Thursday, October 22, 2009

Asylum Gallery Gone

It was last December when the artist members of Asylum Gallery decided to call it quits. We still weren't selling enough art to cover our expenses and the artists could not longer afford to support the gallery in these tough economic times.

We would like to thank all the artists who showed at the gallery over the years and especially those mail artists who sent us work from all over the world to raise money for the Women's Wisdom Project in Sacramento.

Here are links to all the artist members who have websites:

Ann Tracy

Cherie Hacker

Bill Obernesser

Linda Katzdorn

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Artists' Reception Saturday Night November 15th

Come on down to the gallery this Saturday night from 6 to 9 pm and beat the 2nd Saturday crowds! All the local artists will be there including Curtis Bond, Jack Hastings, Jodie Hooker, Jim Klein, Develyn Marshall, Terry Oliver, Chris Schiller & Michael Smith.

Curtis Bond has been a photographer for over 25 years. He received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from UC Davis and has been a practicing social worker and counselor since 1995. His passion for nature and work as a healer continue to inspire and enhance his artistic process and expression.

“My art typically starts with something simple that catches my eye and somehow resonates emotionally. I then look to see where this object lives, in what context it finds itself, and look to juxtapose the object and the surroundings in such a way that enhances the original mood and suggests a deeper meaning. The way I frame and compose my work tends to be more visceral than cerebral, playing with the placement and spacing until it “feels right”. When I’m done, the work speaks to my senses and emotions through light and shadow, color and form, in such a way that I can see “out there” what I feel and experience “in here.” As a counselor and as a human being, I value authentic expression as a means of finding connectedness and understanding in a complex world. Through sharing myself honestly in these images, I hope that others will find a sense of connection and understanding as well.”

Robyn Desposito lives and works in New York City. She has shown widely in the United States and abroad with concentrated shows in New York’s Lower East Side and Brooklyn galleries. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines including Art in America. Apart from exhibiting her artwork, Robyn has explored her curatorial side with the art collectives OpenGround and The Exhibitionists. Most recently she will be featured at Fountain 2008 in Miami this December.

Jack Hastings is a Sacramento-based musician, songwriter and performer with Surrealist/Fluxist musical/theatrical troupe, Pink Toupee Collective as well as a member of the bands dRAW PiNKY and Hell Toupee. He also serves as their chief graphic designer, photographer and webmaster. Jack studied photography at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco and at Los Angeles City College before obtaining a degree in an entirely unrelated field. More of his work can be seen and heard at

“Any collection of photographs is an exercise in Surrealist montage and the Surrealist abbreviation of history.” So says Susan Sontag in On Photography. I have always embraced Surrealism’s sense of ironic playfulness. In the Tunguska Triptych, I celebrate the most recent reminder of Earth’s vulnerability to the billiard table physics of the cosmos: the explosion of an asteroid over Tunguska, Siberia in 1908. The fact that we are subject, at any moment, to an event of cosmic extinction is, to me, a source of both fascination and dread. We tend to forget (or perhaps we are not equipped to grasp) that the ephemeral nature of existence applies to us as a species as much as it does to us as individuals.”

Jodie Hooker is a professor of photography at American River College. (M.F.A., State University of New York at Buffalo; M.S.Art Education, Alfred University, Alfred

New York; B.F.A., Alfred University, Alfred, New York)

Chartres Cathedral Series, Gum Bichromate prints with various permanent pigments on BFK Rives paper, average print size 8.5x11”.

“As I study photographs I am drawn to ideas involving the nature of reality and the perception of the photograph as real. Painting, on the other hand, is seen as created or subjective. Gum printing from digital negatives combines these ideas into one process. The negative is straight and produced in a digital environment, the print is made by brushing light sensitive chemicals and pure pigment onto art papers as a painter would. The resulting alternative process photographs are unique one-of-a-kind photographs and visual surprises are the norm. By working in a combination of straight digital photography and alternative process photography I am able to communicate the relationship between subjective and objective reality. The interchange between the observed world and the experienced world is the subject matter of these gum prints of Chartres Cathedral.”

Jim Klein - There's so much to see around us, but if we slow down to observe and contemplate, new dimensions of the world emerge to invigorate and enrich and add wonder to our lives. We then begin to challenge our usual views and thinking of the world to expand our consciousness of its infinite beauty and complexity. This is the purpose of art, and my challenge in photography: To view the world in a fuller way to capture it for myself and others in a printed image to enrich our lives.

