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Art Resolutions: See, Make, & Buy in 2017

Posted by BG Staff // January 6th, 2017

As we reflect on the past year and look forward to greater connection and conversation, it’s no surprise we’re making resolutions to see, make, and buy more art in 2017. Studies show art can alleviate stress, change the way you think, heal, and inspire you (even if you’re bad at making it).


Our winter exhibition Cut Up/Cut Out is already sparking creativity with astonishing work by over 50 artists from around the world – but there’s more! Two exhibition artists will have solo shows in the Bay Area at the same time, so don’t miss a chance to check out more of their work:

Bovey Lee_Certificate of Naturalization

Bovey Lee: The Sea Will Come to Kiss Me @ Rena Bransten Gallery

LA-based artist Bovey Lee’s upcoming show at Rena Bransten is well-timed as we enter a new political era, reflecting her feelings as an immigrant, woman, and person of color. Expect her signature imagery but on personal material. On view January 7 – February 25.


Francesca Pastine_Curiosity

Francesca Pastine: Curiosity @ Eleanor Harwood Gallery

Local artist Francesca Pastine’s new show showcases her watercolor paintings and sculptures inspired by NASA’s Mars rover, Curiosity. Her Mylar Artforum sculptures are a favorite. Also on view January 7 – February 25.



Center for Community Arts

If making friends and learning a new skill are high on your list, look no further than Walnut Creek’s Center for Community Arts. They offer a wide-range of art making options, from multi-week courses to drop-in taster workshops in drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, photography, digital media, dance, theater, fiber arts, jewelry, and more. Affordable prices and flexible scheduling means you can take more than one or invite a friend! We recommend this month’s Make & Mingle for art + beer and the February lecture with Russian master potter Sergei Isupov for some cute/creepy/surreal ceramic sculpture inspiration.

Sergei Isupov sculptures



Redocorating or decluttering on your resolution list? No room is complete without art –we’ve got you covered on some affordable art to liven up your walls, at home or in the office.


We stock a selection of limited edition and exclusive prints at our merch counter from current and past Bg exhibitions, ready for framing.

Shannon Taylor_Southern Star print

Shannon Taylor, Southern Star, limited edition archival print produced by Magnolia Editions in Oakland, CA


There’s a misconception that art hung in galleries is too expensive for the average collector, so don’t let sticker shock keep you from looking hard at price lists. Often emerging artists have lower prices, giving you a chance to expand your art collection with an original work by new talent. Here are a few great originals from our current exhibition Cut Up/Cut Out with price tags that won’t break the bank:

cut up cut out artists 

The 'Under $1,000' Club, clockwise from top left: Charles Clary, Simone Lourenço, Lorenzo Durán, Hillary Waters Fayle, Maude White

Go Local

Supporting local artists means you’re taking a direct and active part in your art community and ensuring it thrives for years to come. Here’s a trio of affordable pieces from our current show by local artists:

cut up cut out local artists 

Clockwise from top left: Adrienne Heloise, Gabriel Schama, Brian Singer 

Interested in purchasing any of these pieces? Stop in the gallery or inquire by email:


A Look Back at 2016

Posted by BG Staff // December 22nd, 2016

As the year draws to a close, we’re reflecting on another great year of exhibitions, school tours, special programs, public art, and of course, our visitors. We’re honored to be part of a thriving art community! Here are a few of our favorite moments in 2016:


My Hero collage

My Hero! Contemporary Art & Superhero Action was on view January 17 – March 20. Image, left: Artist Rose Sellery (center) with Bg Curator Carrie Lederer and Bg Staff Ama Wertz in costume at our opening reception fashion show. Image right: Artists Mel Ramos and Liz Rossof

This year brought Art+Play to the Bedford, with a series of exhibitions all about exploration and discovery. We showcased heroes big and small (and hosted a cos-play fashion show) in our superhero show My Hero! Contemporary Art and Superhero Action; kicked off baseball season with Safe at Home: A Short Survey of Baseball Art, co-curated by long-time baseball gallerist George Krevsky; filled the gallery with natural wonder in our site-specific installation FLUX by Crystal Wagner; and celebrated the beauty of tools through historic and local artwork in our concurrent fall shows ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection and Blade Runner: ReTooling the Saw as Art.

