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1220-B Linda Mar

Pacifica, CA 94044


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Sanchez Art Center is proud to present the sculptures of Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor and the paintings of Livia C. Stein in Cautionary Tales Reconsidered, opening Friday, January 10 with a reception from 7 to 9 pm. It is a “reconsideration” of their joint exhibit at The Transmission Gallery that was titled Cautionary Tales, December 7, 2012–January 19, 2013. Cameron Brian and Ruth Santee, owners/directors of The Transmission Gallery in Oakland, are curating the Sanchez Art Center exhibition as well. Their reconsideration of the same theme promises to be thought-provoking, inspiring, and possibly unsettling—in a good way.

Curators Cameron Brian and Ruth Santee will join artist Livia Stein
to talk about the exhibit on Sunday, February 9 at 4 pm.

Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor uses discarded materials, including bed sheets and blankets from thrift stores, old boxes, and all kinds of connecting substances and hardware, including, for instance, glue, paint, and drywall screws, to create large figures that manage to be both endearing and troubling. The artist says she is fascinated with “the undernoticed yet overwhelming, the marginal yet monumental.” Her larger-than-life-sized figures reach into your heart with their kind of pitiful, ragged appearance, while at the same time making you feel slightly threatened by their size and unpredictability.

O’Connor earned her MFA from University of California at Davis and currently teaches at Sierra College in Rocklin, California. She has exhibited at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, the San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art, the Torrance Art Museum, the de Saisset Museum in Santa Clara, and the Kohler Company Space in Kohler, Wisconsin. Her work has been reviewed in numerous publications including Artforum, LA Weekly, ArtWeek, Artillery, and Beautiful Decay.

Painter Livia C. Stein’s artworks are a perfect complement to O’Connor’s mixed-media sculptures. Stein works with oils as well as painting with ink, does pastel and charcoal drawing, printmaking (monotypes), and uses mixed media, and clay. In Cautionary Tales Reconsidered, brilliant colors predominate in her paintings and drawings, yet there is also a delicacy of line that adds nuance and texture. Stein’s oil painting Orange Crocodile Interacts with Man’s Nose brings in the animal element often found in cautionary tales, and a sense of confrontation and not knowing what will happen next. Stein says of her process that it’s “like jumping off a cliff but gradually knowing one has the skills to land softly and surely. The experience of jumping and doing the work is what matters.”

Stein received her MA from San Francisco State in an innovative experimental art program, founded by Jock Reynolds, now director of the Yale University Art Gallery. She currently is a faculty member at Dominican University, San Rafael, California. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in many public and private collections, such as the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Oakland Museum of California, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the University of Iowa Art Museum.

Together, the works of O’Connor and Stein tug gently at any habitual presumptions of righteous innocence we may have, and show us that there is always more going on under the surface of life, whether we like it or not. To learn more about these artists, visit www.liviacstein.com and www.elisabethhigginsoconnor.com.

Come to the opening reception for the artists on Friday, January 10, 7 to 9 pm. Thereafter the galleries are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm, through the exhibits’ closing day, February 9. Sanchez Art Center is located at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd., Pacifica, California, about 1.5 miles east of Highway 1 and the Pacific Ocean.