By Vicki Byrum Dennis
Special to the Herald
February kicks off at Gallerie Renee Marie with a new exhibit, “A Flare of the Heart.”
According to gallery co-owner Stephanie Gray, the theme of love, courtship, heartbreak and the heart itself has been interpreted very differently by each of the 11 artists who make up the contemporary art collective.* “Each of our artists has her or his own voice and medium,” she said. “And each has interpreted the theme through a variety of ways, in photography, jewelry, sculpture, and paintings in all mediums.”
The exhibit will open with a reception on Saturday, February 3 from noon to 5 p.m., in conjunction with Downtown Benicia’s “Wine and Chocolate Walk.” The public is invited.
“I won’t be painting a literal heart,” figurative artist Laura Garcia said. “But in my current paintings, I hope to capture that momentary burst of love and light we can all experience on a daily basis. A flare of the heart can include a burst of feelings and emotions one might experience during a moment of contemplation and reflection. I look forward to seeing all the different ways each artist interprets this theme and shares their expressions of heart.”
Nancy Truax Narciso uses full-sized antique chairs as her canvas, typically incorporating elaborate designs on each piece. For this show, she has chosen to
blend her chairs and the theme.
“I am incorporating personality traits and emotions using my drawings of mid-century chairs,” she said. “I’m going for relationship issues…confrontation, anger, first love, confusion, but all shown in my chairs.”
LorriMarie Jenkins has taken a darker look at love, as shown in pieces like “My Heart is a Hot Mess.” This normally upbeat and optimistic artist decided to play against type for this show.
“Clearly my interpretation of ‘the flare’ is more cinders and ashes, the stuff of broken dreams and hearts,”she said.
“I’m using the gallery’s theme to expose the shadow element of obsessive love,” collage artist Nicky Ruxton said. “What may start out as romantic love sometimes turns unexpectedly into ugly love. The eyes often tell the story of disintegration through pain and maybe even into madness. I’ve chosen to lean into depicting how hurtful love impacts women’s emotional well-being and their mental health.”
Gallerie Renee Marie is a contemporary art co-operative located on First Street in Benicia and is an active participant in The Galleries of First Street, a collective of eight galleries represented on Benicia’s main shopping street. The gallery artists are Renee Marie Jordan, Stephanie Gray, Vicki Byrum Dennis, Laura Garcia, LorriMarie Jenkins, Keri Luiz, Nancy Truax Narciso, Anne Petty, Nicky Ruxton, Stephen Schumm and Robert Schwiebert.
“A Flare of the Heart” will be on display until Saturday, March 10. Gallerie Renee Marie is located at 1038 First St., and is open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information call 707-480-5501, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.galleriereneemarie.com.