“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

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Raphael Delgado Studio Visit

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

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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UC Davis 1st year MFA show returns to Beatnik

Art is a universal language that has the ability to communicate with people in all different walks of life. Working with academic artists is always a good reminder that creative expression has this unique and powerful transcendent quality. There is an immeasurable value to experiencing artwork which can bring deep meaning and new ideas to the human psyche. This is a value worthy of deep thought and community support. After all, our community is only as beautiful as our ideas allow it to be.

The graduate students from the UC Davis Masters of Fine Arts program are getting ready to open “Field Notes” this Friday, May 5th at Beatnik. Come by the opening reception and join dive into the creative exploration of these fantastic explorers.
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