The photograph entitled “SS Petri et Pauli” is of a church of the same name built in 1903 in Bow Valley, Nebraska, built by German Catholics, and which my mom attended when growing up here. Elegant, meticulously designed and assiduously maintained for over a century, it reminded me so much of the churches one sees in Europe, yet this is located in the rural Midwest, and serves as a real testament to the faith and dedication of these folks.

“Next Harvest” was taken outside a winery in the Anderson Valley, inland from the Mendocino coast. It suggests to me the spirit and hard work of the individual laborers who harvest the grapes in this region: Uncomplaining, they work their bodies untiringly year after year, and then are set aside out-of-sight between harvests until they are once again called upon to serve others for the harvest

Devalyn Marshall was a featured artist in the Digital Abstract & Pattern Magazine published by Aloramyst Media/Issuu. Her work as been displayed and auctioned in the Obama for America Campaign, including a fundraiser held at the Bricka Bracka Art Gallery in Sacramento CA. Several of Devalyn’s pieces have been featured in online Art galleries. Her art gallery can be view at

“Since my first view of Romare Bearden’s ‘Blue in the Smoke of War White the Bones of Men’ painting, I have had a great passion for abstract art. I feel with abstract art, the viewer is exposed to the artist’s creativity in a way that opens up the viewer’s own creativity and imagination. The viewer’s mind has an opportunity to create its own interpretation of the piece of art. In 2005 I began producing digital abstract art using pieces of my own digital photography. In this I have found great expressive satisfaction.”

In nineteen seventy-seven, Josh McGrath was given a chance at life in what is now a bankrupt hospital near Interstate-25 in the central New Mexican city of Albuquerque. Most of his first twenty-two years were spent in the valley of the aptly named Sandia Mountains of that peculiar, enchanting city with its high desert climate, billowing tumbleweeds and rusting 1950's signage. Educated in a mishmash of subject material at the University of New Mexico, he also had an unsuccessful two-year stint in a PhD program at Rutgers University. After college, he wandered around the dangerous boutiques and trust-fund babies of East Village, NYC for seven years. In two thousand and seven, he relocated all that could fit into a Civic, with a small hole punched out for the review mirror, and trekked to Austin, Texas where he now dwells in an unusual house.

Exhibitions include: Los Griegos Public Library, Albuquerque New Mexico, one person show, November 2008.; Upstream People Gallery, on-line exhibition, special recognition "Perched", November 2008; Target Gallery, 5"X5"X5", Alexandria, Virginia, December 2008 – January 2009; Oso Art Gallery, Capitan, New Mexico, November 2008.

Booker "Terry" Oliver grew up in Columbus, Ohio and after a stint in the military, began a 24-year career in the real estate title insurance industry. Terry relocated to Sacramento County in 2002 and soon after received a camera as a gift. It didn't take him long to combine his fondness of the valley with his newly discovered love of photography. Terry lives in Midtown - Sacramento with his wife, Sheila, and their four pugs.

Christopher Schiller -

“I have been photographing the American West for over 20 years. I seek out places and views which have rarely or never been photographed before. To do this, I frequently hike far from roads to places which can only be reached on foot with a backpack full of cameras, lenses and film. Once at a scene, I use my camera as another way to explore the light and the landscape. Crack Canyon brings all these intentions and elements together. It was captured deep in a rarely visited canyon in Southern Utah, far from National Parks and beaten paths. In such canyons there is light and silence, beauty and bare stone. Photographing these canyons is like exploring a cathedral, every rampart and niche containing secrets and relicts of nature.

The writer Barry Lopez has said: "The desire I experience most keenly when I travel in landscapes is for intimacy with the land. I have learned that I will not experience the exhilaration intimacy brings unless I become vulnerable to the place. The practice I strive for when I travel is to meet the land as if it were a person. To encounter it as if it were as deep in its meaning as human personality. I wait for it to speak." The land speaks to me in a similar way, and I strive to capture its voice through my photographs.”

Michael D. Smith creates abstract/surreal art by severely manipulating photography. His works are often mistaken for paintings. Michael’s technique and imagination define his “cutting edge” unique style. He has combined old and new technologies to create an award winning hybrid form of artistic expression. Michael has created art much of his life in various forms. It has mostly been job or hobby related and secondary to other interest. After retiring from the Sheet Metal trade, He started to experiment with creating art by manipulating photographs. As it turned out he developed a technique that is fairly unique and produces interesting art. His main focus is to create art that is entertaining. Much of his work is better suited art for collectors than decorators.

