Joseph Oddo is a long-time resident of the San Francisco Bay area and a self-described “traditionalist” painter. During the 1960s he studied at the San Francisco Art Institute with James Weeks whose influence is seen in his works. He taught at various colleges including the San Francisco Art Institute, Stanford University and the University of California, Davis. After teaching in rural schools for the Nevada Arts Council and painting high desert landscapes, he returned to California and, through his art, began to explore the urban landscapes of Oakland and San Francisco as well as the popular Bay Area sport of skulling. He continues to refine his painting technique and says that by questioning his use of subject, color and drawing, a painting “logic” emerges which he cannot articulate before he begins, but one that results from a long, intuitive visual struggle. His show “Visions and Vistas” is a retrospective of Joe’s 50-year artistic career.
Jean Gallagher has a Doctor of Arts from NYU and has been a Professor of Art at CSU Chico since 1990. Her show “Sicily Revisited” is a series of oil paintings on canvas which focuses on the Southern Italian dance called the “tarantella”, which symbolically resurrects those persons bitten by the tarantula spider. The artist’s grandmother, Rosie Lentini, a native Sicilian, danced the dance from memory at American family gatherings. As a child growing up in suburban New Jersey, Jean was influenced by her Sicilian grandmother in other ways. Though Rosie could not read English, she managed to design and sew garments via the pictures contained in the pattern instructions. Being four years old at the time, Jean followed the pictures as well and developed an excellent sense of visual literacy. It is this process of coordinating shapes, colors and textures that instructs her thinking in her work as well as conceptually influences her imagery.