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Women at the Bedford: A History

Posted by BG Staff // March 28th, 2017

Our new exhibition Material Girls, featuring the work of two female artists who transform everyday objects and materials into unusual and astonishing artworks, opened last week, and to celebrate the power and intensity of women in art, we take a look back at the all-women shows on view over the years here at the Bedford (with more to come!):


Irene Pijoan_title wall 

Irene Pijoan 1980-2000: A Mid-Career Retrospective (2001)

This exhibition spanned two decades of work by the late Bay Area artist and teacher Irene Pijoan. Known for her diverse and bold style, Pijoan spent decades plumbing the depths of her personal experiences to create figurative and narrative paintings and sculptures, with a strong emphasis on materials and form. The series of large-scale paper cutouts she was working on before her death in 2004 are complex and incredibly beautiful, and were a huge inspiration for our 2016-2017 winter show Cut Up/Cut Out.

Irene Pijoan_Stairwell to Cochlea

Irene Pijoan, Stairwell to Cochlea, 1997, mixed media on paper with cut-outs, 80 x 40 inches, courtesy of the Irene Pijoan Estate.

Irene Pijoan_mother paper cutouts

Irene Pijoan's mixed media paper cutouts inspired the recent exhibition Cut Up/Cut Out.


Linda McCartney_crop

Photo by Paul McCartney

Linda McCartney’s Sixties: Portrait of an Era (2001)

That same year saw a show of candid photographs by Linda McCartney, wife of legendary musician Paul McCartney and very much a talented musician and artist in her own right. Her unique access to backstage and private events meant she could get incredible, honest shots of music legends like Jimi Hendrix, Judy Collins, Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, and many more. Her intimate photographs capture the colorful expression and intensity of an unforgettable era.

Linda McCartney_Beatles

(left) The Beatles at Sgt Pepper album press launch, Linda's first photo of the Beatles in London - and when she met Paul McCartney for the first time. (right) Paul with baby Mary. 

Linda McCartney_legends

LEGENDS: (left) Jimi Hendrix, Rheingold Festival, Central Park, 1967 - Linda's favorite portrait of Hendrix. (middle) Janis Joplin. (right) Judy Collins. All photographs by Linda McCartney ©The Estate of Linda McCartney.


Wendy Sussman

Paintings by Wendy Sussman, 1949-2001: A Memorial Exhibition (2002)

Gifted painter Wendy Sussman grew up in New York, moving to the Bay Area in 1989 to teach art at UC Berkeley. This exhibition was a memorial and tribute to Sussman, who had recently died of cancer, leaving friends and family –and the Bay Area art scene, really – bereft, and featured 25 of her poignant and powerful large-scale paintings. Bg Curator Carrie Lederer called her a “painter’s painter,” with an intensity and “passion for her work that she bestowed on her students and those around her.”

Wendy Sussman_exhibition

(left) Untitled, 1998-1999, oil on canvas, 85 x 144 inches; (right) Self-Portrait, 1981, oil on canvas, 18.5 x 16 inches

Wendy Sussman_exhibition 2

(left) I Don't Want to Play This Game, 1999, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches; (right) Untitled (detail), 1998-1999, oil on canvas, 85 x 144 inches


Joyce Hsu_exhibition view

The World of Joyce Hsu: A Site-Specific Installation of Dogs, Daisies, and Flying Objects (2005)

Installation artist Joyce Hsu transformed the gallery into a fantasyland, giving visitors a taste of what it would be like to live in a cartoon. Her cast of characters included large kinetic insects and plastic flowers. Originally from Hong Kong, Hsu creates work that explores cute – but not exactly cuddly – companions at the intersection of childhood and consumerism, and is often interactive. She lives and works in the Bay Area, so look out for her hummingbird and dinosaur public art sculptures on Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek.

Joyce Hsu_Kinetic Dragonfly3

Joyce Hsu, Kinetic Dragonfly, 2004, steel

Joyce Hsu

(left) Aga/Oba with Islands and Flowers, 1999, mixed media; (right) Damn Bug, motorized firefly with flapping wings, 2001-2002, wood, metal, aluminum, and found objects, wing span 22 inches 


All three Story Painters artists, from left: Hung Liu, Inez Storer, Squeak Carnwath.

