Published July 10th, 2019
Grand opening of Art and Garden Center gallery curated by Lamorinda Arts Council
By Sora O'Doherty
Photo Sora O'Doherty
The public had the opportunity to meet featured artist Judy Chamberlin of Walnut Creek at the grand opening of the art gallery at the Art and Garden Center at Wilder on July 6. Chamberlin is well known for her large-scale oil and acrylic paintings including figurative work, such as portraits, animals, and murals, in addition to expressive biomorphic abstracts. An example of the latter is "Suddenly," a large painting in vibrant colors which is included in the exhibition.
Chamberlin says that she paints with the intention of producing works that are healing, either to herself or others. She was moved when a veteran who suffered with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder found that her paintings enabled him to still his body, which otherwise was subject to tremors. He purchased a painting on exhibition in Lafayette, and later, several others.
The Lamorinda Arts Council organizes and curates both the existing gallery at the Orinda Library and the new gallery at the Art and Garden center. The goal of the LAC is primarily to highlight local artists. The two galleries are curated by Denise Nomura, Maggie Boscoe, Elana O'Loskey and Bill Carmel. Nomura says that the LAC is "excited to manage this new venue, the Art Gallery at Wilder, to further promote art in our community."
Artists install their own exhibits at both the Art Gallery at Orinda and at Wilder. Nomura explained that, when the exhibits are installed, "we want the viewer to have an enriching experience while looking at the artwork. As such, we think about the artwork layout, how it interacts with each other and we want the flow to make sense. Each exhibit provides its own unique experience."
There is a very efficient hanging system in both galleries that allows the artists a lot of flexibility in positioning their artwork to their liking. In a gallery, hanging systems are of the utmost importance, Nomura explained. "We discovered the Walker Hanging System because we had seen it at The Reutlinger Community in Danville where they have it installed on three floors of their main building. Betty Rothaus, Art Director at The Reutlinger looked at many hanging systems before choosing this one. She had been hanging different kinds of art on it for the past two years and was very happy with its performance. We have had it at the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library now for one year and are very pleased with it."
Nomura also discussed ongoing projects at both the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library and the Art Gallery at Wilder. The LAC is currently seeking grants to provide spot lighting for the artwork. "Each space has adequate lighting for safety but not adequate enough lighting for viewing the artwork, especially on overcast days or in the evening," Nomura said. "We are hoping to add spot lighting in the Art Gallery at Wilder, and at the Orinda Library location we want to add it to the four wood walls across from the library entrance on the second floor."
The Art Gallery at Wilder is currently open by appointment only. Please contact the curator at

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