The Moraga Art Gallery announces a new show entitled “Divine Inspiration”, highlighting paintings by resident artist Barbara Hudler Cella, and beadwork by guest artist Mona Bourell. "Divine Inspiration" features Barbara’s paintings of Saint Mary’s College in Moraga and Mona’s stone and glass crochet beadwork. The show runs through June 1.
Barbara Hudler Cella’s inspiration to paint Saint Mary’s College began when she happened upon the college entrance when the tree-lined street was ablaze with the brilliance of the spring bloom. The resulting painting sparked more examination of Saint Mary’s special places and their shadows and colors. In honor of Saint Mary’s College’s 150th celebration, the Moraga resident chose to focus on the college and her current paintings feature the college’s iconic chapel, along with quiet courtyards, walkways and classic buildings.
Barbara prefers the vivid clear colors of acrylic paints and uses a light, almost watercolor touch to recreate the essence of “being there” in her paintings. As an emerging artist, she actively paints outside and in the studio to attempt to capture the feeling of the air, the fragrance of the landscape, and the nuance of color in the light and shadows.
An 11-year stint as Adult and Family Education Manager at the California Academy of Sciences provided Barbara with many opportunities to study art of the natural world with Charles Stasek, Kathryn Hubbard, MaryJo Koch, Carolyn Griffin and Judith Cornell. Recent studies have included working with California painters: Mark Jezierny, Mary Lou Correia and Cassandra Antkowiak, and Minneapolis painter and colorist: Scott Bean.
Bay Area native, Mona Bourell has pursued her love of beadwork for more than 30 years and refers to her work as a unique vintage technique revived. Crocheted bead ropes were popular during the Victorian Era and then again during the Roaring Twenties when flappers wore long swinging necklaces. Mona’s aunt taught her the crochet technique with clunky plastic pearls when she was young in the 1960’s.
It wasn’t until the mid-1980’s, while living in Africa, that Mona truly found her creative calling. She was extremely inspired to crochet with the brilliantly colorful glass beads she found there. With focused exploration, she discovered that a bead bracelet could be crocheted that would simply roll over the hand onto the wrist. No clasp was necessary and the result was simple, comfortable, and elegant.
Through the years, Mona has expanded her craft and moved from glass seed beads to using larger glass beads of all sizes, shapes and colors; and natural beads of fresh water pearls, natural stone beads, semi-precious stones, wood, bone and shell - creating necklaces and bracelets as her form of wearable art.
The show also includes works by the gallery’s 14 resident artists and several guest artists. New guest artist, ceramicist Daniel Oliver, is exhibiting his elaborate, colorful ceramic boxes. The gallery is located in the Rheem Shopping Center, at 522 Center Street, Moraga.