Story Painters: Drawings, Paintings, Prints, and Tapestries by Squeak Carnwath, Hung Liu, and Inez Storer (2010)

This triple-header survey exhibition featured three extraordinary Bay Area artists whose work centers around storytelling and narrative. Squeak Carnwath invites the viewer into conversation with paintings that combine words and images in an often multi-layered, textured technique. Hung Liu’s work tells a story of revolution, weaving themes from her childhood growing up under Chinese communism and assimilating in the West. Inez Storer brings to life “absurd” narratives, painted and collaged surfaces that are dream-like and often humorous. All three artists have been profiled at major museums and are internationally recognized for their distinct narrative styles, giving us both personal and historic stories.

Squeak Carnwath_exhibition

(left) Artist Squeak Carnwath in the exhibition; (right) Thought & Pleasure #2, 2009, oil and alkyd on panel

Hun Liu_exhibition

(left) Artist Hung Liu in the exhibition; (right) Rescue: Cradle, 2009, oil on canvas

Inez Storer_exhibition

(left) Artist Inez Storer in the exhibition; (right) Foreigners, 2008, oil on panel

Carnwath Liu Storer

(left) Squeak Carnwath, In Pursuit of Happiness, 2000, oil and alkyd on canvas; (middle) Hung Liu, Travelogue, 2004, oil on canvas; (right) Inez Storer, How Much Longer, 2008, oil on panel, plaster, mixed media



Photo by Crystal Wagner

FLUX: A Site-Specific Installation by Crystal Wagner (2016)

Crystal Wagner’s colorful and sprawling site-specific artworks evoke awe and wonder. For her commissioned installation at the Bedford, Wagner spent nearly two weeks working 10-12 hour days with a small crew to create a piece that filled the gallery and responded to its unique architecture. Massive, abstract, and organic in form, FLUX was reminiscent of an ocean reef or dragon flying through the sky, and visitors were invited to walk inside the installation and be enveloped in its explosive color and pattern. Wagner employs a unique visual language to explore our relationship to the natural world and engage viewers in a dialogue about environmentalism, consumerism, technology, landscapes, and the power of art.

Click here to watch a timelapse video of the building of FLUX.


Crystal building FLUX at the Bedford.

FLUX Crystal Wagner pano

Full view of completed FLUX , extending into skylights.


Heather Day_photo Brock Brake

Photo of artist Heather Day in her studio by Brock Brake.

About Abstraction: Bay Area Women Painters (TBA 2017)

Stay tuned for this exciting show in our upcoming 2017-2018 exhibition season celebrating 16 emerging and established women artists working in abstraction in the Bay Area.


Material Girls: Lynn Aldrich & Sabina Ott is on view through June 4. 



Women Mean Business

Posted by BG Staff // March 9th, 2017

As we celebrate Women's History Month with profiles of female artists who have inspired us and prepping to open our upcoming exhibition Material Girls, we’re also looking to our local community and honoring talented women entrepreneurs fearlessly leading the way in innovation and industry right here in our neighborhood. Below are a few great women-owned businesses to support in Walnut Creek – all year round:


Mackenzie Lesher

Mackenzie Lesher

Why she’s a superstar

This mom-of-two is the force behind The Spotted Cow, a stylish vintage shop selling furniture, home decor, handmade items, and other antique-inspired goods. And the role is a demanding one: “I do the buying, merchandising, styling, the social media and marketing, plus I work there a couple of days a week.”

Who she admires

Angie Coffee. “She’s a longtime business woman in Walnut Creek who’s done a lot of volunteer leadership, including being President of the Diablo Regional Arts Association (DRAA), working with the Special Olympics and John F. Kennedy University. She’s incredible.”

Kathleen Odne, the Executive Director of the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation. “She is amazing. She got me involved with the Junior League and she’s a trailblazer in non-profit leadership.”

Why celebrating Women’s History Month is important

“For young people to appreciate the journey women have taken, and continue to be on. It’s important to celebrate the many advances women have made, and to talk about places we still need to move forward.”

spotted cow 

The Spotted Cow
2631 N. Main Street 
Walnut Creek, CA


Deb Phillips 2 

Deb Phillips

Why she’s a superstar

Phillips is the mastermind and co-owner of Lottie’s Creamery, an artisan ice cream parlor that pasteurizes and crafts all their products onsite, including waffle cones and some of the flavor elements like toffee and marshmallow. It’s a project she started working on in 2012, “I was looking to do something creative, something interesting. Ice cream is narrow in focus, but within it, you can be creative with all the options. With our vanilla, salted almond toffee flavor, most places would just buy the toffee and add it in, but we make that toffee and roast the almonds. We put a lot of care and effort into every flavor.” Look for daily new and rotating ice cream offerings like rum raisin and lemon marshmallow.

