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Contact: Cindy Abraham, Gallery DirectorFolsom Parks & Recreation Department, Community and Cultural Services, (916) 355-7285“Delicate Balance” new exhibit at Gallery at 48 Natoma March 17 to May 4, 2017Opening Reception - Friday, March 17, 2017, 6:00-8:00pm Hours are Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm, with additional hours Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 6-8pm. With the recent closure of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, the word circus is changing from a noun to something merely descriptive. It is useful in describing many situations and perhaps current events, but an actual circus in the historic sense of three rings, animals, stunts and clowns may become a thing of the past. In the next exhibit at the Gallery at 48 Natoma in Folsom, three artists will balance tight rope walkers, stunt girls on horseback, clowns, jugglers, and brightly costumed performers in a circus of imagery. Painter Irene Belknap, mixed-media artist Marsha Balian and sculptor Jennifer Johnson will show their art work in the exhibit, “Delicate Balance,” beginning March 17 through May 4, 2017. Marsha Balian is a mixed media artist that is self-taught and frequently invents her own techniques. Her work often incorporates found objects, including what might be scavenged from the floor of her studio. Since invention doesn’t require strict adherence to rules, her art avoids what might be literal and attempts to engage the imagination of the viewer. Humor is never far behind. Her “Big Top,” series plays with and reinvents some of that imagery: animals piled on top of other animals, people jumping through the air, and clowns whose behavior is unknown, but at least isn’t scary. “The imagery, the craziness, the improbability of the circus has always intrigued me since I was a kid,” says Balian. She will also be showing work from her new series, “Long Winded Tales from Distant Lands.” Her artwork has been shown throughout the Bay Area and in many parts of the country.Irene Belknap paints large, colorful canvases that use figurative images invoking a Cirque de Solei style with associative meanings. Significant gestures in balance with an object are juxtaposed in sometimes unexpected ways; asking for the viewer’s interaction. Belknap says, “My aim is to evoke a sense of the unknown where final meaning is withheld.” Belknap was born in Munich, Germany where she and her family were on the second boat out of Germany after WWII. After studying art in Austria, she went on to receive a BA in History of Art from Sweet Briar College and eventually an MFA from the San Francisco Art institute. She has shown her work throughout the United States as well as internationally.Jennifer Johnson is a northern California artist who creates figurative sculptures that focus on the obscure and marvelous world of circus life. “I think the lure of the circus exists solely to ignite dreams. It’s ornate, wonderful, ridiculous and full of mystery and whimsy, designed to surprise and delight. My innermost thoughts like to dwell in that real magic during the golden age of the circus,” says Johnson. Her sculptures are shaped, formed and welded new steel and found metal objects including steel, bronze, copper, and aluminum. In addressing the human figure with recycled metal, the challenge is conveying an emotional pose that is enhanced by the patina of time and adds an element of surprise without taking away from the image. These sculptures introduce emotion without facial expression while selected portions of the bodies are slightly reduced, enlarged, or distorted. The quest to answer "who we are" and "how we deal with life" is offered subtly to viewers who see a portion of themselves in every piece.In the adjacent Community Gallery at 48 Natoma, student art from the Advanced Digital Art Class taught by Summer Halverson at Folsom High School will be on display. The public is invited to celebrate both exhibits at the free opening reception on Friday, March 17, 2017 from 6:00 to 8:00pm, with refreshments, wine and live jazz piano by Chet Chwalick.The Gallery at 48 Natoma is managed by the Folsom Parks and Recreation Department and showcases art by regional and national professional artists, area museum collections and traveling exhibitions; offering high quality original art exhibits to the community that may otherwise not be experienced in this area. The gallery is free and open to the public and art is available for purchase. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9-5, with additional hours Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 6-8pm. Free tours can be arranged by appointment. For more information contact Cindy Abraham, (916) 355-7285, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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