Safe at Home

Safe at Home: A Short Survey of Baseball Art was on view April 3 – June 12. Image right: Theatrical reading by Bay Area luminaries at our closing salon, Bottom of the 9th.

Fun Facts:

  • Number of Batman figurines adorning the frame of My Hero! artist Robert Burden’s wall-sized Batman painting: 365
  • Safe at Home artist Ray Materson taught himself to make tiny embroideries using salvaged thread from worn socks—in prison. His work is now shown in museums around the country and he is a vocal advocate for the healing power of art.
  • Hours spent installing FLUX (with artist Crystal Wagner, assistant, and Bedford install crew): 700
  • Hardware store magnate John Hechinger began collecting tool-related artwork with the purchase of Jim Dine’s Tool Box. Upon his passing in 2004, the Hechinger collection contains over 375 works in all media by 250 artists.

FLUX Retooled Blade Runner

Images, clockwise from top: FLUX by Crystal Wagner was on view June 26 – August 28; Bg Curator Carrie Lederer with ReTooled curator Sarah Tanguy; visitors at Blade Runner opening reception. ReTooled and Blade Runner were on view September 18 – November 27. 


Traveling Exhibitions


Emily Mulholland, 9, wanders through the Benton Museum's "Blow Up" exhibition. Included in the show is work by Lewis deSoto, left, and Patrick Flibotte. (Mark Mirko / Image via

2016 saw Bedford hit the road with two traveling exhibitions: Blow Up: Inflatable Contemporary Art and My Hero! Contemporary Art & Superhero Action. Both shows made several Top 10 lists as they crisscrossed the country, from Arizona to Alabama, New York, and Connecticut. And they aren’t stopping—Blow Up will be on tour through 2017, and My Hero! will travel into 2020. Check out the (growing) list of venues and dates here.


School Tours

My Hero school tour_crop

School tour for My Hero!

Thanks to a generous grant by JP Morgan Chase, gallery tours were free for the third year in a row for all Contra Costa County schools.  Nearly 5000 students visited the gallery to see our shows on a school tour, with many discovering art for the first time right here at the Bedford. Through our Art in a Suitcase workshop program, Bg Docents brought art education to nearly 2000 students in classrooms around the county.


Special Programs

Chevron Craft Fest

Epic mask making during Chevron Family Theatre Festival; Tula in Bloom table at Bg Craft Fest 2016

Along with our exhibitions, the Bedford hosts Bg Craft Fest, an annual festival of handmade goods from Bay Area artisans and makers. Hundreds of visitors came to shop, see our shows, and pick up a new skill in our holiday-themed DIY maker workshops. The gallery also participates each year in Chevron Family Theatre Festival, with thousands of visitors stopping by for family fun and hands-on art making in the gallery.


Public Art

Hand of Peace - Bufano

Hand of Peace by Beniamino Bufano in Civic Park

Ever wondered about that giant yellow head downtown? Thanks to our new online audio guide, you can Walk Walnut Creek and find out more about the city’s collection from your mobile phone. 2016 also saw several new public artworks going up around town, including Cliff Garten’s Liliales in the new Broadway Plaza. And Civic Park’s towering Hand of Peace was the subject of an award-winning documentary by Walnut Creek TV’s own Liz Payne.


Many thanks to our Bg Members and art patrons for supporting our exhibitions and public programs through generous donation to the gallery. Your gift is a gesture of community support! Not yet a member? Become an art hero today and be part of something special!


