a Woman by John DeVilliers (pastel/colored pencil)
Serenity by Chandana Srinath (acrylic)
Waiting by Maria Grazia Romeo (oil)
 
Honorable Mentions:
The Admiralty by Helene Marie Roylance (watercolor)
Bristlecone Bark by Ron Rigge (photo)
The Gardeners by Marie Pascal (watercolor)
Heron at Morro Bay by Joanne Spurr (colored pencil)
Historic Napa Vineyard by David Gates (oil)
Mask with Flowers by Robert Nicolosi (mixed media)
Mid-Life, Bishop CA by Lisa Rigge (photo)
Nasturtiums by Meghana Mitragotri (watercolor)
Spring by Wei Ting Chuang (ink and watercolor)
Star in Sterling by Rhonda Chase (sterling silver, crystal and porcelain)

Winner’s Gallery – Click on thumbnail to view full size.


Report on February 8, 2021 General Meeting (Zoom)

 

We had another strong showing for our February meeting – there were 52 of us in attendance.

Along with the updates by the PAL, LAA and DAC presidents, Meghana Mitragotri walked people through how to submit work to the New Dawn show and Dennis Baker introduced the open studio tour, TVAST, he and Anne Giancola are spearheading (Artist sign up deadline has been extended until March 3).

Dave Wagner gave an informative critique of the Merit and HM awards from the PAL MOM show, “Imagination Expressed”. He provided great insight into the strengths that he saw and areas where things might have been improved… and he covered all 10 works in his allotted time! 

Dennis Baker gave our first real Zoom demo. He discussed the Arches paper for oil, with an informative slideshow and real-time demo. Dennis went over the pros and cons of the paper, showed the different qualities and how to mount it. How many of you went out and bought some paper to give it a try?

Thanks to all that contributed to putting on the meeting. And a special thanks to Dave and Dennis. Videos of Dave’s and Dennis’ presentations will be available eventually. If anyone is able to give a few hours to edit meeting videos, let me know. Christine Watters, LAA Programs, programs@livermoreart.org


New Group Being Formed

Optimizing Strategies for Social Media (Catchy Title TBD): Now that PAL, LAA and DAC have Facebook, Instagram, Zoom, and Youtube accounts, we would like to form a group to spearhead the effort toward optimizing the use of these powerful social media tools. We’ve seen the benefits of working together to bring our monthly members’ meetings into our homes via Zoom. Our next step is to use our combined brain power to develop coordinated strategies for promoting our shows and events. Topics that we will be digging into include: developing content, frequency of posting, boosting and leveraging, and other methods for getting maximum exposure. Also, establishing posting standards to achieve a cohesive approach, and security. We are seeking your ideas and may also bring in outside expertise. If you are interested in being a part of this exciting group, please send an email to Beth Okurowski bokurowski@comcast.net with “social media” in the subject line.


Report on January 11, 2021 General Meeting (Zoom)

Postproduction and Preparing Photos for Submission. OurThird successful Online General Meeting had 44 participants! Presidents of LAA, PAL and DAC shared some exciting updates about the LAA online store, online and in-person shows, community projects and developments.

After this, our speakers Jennifer Huber and George Garbarino were introduced with some fun facts!  Before knowing what to do with artwork pictures, it’s vital to know and understand photo digital terms, and Jen very effectively did just that! She explained each term and shared how to use free applications that are usually bundled with a Mac and a Windows computer. She also introduced the free, Linux based photo editing application, GIMP, and demonstrated essential editing features including crop, remove blemishes, resize and file saving formats. George’s impressive presentation included editing photographs using features like adjusting size, resolution, auto contrast, auto tone and auto color on a high powered imaging software – Photoshop. He also explained the important difference between editing an original photo vs. the photo of an original art. Both Jen and George emphasized the ethical aspect of editing an artwork, and that while submitting images of artwork for an online show, only minor edits need to be made to keep the photo looking as close to the original art as possible. Thank you Jen and George!

During the Q&A, it was encouraging and helpful to see members sharing useful links in the chat about photo editing. Thank you so much for your participation and also for sharing future meeting topics – that gives us a direction! Thanks to all the members who shared kind comments about our speakers; surely made them feel extra special! We received great feedback about the program presented by the Pleasanton Art League. Thank you! Please write to us at bokurowski@comcast.net with your comments and suggestions to keep the momentum going.

