Tuesday, June 2, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 13

Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on January 7th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 45 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 20, Issue 45

Winter Salon at Gallery Los Olivos showcases featured artists in salon-style exhibition


Even with two months of winter still ahead of us, things are heating up at Gallery Los Olivos—at least in a non-literal sense—according to local stained glass and mosaic artist Michele Knect.

Winter wonderland
Gallery Los Olivos presents Winter Salon, a salon-style group exhibition, through Thursday, Jan. 30. The gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 2920 Grand Ave., Los Olivos. Call (805) 688-7517 or visit gallerylosolivos.com for more info.

The subjects found in stained glass and mosaic artist Michele Knect’s works are usually plants or animals. Knect is one out of the 50 featured artists in Gallery Los Olivos’ Winter Salon exhibition.

“The gallery is warm and welcoming, both for patrons and artists to connect with each other,” Knect told the Sun, while discussing the venue’s ongoing Winter Salon exhibition, which opened on Dec. 4.

Knect joined Gallery Los Olivos two years ago, at the suggestion of one of her peers who was already a longtime member. Her debut exhibition was New Perspectives, a group show that highlighted new gallery members, which was held last February.

Knect’s mosaic art is also featured in the gallery’s current group show, which includes works from more than 50 different local artists. Winter Salon runs through Jan. 30 and is styled after traditional salon art shows, which originated in France during the 17th century and entails paintings being hung from floor to ceiling, filling as much wall space as possible.

A pair of black cats is depicted in local artist Michele Knect’s piece, Sisters, which is currently on display at Gallery Los Olivos as part of Winter Salon.

“I love the style of hanging everyone’s unrelated pieces in a way that they do actually relate to each other,” said Knect, whose subjects are usually plants or animals. 

One of her featured mosaics, titled Sisters, depicts two black cats snuggling with one another. Another piece, Sunflowers, is also a duo, but as expected it’s a pair of the titular flowers.

“Sunflowers seem to make people feel happy,” Knect said. “Guests can expect colorful mosaics inspired by nature—animals, plants, all the elements.”

The majority of featured artist Paul Roark’s photographic works are landscapes. Roark has been a member of Gallery Los Olivos since the early 2000s and currently serves as its co-manager.

At the other side of the spectrum (quite literally) is the black-and-white photography of Paul Roark, who is also a featured artist in Winter Salon.

“I’ve been involved with photography for most of my life. I grew up with a darkroom,” said Roark, who was surrounded by photographers and other artists growing up.

“Dad had a good friend who was a professional photographer, and my mother was an art major and painter,” Roark continued. “My uncle was very active in photography and painting also.”

Despite being engrossed in photography at an early age, Roark was cautious about making a career out of it as he entered adulthood.

“While I was always passionate about photography, I was also practical and realistic,” said Roark, who decided to pursue a career in public service law. 

Many of photographer Paul Roark’s landscapes are also featured as part of a permanent display at Gallery Los Olivos.

But that didn’t stop him from taking photos, he explained. Roark is currently “mining” thousands of negatives he’s taken throughout his life but never had printed.

The majority of Roark’s photographic works are landscapes, many of which are featured in a permanent display at the gallery as well. Roark has been a member of the gallery since the early 2000s and currently serves as its co-manager.

“For good artists on the southern Central Coast, I think it’s the best there is,” Roark said. “I’d encourage such artists to apply for jurying if they are interested.” 

Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood embraces the weatherless winter of the Central Coast. Snowball him at cwiseblood@santamariasun.com.

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