Several North Bay Art Galleries Open Up with Live Receptions

The North Bay is opening back up after more than a year in isolation, as Covid restrictions slowly, but surely, continue to ease and vaccination numbers increase.

In Sonoma, Napa and Marin counties, art galleries are leading the way in this reopening, and several shows open to distanced crowds this weekend and next.

In Healdsburg, the massive Paul Mahder Gallery is opening a solo exhibition by artist Lisa R. Fredenthal-Lee that features art made from envelopes. “Cut, Snipped, Torn & Pasted” includes many intricate and evocative collage works of art that can easily be viewed in-person while maintaining distance in the gallery, which is the largest of its kind north of Los Angeles.

“Scissors were my first tool. Paper and paste my first materials,” writes Fredenthal-Lee in her artist statement. “In development for 5 years, my current work is a return to a beginning. With a lifelong love, and respect for castoff materials, I am inspired by this common throwaway. The envelope.”

“Cut, Snipped, Torn & Pasted” opens on Saturday, April 24, at 4pm. 222 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg. Free; RSVP available at paulmahdergallery.com.

In St. Helena, the art community pays tribute to a dearly departed friend and artist in the “Gregory Kondos Tribute Exhibition” at Caldwell Snyder Gallery. Kondos, who was born in 1923 and passed away in March of this year shortly before his 98th birthday, was recognized as a virtuosic landscape painter not only in his hometown of Sacramento, but around the world.

Along with his painting career, Kondos taught for many years at California State University, Sacramento, where he was a beloved figure. His work resides in numerous collections, including the SFMoMA, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Shanghai Art Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum, and more. Mrs. Moni Van Kamp Kondos will be in attendance when this retrospective collection of her husband’s paintings opens with a reception on Saturday, April 24, at 2pm. 1328 Main St., St. Helena. caldwellsnyder.com.

Marin County artists Richard Blair and Kathleen Goodwin are known for their coffee table art books like Point Reyes Visions. They rarely exhibit on walls, though Goodwin’s large original paintings and Blair’s sharp photographs are showing in the exhibit “The Astonishing Beauty of Point Reyes” at Toby’s Gallery in Point Reyes Station.

Goodwin and Blair both photograph Point Reyes landscapes during peak light. Goodwin then projects the images on canvas to make her art, and Blair turns his images into black-and-white photographs in the vein of Ansel Adams. Both artists will be on hand for the show’s opening reception on Saturday, May 1, at Toby’s Gallery, 11250 Highway One, Point Reyes Station. 2pm to 4pm. blairgoodwin.com.

Sonoma County artists Lisa Beerntsen and Tony Speirs are acclaimed for their paintings and teachings. Now, the artists work together for the exhibit “Los Dos: Lisa Beerntsen & Tony Speirs Collaborative Works” at Sofie Contemporary Arts in Calistoga.

The art is inspired by the artists’ travels, and reflects those adventures. The pieces on display seem like vintage postcards from other places and times, both real and imagined, and the works feature folk and pop-culture imagery interwoven with political and cultural commentary. “Los Dos” includes these collaborative works and the artists’ individual pieces when it opens on Saturday, May 1, at Sofie Contemporary Arts, 1407 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga. 4pm to 7pm. Sofiegallery.com.

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Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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