Kristina Ayala paints and creates ceramic sculptures that are colorful, lively, and whimsical, all based on her love for animals and her passion for aquatic and oceanic life. Ayala's work is immediately engaging, and wonderfully well done with a fine eye for detail and a sense of each sea creature's personality. Her deep regard for oceanic animals definitely comes across to viewers—each piece expresses an individual creature's personality and sense of agency. The sculpture that she received this exhibition award for is a delightful, bright orange octopus, whose intelligence and presence of mind are at once apparent. Besides ceramics, Ayala also does printmaking and painting on clay as her canvas. A studio holder at Sanchez Art Center, she also teaches, offering workshops in linocut as well as other forms of relief printmaking, and teaching art to some lucky middle school students in Foster City.
Jamey Brzezinski, an Emeritus Professor at Merced College and former studio holder at Sanchez Art Center, creates beautifully nuanced acrylic paintings. He won this exhibition award for his painting titled Rocks, Sand, Water, Lichen, Moss & Fronds #4, a shoreline scene with sea foam, sand, and ocean-polished stones. Brzezinski's fascination with this subject matter comes from several long-held goals: first, to find a dynamic balance point between abstraction and realism; and secondly, to explore ideas of orientation and perception. Many of his works show views from an aerial perspective, and many can be hung any side up. Brzezinski's Rocks and Seas body of work began as small black and white prints. Now he paints the same subjects in color in these larger paintings that can create a quiet space for viewers to reflect on the changeableness of nature and of our lives.
Barbara Kibbe is a printmaker and an art quilter. She studied printmaking first, earning a BA in art, and only later became fascinated with fiber art. Kibbe taught herself quiltmaking after her daughter Rachel was born. She saw that quiltmaking offered the potential for making large-format artworks, without the mess and toxicity of printmaking materials. She now works to interweave and integrate these modalities, and finds herself printing on quilts and stitching through prints. She loves to discover the surprises that arise when experimenting with new techniques and found materials. Kibbe also earned a law degree, and has supported the arts community in various capacities, including serving as Executive Director for Bay Area Lawyers for the Arts (now California Lawyers for the Arts). Her artworks are rich in color and texture, with a depth of feeling and breadth of wisdom that comes from her multifaceted life.
Kimmi Risk creates exuberantly colored paintings, densely patterned with circles of glossy acrylic paint. Her work has been compared to Tim Burton's whimsical and quixotic music and films. In fact, Risk played one of the characters in Tim Burton's film James and the Giant Peach. She had originally studied theater arts, but when her son was diagnosed with lymphoma, she found that painting was how she could express her fear, anger, and frustration. (Thankfully, her son is now well and attending UC Davis.) Risk calls her bright circles of acrylic paint "blobs." She layers them, lets each layer dry, and then coats the finished work with resin. Her influences? Besides Burton, Warhol and Dali, Risk is also inspired by connecting with the people who fall in love with her work, and is most delighted when a collector expresses the joy that her art brings to them.
You can hear these four award-winning artists talk about their work at the Artist Talk, to be held on Zoom at 3:30 pm on Sunday, Nov 22. Visit www.ArtGuildofPacifica.org to register for the Artist Talk.