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Hartnell College Art Exhibition, 'FLEETING GLANCES,' to Feature Paintings from 19th , 20th and 21st Centuries

January 20th, 2006

"FLEETING GLANCES: Atmosphere, Landscape and Light" - an exhibition of 19th, 20th and 21st century paintings from private Monterey County collections - will be on view at Hartnell College Jan. 30 through March 9.

In a continuing series of exhibitions that explore major themes in European and American painting, the show will feature more than 40 examples that deal with depictions of landscape, according to Gary Smith, Hartnell art instructor and director of the Hartnell Gallery.

Admission is free and the public is welcome.

The gallery is located on the main Hartnell campus in the Visual Arts Facility (VAF), which is located adjacent to Alisal Street in Salinas. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Monday through Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m.

Smith said that fascination with nature as a worthy subject for painting was given a fresh start by French and English painters of the early 19th century. "The transitory effects of light and the rich color possibilities of nature forms," according to Smith, "became a staple of Impressionist artists."

Smith notes that such influence is apparent in the work of American painter Wilson Henry Irvine (1869-1936) and others who showed pristine views of landscape subjects and other artists who depicted marks of human interaction with the land. "Scenes of harvesting, plowing, and farm life were carefully rendered by both European and American artists," Smith said. "In other works, the human presence is only hinted at by roads and man-made structures within a wider landscape setting like a meandering road in an early Tonalist work by Californian Seldon Gile," he continued.

Smith noted that while such ideas began in Europe, soon American artists were absorbing Impressionist technique and subject matter. Colonies of artists formed, first on the east coast in settlements like Old Lyme, Conn., he said. Quickly these ideas spread to California where artists turned their attention to the beauty of the hills surrounding Laguna Beach, San Francisco and most particularly Monterey County. Smith said the exhibition is especially strong in works from the latter two artist colonies.

Earlier exhibitions in this annual series followed the historical development of portrait, seascape and still life painting through several centuries to current artists working in Monterey County. "It is through the generosity and willingness of private collectors to share these works that students and the wider community may study and enjoy these paintings."

The "FLEETING GLANCES" exhibition is funded through the Hartnell College Foundation and sponsored by the Burrell Leonard Endowment.

For more information on the exhibition, call Gary Smith at (831) 755-6791.