Spotlight on Ohlone:
Mencher’s artwork in 3 galleries

By Devery Sheffer, Staff writer.

Thursday, March 19, 2009—Reprinted from Monitor.

Painting of white shirt hanging on wall behind a table top with two white skeleton skulls, two black metalic objects with symbolic eyes, and a sand timer. Kenney Mencher's ‘Still Life’ painting is on display in gallery show. —Photo courtesy of Kenney Mencher.

A drunken game of telephone, film noir and photos found at a flea market are just three of several things used as inspiration for an Ohlone teachers’ artwork. Kenney Mencher finished his sabbatical about two and a half years ago. This allowed him to get a good portion of his paintings done.

Mencher's art will be displayed in three different art galleries. Each show has a series of different paintings with different themes, but they all display Mencher’s capabilities and talent as an artist.

Tango dancers and glasses half-full of water are the themes of the painting that are currently on display at the Amrithika Gallery in Palo Alto. This gallery is more spiritual and new age. Therefore, the paintings on display are non-aggressive, light and fun.

His artwork will be on display until March 31 and the reception will be on March 20 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Elliott Fouts Gallery in Sacramento has been showing Mencher’s work for the last five or six years. Currently on display are 15 of his newest paintings.

Some of them are inspired from film noir, a style of film making in the 1940’s and 1950’s. These movies have striking black and white shots that are themed around crime and sexuality. Some films that Mencher has been inspired by are Kiss Me Deadly, The Postman Always Rings Twice and Touch of Evil.

Another series of paintings on display at this gallery is one inspired by a game of telephone played by Mencher’s friends. Menchers paintings appear to be based off of real pictures of people taken during the game. The paintings show the game from start to finish.

These painting will be on display until April 3.

Mencher is most excited about the last gallery, ArtHaus in San Francisco. This show doesn’t start until April 2 and will end on June 27. All of these paintings are done in black, white and sepia tones.

This artwork is based off film still and photos found from thrift stores and flea markets.

Mencher likes to find peoples old photos and “collage the images together [so] they tell more of a story.”

These paintings are more ambiguous. The viewer creates their own story of what is going on. Also showing at this gallery with Mencher is Carolyn Meyer, a teacher at the Art Academy in San Francisco. Her painting are done in the same tones as Mencher, but her painting are of cityscapes. The gallery owner James Bacchi wanted two perceptive, a view of the whole city, Meyer’s paintings and what was going on in the city, Mencher’s paintings.

The reception will be on April 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. Finger food and wine will be served so people can mingle and enjoy the artwork.

Mencher has been teaching at Ohlone for 10 years.

He teaches several art classes including, Life Drawing, Museum and Gallery Techniques and Survey of World Art History.

Mencher can be spotted around campus walking with his little yellow dog Chuck. Besides being a companion, Chuck is also a subject for several of Mencher’s paintings.

Typically his paintings sell anywhere from $300 to $3,000. He spends four to eight hours a day in his studio painting.

Along with teaching, Mencher is the curator for the Louie-Meager Art Gallery in the Smith Center on the Fremont Ohlone campus.

The current show at his gallery is The Educated Eye, a collection of photographs by Bay Area artists.

The show began Feb. 27 and will be showing until April 4. The reception will be March 21 from 7 to 8 p.m.

For more information about the galleries and to get a detailed view of Mencher's artwork you can check out his website at www.kenney-mencher.com.

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