North Bay Art Galleries Lead the Way with Live Openings

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 Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties, art galleries are among the first venues that are ready for reopening, and several shows open to distanced crowds with live receptions over the next few weeks.

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.

Members of Pacific Rim Sculptors are participating in a new group exhibit in San Rafael that asks the big question of “Beauty or Truth.” the sculptural exhibit is open for virtual or in-person viewing at Art Works Downtown through June 13. The gallery is open to visitors Fridays, 5pm to 8pm; and Saturdays and Sundays, 1pm to 5pm. The show will have virtual receptions on May 14 and June 11 at 6pm at artworksdowntown.org.

O’Hanlon Center for the Arts in Mill Valley is also welcoming visitors back to the gallery for its latest in-person exhibit, “Movement.” The show–juried by dancer, poet, teacher and author Daria Halprin–features paintings, ceramics, photographs and mixed media works that convey rhythm or a sense of action. O’Hanlon is currently alternating between in-person and virtual gallery shows, and “Movement” is open for by-appointment viewing Thursdays and Fridays, 1pm to 3pm; or Saturdays, 11am to 1pm, through May 21. The gallery’s next scheduled in-person exhibit is “Local Inspiration,” opening in June. Get details at ohanloncenter.org.

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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