Living Color: Inside the Outsiders

Saturday, June 18 through Sunday, August 14, 2005

New this summer - More than 100 Recent Works by Northern California's Premier Plein-air Landscape Painters
The Outsiders: Nikki Basch-Davis, Warren Dreher, Pam Glover, Ray Jackson, Judy Molyneux, William Rushton, Randy Sexton, Jerrold Turner

  • Reception: Sunday, June 19, 3 - 4:30 p.m.
  • Slide-Lectures: Sunday, June 19, 2 - 3 p.m.
  • "California Colorists: The Society of Six"- Saturday, July 23, 2 - 3 p.m.
  • "California Contemporary Plein-Air Painters"
    Offered by plein-air art historian and catalogue essayist Sarah Beserra. $5 admission to reception and both lectures; Free to Hearst Art Gallery members.

The Hearst Art Gallery of Saint Mary's College is pleased to present more than one hundred recent paintings by Northern California's premier group of plein-air artists, the Outsiders.

These painters trace their artistic roots directly back to a group of early twentieth century modernists known as the Society of Six, Selden Gile, Maurice Logan, Louis Siegriest, August Gay, Bernard von Eichman and William Clapp. Their canvases vibrated with raw and exuberant color during the period when the art scene from the San Francisco Bay to the Monterey peninsula was still dominated by the subtle and serene Tonalism of Arthur and Lucia Mathews, Gottardo Piazzoni, Guiseppi Cadenasso and Xavier Martinez.

After World War II, landscape paintings by the Six had fallen out of favor. In the mid-1970s, Oakland Museum curator Terry St. John discovered some of their work in a museum storage vault. He soon organized a significant exhibition at the Oakland Museum that attracted praise from artists and connoisseurs alike. St. John was also a painter, and arranged for the surviving original member of the Six, Louis Siegriest, to take a group of eager students on painting expeditions to the same Bay Area locales favored by the Six some fifty years earlier.

One of those students was Pam Glover, who founded the Outsiders. Exposure to the work and the techniques of the Society of Six was critical to development of the fledgling group and set off a series of events that resulted in a vital and renewed plein-air movement in Northern California. In the early 1980s Jerrold Turner, Nikki Basch-Davis and Warren Dreher joined Glover, and through their exhibiting and teaching, played important roles in the revival of Bay Area plein-air painting. In the 1990s Judy Molyneux, Ray Jackson, William Rushton and Randall Sexton joined The Outsiders.

These eight artists continue the revival of a Bay Area tradition of painting outdoors. Although they inspire and stimulate each other, their styles are quite different. Within California's plein-air
painting community, they also stand out: instead of capturing California's spectacularly beautiful coastal and mountain scenes, they often paint urban scenes populated by people, parking lots and cars, historic mining towns, fallow fields and foothills.

A twenty-four page, richly illustrated color catalogue, with essays by Sarah Beserra and Peter Brown, accompanies the exhibition, which was organized by Gallery registrar Julie Armistead. Beserra will give two plein-air painting slide-lectures, on Sunday, June 19, and Saturday, July 23.

The Gallery is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. For more information about the lectures or to register for advanced painting workshops with members of The Outsiders, call (925) 631-4379.

Fresh Produce
Ray Jackson
Oyster Shack
Jerrold Turner
Benicia Alley
Nikki Basch-Davis
Moraga Road
Pam Glover
Spring Raun Martinex
Warren Dreher
William Rushton

Outdoor Painting Workshops with members of the Outsiders:
Saturdays, July 30 and August 6. For experienced painters only.
$75 per session; $125 for both.
Call (925) 631-4379 for reservations or more information

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Contact: Heidi Donner (925) 631-4069 or