Here’s a list of important information and links as a result of the January 2021 meeting: Jennifer Huber: jenhuberette@gmail.com, jenhuberette.wordpress.com. Resizing images on the Mac using Preview: https://stacyknows.com/7-amazing-tips-on-how-to-resize-an-image-on-mac-without-losing-quality/. More detailed video on using Preview (Mac) to edit photos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NiL5bNhRqQ. GIMP website–Download directly from them: https://www.gimp.org/. George Garbarino: macgarbz@comcast.net.Software: https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-elements.html.


PAL President’s January 2021 Message  

“My friend, Irving Lavin, A Renaissance scholar at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, confessed that he had a horrible time writing because he never knew the beginning. Then he figured out that the paper’s beginning was not the same as beginning to write. So he just started writing about an important point in the paper and trusted that he’d find the beginning eventually. Chekhov, when asked by a nephew how he knew where to start, replied, ‘Take your blue book and tear it in half. Begin there.” There’s a difference between a work’s beginning and starting to work.

“I learned this with one of my earliest dances, The Fugue. Being a novice choreographer, I didn’t know how to begin. So I stood up in the center of the room, took a deep breath, stamped my foot, and shouted, “Begin!” Stamping the foot led me to think of the piece as tap dancing. The sound of my shoe against the floor gave me the idea of performing the piece in silence on an electronically amplified stage. To this day that’s how The Fugue starts out – with a stomp that rings in my mind “Begin!”

I guess that’s the real secret to creative preparation. If you’re at a dead end, take a deep breath, stamp your foot, and shout “Begin!” You never know where it will take you.”  (From “Begin!” (Quoted from Pg. 91, Chapter 10, The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp)

With traveling curtailed, I find myself looking over some of my old paintings and wondering if they might be improved. Have I grown enough as a painter to see what went wrong in a piece from years ago? It is always satisfying to finally notice where the painting went ‘off the rails’. Sometimes, it is just an excuse to play with an image that I am not invested in. Other times, there is no saving it, and I sand it down for a new painting.

As Ms. Tharp queried, “Where to begin?” Looking at my painting through a mirror gives me a fresh look at its composition. Viewing the painting through a transparent, red plexiglass reveals where my values missed their target. Sometimes, it’s remixing the colors in a more harmonious way. Other times, cropping is the key. How do you ‘restart’ a work of art?

From Hacienda Pulse, the newsletter serving Hacienda Business Park. The Pleasanton Art League (PAL) is the only nonprofit group dedicated to the visual arts in Pleasanton. PAL’s mission is to make the visual arts an integral part of the fabric of life in the Tri-Valley by encouraging an environment that embraces creativity and its expression. Toward that end, PAL supports facilities, education programs, and events.

Beth Okurowski


Interested in leading an art interest group via Zoom?

The PAL/LAA/DAC Tech Group is reaching out to members who might have an interest in leading an art interest group via Zoom. It could be in any media, or any subject. The Tech Group is happy to help with any/all technical aspects. All you need to do is come up with the idea, set a schedule, and lead the group. Your group will be featured on all three websites and social media outlets. Let’s get a few groups going! For more information, please contact Lorraine Wells at dingbats@comcast.net


Looking for Demo Artists

The P AL/ LAA/DAC Tech Group is looking for demo artists to be featured in our monthly, joint- Members’ Meetings on Zoom. While experience in your subject is (of course) required, experience with creating on-line content is not. The Tech Group is ready to help you with video, sound, lighting, and take you through a practice Zoom demo. Please contact Meghana Mitragotri at meghana.ms@gmail.com

 

Report on December 2020 General Zoom Meeting

Photographing Your Artwork – Shooting for Success: The December meeting was another success. The program ended up being larger than expected but that didn’t appear to diminish the enthusiasm. After a brief update from LAA, PAL and DAC presidents, part one of the program started with Paul Kratter presenting the award-winning artwork from the PAL Member show, providing interesting insights into what resonated with him with each piece. 

Though a video by Mike’s Cameras in Dublin didn’t work out due to network stability problems (it is available on Shop Talk), we moved to part two of photographing your artwork. Helene Roylance, Geoff Faulkner and Rita Szollos shared great tips on how to photograph 2D and 3D art, lighting, angles, and how to counter shine and reflections (polaroid filter btw). Rita gave an intro on using instagram.

We had a full “room” with 52 participants, half of which stayed to the very end, nearly two hours! Thank you all! And thank you for the kind feedback. It helps us with future meetings, and makes our effort feel worthwhile.

