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By John A. Barry And Bill Carmel

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About this blog: John Barry is the creator of trAction Painting, a process/performance genre in which he applies paint to large surfaces with bicycles, roller skates, and other wheeled conveyances. With Bill Carmel and other associates, he has bro...  (More)

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Wheels for Meals on Wheels

Uploaded: Sep 15, 2014
It's refreshing and invigorating to find people who support your artistic efforts. I have found such a person in Jennifer Perlmutter, owner of the Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery in Lafayette. Perlmutter is sponsoring me and several other artists at the 2014 Lafayette Art & Wine Festival (September 20-21) to benefit Meals on Wheels. Along with Bill Carmel, Judy Chamberlin, and Kaleo Ching, I will be doing painting demonstrations near the main stage at one of the five biggest outdoor festivals in Contra Costa County. When completed, the paintings we create will be auctioned, with proceeds going to Meals on Wheels.

"Live painting feeds off the energy and atmosphere of the crowd and music. I am thrilled to debut trAction Painting at the Lafayette Art and Wine festival plus give these dynamic painters an audience to play with! A perfect fit of fun and creativity," says Perlmutter, whose gallery will be open 10 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. the weekend of the festival.

Due to space limitations, Carmel and I will demonstrate a scaled-down version of trAction Painting by using toy cars and other small wheeled vehicles. In its full-blown form, the genre I created employs bikes, skates, scooters, and a walker, whose wheels are "brushes" that create large canvases. Although I'm learning to draw and paint conventionally, I've been riding a bike since I was a kid, and I've incorporated this age-old skill into a new form of expression. Beyond painting with bikes, however, my goal is to develop a multidisciplinary curriculum based on the concepts of transformative thinking and repurposing, key components of trAction Painting. The first proof of concept came last summer, when we ran a summer camp program in which elementary school students created a beautiful14 x 7-foot trAction painting, which will be on display at the gallery.

From the large to the small, emphasizing the interdisciplinary, art educator Carmel notes: "This will be great fun, painting with new kinds of tools, especially with the live music next to us."

Perlmutter is also an exponent of art education, featuring "Kids Draw" events at her venue, Art workshops for all levels, and artist talks. A professional artist since 1998, Perlmutter opened her gallery "to engage more with the public, empower other artists, and elevate the conversation about art in this region."

Our colleagues in color are Judy Chamberlin and Kaleo Ching. Chamberlin (judychamberlinart.com) is a Walnut Creek artist who paints in many styles, including naturalistic, biomorphic, and large-scale realism. Ching (kaleoching.com) is a multimedia artist, teacher, healer, and writer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He and wife Elise have just published their third book, The Creative Art of Living, Dying, and Renewal, from Random House.

The Lafayette Art & Wine Festival features art, handmade crafts, foods from top local restaurants, and wines and microbrews. We live-painting artists are indebted to Jennifer Perlmutter for joining forces with us at this event. If you attend, check out her gallery, located at 3620 Mt. Diablo Blvd.

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