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Lincoln’s art scene has been exploding, expanding

By: Paul Apfel Special to The News Messenger
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Use explosion and expansion to describe the Lincoln area art scene as venues and artists have burst in the public eye over the past two years. Loomis’ High Hand Gallery celebrates two years this month, having opened their doors in October 2008 while The Place! held its first year anniversary this past August. The Lincoln Hills Art Association draws visitors to its shows in Lincoln Hills and a new artists’ group in Newcastle recently displayed their works in the downtown Umpqua Bank gallery. Local restaurants displaying art include Simple Pleasures on 5th street and Mina’s Coffee Café in Lincoln Hills. Of course, Lincoln Arts has been a venerable fixture in Lincoln since 1986 and continues to hold its annual Feats of Clay festival in May plus various art exhibitions throughout the year. But it’s the artists who make the venues and keep our environment interesting. Beginning this month, we will occasionally feature individual artists who display not only locally but in other Northern California venues as well. Charlotte Cooper, an artist specializing in encaustic paintings and metal sculpture, is one such artist. Charlotte opened her current show at the Blue Wing Gallery at 4015 Main St. in Woodland with a reception on Oct. 8. The show, entitled “Shining Through,” runs through Sunday. Charlotte is one of two professional artists in this area teaching the ancient encaustic method, which traces its roots back some 2,500 years. The basic medium, used in a molten state, is a combination of beeswax, tree resin and pigment. Used by the ancient Greeks throughout the Mediterranean, “it is incredibly stable,” according to Charlotte, and “resisting temperature up to 175 degrees.” When asked why she likes to work in this medium, Charlotte highlighted many features including the luscious colors, translucency, immediacy – it cools quickly – “and it smells good.” Her metal sculpture shows the dedication to her craft honed at Sierra College where she says “they have wonderful equipment and a marvelous site.” Heating the metal is “exciting,” as she describes how the metal becomes “malleable and changes colors.” Charlotte is currently showing at Hang It Up Gallery in El Dorado Hills, High Hand Gallery in Loomis and Blue Wing in Woodland. She also teaches encaustic painting techniques at the Learning Exchange. While on an art visit this past weekend, we also came upon classic sculptor Viktor Verhoved’s exhibit at the Blue Moon Gallery in Sacramento. Visitors to the annual Feats of Clay who have toured the Gladding McBean clay factory have seen Viktor in the modeling area crafting the more complex architectural terra cotta works. The current Blue Moon exhibit features Viktor and painter Christine Capelle. Capelle paints in an abstract and representational style with mixed media. Their show runs through Nov. 6. The gallery is located at 2353 Albatross Way in Sacramento. On a final note, check out the current show at the High Hand Gallery, entitled ArtStock 2010. It runs through Nov. 7. This sculpture exhibition includes metal, clay, fabric and mixed media. Paul Apfel writes on art in and around Lincoln. He can be reached at papfel@ starstream.net.