March 4, 2024
  • Redwood City – New Beginnings.

    That’s the title of artist Noemi Manero’s painting featured in the exhibit Women’s View 2024, now showing in the Caldwell Gallery on the County Center campus through April 26. It’s one of 46 works that offer insight into what local artists are thinking and making.

    Manero’s oil pastel on canvas shows a sailboat in a small harbor. Is it effortlessly gliding across the water? Or perilously close to the rocky shore?

    “My art tells a story of resilience, celebrating who I am as a woman and an artist,” Manero said. “Through life's ups and downs, I acknowledge the challenges I've faced and the victories I've won. This painting is about starting anew, finding beauty in the chaos and keeping going with determination.”

    Frida Kahlo, the renowned Mexican artist, once said, “I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.”

    That spirit is alive in many of the works.

    Renata Aryanti
    Renata Aryanti with "Cosmos," inspired “by the vastness of our universe and my emotional response toward the unknown and uncertainties."

    Renata Aryanti’s canvas is blasted with midnight blues, greens, yellows and points of light. Her work, “Cosmos,” is inspired “by the vastness of our universe and my emotional response toward the unknown and uncertainties. I started doing a lot of abstract with fluid acrylic in 2021, following the pandemic, as my way to process how to embrace uncertainties and chaos and create beauty from them.”

    Agnes Qui’s self-portrait radiates energy, hot and cold.

    “In my art I incorporated both water and fire as they are very important elements in Chinese culture,” Qui said. “It is believed that water represents intelligence, wisdom, flexibility, softness and pliancy. Fire symbolizes energy, creativity, passion, power, strength, courage and assertiveness.

    “I chose these two elements,” she said, “because I feel very connected to these elements, they represent much of who I am, all my expressions within.”

    This is the 18th annual Women’s View exhibition, which runs through April 26 and opened March 1 concurrently with the start of Women’s History Month. The event is a collaboration between the Office of Arts and Culture, the Arts Commission and the Commission on the Status of Women.

    “Taken together, the exhibition gives us insight into the diverse creative processes of women in our communities,” said Aimee Shapiro, executive director of the Office of Arts and Culture. “Visitors can view the artwork throughout the Caldwell Gallery, read the artists’ statements and discover what personal meaning the work holds for them.”

    Works include oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, tapestries, photographs, mixed-media and more. Participants must be women or woman-identifying local artists.

    This being 2024, the year of a hotly contested U.S. presidential election, several of the works have social and political themes.

    The overall winner of the juried show is “Mother to Son: don’t let them steal your sunshine,” an acrylic, fabric and paper collage by artist Rebecca Archer. She describes her inspiration:

    Mother to Son -  don't let them steal your sunshine.
    Rebecca Archer's "​​​​Mother to Son -  don't let them steal your sunshine" received first place.

    “Looking at a photo from 1956 Alabama, I was struck by how these two Black boys looked so sweet and innocent and my instinct as a mother was towards protecting them. But because it was a picture from 1956 and they were Black, I was equally aware that there was little anyone could do to protect them. The title is inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem Mother to Son.”

    Selma Tufail earned second for her oil-on-canvas work, “The Fountain.” Echo Lake Wodarczyk’s watercolor-and-ink “Madness” earned third.  

    The Caldwell Gallery is located on the first floor of the San Mateo County Hall of Justice. Metered parking is available on the street and in the County Center garage, located on Middlefield Road off of Veterans Boulevard in downtown Redwood City.

    Admission is free. View the full gallery guide along with information on artwork for sale

    Artists of the Women's View art show
    Artists whose work is on display at the Women's View 2024 exhibit.
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