DanvilleSanRamon.com

Newsfront - November 9, 2007

Now hanging downtown

Philip Hellsten was the featured artist last Saturday at the Pioneer Art Gallery. Food for the reception was provided by Faz, whose restaurant is next door to the gallery, plus he is one of the portraits in Hellsten's collection.

Hellsten's art on display features portraits done in acrylic paint using 12 steps of a grayscale. The medium challenges the viewer's eye - whereas a painting might look like a collection of squares close up, stepping back brings it into focus to reveal the subject. Hellsten painted an image of St. Jude, the Patron of Lost Causes, on a block, which shows the illusion very effectively. A square block sitting on a pedestal under a glass protector is titled "Six Nuts," and has an image of a famous psychiatrist on each side, plus one of Hellsten himself. Move the cube to hear the pattering of nutshells.

The Pioneer Art Gallery, at 524 Hartz Ave. in downtown Danville, exhibits art by members of the Alamo Danville Artists' Society. The building was recently purchased by Alamo developer Brad Blake, who plans to tear it down, and he is allowing the artist's group use of it for six months.

ADAS members pitched in with remodeling, repainting and installing track lights in a matter of days to open the gallery in time for the Danville Fall Crafts Festival on Oct. 20-21. It will now feature a member artist every two weeks with a reception. The building at one time was home to the beloved Valley Pioneer newspaper, so the group chose to honor this history with its name for the gallery.

The Pioneer Art Gallery is open 5-9 p.m. Fridays; 1-9 p.m. Saturdays, and 1-5 p.m. Sundays.

Dolores Fox Ciardelli

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