Published July 6th, 2011
Glover Retrospective Opens at SMC's Hearst Gallery
By Andrea A. Firth
Early Glover fashion illustration provided
When Anne Marie Glover cleaned out her mother's garage after she had passed away, she made a remarkable discovery. "I found artwork of my mom's, wrapped in newspapers dating back to World War II, that had been untouched for over forty years." The art stash included paper sketches, drawings, and a bag of work from her mother's time living in Australia. "It took my breath away," says Anne Marie, who quickly realized that this new found trove of old artwork by her mother, the iconic plein air painter Pam Glover, was special. Anne Marie called Julie Armistead, Collections Manager at the Hearst Gallery on the campus of Saint Mary's College in Moraga, to come take a look. Armistead is very familiar with Pam's artwork having curated two earlier exhibits at the gallery that included her plein air landscapes.
On Sunday, July 10th, the Hearst Gallery will open a third exhibit of Pam's work, her first solo exhibit, a retrospective entitled, Pam Glover: A Life in Art. The exhibit includes her earliest work done as a child growing up in China and Australia, her rarely seen commercial work in fashion art and advertising, snowy landscapes painted with her daughter in Switzerland, examples of her exploration into mixed media in the 1960's and 70's, and 60 California plein air landscapes. For people who knew Pam and admirers of her work, seeing the volume and variety of her work all together in the exhibit will be a transformative experience, says Heidi Donner of the Hearst Gallery.
The entrance of the gallery and first room are filled with Pam's vibrant, colorful plein air landscapes-the work she is best known for and a movement she helped to establish in the Bay Area. The oil on canvas paintings depict her favorite scenes throughout Northern California and the wall text alongside the artwork provides delightful insights and anecdotes from Anne Marie and some of Pam's art colleagues about where, when and how the artwork was created. "She made ordinary things beautiful; spots along the freeway, clothes hanging on the line next to a couple of gangly sunflowers along the side of a house," says Donner.
An atmospheric painting of Mount Diablo in the far right corner of the front room sets the tone for a shift to several European landscapes which line the walls of the walkway that connects to the next room. The exhibit also includes a display of some of the artist's tools: her original easel and palette and the puffy blue jacket and paint-covered black apron she wore. The second half of the exhibit is a venture back in time showcasing Pam's earliest work, which includes art school assignments, portraits of Chinese children, and fashion art juxtaposed with the newsprint advertisements in which it was used. Her training, technical ability, and talent is evident from the outset and explains why her plein air work looks so effortless but really is not, says Donner.
A panel discussion led by Sarah Beserra, an art historian specializing in Western plein air painting, will be held at the Claeys Lounge at Saint Mary's at 2:00 p.m. on July 10th and includes artists Teresa Onoda, Warren Dresher, and Susan Kendall who painted outdoors with Pam over the years. The panel and the reception to follow are free. For more information go to or call (925) 631-4379.
Pam Glover, Town on Hill Images provided
Pam Glover, My Studio No. 2,1996, oil on canvas, Glover family collection

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