“Florescence: a State or Period of Flourishing” February 1st

The title “Florescence” (not to be confused with fluorescent) is a botanical term meaning “a state or period of flourishing”. We felt this title was apt for the coming Spring as well as the first show at Beatnik in the new year. “Florescence” comes from the Latin word for blooming, and we are excited to present this show as the first of 2019 and a period of growth and renewal at Beatnik.

The artists we have chosen exemplify different aspects of the “florescence,” each creating forms that seem to flower and expand. Zahra Ammar, in paper, Jeff Mayry in oil, and Irubiel Moreno in layers of pattern and symbolism.

Spring is a time of growth and flourishing and “Florescence” embodies that.

Zahra Ammar


Inspiration is found everywhere, but for Ammar everything looks better in paper. Through her striking use of color and keen tactile sense Ammar constructs captivating paper worlds which we are excited to have a part of our Spring show at Beatnik.

Ammar began quilling 5-6 years ago as a hobby she started with her sister, and for her it has developed into something far beyond the realm of a crafting. Ammar is passionate about using the traditional technique of quilling to create fine art. Each design is constructed precisely. The elaborate shapes are a result of beautiful geometries that are at once mathematical and organic.

Ammar draws inspiration from the complex geometries of the middle east, and is constantly learning new geometric constructions. She has a number of tools that she uses to execute exact cuts, and create her beautiful designs. The placement of the paper strips creates intricate forms, utilizing negative space and the play of light and shadow on the paper.


Jeff Mayry


When asked what his inspiration was for his work Jeff Mayry said “I don’t know, boredom? A lack of hobbies?”

His paintings are anything but boring, and reflect his sensibility for color, texture and depth. Mayry’s works are done primarily in oil, but he will often manipulate the texture of the dried paint through sanding it down and then layering more color over the top.

His most recent group of paintings contain abstract hints of organic forms rendered with a mix of colors across a large canvas.

When asked about his use of color, Mayry described how when working in a small garage studio there is limited space, so he will only have about 8 tubes of paint out at a time and as he’s painting he forgets to switch colors.

The mix of organic shapes are layered and constrained within a kind of grid. There are parts of the painting where the bright mix of colors become dark, giving an invitation into the complex inner world of the artist.



Irubiel Moreno


We were unable to schedule an official site visit with Irubiel, but below you can read his eloquent description of the significance of his artwork:

My artwork for the past several years has used revealing archetypes of history, that I believe have a crystal clear impact on our contemporary psyche today. In the current postmodern climate where many believe history has no relevance or truth, I find myself returning to the lessons of the brutal twentieth century. Continually revisiting those aspects that are often hidden or misrepresented in the “formal” recordings for posterity.

In my varied and mixed media approaches to making art; installations; public, and digital projects, the context of the work has what I consider an interactive communion with the observer. I recently started to document my creative process, with some memories dating back to being a child. I was confronted with a picture that seemed to emerge from practical considerations, rather than theoretical ones. To be concise with this concept I’ve categorized three ideas that I have grappled with.

  1. One’s own creative process can evolve and change form over time without losing it’s ethos.
  2. Honesty, diligence, and pain appear to be a prerequisite to discovering true axioms.
  3. People don’t have ideas, ideas have people.

In his book ‘Maps of Meaning’ Jordan B. Peterson points to an echoing universal truth. The world he says according to mythology is a “forum for action” between the known and the unknown – or the explored and the unexplored territory. He believes that the space between chaos and order is what holds meaning to life and can transcend our vulnerability as finite creatures.  

Carl Jung’s idea appears to be that the subconscious mind is equal to importance to the conscious mind, and that cognitive harmony requires integrating these two modes into a unified mental whole. This I have tried to do with my paintings.

“Somewhere there was once a Flower, a Stone, a Crystal, a Queen, a King, a Palace, a Lover and his Beloved, and this was long ago, on an Island somewhere in the ocean 5,000 years ago. . . . Such is Love, the Mystic Flower of the Soul. This is the Center, the Self.”

  • Carl Jung

Come to Beatnik Friday, February 1st  6-9pm for our opening reception!


1.17.19 Helena Zittel





“Voice” featuring Ginger Thompson and Eric Stevens

The title of this show is “Voice,” and explores the significance of “Voice” to each of the artists. For Eric Stevens, his woodworking and tree prints give voice to the trees that he uses as well as allows him to claim his identity as an artist and maker. Ginger Thompson’s paintings are a way to give voice to her feelings and allow them to speak across the canvas.