 

 


The Winners of  PAL’s Eleventh Annual Members’ Show

Four Seasons Award (Theme)

  • Chandana Srinath—“RUTHU-Life Cycle In Seasons”

Merit Awards

  • Marie Pascal—“Rain For Christmas”
  • Lynda Briggs—“Wanderland”
  • Emelie Rogers—“California Poppies”
  • Vanessa Thomas—“Morning Revival”
  • Wei Ting Chuang—“The Words of West Wind”

Honorable Mention Awards

  • Mark Mertens—“Reflections of Diablo”
  • Robyn Leimer—“Winter’s Wonderland”
  • Ron Rigge—“Sunol Respite”
  • Susan Helmer—“Big Boy”
  • Eugenia Zobel—“Mr. & Mrs. Hot Chocolate Mugs”

 

Click MemberShowWinners for a Gallery view of the winning entries!


Report on November 2020 General Zoom Meeting

The November General Meeting, hosted by the LAA, PAL and DAC Meeting Tech Group, was the first held since the world went upside down in March. 52 (!) people from the three organizations joined us for updates from the presidents, and an entertaining slide show of Paint Pleasanton artwork, narrated by Lorraine Wells. 

We were fortunate to get an update from Rachel Osajima, Director of the Art Commission for Alameda County and Anne Giancola from the Bankhead/Bothwell.

Rachael Osajima, Alameda County Arts

Rachel Osajima, invited us to sign up for the Alameda County Arts Commission newsletter on their website, www.acgov.org/arts on the “contact us” page. 

Anne Giancola (agiancola@lvpac.org) shared some Artist Opportunities (See Call for Artists for information).

Meghana Mitragotri demonstrated her innovative overhead camera setup. Great job, Meg! Learn about Meg’s method in Shop Talk.

PAL Members Show: See Exhibits and Events

Submitted by Christine Watters, LAA Program Chair

 

 


A Word About the Meeting Tech Team 

This team consists of Vanessa Thomas, Christine Watters, Lorraine Wells, Meghana Mitragotri and Joyce Moulden. It is currently focused on learning how to use Zoom and other online resources to host online events for our three organizations. Anyone wishing to join in the fun please contact Christine Watters at programs@livermoreart.org or any team member. The only qualification is the willingness to learn.

Zoom Meeting Information will be e-mailed prior to the meeting date. Zoom is being provided by DAC (sponsored by Keypoint Credit Union and the City of Dublin).


Usha Shukla, Leadership Award

Usha has been selected to receive a 2020 Alameda County Arts Leadership Award from the Alameda County Arts Commission to recognize individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions impacting the arts community and the residents of Alameda County. Nominations were submitted by community members. The goal of the program is celebrate and highlight the important work of our arts community leaders throughout the whole County. Award recipients represent the five district areas of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Awards will be made on October 6.

A PAL Board member, Usha is a full-time professional artist who works out of her studio in Pleasanton. She creates vibrant, nature-inspired abstract paintings. Usha also serves as the Treasurer of the National League of American Pen Women, Diablo/Alameda Branch. For the last two years, she has served as a juror for the National Congressional High School Art Competition for Congressional District 15, represented by Eric Swalwell. In 2019, Usha started a new Pleasanton chapter of Dining For Women, a global charitable organization and is the Co-Chapter Leader. Her artwork has been featured in solo and group shows at various locations. Her work is collected nationally including at Sutter Hospital in San Francisco and at Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA. She is a member of San Francisco Women Artists, and Global Art Project, an international art collaborative across sixteen countries. She was an invitational artist at the “East on West ” Art Exhibit at the Office of State Senator Scott Weiner, San Francisco.


PAL Contributes to Pleasanton School

Every year, Pleasanton Art League tries to make an effort to encourage and support art programs in various segments in our communities. Especially, at a time like this, when the pandemic has taken away so much from so many, PAL would like to support those who are most in need of art supplies. I am happy to share that PAL was able to contribute close to $350 to Valley View Elementary School, Pleasanton, towards glue sticks and crayons that will be used by 650 students as part of remote learning – a new way of life for us all! A big thank you to Lawrie and Leon (Beth’s Parents-in-law) for making a sizable donation towards PAL’s Scholarship funds; their contribution will make a difference to many budding artists! We truly appreciate the art teacher, Irma Grant, and her efforts in making sure that in no way are the students’ learning paths compromised, and art being an integral part of this important up-bringing.

Meghana Mitragotri PAL Scholarship Chairperson


PAL Receives 501(c)3 Status!

PAL is happy to report that we have received our long-awaited 501(c)3 status! It’s been a long and tricky road, and I want to thank Diana Hostetter, George and Linda Garbarino, and Peter Okurowski who have been instrumental in making this happen. The biggest benefit for PAL is that donations to PAL will now be tax deductible for donors. We have already changed the language on our membership forms to reflect this update.

Beth Okurowski