Artist Spotlight: Expect the Unexpected

Posted by BG Staff // December 15th, 2016

The artists in Cut Up/Cut Out not only represent a diverse style of cut and pierced work, they showcase this laborious and astonishing art tradition in a wide range of media, some quite unexpected:


cut up cut out_bedford gallery_books 1

Brian Dettmer, Interiors (2014); Francesca Pastine, ARTFORUM 50, Oracular Vision (2014); James Allen, Old Mr. Boston Deluxe (2013)

The Excavators: Brian Dettmer (New York, NY), Francesca Pastine (San Francisco, CA), and James Allen (Portland, OR) carve out whole new worlds from the pages of books and magazines.

cut up cut out_bedford gallery_books 2

Barbara Wildenboer, Dark Paradise III (2013); Brian Singer, Transitions #1 (2016)

Book Lovers: Barbara Wildenboer (Cape Town, South Africa) and Brian Singer (San Francisco, CA) take book art to a new sculptural level.



cut up cut out_bedford gallery_maps

Nikki Rosato, Tim: Detroit, MI (2013); Karen Margolis, Salt Lake City (2009); Claire Brewster, A Rose Without Thorns (2016)

Break out the atlas – Nikki Rosato (Washington, D.C.), Karen Margolis (New York, NY), and Claire Brewster (London, UK) connect maps to the living world.



cut up cut out_bedford gallery_wood

Gabriel Schama, Cabron (2015); Justine Khamara, Orbital Spin Trick (2013)

Laser Cut: Gabriel Schama (Oakland, CA) and Justine Khamara (Melbourne, Australia) sculpt portraits with wood.



cut up cut out_bedford gallery_metal

Mounir Fatmi, Between the Lines (2010); Cal Lane, Pantie Can (2013)

The themes present in delicate and intricate work by Mounir Fatmi (Paris, France) and Cal Lane (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) take on new meaning when cut in metal.



cut up cut out_bedford gallery_leaves

Hillary Waters Fayle, Poplars I (2016); Lorenzo Durán, Dragón (2011)

Hillary Waters Fayle (Richmond, VA) and Lorenzo Durán (Guadalajara, Spain) connect to the natural world with painstaking care to prevent damaging their canvases.


And beyond...

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 Wim Delvoye, Untitled (Car Tyre) (2011); Charles Clary, Double Diddle Daddle Bereavement Movement #1 (2016)

Wim Delvoye (Brighton, UK) works wonder in rubber, while Charles Clary (Conway, SC) explores grief in drywall.


Cut Up/Cut Out opens this Sunday, December 18, 3–5pm. Come meet many of these artists and grab a copy of the exhibition catalog!


Art Exploration with the Bedford

Posted by BG Staff // December 2nd, 2016

Looking for a little art staycation? Let the staff at the Bedford be your guide to great art destinations! Spanning the entire country and crossing borders and oceans, we bring you some of our favorite galleries, shows, artists, and sightseeing for artful exploration:

downtown LA at dusk

Carrie Lederer, Curator of Exhibitions and Programs

Los Angeles, CA

For years now I’ve been making the trip down to So Cal for art—primarily to the LA museums for major traveling exhibitions, but in the past 6-7 years the city’s art scene has totally and irrefutably exploded. When NYT’s headlines tout “Art Scene Heats up in downtown Los Angeles,” you know there’s been a significant cultural shift:

“Influential galleries from New York and London, including Venus Over Los AngelesMaccarone and Ibid, have set up outposts alongside local galleries with fancy pedigrees like the Box (run by the artist Paul McCarthy’s daughter, Mara McCarthy) and Wilding Cran (owned by Anthony Cran and Naomi deLuce Wilding, the granddaughter of Elizabeth Taylor).”

The Broad collage

45 seconds in Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room; Barbara Kruger

Don’t miss The Broad, a contemporary museum founded by philanthropists Eli and Edyth Broad and designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The over 2,000 works include major players like Barbara Kruger, Murakami, and Yayoi Kusama’s dazzling Infinity Mirrored Room.

