The Discovery Series is an annual exhibit dedicated to encouraging a wide range of local and regional artists in the exploration of their respective media and conceptual development.
Reception: Saturday, July 16, 5-7 PM
This year’s group exhibit features symbolic, mythic and observational artworks which blur the boundaries of portraiture. Carolyn Arredondo photographs women in the nude to normalize their natural form. Lisa Freeman-
Wood paints flowers for their beauty and therapeutic power. Kevin Whalen sculpts fictional spirit animals in clay to explore nature, the future and the spiritual worlds. David Thomas Ruiz paints self-portraits that address relevant personal concerns through profound historical and mythical events.
This exhibition is generously sponsored by Ann & Tony Slocum.
Flowers have a transformative presence. There is beauty and function in a flower. Flowers play a vital role in the continuity of nature, in the creation of seeds. I particularly love roses. I love their graceful lines, the way they grow in space, the range of colors, sizes, and their scent. I try to honor their ephemeral nature by painting them as close to real as possible so that their fleeting life is captured. As Henry Beecher Ward said, “Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into.”
I started my Rose Series in December 2019 and will continue for the foreseeable future. Painting beauty is particularly vital to me because I live surrounded by the devastation and destruction of the Paradise, California Camp Fire that occurred November 8, 2018. I know many roses are hybridized or modified but they don’t know or care, they just bloom, taking shape and existing in space with abandon. I take my own photos of flowers in order to paint them. My friends and husband know that I stop for flowers everywhere and have taken many pictures in my friend’s gardens.
Freeman-Wood resides in Magalia, California. She has served on the board of Chico Art Center as Vice President for two years and continues to serve as President.
I specialize in women empowerment, birth, and motherhood portraiture. I normalize non-sexual nudity and help empower women to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin, unapologetically and authentically with ease. Growing up, I saw generations of women in my family struggle with self love and self care. I felt confused when I heard negative self-talk coming from the beautiful souls I was looking at. In turn, I did the same. Through my own journey I became aware of the pattern, connected the dots and I am now actively choosing another way. I serve the movement that empowers women to accept ourselves with love and grace. My style can be described as artistic documentary. I love to flow with the natural environment of the present moment.
Arredondo lives and works in Los Angeles, California and formerly served on the Board of Directors at Chico Art Center. For more info, visit her website, Loose Beauty Photography.
I employ fictional spirit animals in my artwork to explore nature, the future and the spiritual worlds. I enjoy utilizing animals because they are everywhere in the world, create food and clothing options and have a long history of spiritual abilities amongst different cultures. My musical background adds a dimension to my approach, as nothing is completely planned out beyond a sketch and a theme. In ceramics, I like to let the clay speak to me and try not to overthink what I’m doing. I like letting the clay evolve on its own in my hands and sometimes I even surprise myself with the results.
Animals have many relations with humans, including working and living together and being companions and pets. Many cultures have sought dominion over nature, causing extinction to animals and injuring their environments. I try to give a voice to animals through fictional and non-fictional deities, by utilizing cultural history and environmental science. I always find interest in how others interpret any type of art and hopefully instill reflection of some environmental thoughts into the viewers mind.
Whalen is a visual artist and musician based in South Lake Tahoe, California. He is an artist and board member of Tahoe Art League.
David Thomas Ruiz
The work Self-Portrait with Skeleton portrays me standing next to a human skeleton. Careful examination reveals that it has been assembled, prepared for anatomical study, and suspended by a thin monofilament line. As the skeleton has such a metaphoric portent, viewers interpret the work through their understanding of life, death, and spirituality. It examines our physical, ephemeral nature and confronts death directly.
Ruiz teaches studio art at the college level in Butte County and lives in Chico, California.