Imagine This conjures up visions of objects that are nonexistent. When closely inspected the viewer will find that many of these objects are not actually on the canvas. The shapes, colors and orientation of unknown objects imply the existence of objects that viewer sees. Much of how it is interpreted is based on the individual’s imagination.

Corporate Global Dominance implies that global corporations rather than governments are controlling and manipulating the world. There are insinuating symbols, icons, and connections that represent their priorities, behaviors, and results

Sea Life is a scene the looks as though it is under the sea. There are many suggestive objects. Viewers may see other objects that only exist in their mind.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Asylum Artists' Antics - Redux

Two of Asylum Gallery's artists - Cherie Hacker and Ann Tracy - will be showing and selling work at the St, Mary's Fine Arts & Craft Show, Saturday November 15th from 10 am to 4 pm. Not only will you see our work, but the work of many other fine artists and crafts people PLUS live entertainment and a kids' craft area and an art raffle.

It's all happening at the Giovanni Hall, 58th & M Streets in East Sacramento. Admission is $3 advance (call 452-1100 or email, $5 at the door and free for kids under 12 years old.

All proceeds will benefit the children and programs of St. Mary's School. Both Cherie and I will donate work for the art raffle. We'd love to see you there.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Coming Attractions

You've still got another weekend to catch the Emerging Artist Show at the gallery and you really should. It's an incredibly diverse collection of work curated by Cherie Hacker. Next up is the National Juried Digital Art and Photo Show.

Work from ten artists from New York to California has been accepted into the National Juried Digital Art & Photography Exhibit at Asylum Gallery, 1719 25th St., Sacramento CA 95816. Jurors for this show were Kent Lacin, a well known commercial and fine art photographer and Marcelle Wiggins, a digital and mixed media artist and professor at CSUS and Cosumnes River College. The exhibit opens with an artists’ reception November 15th from 6 to 9 pm and continues Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 pm until December 21st. A Second Saturday reception is also planned for December 13th from 6 to 9 pm.

The artists in this exhibit are Curtis Bond, Robyn Desposito, Jack Hastings, Jodie Hooker, Jim Klein, Develyn Marshall, John McGrath, Terry Oliver, Chris Schiller & Michael Smith. While the majority of artists are from the Sacramento region, there will be work from Redding, CA; Austin, Texas and Sunnyside, New York.

Kent Lacin, photographer and owner of Kent Lacin Media Services, has been a photographer since he was eight and a half when he got an Asahi Pentax for Christmas. After receiving a BA in Fine Art and MFA in Photography/Fine Art from UCD, he made movies and videotapes for a while, then created Kent Lacin Media Services in 1978 specializing in commercial photography for businesses. He has won many awards, both national and local for his work, judged local and statewide shows, exhibits, teaches, and actively shoots both fine art photography and commercial photography currently. He is an avid bicyclist.

Marcelle Wiggins is a Sacramento based artist, who is currently working in the medium of digital art and painting. She received a Bachelor's Degree in painting from Sonoma State University, Master of Arts Degree in painting from California State University Sacramento and Master of Fine Arts Degree in painting from San Francisco Art Institute. She has exhibited throughout the Northern California region since 1982, and has lectured and taught studio art since 1986 at Yuba Community College, San Francisco Art Institute, Sierra College, Cosumnes River College, and California State University Sacramento. Marcelle teaches Drawing, Figure Drawing, Digital Painting & Drawing, Watercolor, Acrylic and Oil Painting at Cosumnes River College and Drawing, Watercolor Painting and Electronic Art at California State University, Sacramento.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Emerging Artists at Asylum

Artists from San Rafeal to Rocklin will exhibit work when the Emerging Artists show opens at Asylum Gallery inside HQ: Headquarters for the Arts, 1719 25th St., Sacramento (behind the gray fence at 25th & R Sts.) during October’s 2nd Saturday reception October 11th from 6 to 9 pm. The show continues to November 9th and another 2nd Saturday reception is planned for November 8th from 6 to 9 pm. Regular gallery hours (except for 2nd Saturday) will be 1 to 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays or by appointment.