LA galleries collage

Rendered docile by Sean Mahan; So THAT'S how it is in their family watercolor by Mike David

LA is a great place to scout new artists and ideas for potential Bedford exhibitions—I never go home empty handed. I was thrilled to come across Sean Mahan’s work at Thinkspace Gallery—perfect for our upcoming Summer 2017 juried show Sweet n Low which will explore everything cute. The Bedford is currently touring nationally our exhibition My Hero!, so we all have superheroes on the mind. On view at Honor Fraser Gallery Ry Rocklen had some brilliant sculptures made with mirrors and ceramic. And at Gavlak, check out this sweet watercolor portrait by Mike Davis of Batman and Robin.

Shinique Smith collage 

Shinique Smith’s installation in the breezeway at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel

If you haven’t already visited Hauser Wirth & Schimmel—it’s a must for your LA “Do List.” This gallery, located in the heart of the burgeoning Downtown Arts District of Los Angeles, is devoted to exhibiting the work of contemporary art and modern masters. In addition to the galleries, the complex includes a bookstore, a research area, an educational lab, a planting garden, public breezeway, and of course a stellar restaurant. /////



casa barragan collage_ronen bekerman

Casa Luis Barragán, photos courtesy of Ronen Bekerman

Christine Koppes, Assistant to the Curator

Mexico City, Mexico

Must See List:

Casa Luis Barragán; Ciudadela Market; Kurimanzutto, art gallery with exhibition of Jonathan Hernández

mexico city collage

Jonathan Hernández “Asset Forfeiture” installation at Kurimanzutto, photo by Onnis Luque; Ciudadela photo by Stephanie Garcia

Mexico City is the ideal place for aesthetic pleasure and art inspiration – any art lover’s dream. The most striking characteristic of the city is the colors, houses are vibrant shades of pink, orange, and blue. The streets are lined with lush tropical foliage, and markets like the Ciudadela are full of technicolor handicrafts. A highlight of my trip was touring the house and studio of Luis Barragan, renowned Mexican architect (1902-1988), where Barragan created an ideal space for his “emotional architecture.” Mexico City is home to many impressive art galleries – my favorite being Kurimanzutto, a breathtaking gallery space that represent big names in the contemporary art world. /////



Nosanchuk_Butterfly Asteroid_detail

Detail view of Butterfly Asteroid by David Nosanchuk

Kori Johnson, Program Assistant, Press & Promotions

Philadelphia, PA

Don’t Miss Exhibition:  Wood, Revisited

wood revisited artist collage

After Haeckel by Gabriel Schama; Butterfly Asteroid by David Nosanchuk; Wooden Textile by Elisa Strozyk - photos courtesy of the artist and The Center for Art in Wood

In all my years traveling to Philly, I have never visited The Center for Art in Wood. I didn’t even know about it until this trip. It’s nestled in the heart of Old City, home to many of Philly’s art galleries and historic sites including Betsy Ross’ house and Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest street in America. This show has many parallels to our upcoming winter show Cut Up/Cut Out (including work by Oakland artist Gabriel Schama, who will also have several pieces in Cut Up/Cut Out), from the artistic technicality to extraordinary aesthetics. It’s one of those shows that leaves you in awe of what human beings are capable of (in the best way possible!). I loved David Nosanchuk’s Butterfly Asteroid, hanging right at the entrance to the gallery space, and young German designer Elisa Strozyk‘s Wooden Textile  is also quite interesting in person. All the works function well as stand-alone pieces but comprise a diverse, impressive collection all together.

The Center for Art and Wood is free and open to the public. It has a great shop with a nice, well-priced selection of books and merchandise. There is also a large, wood-art library in the upstairs space. Definitely a Philly gem! /////



richard wright stairwell project

The Stairwell Project by Richard Wright

Ama Wertz, Gallery Assistant

Edinburgh, Scotland

When to Go: August, when the entire city becomes an art lover’s haven at the annual Edinburgh Art Festival

scottish national gallery of modern art collage

Sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi; outdoor sculpture on the grounds of Modern One; Vespertino (detail) by Bridget Riley

