Compassion and insight are the two words which immediately come to mind when viewing Nikki Basch-Davis’s depictions of human beings. She is a humanist whose work emulates the finest examples of early twentieth century German Expressionism and American Social Realism. The portrayals realized in her paintings and sculptures celebrate the human spirit; conveying moments of serenity, affection, tolerance, despair and joy. Her poetic visualizations provide a sense of hope, despite humanity’s turbulent journey towards uncertainty. Basch-Davisis a rare breed in artistic innovation — a true avant-garde. —Robert-Jean Ray, Artist/Curator/Instructor
Kenneth Cook is a northern California native who currently lives and works in Vallejo, California. He is a member of Arts Benicia. He has studied art with teachers all around the Bay Area.
After years of working in watercolor, Ken has turned to acrylic and mixed media. "The habit of working fast that I developed in painting watercolor, finds me moving rapidly from canvas to canvas, sometimes with a brush in each hand. Eventually though, the acrylic forces me to wait, allowing my heart to catch up to the drying surface. The result is a work that captures a deeper, layered journey."
Daniel Hunter has been an artist and art educator in the Bay Area for over 35 years. He received a B.F.A. in Sculpture from the University of Arizona and an M.A.in Sculpture from the University of California, Berkeley.
After graduate school he went to work for the national news magazine, Ramparts, where he was a co-art director. His responsibilities included cover and magazine design and photography.
After Ramparts he began working as a studio photographer and taught black and white photography workshops to adults.
His interest in working with young people led him to Oakland High School, where he set up a ceramic program and taught both ceramics and photography.
His work has appeared in a number of national magazines and is represented in numerous private collections.
He currently works out of his studio in El Sobrante California.
2018 New Works, Featured Artist, Gallery 621, Benicia CA
2017 Visions in Clay, L H Horton Jr Gallery, Delta Collage, Stockton, CA
2017 Grimm Tales, Featured Artist, Gallery 621 Benicia CA
2017 International Tile Exhibition, Pewabic Ceramic Center, Detroit, MI
2016 Still Life, uBE gallery, Berkeley, CA
2016 Slice, Contemporary Directions, Pence Gallery, Davis CA
2016 Bone Tiles, Featured Artist, Orinda Library Art Gallery, Orinda CA
2016 Spring Offerings, Gallery 621, Benicia CA
2015 Microcosmos, Gallery 621, Benicia CA
2015 50/50 Show, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica CA
2013 Innovations in Contemporary Crafts, Richmond Art Center, Richmond
My world of acrylic, of color and illusion, of transparency and translucence, the vibrancy of subtle or intense color, of elusive and amorphous form – all of this is really exciting to me, this concert of small tunes and single notes, a fugue of balanced and counterbalanced tones and colors. I am moved by color.
Before I began painting, I was a stone and wood sculptor. Stone sculpting is heavy, hard labor involving great time and effort. By comparison, painting is a joy that brings a surprise of what that paint reveals.
Trained in sculpture at The Art Students League in New York, I started painting in 2001 in Santa Fe with watercolor landscapes, soon adding acrylic. Painting almost entirely in acrylic abstract now, my painting reflects an esoteric background and maturity of vision.
“The Art Works that surround you reflect your unique and intimate beauty, that sense of grace and balance that is the essential you.”
Robert Nelson began serious art studies in an after-school invitational program in the 5th grade. Art courses continued in college at UC Berkeley where he majored in Architecture. He sold his first sculpture in this period in 1966. After a decade of ceramic art and then painting, he has returned primarily to three dimensional work, using recycled/repurposed materials – much of it “straight from the Strait.” His works are both artistic and whimsical. He enjoys transforming everyday ‘litter’ into aesthetically pleasing pieces that people enjoy – while at the same time cleaning up the environment.
I have been involved in a wide range of creative endeavors as far back as I can remember. Like most people, I am a dichotomy, thus my affinity for extemporaneous expression on the one hand and my affection for the well thought out on the other. The laboriously handmade and colorful expressions of ethnic arts found in my travels provide limitless inspiration. I see my paintings as stories that speak to life in all its beauty and complexity. Thus, each unique painting depicts neither the ideal nor a straightforward narrative. To fully appreciate my work, you need to understand my philosophy and my process — a constant interplay of the thoughtful execution of my mind’s images, then letting my mind go wherever my hand leads.
My concerns as an artist have always been rather straightforward. The disciplines of direct painting, both in the plein air experience and in the studio, have helped me to develop a loose handling of paint that speaks as much about the paint itself as it does any given subject matter. I try to combine traditional methods of painting with a “sense of myself living in the present”. My paintings are a direct response from the world around me as I strive to be “in the moment” while I work. Nature has proven to be the most demanding and inspiring teacher…so I work from life, as often as possible and try to remain open to new ideas and new approaches.
The process of painting is an exploration and an adventure. Each work is a simple sentence in an ongoing story that will take a lifetime to unfold. The tale is a compilation of images that reflect the magic of life itself: the mysteries of vision, light, and color. Painting has enabled me to be more appreciative of the beauty and richness in everyday life.
Dennis is a newly retired Architect who has been working in the arts for many years and has just moved to Napa. His work is mainly large scale acrylic paintings on canvas. The subjects vary but most often are from his travels. New York, Italy, France, Netherlands, and California.
Jerrold Turner is one of the Bay Area’s prominent Plein Air painters and a founding member of the Outsiders, a group of plein air painters whose colorful, Fauvist style relates back to such groups as the Society of Six, the Fauves and other colorist schools.
Jerrold is a structural engineer, graduated from UC Berkeley with BS and MS degrees in engineering. He is primarily self-taught in art and painted with Lundy Siegriest and Terry St. John. His early influences were Daubigny, Matisse, William Keith, Seldon Gile and Lundy Siegriest.
He is very influential in the arts of the San Francisco Bay Area. Jerrold teaches advanced plein air painting privately as well as in workshops in Benicia and Walnut Creek, CA, and in Virginia City, NV. He also has curated several exhibits for Arts Benicia Center Gallery. Jerrold has exhibited extensively in solo and group shows and his art work is in collections throughout the United States.
The Outsiders is a group of eight painters, each with their own distinctive style. They formed in the late ’90’s and have had numerous successful shows in Bay Area venues such as the Triton Museum in Santa Clara and the Hearst Gallery at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA, among others.