Published October 31st, 2018
Holiday magic at the Moraga Art Gallery
By Sophie Braccini
Work by ceramist Donna Arganbright on display Photos Sophie Braccini
The quaint art gallery in Moraga's Rheem Shopping Center has curated for the end of the year a show that combines beautiful objects, unique jewelry and diverse paintings. Always driven by a need to create uniqueness, the artists present a wide palette for art aficionados and people looking to give their loved ones - or themselves - something that will endure as a testimony of human creativity.

The show, "Holiday Magic in Porcelain and Paint," will be on display through Jan. 5. The two featured artists are plein-air painter Maria SantoStefano and ceramist Donna Arganbright.

SantoStefano's work captures the light and shade, and the colors of Northern California landscape. Her compositions often feature a pastoral scene that include some type of building, barn or old house, and expose brilliant gradients of reds, greens, blues and earthy tones on display as seasons change. A student of Anne Marie Glover and Pam Glover, the affiliation is certainly recognizable, but SantoStefano adds a boldness and creativity all her own.

Where SantoStefano offers beauty and dream, Arganbright and her ceramics bring humor and color into everyday objects. Her bowls, pitchers, mugs or trays are a charming way to bring the special and unique into our world. SantoStefano's technique is flawless, the shapes she creates are harmonious and the colors are vibrant without being aggressive.

The gallery also features the creations of several other notable local artists in many different genres.

One of them is Jyotsna Singh, the granddaughter of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala who said she inherited her grandfather's passion for jewelry. She brings to the Moraga Art Gallery a limited edition of her new Manjusha collection that was designed for the Legion of Honor Museum gift shop. The elements of the collection available in Moraga are of exquisite craftsmanship, with a definitely modern East-meets-West flavor. The earrings, necklaces and bracelets are beautifully detailed yet easy to wear everyday. The reasonable pricing will make it an simple choice as a gift.

Many other artists worthy of consideration will attract the attention of visitors. Anna W. Edwards from San Leandro has several mesmerizing abstract paintings on display inspired by sunsets that the painter experienced all over the world. K. de Groot jewelry, creations often based on antique Asian pieces are also on display, including some new works by the artist that demonstrate her talent for balance and discriminatory elegance.

George Ehrenhaft's watercolors, inspired by the local scene or Yosemite, always bring a sense to calm poetry and soft happiness, while Pam Murray's creative collage energizes the whole gallery.

The gallery located at 522 Center St, close to T.J. Maxx is open from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, visit at

Collage by Pam Murray

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Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA