Mischief: A Show of Character Art at Studio Gallery in San Francisco

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A line-up of zany cartoons, popular characters and wacky critters will be featured in Mischief at Studio Gallery in San Francisco. The show, which runs from June 21st – July 16th, includes work from over 40 Bay Area artists, and every piece is under $200.

A line-up of zany cartoons, popular characters and wacky critters will be featured in Mischief at Studio Gallery in San Francisco. The show, which runs from June 21st – July 16th, includes work from over 40 Bay Area artists, and every piece is under $200. Mischief draws upon the Bay Area's wealth of character-based art. Work will be on display from 45 local artists and includes paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, comics and t-shirts. Many of the characters in Mischief were created by the artists; others are riffs on historical characters and the inescapable icons of popular culture.

Oakland painter and cartoonist Lark Pien is the creative force behind Long Tail Kitty, the star of her on-going comic series. Pien, who’s been working on Long Tail Kitty for 6 years, creates paintings of her characters as well as comic books chronicling their misadventures; both will be featured in Mischief. “I don’t even own a cat,” she says, “maybe someday.” Pien notes that “Long Tail Kitty’s from a college town: he has somebody to watch over him, but not every single minute. He can go in and out as he pleases.” As a result, Long Tail Kitty hogs the TV, rescues aliens, and even visits heaven: all in all a fairly busy cat. Pien’s deceptively simple paintings make splendid use of the negative space between the characters and are often distinguished by the innovative way she crops her compositions: the paintings seem like they can barely contain the characters, who are ready to bust out.

Nine of the artists in the show are from Creativity Explored, a non-profit visual arts center in San Francisco for people with developmental disabilities. “We’re so happy to include work from Creativity Explored artists in the show,” says gallery owner Jennifer Farris. “Their pieces include everything from movie monsters to self-portraits. The work is a terrific addition to the show and a way to raise awareness of this great local organization.”

Several artists in the show have used historical or literary characters as their inspiration. San Francisco painter Chris Grassano is known for her portrayal of animals in her paintings; her contribution to Mischief is “Medusa,” which depicts the maiden whose beautiful ringlets were turned into snakes. Her sister Lorraine modeled for the piece. “Of course Lorraine’s face isn’t green,” notes Grassano. Bill Dunlap is showing a number of drawings completed at his recent artist-in-residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Dunlap has created a series of drawings based on bluegrass lyrics, “Moby Dick,” and folk art traditions.

Mischief runs from June 21 – July 16, 2006, with an opening reception on Saturday, June 24, 4-8 pm. Studio Gallery is located at 1718A Polk Street (between Clay and Washington) in San Francisco. Gallery hours are Wednesday – Friday 11 am – 8 pm, and Saturday + Sunday 11 am – 6 pm. For more information contact the gallery at 415-931-3130 or http://www.STUDIOGallerySF.com.

About Studio Gallery

Studio Gallery was established in 2003 to showcase the work of Bay Area artists. The gallery features fine art, crafts and home furnishings.

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Jennifer Farris
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