Tuesday, February 14, 2017

80 North: Benicia, art galleries


ART IN TOWN
In addition to one glass studio downtown on First Street, two additional long-established glass-blowing studios operate side-by-side about 6 blocks east.

Lindsay Art Glass  109 East F St./First St., (707) 748-1336.  See a mind-blowing selection of colorful blown glass in this retail shop, and don't miss the sale area located in back.  The studio is often open to visitors, and for a set fee you can sometimes blow your own glass ornament. 

Nourot Glass  675 E. H St., (707) 745-1463.  16 Daily 10-4.  Tour (usually on Tu or Thur at 9:30am or 10am); $100/group. 

Smyers Glass & Wood  675 E. H St., (707) 745-2614.  M-Sat 10-4, Sun (May-Dec. only) 12-5.  In addition to blowing beautiful glass items, this facility also produces turned wood.

gift shop at Lindsay Art Glass in Benicia, California
gift shop at Lindsay Art Glass in Benicia, California

blown-glass ball ornaments at Lindsay Art Glass in Benicia, California
blown-glass ball ornaments at Lindsay Art Glass in Benicia, California
sale shelves at Lindsay Art Glass in Benicia, California
sale shelves at Lindsay Art Glass in Benicia, California

clamping glass demo at Lindsay Art Glass in Benicia, California
clamping glass demo at Lindsay Art Glass in Benicia, California

ART AWAY FROM TOWN
Arts Benicia  991 Tyler Street #114, 1.2 mi. E of downtown, (707) 747-0131.  W-Sun noon-5pm.  Free.  Located on the outskirts of town, in a concentrated community of artists who live where they work in vintage buildings in the historic Lower Arsenal District, this art gallery sponsors regularly changing shows. 

exterior of Arts Benicia gallery in Benicia, California
exterior of Arts Benicia gallery in Benicia, California

art show at Arts Benicia gallery in Benicia, California
art show at Arts Benicia gallery in Benicia, California
 
art show at Arts Benicia gallery in Benicia, California
art show at Arts Benicia gallery in Benicia, California

This section of town was originally a staging area for Union troops during the Civil War.  Now many artists have their studios and homes in historic buildings here.  Though these work spaces are usually closed to visitors, they open during Open Studios events held on the first weekend of May and December.

I visited the sculpture studio of Mary Oros.  Formerly a costume jewelry designer, Mary now makes large pieces out of concrete with an armature underpinning.  She uses lots of kitchen items--including spatulas--as tools.  “It all started in the sandbox my dad built for me,” she laughs.  Her “Blue Moves” concrete sculpture took 4 months to complete.  “I’ve never done anything like that before.  I made it as complicated as I could.” 



artist Mary Oros points at her armature underpinning in Benicia, California
artist Mary Oros points at her armature underpinning in Benicia, California


artist Mary Oros next to her "Blue Moves" concrete sculpture in Benicia, California
artist Mary Oros next to her "Blue Moves" concrete sculpture in Benicia, California

More things to do in Benicia.

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 


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