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Here and Now: 4 Abstract Painters

BY Bonita Museum and Cultural Center | 21-May-2016
Scale matters with abstract art. These paintings may require you to step back to take in their bold compositions. Passionate, engaging, and creative is the simplest way to describe the beautiful paintings of artists Irene Abraham, Sherry Krulle-Beaton, Danielle Nelisse and Layla Wu.
Four prominent artists will be showcased by the Bonita Museum & Cultural Center in an abstract art exhibit from June 1, 2016 to July 9, 2016 entitled “Here and Now: 4 Abstract Painters.”

“I wanted this particular exhibition to take a non-traditional approach; all of the artwork will be contemporary abstract paintings,” says Executive Director Julie Gay. Bonita Museum’s art exhibits allows art collectors and art enthusiasts in the southern California region to discover exciting new artworks. The Bonita Art Museum is the South San Diego County's premiere art museum, showcasing selected artists every year to allow established and emerging artists the opportunity to exhibit their artwork in a museum venue.

Irene Abraham comes to art from a background as a research scientist. She started painting in oils in high school in Chicago and has continued making art and participating in the art community ever since. She received her MFA in Visual Arts from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, a Ph. D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and post-doctoral training at Yale University. Working as a cell biologist, analyzing data and spending much time peering down a microscope, has definitely influenced her work. She takes images from diverse sources such as microscopic images, maps, puzzles and cosmic views and then abstracts, translates and mutates them with the visual language of painting. “Even though the source material may be unrecognizable, my paintings pull the viewer in through the use of shape, line and color,” Abraham states.

Sherry Krulle-Beaton’s goal is not to reproduce nature as it appears to the human eye, but to paint the essence, energy, and intensity of nature. She creates paintings that draw the viewer close and triggers the memory of a specific event or joyful moment in their life. Krulle-Beaton states, “Abstract painting is a way to express myself in a second language - a visual language. I reveal my feelings more comfortably and creatively when I am not confined by verbal language or reality. Abstraction is a place where I can freely use the elements and principles of design to construct a piece of art more expressive and expansive than representational work.”

Danielle Nelisse is an attorney, private investigator, and artist. After graduating from SDSU and California Western School of Law, the Detroit born artist was trained by master level artists to take risks with her art by using unpredictable colors and broad gestural lines. Transitioning from one career to another has not been easy, but she finds ways to balance the business side of things with her creative side. Known for her adventurous spirit both in life and on the canvas, her paintings are full of light, color and pizzazz. “I create artwork in the form of abstraction because it condenses everything down to the basics: color, shape, line, texture and soul, not unlike a chef who cooks a simple yet decadent dish or a musician who plays a lovely acoustic rendition of a song,” says Danielle Nelisse.

Layla Wu was born and raised in China, and moved to the USA to pursue her master’s degree in film and theater from San Diego State University. The films she directed and produced have been shown in prestigious film festivals, including the Los Angeles International Art Film Festival and Oceanside Film Festival. Wu tells an intimate personal story through her paintings, inspired by her cross-cultural experience, memories, and her observation. Some of her paintings are intense and bold, full of bright colors and decisive brushstrokes; others are created with a gentle touch and quiet strength, evoking a sense of nostalgia. "I try to capture the essence of ordinary objects and people, transforming them into a conceptual montage conveying a meaning that is absent from each object alone,” Wu says.

Why Abstract Art?

The Bonita Art Museum staff knows that understanding abstract art does not come naturally for everyone. What people may not realize is that abstract artists have excellent drawing skills, a sophisticated sense of composition, and a deep understanding of color harmony.

During the month of June 2016, the four artists will provide weekly abstract art lectures and demonstrations at the Bonita Art Museum to share their knowledge about this energetic, sometimes contentious, and often controversial style of art.

Schedule of Events

HERE AND NOW: 4 ABSTRACT PAINTERS Art Exhibit
June 1, 2016 to July 9, 2016

Artist Reception: June 3, 2016 | 5:30 - 7 PM

Bonita Museum & Cultural Center
4355 Bonita Road
Bonita, CA 91902
(619) 267-2141

Press Contacts:

Julie Gay, Executive Director of Bonita Art Museum, (619) 267-2141
Danielle Nelisse, studio@daniellenelisse.com