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(except opening Fridays & between exhibitions)

The galleries are open during intermissions:
Pacifica Performances


1220-B Linda Mar

Pacifica, CA 94044


fax 650.355.1752








Tony Natsoulas was five or six years of age when his father began teaching psychology at UC Davis and the family moved to the university town. From an early age he was exposed to art during family trips to New York that included visits to major cultural institutions. It was a more local museum trip though where he first saw a piece by David Gilhooly (a ceramic casserole dish topped with a frog goddess of fertility) that grabbed his interest. Taking a mixed media art class the summer after fifth grade, he was first exposed to working with clay, and he's never stopped.

Exploring what to do after high school graduation, a neighbor and art teacher suggested he visit Robert Arneson who was part of burgeoning art scene at UC Davis in TB 9. Artist Kelly Detweiler, an assistant to Arneson at the time, has a memory of Tony as a kid coming into the studio and "taking to clay like a fish to water, with a ton of ideas. He showed up with such exuberance, drive and a desire to make things". This excitement for creating with clay hasn't diminished.



Exhibition curator, Phil Linhares, describes Tony as a "creative human dynamo". In his introduction to the show, Linhares notes that "working large scale in clay requires physical strength, endurance and a hyper-active imagination. Possessing these qualities, Natsoulas stands in line with iconic Bay Area artists Peter Voulkos, Viola Frey, and Robert Arneson".

Natsoulas' formal collegiate education began at Cal State Sacramento before moving to UC Davis where he earned his Bachelor of Arts. Together with time at the Maryland Institute College of Art and a summer study program at the Skowhegan School in Maine offered learning experiences with accomplished artists including Wayne Thiebaud, William T. Wiley, Manuel Neri, Roy de Forest, Mark di Suvero, Francesco Clemente and Judy Pfaff. Robert Arneson, Tony's early teacher and graduate advisor, remained his mentor and guiding light. In 1985, Natsoulas earned his MFA from UC Davis. He was named by the Smithsonian as one of the top 100 craft artists in the United States in 2004.

Special Event Sun, July 9
3:30 pm Artist/Curator Talk

Influenced by 1960's-1970's counter-culture artists such as Big Daddy Roth Rat Fink and Art Crum who were making funny grotesque comic works, Natsoulas fell in love with caricature. And yet, he has also taken inspiration from Meissen porcelain figures. Paradoxically, Natsoulas seamlessly pairs these potentially contradictory artistic moods into an exuberant piece of one of his favorite singers and musicians Annie Lennox. Commenting on the work, "I wanted to show not only her beauty but where she came from and what she believes in. I put her in a baroque dress and hairstyle because she always seems like royalty to me. The circle of neon represents the organization she started to further the rights and issues of girls and women around the world. I still listen to her music as I work, and while I made this portrait, I listened to her beautiful voice and nothing else."

For additional insight into the artist and his work, come to the Artist/Curator Talk on closing Sunday, July 9 at 3:30 pm.

Sanchez Art Center is located at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd in Pacifica, about a mile east of Highway 1. Following opening night, the galleries are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 1–5 pm, and by appointment, through July 9.

The opening, talks, and gallery visits are free as part of the center's focus on "Creating Community through Art".


Upcoming Exhibitions: Click here to see the 2023 schedule