Imagine That

Popular art fundraiser MarinScapes gets fresh look

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MarinScapes has been a popular summer tradition in Marin for 31 years, though it’s never looked quite like this. The annual art exhibition and sale that returns to Escalle Winery in Larkspur on June 20-23 and supports the work of Buckelew Programs is being dubbed MarinScapes Reimagined 2019, featuring guest curators Donna Seager and Suzanne Gray of Mill Valley’s Seager/Gray Gallery and boasting a new twist on the plein-air landscape paintings that usually adorn the event.

“MarinScapes is so beloved by the community, and we have a wonderful group of artists that return every year,” says Buckelew Programs Director of Development Katrin Ciaffa. “This year, we wanted to look at a new perspective, to reinvent ourselves a little bit.”

To that end, Buckelew invited Seager and Gray to act as a new set of eyes for the fundraiser, and they developed the concept of “The Invented Landscape,” displaying abstract and other interpretations of landscape paintings in addition to the traditional Marin County landscape art and photography that event goers are used to.

“I think it fits really well with what Buckelew Programs does,” says Ciaffa. “Because we provide mental health and addiction services, and recovery is all about reimagining your life, imagining that things are going to be different.”

Founded in 1970, Buckelew Programs provides a wide range of services for nearly 10,000 adults and children throughout the North Bayincluding outpatient counseling programs, a regional suicide prevention hotline and outreach program and supportive housing and employment services.

“Because mental health really affects the whole community, not just the person diagnosed with an illness, but their family and friends, we try to provide services that help everybody,” says Ciaffa.

For their part, Seager and Gray were elated to curate this year’s event. “It’s a time-honored tradition,” says Seager. “I’ve always loved MarinScapes and those plein-air paintings they show.”

In reimagining the event, Seager says they decided to go big, noting that several pieces in the show are large-scale art installations. Exhibiting artists who put the abstract spin on the show include Kim Ford Kitz, who Seager says gets the bones of a landscape down on canvas before she plays with paint; Carole Pierce, whose paintings Seager describes as “the feeling of light filtered through trees”; and Sanjay Vora, whose works Seager compares to a visualized memory with a gauze-like texture overlaying the landscape.

Other local artists displaying during MarinScapes includes Kathleen Lipinski, Tom Killion and Susan Schneider Williams.

Advance tickets to MarinScapes are recommended, as Thursday’s opening gala is already sold-out. Friday night features an artist reception, and Saturday and Sunday both begin with art talks by Seager and Killion, respectively.

MarinScapes also takes advantage of its location within Escalle Winery, in the hills of Larkspur and usually closed to the public. “It’s a bucolic property,” says Ciaffa. “People are always stunned by the beauty of the location and the art.”

MarinScapes Reimagined 2019 takes place Jun 20-23, at Escalle Winery, 771 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur. Thursday, Sold-Out; Friday, 5:30pm, $25. Sat-Sun, noon, $20. Saturday’s art talk begins at 11am prior to opening. Tickets and information at buckelew.org.
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