Concord arts in full bloom

By Kara Navolio on April 17, 2017

Community Arts lead photo for websiteArtist and exhibit producer Sylvia Philis (left) confers with Uni Ortegón in preparation for the Concord Community of Artists “Flower Power” exhibit opening at the Concord Library May 2. The community installation features the work of 15 local artists all committed to supporting and encouraging Concord’s growing arts scene.

The arts are alive in Concord, with many opportunities for residents to enjoy the bounty of what local artists are creating.

The Concord Community of Artists (CCofA), a group of artists working to bring art to the community and bring artists together, is hosting a Flower Power show at the Concord Library May 2-31.

This is the third year that group founder Sylvia Philis has curated a group show. Philis sets a theme and some guidelines and leaves the artists free to create.

“We work individually, but then come together as a whole,” Philis says. “I see these shows as an opportunity to build community. The 15 artists are working in either 2-D or 3-D; their pieces will all come together in a beautiful bouquet that everyone can enjoy. I chose flowers for the theme because they are accessible to everyone, and flowers are very diverse.”

Lisa Fulmer has participated in CCofA shows for the past three years. “Sylvia has great vision,” says Fulmer, who is president of the Concord Art Association. “It’s always a mystery and exciting to see what will come out of each show, but the cohesion of the theme and criteria bring unity. Everyone is celebrated no matter their medium or skill level.”

“I really get inspired by the group,” adds Denise Hillman of Martinez, whose glass flower will be part of the show. “It’s all about the collaboration and the community.”

The show can be viewed during the library’s open hours in the glass case near the front door. For more info, visit concordartsalive.blogspot.com.

Meanwhile, residents can view and purchase works by area artists at the Concord Art Association’s Spring Show on April 29. The show will take place in the main room of the library 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Established in 1963, the Concord Art Association has evolved from a painting group into a community asset, advocating and supporting the arts throughout the community. Members, who attend monthly meetings and pay a small membership fee, help Girl Scouts earn art badges, teach classes at area schools and collaborate with other arts groups, promoting each other’s work for the benefit of all.

Many Arts Association members will be participating in the Art & Wine (and Beer) Walk on May 13. It is hosted by the American Association of University Women, with some proceeds going to help women transferring to universities from Diablo Valley College and Los Medanos College.

The event will take place 1-4 p.m. throughout Todos Santos Plaza, Salvio Pacheco Square and downtown Concord. It will feature music by Mt. Diablo Unified School District students on the Todos Santos Stage, 14 wineries, four breweries, the work of 15 artists, 25 restaurants and businesses, including B8 Theater Company and aRt Cottage, and a new gallery owned by 30-plus year Concord resident Raquel Amaral.

“We are all in this together,” Amaral notes. “I’m excited to be doing business in Concord and hope to help promote the arts in Concord.”

The Concord Art Association is involved in a fundraising campaign to secure a permanent location where local artists can come together, with space for studios, teaching and exhibits. They are halfway to their goal. If you’d like to help, visit concord­artassociation.blogspot.com.

Artists interested in being a part of the larger East Bay community of artists are invited to attend the Arts Leadership Meeting 1-4 p.m. April 30 at the Concord Library. The group will be brainstorming plans for a larger community arts event in 2018.

“The future of the arts in Concord is bright,” Fulmer says. “I’m proud of all our members and our evolution into a community asset.”

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