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Two styles of painting featured in Expanding Creativity
Turlock City Hall hosts new innovative styles of art through the “Expanding Creativity” art show by the Valley Sun Catchers. Paintings are put side-by-side to compare “en plein air” painting to “in studio” painting. - photo by MAEGAN MARTENS / The Journal
The contrasts of two styles of painting — en plein air and in studio — is the focus of the newest exhibit at the City Hall Gallery.
On Sept. 1, the Turlock Arts Commission set up the exhibit, “Expanding Creativity,” by the Valley Sun Catchers group with pieces from local artists.  The grand opening will be Oct. 27. The exhibit will be open until Dec. 31 and represents the works of 19 artists from Turlock, Modesto, Oakdale, Ripon, Arnold, Jamestown, Waterford, Tracy and Atwater.  It will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday on the second floor of City Hall. There are no costs to see the art gallery.      
“They have really shown throughout the area that they are really good artists with a stable reputation,” Kate Soiseth said.  
The Valley Sun Catchers were picked because they are a group with an interesting method, Soiseth said. This is the seventh show the group has had since being founded in 2000.
Each artist has expressed themselves through two paintings. One is a small painting that was done on a Valley Sun Catchers’ field trip “en plein air,” which is a French term for painting “in open air.”  The artists went to different locations, set up their easels and painted their surroundings, said Soiseth, an artist and office assistant for the Arts Commission.  
The other painting done by each artist is an enlarged painting of the same scene. They took their en plein air paintings into the studio to create the same painting indoors, Soiseth said. The different pieces are side by side to highlight the difference between how early American and European Impressionists displayed paintings, she said.  
The paintings are all of outdoor scenes from across California. The exhibit features views from the Sierra Nevada to Del Puerto Canyon and south from the San Luis Reservoir to the Cosumnes River area and the Delta.  
The paintings are representative of an innovative style of outdoor painting that reached North America in the early 20th century, according to the Arts Commission. A man by the name of Guy Rose went abroad to study with Claude Monet. When Rose returned to California, he formed many groups that began to paint the coastlines, mountains and vegetation that make up California.  
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.