Who she admires

Her grandmother, Lottie. “She immigrated here as a Jewish refugee during WWII, and found her place in this country. I grew up next to her as a kid, she was the matriarch of our family, and I wanted to honor her with the name of my business.”

Why celebrating Women’s History Month is important

“These days everyone’s attention is so spliced, this gives us at least a moment to highlight stories that aren’t getting told. Every month should be women’s history month.”

Lotties Creamery

Lottie's Creamery
1414 N. Main Street
Walnut Creek, CA


Aimee Dudum Colorado with Sandy Dudum

Owners Sandy Dudum and Aimee Dudum Colorado. Photo: Meg Russell Photography

Aimee Dudum Colorado

Why she’s a superstar

As one of the co-owners of VICI, a fashion-forward boutique on California Blvd, Colorado started the shop with her stepmother Sandy. What started off as an appointment-only service has grown to include two California locations (the other is in Newport Beach), along with a successful website, social media platforms, and plans to expand. “The shop is eclectic, and offers mothers and daughters affordably priced, stylish pieces. But what also makes it unique is that we hire fully trained stylists as our sales associates. They’re even available by phone or email—if you need advice on what shoes or necklace to pair with your outfit, you’ll get a response right away.”

Who she admires

Her stepmom and VICI co-owner, Sandy Dudum. “She’s very skilled, strong willed, and is a creative individual. She loves to share her talents with everyone and has provided jobs and opportunities for a lot of people.”

Why celebrating Women’s History Month is important

“To reflect and honor the struggles women had previously ignored. It’s important to keep that in mind, and be thankful where we are now—especially the strides we’ve taken in business. It’s great to see so many women entrepreneurs in our community. It’s empowering.”

VICI collage 

1683 N. California Blvd
Walnut Creek, CA


If you’ve got a women-owned business in Walnut Creek, we’d love to connect with you! Say hello at



A Labor of Love

Posted by BG Staff // February 23rd, 2017

Maude White_Photo by Melissa Hope

Photo of Maude White by Melissa Hope

Upon entering our current exhibition Cut Up/Cut Out, the first impression of many is the meticulous attention to detail evident in each work – we’ve even had guests bring their own magnifying glasses to get a closer look at the many layers and subtle details! If you’ve been wondering “How did they do that?” here’s your video journey into the studios and laborious processes of many of our artists in the show. Get inspired! Cut Up/Cut Out closes March 5.

Brian Dettmer


Rogan Brown



Claire Brewster


Charles Clary


Hillary Waters Fayle


Will Kurtz


Chris Natrop


Rebecca Niederlander


Nikki Rosato


Rob Ryan


Lyndi Sales


Andy Singleton


Jen Stark



Mark Wagner




Sweet n Low: Q & A with Juror Evan Pricco

Posted by BG Staff // February 2nd, 2017

Founded in 1994 by artists and collectors as a counter to the status quo art scene, San Francisco-based magazine Juxtapoz has been highlighting underground artists and making outsider art accessible for over two decades. Its Editor-in-Chief Evan Pricco joined the magazine in 2006. Because of the magazine’s unique tie to high and low art, we’ve asked Evan to be a juror for our upcoming international show of ‘cute’ art, Sweet n Low. We caught up with him to find out more about how he curates and selects artists for the magazine, his interest in ‘cute’ art, and how Juxtapoz has remained a fresh and relevant voice in the scene for so many years.

Evan Pricco 

Evan Pricco outside the Juxtapoz offices

Tell us a little about your background and how you came to Juxtapoz. What perspective do you bring to the role of Editor-in-Chief, and what are your goals for the magazine?

