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Art from the heart

Ceramicist Rebecca Wamsley’s entry for the fundraiser used actual lace dipped in clay slip to trim the heart-lid of this container titled ‘I Will Love You Still.’
Ceramicist Rebecca Wamsley’s entry for the fundraiser used actual lace dipped in clay slip to trim the heart-lid of this container titled ‘I Will Love You Still.’

With Valentine’s Day coming up, Arts Obispo is again holding its fundraiser Hearts Obispo, an exhibit of small works of art.

More than 100 offerings in the Arts Space Obispo gallery include drawings and paintings, ceramics, fused glass, jewelry and photography, all touching on some concept of romance.

For her entry, Shelley Kenny used a quote in her assemblage “Love is Not a Clock” that basically says that if you could disassemble love to see what makes it tick, you’d likely be unable to put it back together.

Kenny’s piece is a combination of pieces, mainly the inner workings of a friend’s grandfather clock. As he was winding it, “It exploded on him,” said Kenny, who gave the springs and gears a new life. “My husband sort of wonders about me,” Kenny acknowledged, “but I do bring home odd things and it turns into wonderful art.”

Kenny recently switched allegiance from her first love, stained glass. After 20 years, “suddenly the assemblage just took over,” she said.

Other artists who have strayed from their usual medium include Susan Lara, who normally makes wire-sculpted mobiles. After finding some juice cans on her daily stroll and litter collection, Lara cut up the aluminum containers to fashion “Out to Lunch,” a boy and a girl holding a basket of seeds. “They were harder to work than I thought they would be,” said Lara, as the metal broke when creased too sharply.

M’Lou Mayo, a retired Cuesta College art teacher, submitted four “critters” that she said could be considered cupids. “This is a new departure for me,” said Mayo, who carved the heads from avocado pits, a folk-art concept she discovered in Mexico. “My Funny Valentines” is the collective title, and Mayo’s husband gave each one names, some taken from the song “Funny Valentine.” Their brightly painted stylized faces and heads have metal hand-tooled wings coming out from their necks, red hearts along the supporting dowels.

Rebecca Wamsley, who has done mosaics, fabric art and woodcarving, has returned to ceramics, a medium she got involved with at age 18. Her raku-fired green ceramic heart is the hinged door to a clay box. Inside is a metal Mexican milagros metal heart, with a paper booklet titled “I Will Love You Still.”

After a short-lived romance when she moved here two years ago, Wamsley has since concluded: “You can continue to love whoever you want to love. It’s not about what you get back, necessarily, it’s the loving that counts.”

Women aren’t the only romantics. Men involved in the Arts Obispo show include Vincent Robles, whose colored pencil and ink drawing “21 Times” had a number of names on the bid sheet just days after the show opened.

The silent auction concludes at the Art After Dark reception Feb. 5, but items with set prices will be offered through Feb. 13.

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