Cheryl Bookout – Featured Work

Artist, Arts Activist

In June of 2000, Cheryl became Director of the SCA Gallery located in the Pomona Arts Colony. Along with this position came a relocation of her personal studio from the Artists Village in Santa Ana to the downtown Pomona Arts Colony. In 2001, she proposed a collaborative project between the Pomona Arts Colony, the academic community, artist Judy Chicago and her photographer husband, Donald Woodman. For over two years, Ms. Bookout worked closely with Judy Chicago and Donald Woodman to create Envisioning the Future, an intensive project which brought over 80 artists from all over Southern California to the Inland Empire to work, present and perform images with the common theme of the future. Cheryl Bookout was the Project Coordinator of this complex undertaking, which came to a successful conclusion in March 2004.

The content of Cheryl’s personal art reflects her examination of the cycle of life and the impact humans have on one another.. life’s fragile balance on this planet. Over the years she has developed techniques in installation art and mixed media painting with an extensive exhibition and collection history. She currently resides in Joshua Tree, California and is working as a full time studio artist.

Randay Au – Featured Work

(artist’s statement: “Vegetable Series”)

This series of work is the result of my fascination with the whimsical qualities of vegetable forms. I am not interested in merely creating the exact likeness of vegetables, but rather in appropriating their unique shapes and qualities as a springboard for creating functional art objects.

The idea is not new. Cave men found gourd forms useful for containing food and drink. And why not, when these shapes are Nature’s own way of providing containers for seed and food to perpetuate itself.

The particular vegetables used in the series were found by haunting local grocery stores, wholesale markets, and various gardens, patches, and fields. Each shape was chosen for its unique whimsical quality and presence. Original molds were made from the actual vegetables and the resulting shapes used to produce the individual pieces.

I feel that the challenge of the Artist is to take the common and mundane and, thru creative vision and process, breath new life into them. I hope that exposure to this work prompts a more sensitive look at the world around us. Such things as vegetables are not just for food, but food for thought, use, and enjoyment.

George Alemshah

Like most people of Armenian ancestry, George Alemshah has lived an international life. Born in Heliopolis, Egypt in 1939, George immigrated to Beirut, Lebanon as a teenager. There he met his wife of more than 30 years, Sonia. With the whisperings of an eminent war in the air, the Alemshah family left for North America. After a seven year stop over in Canada, George, Sonia and their two young sons finally settled in sunny southern California where George has worked as a successful Interior Designer and Artist.

George’s love for painting was a joy born out of necessity. Having lost his own father as a small boy, his first paintings were a way to remember his father and his childhood. A bit disjointed, sometimes shattered; just like his journey through life – George’s paintings can be described as looking through the eye of a prism. His style (often described as Cubic Impressionism) was one he perfected in Beirut. George has studied with Eugene Kassassinoff, the former artist to the Egyptian Royal Family.

George attained a high degree of success with permanent exhibitions around Lebanon and much of the Middle East. But George’s paintings, like his life, have always changed and evolved. His cubist beginnings have graduated into many forms of abstract expressionism. No longer content with only Egyptian influences, George has done a series of African Animals, abstract expressionism and traditional Armenian scences. He has also continued to paint his “bon vivant” series. These paintings depict George’s philosophy of life; eat, drink and be merry.

Representative of the times in his life, George has paintings in private collections around the world. In those paintings are chronicled: Exotic places, childhood memories, deep seated fears and shattered dreams but most of all love for his family, life and hope for tomorrow.

A few words from George Alemshah

About Painting

Painting is my answer to Life. It’s the way I deal with the ups, downs, ins and outs of my existence. Therefore, my paintings are often a very good reflection of my inner self.

My Background

I am an Armenian born in Egypt. My life has taken me to many places including Beirut, Lebanon and Toronto, Canada. I have been a Californian since 1975. I started painting in the early 1960’s and have been heavily influenced by the many different places, cultures and traditions I have been witness to.

My Influences

The Master Painters who have had the most influence on my aesthetics are George Rouault, Bernard Buffet, Gaugin, Van Gogh and Picasso.

My Painting Series

My Bon Vivant series are still life paintings. I paint these works about the things that bring joy to ones life: flowers, food and wine.

My Egyptian series are my interpretation of the Egyptian Hieroglyphics. Growing up in Egypt left a strong impression on me and these paintings are my tribute to that place and my childhood.

My African series are scenes inspired by the wildlife and foliage native to the continent of Africa.

My Abstract series are my impressionist paintings. These paintings are the most direct expression of my feelings and artistic aesthetics.

A Forum for Artists Working in Southern California

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