Well, as luck would have it, I came to Juxtapoz a little bit of being in the right place at the right time, and also because I was focused on both journalism and art at the time and the stars aligned. I had been working, right out of college, at a book publisher in Berkeley as well as starting to work at Upper Playground in SF, which, at the time, was like this cutting-edge brand that was taking street art culture and giving it both the platform of gallery representation and apparel. This was I think 2005. And as luck would have it, working at UP led to me being considered at Juxtapoz, also SF-based, when an opening as Managing Editor came up. I was close to the Editor of Juxtapoz at the time, and he was hopeful that I would join Juxtapoz because of my interest in art journalism. I think maybe 6 years later, after working hard at Juxtapoz and establishing some of our online and social media presence and really making it the largest art audience in the world, I was named Editor. That is a long story made short!

My goals for the magazine... good question. I think the best way to describe it would be to make art accessible to everyone and doing it both intelligently but not obscure. I think the art world, on all levels, gets so insular that we forget to actually communicate what is happening to a larger audience. Juxtapoz tries to literally create a discourse that involves all interests in art, from blue chip galleries, to museums, to street art, to emerging art, to a tattoo shop in your town. It's getting all those communities together in one platform, and speak of their significance without pretension ... if possible.

Barbara Kruger_Lucy Sparrow

Left: Barbara Kruger addresses politics in Untitled (Your Body is a Battleground), 1989; Right: Lucy Sparrow’s felt pieces in Best of the British

You’ve interviewed countless artists over the years. How do you decide who to profile, and what makes for a great interview? What are some of the stand-out interviews you’ve done?

Oh, boy, I get this question a lot, especially the "how do you decide who to profile." There is a natural progression to it, really, as we look at what an artist is up to, whether a new body of work seems to be drawing interest, or if their method is interesting, or if a current show is up. Really, what I try and do each issue and even each day with our social media and website is cover a lot of bases. If something is cool in the design world and then there is an awesome fashion collaborations and a great mural festival happening all on the same day, I like covering all these things so that if you were to come to Juxtapoz and read what we do, you are getting such a large scope of what is really happening in the art world. So a lot of who we decide to profile is finding new people in all fields and try and find a common ground.

Standout interviews...  Banksy, Barbara Kruger, Takashi Murakami, Shepard Fairey, Marcel Dzama, James Jean, Geoff McFetridge, Lucy Sparrow are some that jump out immediately. I've had the chance now to interview Conor Harrington, a great painter from London, three times now, and I feel like I have been able to watch him grow as an artist. Getting a really great interview is difficult, but I think it’s all about getting people comfortable, and also just being really prepared yourself to not just focus on the art, per se. Know about the conditions behind the work, have interest in the genre the artist is working in, don't be afraid to get to the point you want to discuss, etc.

Conor Harrington_collab with Maser

Conor Harrington mural collaboration with Maser in Fort Smith, Arkansas, 2015. Photo by Maser.

Juxtapoz started out as an alternative response to the stuffy, blue-chip, NYC-dominated art world, reflecting the growing subcultures of the SF Bay Area. With all the recent changes in the SF art scene, how has Juxtapoz – still based in the city – continued to honor those roots?

Again, great question. SF is tricky. It has such a rich history, from psychedelic posters to comix, to Mission School to graffiti, to the UC Davis scene and all the great institutions here. Plus, there are great, great art schools that keep turning out really great new waves of thinkers and makers. But like any city with a rich art history, things are becoming more decentralized when it comes to art. There are so many different places (cheaper places) to work and live now... LA, New Orleans, Detroit to name a few. But for Juxtapoz, SF is our home base, and our natural base. Those art schools really keep the city enriched. I think for us, keeping in the spirit of those before-mentioned genres and histories, make the connections from poster art to the new generations of rule-breakers in SF is how we keep connected.

Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami – Left: Self-Portrait of the Distressed Artist, 2009; Right: Tan Tan Bo–In Communication, 2014

Juxtapoz has the largest circulation of any art magazine in the US, highlighting underground and outsider art for over two decades. How have you continued to push boundaries and keep that art relationship fresh?

I think it’s sort of what I mentioned before. How do you take the underground, outsider, and emerging styles in some many different fields, combine it with what is happening in the upper-echelons of the institutional world and make it all seem seamless when in the same magazine. We are the only ones who are doing that... we will cover a Diebenkorn show, and on the next page show you some cutting edge photographer, next to someone making vinyl toys, and on the next page have a 10-page spread on an underground painter from Amsterdam, and present it in a language and style that is unique and smart and unlike any other magazine. It's really like the Superflat theory that Takashi Murakami came up with... its anything and everything, it’s all art, it all makes sense together because that is the reality of how we process art in the 21st century. I really take his theory to heart making this magazine.

