Ohlone Logo with tagline - Connect. Engage. Succeed.February 28, 2018
Office of College Advancement
Ohlone College

Environmental Art as The Common Cold - Press Release, Office of College Advancement

Glacial Pour by Elizabeth Blau, 48 x 60 Acrylic on Canvas.

Fremont, CA—The Louie-Meager Art Gallery at Ohlone College is pleased to announce the opening of “The Common Cold,” a solo exhibition of paintings by Elizabeth Blau, the new painting and drawing instructor at Ohlone College. This is the artist's first solo exhibit with Ohlone College.

The exhibition will feature a selection of Blau's paintings. Her work puts a modern spin on the genre of landscape painting, whereby abstract changes to the land are reflective of human engagement with the environment. The exhibition also includes small illustrative works on paper and panel that Blau uses as studies for larger paintings.

The title “The Common Cold” is inspired by a Norman Rockwell illustration that was created at a time when climate change and other anxieties were not part of American society's collective consciousness. The artist was intrigued with how the saying has a different context in 2018, the notion that our shared, daily activities affect distant lands and seasons, and vice-versa.

When describing her work, Blau writes “Painting provides me a space to process the complexity of the world around us. The imagery in my work is inspired by my research, which involves documenting disappearing landscapes as they happen. For example, I spent the summer in 2014 in the Arctic documenting the receding glaciers with a group of scientists and artists. I brought this information into the studio where I expanded upon the imagery by layering images, painting, drawing, making prints and mixing media until arriving at a visual conclusion. My intention in my work is to depict the rapid changes occurring in our natural and cultural landscapes. In the end, I hope that the work sparks dialogue and action toward preservation efforts.”

Blau's work has been exhibited in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Philadelphia. She completed her MFA degree at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and her BFA degree from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Additional studies include art education courses from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and art & ecology courses from the University of New Mexico. She has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Sam & Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts in New York, the Nevada Arts Council, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico and the Arctic Circle Residency program in Svalbard, Norway.

For more information, please contact Gallery Director, Dina Rubiolo, drubiolo@ohlone.edu.

  • What: “Common Cold” exhibit of paintings by Elizabeth Blau
  • When:
    • Exhibit on view through March 12th, 2018
    • Reception and Artist Talk: March 6th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
  • Cost: Free, and open to the public
  • Gallery Hours:
    • Mon./Wed. 12:00pm -2:00pm
    • Tues./Thurs. 10:00am - 4:00pm
    • By appointment
  • Where: Louie-Meager Art Gallery, located inside the Smith Center at Ohlone College, 43600 Mission Boulevard, in Fremont
  • Parking: $4

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