Along with gorgeous cobblestone streets lined with Georgian architecture, cozy pubs, haunted back alleys, and a castle fortress dominating the skyline since the 12th century, Scotland’s capital city boasts an impressive range of historic and contemporary museums and art galleries, all with free admission. A tourist favorite, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is set along the picturesque Water of Leith walkway among sprawling lawns filled with outdoor sculpture and two buildings: Modern One, home to an incredible collection of well-known UK and international greats like Matisse, Picasso, Francis Bacon, David Hockney, and Lucian Freud, as well as excellent rotating exhibitions of contemporary artists like British op-art painter Bridget Riley; and Modern Two, dominated by sculptures from Scottish artist Eduardo Paolozzi, including a replica of his studio and a massive work towering in the gallery’s excellent Viennese-style café. Equally impressive is The Stairwell Project by 2009 Turner Prize winner Richard Wright, a stunning hand-painted canopy on permanent view.  Also not to be missed among the great national museums is portraiture both historic and modern in a neo-gothic palace at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, whose Great Hall is ringed by a frieze of famous Scots.

Taylor Wessing prize and Kelpies

Yayoi Kusama photograph by Noriko Takuasugi; the Kelpies

Just outside of Edinburgh in the bucolic parkland around Falkirk looms the largest equine sculpture in the world: The Kelpies, designed by Scottish sculptor Andy Scott. At nearly 100-feet tall, these mythical water horses of steel are visible for miles and light up to dazzling display at night. /////




Light Sculpture of Flames by teamlab

Alesha Colberg-Martinez, Tours and Traveling Exhibitions Coordinator

Menlo Park, CA + Davis, CA

Thanks to our very full school and activity schedule in the fall, my family did not venture beyond the comforts of the Bay Area. Luckily the Bay provides many amazing art outing opportunities for families! In late October, my 6-year-old daughter Sam and I visited the awesome teamLab exhibition at Pace Gallery in Menlo Park. Although it was a ticketed exhibition, it was well worth the cost for a very unique and creative experience. TeamLab’s series of interactive, high-tech artwork installed throughout several dark galleries fuses technology and creativity, and is worth a trip to this perfectly-situated Silicon Valley gallery before it closes on Dec 18.

teamlab collage

Flowers and People and Black Waves video installations by teamlab

Over the Thanksgiving holiday break, my husband and I took both kids to our alma mater, UC Davis to visit the recently opened Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. Their inaugural exhibition Out Our Way is a nod to the legacy of artists who have taught over the years at UC Davis, and included works by Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Arneson, William T. Wiley, Roy De Forest, Roland Petersen, Manuel Neri, Ralph Johnson, Ruth Horsting, Daniel Shapiro, Tio Giambruni, Jane Garritson and John Baxter. While more women artists certainly could have been featured, it was overall a lovely historical show installed in a circular, light-filled gallery space which flows very nicely (you certainly cannot get lost in this museum’s series of galleries!). Also on view were two smaller installations by contemporary artists, Chris Sollars and Pia Camil, and Yoko Ono’s Wishing Tree installation featured in their courtyard. Definitely stop by this new, beautiful museum!

Manetti Shrem Museum of Art collage
Painting by Wayne Thiebaud; Yoko Ono's Wishing Tree; Recollections of a Sword Swallower by Roy De Forest




morikami gardens collage

First two images courtesy of Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens; shishi-odoshi photo by Erik Mortensen.

Erik Mortensen, Chief Preparator

Boca Raton, FL

Zen in an unexpected place: Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens on the South Florida coast. Open since 1977 and based on a farming colony that developed in the area at the turn of the 20th century, Morikami has become a center for Japanese arts and culture complete with museum of art exhibitions and special programs, classes, shop, tea house, and six gardens based on famous traditional gardens in Japan. To keep out animals that might feast on the many plants in the gardens, designers employ shishi-odoshi, a rod of bamboo balanced on a fulcrum that collects falling water, eventually tipping over and striking rocks below when full, earning it the apt name “deer chaser.”



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