“Creative Contrasts” show at Moraga Art Gallery

The Moraga Art Gallery proudly announces the installation of “Creative Contrasts,” featuring the eye-catching work of two member artists: ceramicist Mary Leigh Miller and acrylic painter Angelica Samame.  We are delighted to have guest artists Gail Miles, a potter, and Latisha Baker, a maker of fine jewelry included in the show.

“Creative Contrasts” will run from June 22nd to August 28th. A free reception will be held on Saturday, July 16th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The public is invited to view the art, meet the artists, enjoy light refreshments, hear live music, and mingle with other art lovers

Mary Leigh Miller

Mary Leigh received a BA in Applied Arts from Carleton College in Minnesota and went on to teach art for a number of years in various public schools in the Philadelphia, PA area where she grew up. Her inspiration for ceramics came from her mother’s love for clay, the material and the art form.

“It’s hard to remember a time when clay was not a part of my life. I love the creative process and am particularly drawn to this medium because of its tactile qualities and plasticity.  The expressiveness achieved, especially through texture and organic form, inspires me to try many different styles – both wheel thrown and hand built.  I’ve always liked Raku because of the immediacy of the process – seeing my finished piece 30 minutes or less after it has come out of the kiln!” https://www.maryleighmiller.com/copy-of-about

Mary Leigh Miller, Lidded Vase with Attachment
Mary Leigh Miller, Raku Totem

Angelica Samame

Angelica was born and raised in Peru, South America, lived in Moraga for 27 years, and now resides in Lafayette, CA.

“My artwork is about creation and experimentation. I don’t plan my subjects; I improvise. I don’t usually approach a painting with a specific composition in mind. Rather, my creative process starts when I approach the canvas. After applying the paint, shapes appear. I connect colors with ideas and figures, bringing each painting to life.

The subject matter of my art is primarily women in both the traditional and contemporary ways of life. I also work with abstraction in a whimsical way. Recently, I am experimenting with cubism. For the past five years I have also been working and experimenting with papier mache. I love creating and designing cats, giving them human forms. I use color, patterns, and a sense of humor to give each cat a distinct personality.

My personal journey with art is about the investigation and study of creativity and  approaching the artistic process as an adventure.” https://moragaartgallery.com/members-2/angelica-samame/

Angelica Samame
Angelica Samame

Guest Artist, Gail Miles

After making my pieces, the qualities of the ceramic materials I use along with the textures left from building them are what I want to remain in my work. I want the properties of the ancient clay, coiled dark stoneware, brilliant white porcelain, brush marks through silky slip, finicky underglaze transfers and the blistering fire to inform the pieces when they are finished.

I design my own underglaze transfers. The geometric shapes are simple and bring to my mind the natural world. The lyrics are part of my journey as a linguist and a musician. I most often use text in a vertical direction. I love the visual recognition of text but am much more interested in it as a design element. I lived in Japan for 5 years and loved seeing their beautiful vertical text knowing there was meaning in all of those characters that I wasn’t able to access.

At the end I’m looking at my pieces for evidence of the entire journey I’ve painstakingly and carefully shepherded them through.  I want them to reveal the effects of the pressure, compression, finesse, patience and impatience, skill, attempts at beauty, softness, time and ultimately the harsh fire they go through. Continued exploration of layers, texture and color are where I am going in my art.

I find art, humans and all of nature to be more captivating, stronger, more joyful and beautiful when evidence of what they’ve survived and triumphed over is left to soothe and inspire.

Gail Miles
Gail Miles

Guest Artist, Latisha Baker

Latisha Baker is a self-taught artist who is committed to creating contemporary, handmade wearable and visual artwork that uplifts the human spirit. Her vision is to add more colorful experiences to the world. She uses a primitive technique called pyrography, also referred to as woodburning, pyroetching or pyroengraving. As a self- taught artist, who has been working in this medium for over 20 years, she is inspired by storytelling and human anatomy. She juxtaposes the human form with life events and experiences. She prefers pyroetching on reclaimed wood and watercolor paper, because the imperfections of these surfaces adds character and authenticity to the work. The surface usually dictates the direction of the work. The complexity of her work can vary, but there is a common theme of storytelling, fluidity and movement.

Her collection under her namesake Latisha Baker Artworks includes visual art, stationery and a handmade pyroetched wearable art jewelry line known as Ear Cookies and Sojourn Neckwear. https://www.latishabakerartworks.com/

Latisha Baker, Sojourn Necklace

Latisha Baker, Small Crescent

The show also contains paintings, jewelry, ceramics, sculpture, glassware, etchings, woodwork, photographs, prints, and much more by the gallery’s core of members.  The Moraga Art Gallery’s Gift Boutique features handmade gift items created by local artists including glass items, ceramics, beautiful wooden bowls, boxed cards, small paintings, soaps, decorative pillows, cards, jewelry and other gift items. 

Hours:  Open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 noon to 5:00 pm.  

Address: 432 Center Street in Moraga’s Rheem Shopping Center,

For more information, please visit the gallery’s website: https://moragaartgallery.com or email moragaartgallery@gmail.com or call 925-376-5407.