Mark Ryden 

Mark Ryden – Left: Incarnation, 2009; Right: California Brown Bear, 2006

You’ll be jurying our international show of ‘cute’ art, Sweet n Low. How do you think ‘cute’ art fits into the artistic landscape of lowbrow and underground art? Have you seen its definition narrow or broaden during your time at Juxtapoz, in terms of what’s being shown in galleries or art fairs? What are some of your favorite artists working with the theme?

Underground art has broadened, and it’s funny because I think it has broadened as the art world has become more popular to a wider audience. It's like the term "indie" music, in that you know what it means but you actually don't even know if it applies to a certain band anymore. I think in the last 10 years, people say lowbrow to a certain aesthetic that is not necessarily coming from the same world that the blue chip galleries represent. Although, as I say this, people like Mark Ryden are so big in the blue chip collector world, so it’s all mixed up now. I was thinking about our new cover artist, Kristen Liu-Wong, who has that lowbrow look but also went to Pratt and is a wonderfully trained artist who makes cute yet disturbingly awesome work. I often think Cute gets mixed with Kitsch, which is kind of cool. I think you see more and more lowbrow art at fairs now because that style has been around long enough where people might not be as shocked by it as they were 20 years ago.

Kristen Liu Wong 

Kristen Liu-Wong’s paintings with acrylic, resin, and glitter – Left: Bennet, 2014; Still Life, 2014

You’ve traveled all over the world for the magazine, including Japan–why do you think Japanese culture is so obsessed with ‘cute’? How has their definition of ‘cute’ influenced art around the world?

I think it gets back to that Superflat theory. Art can be everywhere and everything. Japanese are obsessed with cute because they don't have the preconceived ideas of what they have to like. They like what they like. I think they have a little bit of rule-breaker mentality in that. In the US, stigmas are soooo strong in the art world, but in Japan, they break that stigma constantly.


Video from Juxtapoz x Superflat curated by Takashi Murakami and Evan Pricco

Manga and anime often fall under the ‘cute’ label, and few do it better than artist Takashi Murakami. Tell us a little about your relationship with such an art icon like Murakami and the experience of co-curating with him for last year’s Juxtapoz x Superflat show. Did you find overlap in your selections, or were there challenges?

Takashi and I just felt like his Superflat theory needed an update because he was so ahead of his time with that first show. And I had told him that my curation at Juxtapoz was so influenced by that theory, that he got excited and really wanted to do a show that combined Japan and the Juxtapoz movement together. Amazingly, he and I had so much fun picking artists, that we overlapped a bunch. Ryden, Austin Lee, Erin M. Riley, Urs Fischer... all these artists we picked were so all over the place but so of the moment, we really had such a good time picking artists. He is such a smart art collector, that it was so cool to see the way he was thinking, and gratifying for me to have a hero sort of give his blessing and really love my picks as well.

Urs Fischer 

Urs Fischer – Left: Rubidium, 2015; Right: Problem Painting, 2012

You joined the magazine as Editor-in-Chief, but you run its website and social media accounts as well. How has the internet and rise of social media as an outlet for artists and art publications alike influenced the way we see and understand underground art?

I think it’s the best thing ever. Art used to be so exclusive, like you weren't allowed in an artist's studio, or not allowed to go to openings, and this idea that the art world is for the few is over now. It's wide open. And the rise of social media is basically in line with what Juxtapoz stands for. Art is for the people, art is everywhere, there are no gatekeepers, but at the same time, all these new ways of thinking can be put together thoughtfully. I love that I can scroll though Instagram and see process, and shows happening around the world, or sculptures in a park, or a studio in South Africa. It's all about taking everything that is happening in the vast creative world and giving access and context to it. I hope people think Juxtapoz does a good job of it.

Austin Lee 

Austin Lee sketches on his iPad and uses Photoshop as the basis of his acrylic paintings. Left: Shady, 2015; Right: Eye 2 Eye, 2015

Submissions are open now for Sweet n Low: An International Juried Show of Cute. Application deadline is March 10, 2017. Submission info and how to apply at

Share the call for art with your friends on Facebook: 

Many thanks to Evan for the interview!


