Current & Upcoming Exhibits

The gallery is open Thursday – Sunday, Noon – 5pm, during exhibitions. Admission is free to the public.

2012 Weeks 31-32-33, Carol Ladewig

Equilibrium: Kim Thoman, Donna Fenstermaker, Carol Ladewig
February 16 – March 17, 2018
Reception: Friday, Feb 16, 7-9 pm

Wikipedia describes equilibrium as “the condition of a system in which all competing influences are balanced.” In all forms of physical, life, and psychological sciences, it’s a state of balance that is fundamental, the lack of which would lead to agitation or chaos. For the world to function in order and harmony, equilibrium is essential and inherent.

Fremont’s Olive Hyde Art Gallery opens its new exhibit Equilibrium: Kim Thoman, Donna Fenstermaker, and Carol Ladewig, with an Artists’ Reception on February 16, 2018 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. The exhibit will run through March 18, 2018.

The displayed works demonstrate distinct perspectives through a variety of mediums such as metal, oil, acrylic, and watercolor to achieve an equilibrium of elements reflecting the natural order. All three artists have been making art for over three decades, and they have exhibited extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the nation.

Carol Ladewig’s work focuses on the abstract concept of time, in which we move through this world. She explores how we structure and experience time. In one of her series, she layers colors and sometimes images to reflect memories and the passage of time.

Winter 2016, Carol Ladewig

It is her belief that color is a visual language that everyone perceives and responds to differently, particularly when colors are juxtaposed against each other. As she remarks, “color is fascinating to [her] as it is one of the most variable elements: it changes with light and context, as one color impacts our perception of the others around it.”

The Year in Color project focuses on giving a literal and visual shape to the great abstraction of time. In her daily color paintings from past few years, Carol finds “a continuation of the serial, accumulative nature” of artwork that she began during her graduate study.

Her new work, however, investigates painting as a process and is driven by the experience itself. In this new series of paintings, she “explores a range of formal possibilities to create spaces that are expansive and meditative.” A sense of time and rhythm permeates her work, developing from the “exploration of color, the physicality of paint, and the process of painting.”

Sleeping Trees 3, Donna Fenstermaker

Carol received a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and MFA from the California College of the Arts, Oakland, where she also received a 1991 Barclay Simpson Award and Exhibition. She has been teaching art at Diablo Valley College since 2001.

Donna Fenstermaker’s work combines abstraction with a realist sensibility in her depiction of the natural world she encounters. Her paintings in oil or watercolor move back and forth, on the continuum of landscape painting and pure abstraction. She focuses on light, texture and structure of this world.

“Simply put, I am a landscape painter,” says Donna, “but deeper than that fact, I am also an abstract painter and I reference nature.” She is inspired by form, light, color and composition in the surrounding landscapes. Her small format oil paintings done on panel, sometimes with silk or linen applied to the surface, are like intimate windows into the landscape. Donna also paints in watercolor, because of its meditative quality. “Watercolor almost paints itself,” she says.

In the summer of 2014, Donna visited the Noguchi Museum in New York. The marks on the surface of his stone sculptures appeared to her as drawings. During this trip, she also viewed some of Paul Klee’s work.

Birches, Donna Fenstermaker

His transfer print drawings are printing ink mixed with watercolor on a laid paper. Inspired by Klee’s minimalism and the strike marks in the stonework of Noguchi, Donna came up with her IN series, named after Isamu Noguchi.

Donna earned her BA in Ceramics from San Jose State University, and MFA in Printmaking from California College of the Arts, Oakland. She currently teaches at the Contra Costa College in San Pablo and Los Medanos College in Pittsburg and Brentwood.

Kim Thoman’s work uses the depiction and abstraction of plant forms as a metaphor to explore the processes of change and growth. Using a combination of materials, she poses questions about the dualities of nature and life.

She was a recipient of a grant at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of Taos, New Mexico. Her other awards include the Vermont Studio Center Residency Grant and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Change Grant.

They 6, Kim Thoman

Pursuing an early interest in art, Kim studied ceramics at University of California at Davis, followed by painting and drawing at Berkeley, and received her BA in 1972. Graduate work at San Francisco State University culminated in an MFA in ceramic sculpture in 1979. Kim taught in the Art Department at Peralta Community College until she retired in 2012. About four years ago, she discovered 3D printing which ignited her “long-dormant interest in exploring sculptural dimension.” Today, she continues with painting and sculpture to expand her core beliefs that duality exists in everything.

“Duality feeds my creativity,” says Kim. Her They Series is an abstracted figurative form that references the Crucifixion as a metaphor for duality – human vs. deity or body vs. soul. The feet, made from metal, could be perceived as nailed or tied together, or as feminine pointy toes. The body is the painting, where “forms of nature and plant life hatch out during the process, representing the regenerative and life affirming,” again reinforcing the feminine aspect. These works reference the duality of male energy vs. female energy.

They 5, Kim Thoman

The Shortstop Tangle Series was created to accompany the They Series. These works provided opportunities for compositions and ideas to be tried out before committing to a final product. In her own words, Kim’s “artwork aims to bring the duality of contrasting energy forces into balance.” She strives to “present opposite sides of any truth in order to see the real picture.”

You are invited to come meet the artists and enjoy the equilibrium in their artwork.

Hidden Treasures / Local Talent
May 11 – June 9, 2018
Reception: Friday, May 18, 7-9 pm