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Zoom Online General Meeting

The Pleasanton Art League, Livermore Art Association and Dublin Arts Collective invite you to be part of our inaugural online General Meeting for the Tri-Valley Arts, “Zooming Forward” Monday November 9th!

“Zooming Forward” will be a kickstart event for online programming to support our artistic practices, create opportunities for growth, learning and professional development and provide us with an opportunity to connect and inspire each other.

Time: November 9, 2020 7:30 PM Pacific Time

Topic: Zooming Forward PAL / LAA/ DAC

Click Here for Zoom General Meeting Sign In and Agenda

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PAL 2020 online Members’ Show

Theme: “Four Seasons in the Valley”

Show dates: November 22nd – December 30th.

Submission deadline was November 15th!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the PAL 2020 online Members’ Show. Check back here on November 22!

It’s time to enter the PAL Members Show! With the Firehouse closed until next spring, we will be hosting, posting, judging and giving awards from the PAL website. A Members’ Show team has been hard at work to beef up our virtual capabilities and fine tune our on-line procedures. I hope it will be an easy and rewarding experience for all of our artists!

Paul Kratter

PAL is very fortunate to have Paul Kratter as our judge this year. Paul is a gifted teacher as well as artist. His accomplishments are too many to list here, but please visit his website:

We will be giving the same awards as in previous years: One Theme award ($100), five Merit awards ($100 each), and five Honorable Mentions (awards TBD).

To keep with tradition, we will be posting short artist demos by PAL artists, as part of the show. Demos will be posted here on the PAL website and on the PAL facebook page.

Nancy Thompson Memorial Wall (PAL Wall)

The PAL Wall is closed along with the Firehouse. Please look forward to the following display when it reopens.

Beth Okurowski, “Life on the Edge–A Painting Adventure in Garrapata Park and the Carmel Coast”, will go up on the PAL Wall, upstairs at the Firehouse Art Center, 4444 Railroad Ave, Pleasanton, from April 1 to May 2.

The California coast can be impossibly beautiful. It calls to a painter like a siren. Life on the edge of land and water is a drama of crashing waves, shifting light patterns, and undulating fog. Part of what makes it so compelling is the constantly changing elements, all playing off the other. How to freeze this scene in paint while retaining some of its life, all while not becoming overwhelmed by the scenery, is always a tall order when painting here. To help with the overwhelming part, I decided to narrow my subject choices. For three consecutive days in January, I came to this same place in Garrapata Park, Carmel to study a cliff face. I established value patterns early which guided me as the sun reached it’s 11:00 am position, when the forms of the rocks flattened and my stomach began to growl for lunch. I tried to not get attached to anything I was doing. I needed to stay nimble and be ready to switch canvasses if the fog rolled in or out. The third day, I felt familiar with rocks, and could begin to predict how the water would behave during one of its swells.


 Message from PAL President Beth Okurowski

PAL Happenings

Covid Brings New Urgency for an On-Line Presence: A few members from LAA, PAL, and the Dublin Arts Collective are coming together to brainstorm, learn, and begin to put into place a strategy for moving many of our events to an on-line format; at least until we can again meet face-to-face, but perhaps long after. Even though there have been many cancellations, we are not short on great ideas and great content! Efforts will be centered around how to make our regular shows and events virtual (Member’s Show at the Firehouse and the MOM show), and how to manifest new ideas in a virtual way (on-line shows, live artist demos, virtual artist studio tours, a virtual artists flea market). It won’t happen all at once, since this will be a learning process. We are definitely in a new era and there’s never been a better time to make this move! As Winston Churchill said, “never let a good crisis go to waste”. If you have knowledge to share, or an interest to learn and be a part of the team, please send an email to Beth Okurowski

Other PAL Happenings: Well, we’ve made it to September of this topsy-turvy year. Last Saturday night’s rare August storm fit right in as one of 2020’s weird events! Maybe we’ll have a UFO sighting or find Bigfoot (not much would surprise me, at this point!)! While almost all of our programming has been canceled, the PAL board continues on projects. Some recent developments include:

PAL recently donated $300 in crayons and glue sticks to Valley View Elementary School in Pleasanton, for their at-home art program (See article in this issue of the Portfolio). Meghana, our Scholarship Chairperson has been busy working out the details with Irma Grant, the art teacher there. Two other schools that were on our short list to receive help with supplies have suspended their art programs (Marylin Avenue School in Livermore and Tracy SDA Christian School in Tracy).