Irene Pijoan: Visionary Icon in Cut Up/Cut Out

Posted by BG Staff // January 20th, 2017

My interest in the art of paper cutting started fifteen years ago when I organized a 20-year retrospective of Bay Area artist Irene Pijoan (1953-2004). The Bedford dedicates this show to her extraordinary creative force and vision. In 2000, Irene was in the midst of a ground-breaking body of large-scale cut-paper pieces comprised of a complex network of patterns, words, and numbers. Pijoan painted the back of each piece neon pink, creating an illuminated reflection on the wall. This work was immense and staggeringly beautiful—some of the pieces stretched from floor to ceiling. Sadly, we lost Irene to a long-fought battle with cancer, but we remember her with love and admiration.” – Bedford Gallery Curator Carrie Lederer, from the introduction to Cut Up/Cut Out

Irene Pijoan_title wall

Irene Pijoan_portraits

Photos, clockwise from top left: Title wall from the 2001 Bedford Gallery exhibition Irene Pijoan: A Mid-Career Retrospective 1980-2000; Detail of Irene's iconic encaustic relief work: Crossing, 1980; Irene talks to gallery visitors at her Bedford show; photo of Irene by her husband, Craig Nagasawa

Born in Switzerland in 1953, Irene Pijoan drew heavily on personal experiences and narratives for her work. “It’s how the experience is read and how it’s paid attention to that has changed over the years,” she remarked in 2001, looking back on the progression of her work for a mid-career retrospective at the Bedford that spring. Her father, a prominent Spanish art historian and powerful personality, was 74 when she was born and died when she was ten, and she grew up at odds with her mother. Loneliness, rebellion, and fear influenced her art as she struck out on her own at age 16 and began a short period of existential searching and living more or less on the street.

Irene Pijoan_encaustic relief

Irene's iconic encaustic relief and oil paintings on plaster: (left) In the Book Format, 1982

On the tip of a visiting tourist, Irene moved to California to study psychology at American River College in Sacramento. After a year she left to attend Sacramento State and discovered the sculpture department. She was heavily influenced by Eva Hesse and art defined by material, and she began experimenting with large-scale abstract sculpture.  She dropped her psychology studies and earned her MFA at UC Davis among an extraordinary faculty that included Wayne Thiebaud, Roy De Forest, and Manuel Neri. She began drawing, working with the concentric circles and swirls that would be a reoccurring motifs in her work over the next several decades. Artist residencies in Georgia and New Mexico brought new experiences and changes in style. At the invitation of another professor, she began teaching at San Francisco Art Institute in 1983 at the age of 29, the same age as many of her students. Both her parents were teachers, so it was only natural she would become one, too. She remained dedicated to her students and teaching throughout her life.

Irene Pijoan_swirling cutouts

Elaborate filigree paper cutouts in mixed media: (right) Sleeve, 1997-1998

Irene Pijoan_Salt Gardens

Irene Pijoan, Salt Gardens, 1996, mixed media on paper with cut-outs, 132 x 210 inches

Dramatic events in her life always influenced Irene’s art development, often sending it in new directions. In the late 1980s, Irene rediscovered Buddhism, and her meditation practice led her to explore looser figurative and narrative work that reflected her spiritual connection to mind, body, and heart. She met her husband, painter Craig Nagasawa, and the two had a daughter Emiko in 1995. Emiko’s birth inspired a new body of work of vibrantly abstract painted paper cutouts. Following the death of her mother shortly after her daughter was born, Irene created delicate and elaborate cutouts with words and numbers exploring mourning and loss. That body of work continued through her first diagnosis with cancer in 1999, as she faced the future head on and leaned into her work for hope, completing several studio projects and public art commissions.

Irene Pijoan_mother paper cutouts

Exploring mourning and loss after the death of her mother in mixed media paper cutouts: (right) Cutting from a gradual, 1997

Though Irene’s work varied over the course of her life, it continued to address a fierce love of materials and form. Her mother was an artist at heart, obsessed with beauty in all things and places, and passed on that deep commitment to Irene. She created her own natural art language, moving between mediums and techniques with ease: ceramic and plaster figures early on, then dark encaustic relief, abstract and figurative oil paintings, mixed media collages, and finally sculptural paper cutouts. She let each new body of work respond to the previous one, courageously reinventing herself along the way. Much like a life, her work was characterized more by the experience of the journey rather than the path itself.


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...

cut up cut out_bedford gallery_etc

 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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