Ginger Thompson is a self-taught artist who describes art-making as the best channel to focus her emotions. The colors featured in her work are saturated, communicating a range of intense feelings. There is a kind of duality that Thompson explores through color. A dark red could represent passion as much as it might represent anger. Blue is simultaneously meditative and melancholy. When she paints she constantly changes the orientation of the canvas, allowing the colors and their placement to reflect what she is feeling.

The theme of shapes in her work is significant to moments in Thompson’s life. The squares represent a past relationship that felt boxed, and the circles are “the one shape that you can’t control,” says Thompson.

Thompson works in acrylics because she likes the way that they are workable and buildable, and are able to be used quickly and intensely, functioning like emotions themselves.

Eric Stevens’ art tells the story of persistence and patience. Time is an essential element in both Stevens’ prints and carvings. Stumps from trees that have stood for years need time to dry before they can be used to make prints. Scraps of wood from past projects lie abandoned in a wood shop before they are discovered by Stevens and carved into sculpture. Stevens works with his medium as a kind of partner, carving along the whorls of the wood to create a pattern that is tactile and beautiful, paying the trees their due respect.

Though making a print of a stump is a relatively straightforward process, the imprint of the tree has depth and complexity that is completely unique. The stump he uses to make prints will age and change shape over time, so each edition he prints is different.

There is much to learn from a tree, and Stevens’ work captures that. Talking with Stevens about his art includes stories of the lives of the trees he’s salvaged wood from. A juniper planted near a friend’s house, the two grown together. Trees felled for safety reasons, trees cut down by Pg&e, trees fallen naturally.  His art is heavily connected with the seasons of his life, and the lives of the trees.

“Voice” Opening Reception will be 6-9pm on Friday, October 5th

Light / Weight

New Works By Raphael Delgado

Raphael Delgado’s recent series of paintings depart from his more restrained, psychological work into something more free-flowing and geologically-inspired. Beatnik’s August show “Light / Weight” is a meditation on the feeling of being immersed and obscured by the power of nature.

Delgado’s work up until now has been controlled, with a heavy figural emphasis, but in his new pieces he utilizes space as a window into something else. Layers of dynamic, swishy brushstrokes recede infinitely and have movement outside the space of the canvas.

The new direction in Delgado’s work is inspired by his experiences traveling through beautiful and diverse landscapes across America. The experience of places like Kansas, Utah and Denver are transcribed in generous swaths of color. A deep purple mountain range yielding to a soft orange sunset, clouds shaped by wind, and the awesome devastation of a wild fire are all images conjured by Delgado’s work.

“Light / Weight” opens at Beatnik August 3rd with a reception from 6pm – 9pm Leftovers or paint colors?  Double the brush double the fun 

Photos by Wes Davis

Writing by Helena Zittel

Raphael Delgado Studio Visit

Akira Beard Studio Visit

Heidi Zimmerman and Akira Beard are working hard on the next show at Beatnik. When I heard Heidi was heading up the hill to do some collaborations with Akira, I had to get up there and see the magic unfold!
Click here for all of the info about this exciting show:
“Revelations from the Inner Landscape”

I brought my daughter Bijou along with me on this studio visit. She took many of the photos in this blog post and she even got to do some painting! Thanks for being so accommodating Akira!

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Studio Visit Stefan Janoski

We are thrilled to be working on a show with the one and only Stefan Janoski this Fall. Stefan is one of those gracefully creative beings who seems to float effortlessly between a tough concrete world of hard realities, and a light and airy world of magic and wonder. Stefan loves stop motion films and is obsessively intrigued by the puppets and artfully crafted monsters found in films such as Coraline, Kubo and The Box Trolls. This love of hand crafted characters charges his work with a lifelike glow. His artwork is steeped with thoughtful reflections of the silliness of the world. His paintings and sculptures are often subtly hilarious in their simple sarcasms. Beatnik is thrilled to show a new collection of paintings and sculpture by Stefan Janoski this fall. Take a look at the images from our trip to his home studio and come see the show this November!

“Nightmares of Normality” opens November 3rd with a reception from 6pm – 9pm
The show will be on display at Beatnik from Nov.3 – Nov.22

Check out the event page for details

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Studio Visit in Chicago with Morgan Sims

Chicago, through the eyes of Wes Davis.

I have been trying to get Morgan Sims to do a show at Beatnik for many years. Finally, the stars aligned, and I convinced him to fill his van with artwork and make the trek from Chicago to Sacramento. Morgan will be showing work with Oakland artist Seren Moran this fall at Beatnik. “Shapeshifters” opens on First Friday, September 1st and shows until September 21st.

Earlier this summer, I made my way to Chicago to visit Morgan’s studio, and see what the life of an artist in the windy city is all about.
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