  • The artists include Marianne Bland who just moved to Sacramento from San Francisco, Margaret Lord of San Rafael, Matthew Pappas of Rocklin, Gioia Fonda of Sacramento, Olivia Coelho of Sacramento, Ashley Smith of Roseville and David Johnson of Placerville.

Born in 1982 in the San Francisco Bay Area, Bland has been painting murals with Murals Ink since 1998. She attended the California College of Arts and Crafts and also studied at L’ecole Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Marseille, France. She has exhibited at City Art Gallery in San Francisco. Marianne is also a published poet, has illustrated children’s books, makes jewelry and enjoys metalworking. She currently works out of her studio in Sacramento, where she lives with her husband and puppy.

  • Olivia Coelho grew up with her artist mother and father in the hills by Folsom Lake. She received her BFA from UC-Santa Cruz. Coelho currently lives in Midtown Sacramento with her husband and a dog and cat. She is one of the owners of Bows & Arrows, vintage. She enjoys swimming in the river and riding her bicycle at night.

Gioia Fonda teaches art at Sacramento City College and is the 1993 creator of Pink Week while attending the California College of Arts and Crafts. Upon declaring she was going to wear pink clothes all week and have a "pink week", her good friend Eric Wood (now husband and Official Pink Week Chief Consultant), printed a few posters advertising the event on campus. What began as a personal expression quickly became a group piece as other people asked if they could participate too.

  • David Johnson – grew up in the rural Sierra foothills. As the only child of a painter and a weaver, he was raised with exposure to the world of the arts and an understanding of the significance of creative expression. His photography and drawings have been displayed in a number of school exhibitions and award shows over the span of his undergraduate career. He is currently a senior at Sacramento State University where he is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in art with a minor in photography.

Margaret Lord is a San Rafael artist who specializes in Polaroid transfers, a soon to be dying art.

  • Liv Moe is originally from Fargo, North Dakota and now is an artist and writer who currently lives and works in Sacramento. With a focus on the domestic or mundane, her work seeks to discover alchemic relationships through the re-contextualization of materials such as vacuum cleaners, bric-a-brack, furniture and hair. Her recent explorations have included documentary film, sculpture in a variety of media, digital photography, and kinetics.

Matthew Pappas was born in Yuba City and now lives in Rocklin. He holds a B.F.A from Chico and a MFA from the University of Washington. He has taught studio art at the University of Washington, Highline Community College, and most recently at the Cosumnes River and Folsom Lake College campuses. Pappas plans to write a book based upon a collection of notebooks containing graduate seminars, studio critiques, and personal experiences during his days as a graduate student and shortly thereafter.

  • Ashley Smith has been selling both commissioned and non-commissioned work for the past 10 years. She holds a BA in Studio Arts from UC-Santa Barbara where she was invited to participate in the prestigious Undergraduate Art Show in 2004 and 2005. In the past three years, Smith has lived in Placer County where she is known mostly for her intimate graphite portraits, but she is currently working on a series of mid-size atmospheric oil paintings.

Monday, August 25, 2008

See you in September

Yup... Asylum Gallery will be closed until September 6th when we reopen with Dan Samborski's new show of paintings - In Search of Virtue.
Our hours will stay at 1 to 5 pm Saturdays and Sundays for the rest of the fall. Also for Dan's show, the gallery will be open 1 to 5 pm on 2nd Saturday ONLY for September.

  • After that we're back to the same hours - except for 2nd Saturday, when the gallery will only be open from 6 to 9 pm.
Another temporary change is that CynStones Jewelry will not be in the gallery for this show.

  • You might have noticed our new logo which was designed by Dan. Many Thanks Dan, it looks great!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Asylum Artists' Antics

One of our founding artists, Cherie Hacker is a busy woman these days. Not only is one of her paintings visible on the upper right hand side of the new issue of Midtown Monthly Magazine (see detail above), but she's one of of the artists included in the Artists' Studio Tour coming up Sept 27th and 28th. Ann Tracy is also on the tour and will be showcasing her new studio digs out behind her house. If it's hot, bring your swimsuit for a dip in the pool!

  • Cherie's work won't just be seen in September here in Sacca-tomatoes, she's got work at the Altered Esthetics Gallery in Minnesota for a show called " Animals II Critical Habitat". Check out the website - She's also got some work being exhibited at Gallery Gora in Montreal, Canada ! You'll find their website here: