“Living Things,” currently showing at the Long Beach Creative Group’s Gallery, brings unique and diverse interpretations to the exhibit’s theme — living things. Artists’ works on display include Greg Fritsche, Narciso Martinez, Donald Tiscareno, Kay Ruffin, Adonna Khare, Ray Bravo and Helen Cox.
One of Greg Fritsche’s major themes is the beauty of the California landscape, influenced by the early California Impressionists, masters of light and space. Fritsche’s modulated palette always conveys a peaceful sense of place, akin to being able to visualize Copeland’s or Grofe’s music on canvas.
Narciso Martinez, recently seen in a solo exhibit at the Long Beach Museum of Art, composes pieces that reflect upon inequities in agribusiness and the resulting questionable economic systems. Martinez explained, “drawn from my own experience as a farm worker, I pay homage to the people who toil in the fields picking the produce we consume. I hope the work can be a possible catalyst for discussion between the well-off and the less fortunate.”
Martinez’s “Ghost Portraits Series 1-4” are linocut prints mounted as collage. The portraits communicate an eerie message, commanding the viewer to “stare if you dare, and judge.”
Donald Tiscareno shared that, “You’ll see in the three paintings for this exhibit I had no intention of imitating nature. I see everything abstracted. It’s up to the viewer to decide whether or not I was successful. I respect all living things. I will never paint anything that’s dead or dying.” Tiscareno’s pieces are oil on canvas, but convey a sense of rich inlaid wood and mosaic.
Kay Ruffin explained that “my art concerns personal metaphors that are also universal. Through the use of imagery, I express the tension between Good and Evil.” Ruffin’s selections for the show are compositionally akin to kaleidoscopic images, with intricate selections of color and shape.
Adonna Khare is an American master carbon-pencil artist. Her style has been compared to the photo-realistic illustrations of Audubon, but the surreal worlds and strange inhabitants she creates can only spring from her imagination. She says of her process, “I draw how one might sculpt.” Khare’s polar bear drawings lunge from the wall, a mighty feat for carbon-pencil work.
Helen Cox has selected images from her series in progress, “The Millennials,” intimate portraits of the artist’s acquaintances. Cox notes that, “The diversity of the millennials is part of what excites me about them. I love the creative ways they approach the challenges they face.” Each of the three portraits selected for the show appear to have their own color palette, with special emphasis on what the model wanted to express. The portraits include representational and abstract elements, line, shape, color, composition, creating in-depth depictions of the subjects.
The front salon in the gallery has a new exhibit of selected Rod Briggs paintings, always a visual treat.
“Living Things” is on display through April 4 at the Long Beach Creative Group Gallery, 2221 E. Broadway, near Kennebec Avenue. Hours are 4-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call 562-438-7933 or go to www.facebook.com/LongBeachCreativeGroup/ for information.