New ‘Inspirational Encounters’ art exhibit showcases local artists


Max Connor

One of the featured portraits by Margarita Chaplinska titled “Too Much”

The new art exhibit on campus titled “Inspirational Encounters” featured more than 25 paintings from northern California artists Joe Rice, LeeAnn Brook, and Margarita Chaplinska.

The show, curated by Cosumnes River College art professor Yoshio Taylor, primarily brings together large canvases by all three artists with very different styles and subjects that all work together wonderfully to create a cohesive and powerful experience.

“I have three (painters) and they all approach in a different way and different style” Taylor said. “Now my challenge was to blend all three together to set the show up as one single complete show with a flow throughout.”

Taylor said that Chaplinska and Brook were very pleased and impressed with how the show was laid out and tied together. Brook and Chaplinska are both local artists and have very long successful careers in fine art and design, according to the literature provided by the CRC gallery.

“I was impressed with the diversity as well as the similarity in the pieces,” said Laura Hansen, a 60-year-old fine arts and art history major who was volunteering at the gallery.

Rice, who passed away in 2011, never showed his art publicly when he was alive, according to his biography printed in the gallery. Rice was a dedicated art teacher in the Bay Area and this exhibit is an opportunity for anyone on campus to get a first look at some of his work, Taylor said.

Chaplinska’s work features several bright and whimsical portraits on canvas as well as two large layered paintings with figures painted on vinyl sheeting. These two pieces are approximately 10 feet tall and four feet wide and one features three paintings of a young girl on the vinyl sheeting almost floating up towards the ceiling. That vinyl painting is hung in front of another painting containing abstract images and lines the give the work a unique depth and dreamlike quality.

“The vinyl pieces caught me right away, particularly the one of her daughter,” Hansen said when referring to Chaplinska’s work. She added that it was fantastic to see something by a current painter that was completely new and like nothing she had seen before.

Brook’s work features large canvases of mixed media images dealing with nature, focusing on landscapes and trees. When looking at her works from a distance, they looked like skilled paintings with depth and movement. However, when it’s looked at close up, the viewer can see they are made up of collages with all sorts of images and text underneath.

Brook owns a gallery in Nevada City that features her work as well as the work of other artists.Chaplinska owns a studio in Roseville where she teaches privately and works on her own pieces.
The art gallery is one large room with two walls that split up the exhibit and it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to get an indepth look at each piece.

Hansen encourages students to come by for a visit.

“You are going to see some quality work. It might give you motivation for your own work or offer you a chance to appreciate someone else’s work,” Hansen said.

The exhibit is free and open to the public Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and will continue until March 23. It is located on the west side of campus at the Visual & Performing Arts Center.