Here are my Best Bets in the visual arts for the week of February 12 – February 18, 2014.
The current exhibition at RiskPress Gallery, in Sebastopol, is The Poetry of Printing featuring letterpress works by sixteen artists who are members of the Iota Press co-op. You can see beautiful examples of handmade artist’s books, poetry broadsides, and even printed fabric and pillows. Letterpress printing is a typesetting technique that employs movable type set into a printing press. Developed during the 15th century, letterpress printing is experiencing a renaissance with artists using both traditional as well as with innovative applications. To see how it’s done or perhaps try your hand at it, letterpress printing demonstrations take place every Friday afternoon. Then on Sunday, February 16, from 2 to 4 p.m. the group is presenting A Speak Easy–Sounds in Print. This will be a poetry reading by Iota Press co-op members and others, and will include a performance–a chorus of words, which promises to be a lively and fun event, especially for lovers of words! The exhibition continues through February 23. RiskPress Gallery is located at 7345 Healdsburg Ave., in Sebastopol. For more information, check their website, riskpress.com.
Then at the Hammerfriar Gallery in Healdsburg is Bella Feldman: Flasks of Fiction. This small but dynamic exhibition features glass and metal sculptures by the Oakland-based artist who was known in the 1970s as a pioneer of women sculptors. Now in her 80s, Feldman continues to create powerful yet elegant works that draw on her life experiences and personal perspectives. The works in this exhibition evoke a balance of tension that is felt between the hardened steel and fragile glass. Their bold yet simple forms make references to stories, memories and metaphors. Feldman was a professor of sculpture at California College of Arts for 36 years, and her work is in the collections of the de Young Museum, UC Berkeley Art Museum and the Oakland Museum. The work will be on view through March 1. Hammerfriar Gallery is located at 132 Mill Street, Suite 101, in Healdsburg. For more information, check their website hammerfriar.com.
Finally, you still have time to get over to the Petaluma Arts Center to see Form and Finish: Sculptures by Michael Cooper and John de Marchi. The exhibition features the work of two distinguished sculptors, Michael Cooper and John de Marchi, who maintained an enduring friendship until de Marchi’s passing in 2011. They shared a love for tools, quality finishes, superbly designed and crafted objects, as well as teaching what they loved. Cooper and de Marchi are both internationally acclaimed artists who have maintained studios in Sonoma County, California for many decades. On Sunday, March 2, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Michael Cooper will host a tour of his studio. Contact the Arts Center to reserve a place, $50 members; $65 general (includes a signed poster and refreshments). The exhibition continues through March 16. For more information go to petalumaartscenter.org.