Feeling a mid-May malaise? Unimpressed by spring after we already had summer in January? Slap on a black beret and your best judgmental expression—here’s a completely unscientific sample of SLO County art highlights for the remainder of the merry month.
Opening Minds, an exhibit “in celebration of living mentally well” curated by Transitions Mental Health Association, is on view now at the Steynberg Gallery in SLO. And while an art show centered on mental health issues may seem redundant, this one also includes “those in recovery, their family and friends, service providers, and more.” And these pieces are certainly likely to have some meaningful stories behind them. You’ve got a couple more weeks to see the show before it closes on May 31.
At the GALA Center, the Central Coast Gay and Lesbian Alliance’s art curator, Paul LaRiviere, has a show of his own, on view through June 13. LaRiviere is a printmaker who holds a master’s degree in fine art and psychology from Cal State LA. His linocuts, serigraphs, and other constructions teem with multiple layers of color and life. LaRiviere’s six-part Ephiphyllium series of hand-colored linocuts features bright, contrasting blues and corals in two dimensions—exploded into three on the opposite wall in Ephiphyllium Flight, a linocut and pastel construction. The artist’s infatuation with flora is evident throughout the show, where petals and stamens pop up even in pieces whose main focus is elsewhere. Portraiture is another preoccupation of LaRiviere’s; he uses his own image liberally, and plays with more oblique personal references. The texture and dimensionality of LaRiviere’s work make this show a welcome detour to Palm Street.
Plus, Paso arts powerhouse Studios on the Park is celebrating its fifth anniversary—they opened on May 14, 2009. Celebrate with them by catching Somewhere between Wyeth and Sorolla, and Fabrications II before both exhibits close on May 18, or save your Paso passion for the upcoming 2014 Artsfest, including a Hearst Castle art tour and State of the Art dinner and keynote speech on May 23, the main Artsfest, including a wet painting sale and an after party with the artists, on May 24, and the Fermented Art Behind-the-Scenes Wine Tour on May 25. Happy anniversary, Studios!