Menlo Park artists

Post image for Mixed media artist Marianne Lettieri explores the intersection of art and fatih

After leaving the tech world, Menlo Park resident Marianne Lettieri was determined to focus on her art full time. She began pursuing mixed media and found herself pondering the intersection of art and faith.

“It was difficult to have a conversation about that — both at church and within the art world,” she said. “I knew a few artists of faith, and we started meeting together.”

That group, now known as Bay Area Creatives, has grown to 100 people from all over the Bay Area, with anywhere from 30 to 40 meeting on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall at Menlo Church. The meeting is open to visual, performing and literary artists.

“While we do concentrate on the Christian faith, all faiths are welcome,” she said. “Menlo Church sponsors us but does not get involved in any of our programs or the content of our meetings.

“People are welcome to bring their art with them to share, but we don’t critique. We celebrate and encourage.

“We’re neither an art club nor a Bible study. If we are doing an exhibition of artwork, we do talk about the artworks from a Biblical perspective. We believe art is transformative.”

Marianne started working with objects, typically that show evidence of having been used, around the year 2000. Her mixed media constructions — sculptures, collages and art installations — “investigate shifts in individual and cultural values associated with obsolete and discarded materials.” In 2017, she was the recipient of the SVLaureates award for achievement in the arts and contribution to the cultural life of Silicon Valley.

“I think conceptually I’m able to talk about my art in a way I couldn’t do before,” she answered in reply to a question about how her art has evolved. “I understand how my art fits in art history and contemporary art trends.

“My work hasn’t allowed me a lot of play time. I’ve been too busy building things. In 2018, I’ve promised myself to play more and see what happens if I experiment. I’m giving myself the luxury of not being concerned about the end result.”

Photo by Frances Freyberg (c) 2017

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Artist Badri Valian focuses on the beauty of the human body in her paintings

Thumbnail image for Artist Badri Valian focuses on the beauty of the human body in her paintings

If you get a sense that the human figures in Badri Valian’s paintings are moving, that’s exactly what the artist hopes. “I paint standing up and put on music, and the rhythm of the music makes me move,” she says. “Drawing or painting is a dynamic activity.” Badri moved to the United States from Iran three […]

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Artist Mitchell Johnson gives lecture, signs books on May 1

Thumbnail image for Artist Mitchell Johnson gives lecture, signs books on May 1

Menlo Park-based artist Mitchell Johnson, recently profiled on InMenlo, will be giving a lecture and signing books on Friday, May 1, at 7:00 pm at the Woodside Town Hall, 2955 Woodside Road. Photo by Chris Gulker taken in 2010

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Two Menlo Park artists featured in exhibit at Caldwell Gallery through Dec. 31

Thumbnail image for Two Menlo Park artists featured in exhibit at Caldwell Gallery through Dec. 31

Still Lifes: Two Visions, oil paintings by Elyse Dunnahoo and acrylic paintings by Krishna Mitra, is the exhibit on display through December 31st at the Caldwell Gallery, which is located on the first floor of 400 County Center at the Hall of Justice in Redwood City. Dunnahoo is a representational artist who specializes in creating still life […]

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Michael Killen’s paintings on display at Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park – talk on climate change also scheduled

Thumbnail image for Michael Killen’s paintings on display at Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park – talk on climate change also scheduled

Menlo Park artist Michael Killen characterizes his work as chronicling the “developments and thoughts of our time that include climate change, human rights, impact of climate change on California’s water, resilience of America, and sustainability.” A sampling of his paintings are currently on display at Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park. Emailed the artist: “One of the […]

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Artist Mitchell Johnson talks about his current exhibits and new book

Thumbnail image for Artist Mitchell Johnson talks about his current exhibits and new book

We’ve stopped by Mitchell Johnson’s studio a number of times since first meeting him in 2010, but were overdue for a longer visit to learn what he’s been up to in the last few years. The Menlo Park-based artist told us that he’d recently returned from Reykjavik, Iceland, and had already sold one of the […]

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Menlo Park resident Melinda Cootsona is artist, teacher and author

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park resident Melinda Cootsona is artist, teacher and author

For years Menlo Park resident Melinda Cootsona took part in the annual Silicon Valley Open Studios, opening her Allied Arts neighborhood home on May weekends to sell her paintings. “I grossed more than $10,000 from the first one, and over the next 15 or so years learned a little bit about what to do and what […]

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Artist Alice Weill’s oils and acrylic landscapes showcased at Portola Art Galley in Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Artist Alice Weill’s oils and acrylic landscapes showcased at Portola Art Galley in Menlo Park

“Back to Her Roots,” a new collection of oil and acrylic paintings inspired by artist Alice Weil’s passion — the rolling hills and majestic oak trees of the San Francisco Bay Area — is the February featured exhibit at the Portola Art Galley in Menlo Park. There will be a reception for the artist, who is a […]

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Menlo Park artist Terry Guyer updates his work on the Nikola Tesla bronze sculpture

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park artist Terry Guyer updates his work on the Nikola Tesla bronze sculpture

Editor’s note: We’ve been following Menlo Park artist Terry Guyer as he works on completion of a statue of Nikola Tesla, an artistic journey that is being chronicled photographically by InMenlo photographer Scott R. Kline. Below he recounts what happens during the bronze cast process. “An original sculpture in clay, plaster, plastic, stone, metal, wood, […]

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Artist Michael Pauker invites community to reception at Café Zoe on July 11

Thumbnail image for Artist Michael Pauker invites community to reception  at Café Zoe on July 11

We received this email from local artist Michael Pauker: “Please join me this Thursday evening, July 11, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, at a reception for my show of recent paintings at Café Zoe, 1929 Menalto Avenue, Menlo Park.  The exhibition will be up through August 1. Cafe Zoe’s hours are Monday-Friday, 7:00 am to 5:00 […]

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Artist Chrisann Brennan describes her art as “light encoded paintings”

Thumbnail image for Artist Chrisann Brennan describes her art as “light encoded paintings”

For whatever reason, painter Chrisann Brennan keeps returning to Menlo Park. “This has always been a base for me and I don’t really know why,” she said at a friend’s house where she’s staying. “New things start here for me. I always wanted to live more in Palo Alto but always find myself here in […]

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