Menlo Park resident Gwen Fuller displays artwork as part of Silicon Valley Open Studios
"I'm not one of those woman who can do a zillion things at once," is Gwen Fuller's response to our question about the break she's taking from hosting house concerts
, which she's held two to four times a summer, featuring bands like San Francisco-based Luce
. "I decided I would focus exclusively on my art for a year."
The results are two-fold. Her "photo-botanical" series features photographic images of flowers and plants that have been "knitted together" using Lightroom or Photoshop. And what she refers to as her "painterly series" are fine art prints of original acrylic and mixed-media abstracts on high-gloss aluminum, as opposed to the more traditional giclée prints on paper or canvas. "It struck me how vulnerable things are on paper," she says.
Born and raised in Menlo Park, Gwen, who is a Menlo-Atherton High School grad, has lived in her iconic west Menlo home — known as Blue Rock House — since 1985. "I've remodeled three times," she says, "and every time my kids got nervous but then ended up liking it."
Most recently, Gwen has "remodeled in place" to make way for her participation in Silicon Valley Open Studios
the first two weekends of May (5/4-5; 5/11-12). Her artwork is displayed on panels in multiple rooms, and she plans to put some panels outside to demonstrate the durability of her artwork. Visit hours are from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm; location is 791 Stanford Ave, Menlo Park.
Before focusing exclusively on her art, Gwen has worked in marketing, graphic design and art curation. "With my kids grown, I realized now it's my time," she says. "This is what I want to do. I always had the dream of pursuing art, but everyone told me it's not practical.
"A friend took me to see the Temporary Contemporary in L.A. Whether it was arrogance, delusion, or blind luck, I thought, 'I could do that.' That started me on my path. I got into metal about a year ago."
A body of work completed, Gwen is now in exhibition mode. Beside the two weekends opening her home on the Silicon Valley Open Studios tour
, she will be participating at Los Altos Fine Art in the Park and the Menlo Park Connoisseur's Marketplace.
And to the delight of local music fans, she'll be bringing Blue Rock House concerts back this summer.
Photo of Gwen Fuller by Scott R. Kline
Red Ferns and Bramble, mixed media (55" by 20") by Gwen Fuller