East Bay Open Studios update – The PAL group at the Firehouse had done a great job planning their EBOS weekend in June before everything was shut down. Organizers remain hopeful that they will have an event this fall, even though many are doubtful it will happen. The organizers are going forward with their artist catalog as a way of promoting the artists, and giving a discount to participate next year. Many artists would like a refund with the remaining funds, but EBOS is not willing to do that at this point.

Storage – Our storage rent has been increased to $208 per month at Cubesmart. The 8×10 storage locker is primarily used for storing our show flats, signage, banners, and supplies for workshops and meetings. We have talked to the manager to see if a lower rate is possible, but without success. We are looking for other options. If you know of a place with easy access and a low monthly rate, please let me know. It could be on personal property, or at a traditional storage facility.

Extension of terms for PAL officers – We are extending the current PAL board term to minimize disruption during the lockdown. Normally, we would be having elections this fall, but it would be a difficult transition right now. No timeline has been set for the election of new officers.

Beth Okurowski


Tenth Annual Members’ Art Show

The Tenth Annual Members’ Art Show was kicked off with an Artist’s Reception in the Firehouse’s Harrington Gallery Thursday evening, November 7 – theme this year “Hometown.” Beth Okurowski, PAL President, presented awards to the many talented winners at the Reception. Show runs until December 14.

Thanks to Alena Sauzade, Visual Arts Coordinator, Harrington Gallery. Thanks to Pat Smith, Show chair, and to Lynda Briggs who organized refreshments. Thank you Linda Garbarino for the wonderful pictures. 

Comments from Mel Prest, the Judge of the PAL Members’ Show:

“I hope the PAL opening went well and was super fun. I’m sorry to have missed it. As I mentioned, PAL is well known as a group of talented artists who work hard and support one another, and I’m honored to have been invited to jury the PAL show. I was excited to see the formal and thematic diversity of the works; how things connected and the visual “conversations” between the artworks. I admired the vast range of paintings and sculpture techniques, yet all professionally presented.

I found it very difficult to choose a “theme” work, as so many deserved the award. The painting I chose felt absolutely like California: light, shadow, nature, mountains and home. This painting felt like something I’d seen or a place I’d been, and the fading end-of-day light almost made me hold my breath.

I was happy to have been able to acknowledge strong works by additional artists also who were not in competition for the theme award. The focused touch of the watercolor with sun-dappled cushions, or to the intensely hued oil and acrylic works, and the paused narrative of a black and white photograph: I can still recall each of these pieces in my mind’s eye. I also want to acknowledge the Firehouse Arts Center and curators and installers of the exhibition whose sensitivity to the latent harmonies among the artwork made the exhibition, and each individual work, sing.” – Mel Prest

Firehouse Report from From Pat Smith, Firehouse Chairperson:

“I cannot begin to thank you all enough for all you have done to make this another beautiful show. As I have said in the past “many hands make a light load” So many of you stepped up to help from receiving, the reception, the orientation, navigating the new “better impact” sign up system, receiving entries and printing show programs. Also, the artists who presented their amazing work. I am privileged to work with all of you.”

Theme Award: “Home Town”

Robin Leimer

Merit Awards

  • Lynda Briggs
  • Linda Garbarino
  • Pam Horn-Ross
  • Pat Smith
  • Chandana Srinath

Honorable Mentions

  • Wei Ting Chuang
  • Margaret Frank
  • Amy Greenberg
  • Loreta Landucci
  • Annett Mack
  • Meghana Mitragotri
  • Sandra Myers
  • Judy Rice
  • Lisa Rigge
  • Diane Rodriguez
  • Lisa Scarborough
  • Usha Shukla
  • Winifred Thompson
  • John Trimingham
  • Lorraine Wells

PAL’s First Small Works Show was held during PAL Members Show Reception on Thursday, November 7, 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Firehouse Arts Center Center, 4444 Railroad Ave., Pleasanton.

Below are representative images from PAL’s Small Works Show held in the Firehouse Lobby during the Reception for the PAL Members Show at the Firehouse on Thursday November 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.