African American Artists Exhibit Original Works at Spring Open Studios

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By Sally Douglas Arce

 

 

The 26th Annual Open Studios Shipyard Artists Spring Dream ~ Live With Art showcases 140+ exhibiting artists at Hunters Point Shipyard and Islais Creek Studios in San Francisco from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sat. and Sun. April 25 and 26.

 

 

 

Open to the public just two weekends a year, this is a rare opportunity to buy local art right from the source. Admission is free. Scattered through eight buildings at two sites, the 30- year-old art colony offers original fine artworks including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, jewelry, ceramics and textiles.

 

Several African American artists will be exhibiting their works.

 

Ron Moultrie Saunders is an artist-in-residence at the Hunters Point Shipyard. He is a photographic artist and landscape architect.

 

Saunders pushes the boundaries of traditional photography by working without a camera to create cameraless images, photograms.

 

This 19th century process has an immediacy, rawness and truth that are not found in images created with a camera. He places elements such as water, plants, ropes and the human figure on the surface of light-sensitive photographic paper.

 

Then, Saunders exposes it to light to create a shadowy silhouette image. His current photographic projects, “The Secret Life of Plants” and “Someday We’ll All Be Free,” explore the essence of life, the dimensions of plants and man’s connection to the natural environment.

 

“There’s a lot of mystery to my work,” Saunders says. “Particularly, with my works ‘The Secret Life of Plants,’ I want people to pay attention to their environment and not just take it for granted.”

 

Ron Saunders’ studio: Building 101, Studio 2419 at the Hunters Point Shipyard.

 

Leslie Printis specializes in mixed media collage and oil paintings. She has been best known for her dramatic use of light and color in her figurative work.

 

Currently, her focus is on mixed media collage to express her new ideas.

 

“I have moved from the comfort of realism to the unfamiliar territory of abstract designs,” Printis says. “For over 20 years my subject matter was in front of me as reference. Now, the only visual resource I use is my imagination.”

 

Leslie Printis’ studio: Building 101, Studio 2311 at the Hunters Point Shipyard.

 

Dolores R. Gray is a mixed media artist who also creates monotypes and photography. When Gray went to art school she was 36 years old.

 

“I get inspired about making something from ordinary daily things” Gray says. “I like the idea of taking something that is in everyday use and recreating it into a wonderful art piece.”

 

The snapshots of family members taken out of context are biographical and pseudo-biographical elements with symbolic references.

 

“There are universal moments that transcend cultural boundaries,” Gray says.

 

“It is the absence of the presence of African Americans in the mainstream lexicon of images that creates the perceived appearance of differences,” she said. “I want the viewer to picture themselves within the narrative and understand the secrets they conceal and reveal.”

 

Dolores R. Gray’s studio: Building 101, Studio 1303 at the Hunters Point Shipyard.

 

Special features of the Spring Open Studios include artist talks and demonstrations, food trucks by the SoMa StrEat Food Park and hands-on art for children and families.

 

Free admission and free ample car parking. For information, go to http://springopenstudios.com.

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