June 11, 2013 | See comments »

This piece from my Curiouser and Curiouser show sold on Friday night. There are three pieces left!

Bak Country Poster 1 copy
June 10, 2013 | See comments »

Postcard painting by Alan Willis; Graphics by Christopher O’Brien.

On First Friday June 7th, 2013 I curated a show called “Bakersfield Country; the Legends of the Bakersfield Sound.” We had 13 artists paint a portrait of a Bakersfield Sound musician from the 40’s and 50’s. I hung the show in a spaced out manner along side bios typed on each musician. At the end of each bio the artist’s statement was included. Each statement explained how the artists felt about their involvement in the show.

The artists were handpicked for participation. We had 12 Bakersfield artists and 1 from Los Angeles. Every single piece in the show was extraordinary. Mediums ranged from pen and ink, acrylic and oil. Along with the paintings we displayed four boards of original photography donated by Ray Urquhart, Wren Tidwell, The Bill Woods Family and William J Saunders. there was live music by Vince Galindo and Therese Muller. Along the wall behind my counter I painted a mural of The Blackboard Café and we mimicked the Blackboard stage wall with head shots of the artists and recreated show posters from the 50’s.

IMG_3956webPhoto provided by Crysco Nabisco Photography







BlackboardOn Friday morning I was on First Look with Scott Cox on KERN radio/podcast. William “Joe” Saunders went with me to discuss the production of a documentary of his grandfather Billy Mize. He is working on raising $53,000 to finish the production of the film. Joe is an Emmy award winning director. Be sure to check out this link and do what you can to help contribute!  First Look interview:





Thursday, the night before, we had a private viewing for the Bill Woods Family. My mother grew up with Tomi, Bill’s daughter. We connected and she provided photography for the show. Her family was so honored he was included in such a big way. “The Godfather” of the Bakersfield sound, Bill played an important role in the structure of that era. He helped and promoted everyone.

Woods FamilyThe night was a colossal success. All but two of the pieces were purchased in reserve for an even larger project to come. Later through the night one of the two left also sold. This has never happened at The Foundry before. The purchases warmed my heart and brought smiles to many artists faces through out the night. I spent the after hours with great friends. Saturday I woke up and had to make sure it hadn’t all been a dream.






Bonnie OwensBonnie Owens, by Christina Sweet











Thank You Poster

I must thank our Sponsor Greenhorn Grill of Alta Sierra. The owner Mike Hill, born and raised in Bakersfield, has been a lifetime fan of the Bakersfield Sound music and musicians. Your generous contribution is so much appreciated.

Thanks also go to the photography contributors Ray Urquhart, Billy Mize, William J. Saunders, The Bill Woods Family and Wren Tidwell. Thank you poster graphic by Christopher O’Brien.

2013.5.5 Jessica McEuen
May 24, 2013 | See comments »

Hard Wired, a solo exhibit by Jessica McEuen

Mid-May I curated a one-night solo show by member Jessica McEuen at The Foundry.

“When the cogs take over, perhaps nothing changes. Perhaps the same things get done and need doing. Perhaps cliques emerge and judgment is passed. Perhaps what is left carries on without notice. When the people go, maybe all that changes is the need for sunglasses.” – Jessica McEuen

Jessica has created “a robot world, where nothing seems too different from the present, just a little shinier.” Jessica’s pieces are robots in humorous scenes with unique shapes and features. Mature audience.

It happened to be a slow night, but many friends came out to show support and play hang-man as a group. Great fun.

May 24, 2013 | See comments »

‘Beyond Perception” a fine art exhibit by David Cook, presented by The Foundry

On May 3rd, 2013 I curated a show at The Foundry featuring a solo painting exhibition by David Cook.

As described by the artist, much of his imagery comes from natural or urban places. He is drawn to geometric shapes, structure and the play of color and light within this environment. His urban landscape paintings transcend our perception of landmark buildings by simplifying their structure. He likes working in gouache and allowing the medium to convey an opaque, flat appearance, emphasizing the two dimensions of paper or canvas. Using color triads, he works within a prismatic pallet to create a harmonious composition.

More about our artist:

David Cook received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Art from Cal State University, Bakersfield. Following two decades as an educator, his focus shifted dramatically. A lifelong learner, his extensive knowledge of art history, theory and philosophy support his passion for art. Recently he attended a graduate study workshop at the prestigious Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with renowned artist Stuart Shils. Cook’s studio work consists of classical drawing, abstract painting and contemporary rendering. He currently lives in the Kern River Valley with his wife and two daughters.










Artwork “Signs” by David Cook. Show postcard design by Shelley Juhl-O’Brien.

May 24, 2013 | See comments »

{03C693F9-BB73-4449-B8CA-35F09C8EAD51}Months ago I turned in my submission for the Eye Gallery show this summer at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. The artists for this show are hand selected by a committee of organizers between the Bakersfield Californian and BMoA. I was honored to be a selected artist this year.

The assignment? Within a 96 hour period the artists are to write a portion of a story, 50 words or less, and illustrate their entry. You only see the pieces preceding your contribution and build on the stories of the artists before you. I was number five. This was a great challenge. During the exhibit in June, the pieces, both written and visual, will hang in order and tell the complete story. My piece introduced the character of the story. A woman intrigued by a ghostly yet familiar silhouette in her yard.

I’m looking forward to the opening!



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