2012 Exhibitions

The Pomona Goddess Festival
July 13 - August 25, 2012




May 11 - June 30, 2012





Artists transform perspectives drawn from their lives and compress these visions into work they hope will also have meaning for others.   The five artists in Quint-essence come from different worlds and backgrounds and use different media to share their experiences.

Georga Garside, who has a background in printmaking and teaches high school art and ceramics, has always loved to draw.  She completed the colorful and imaginative drawings in this show during a year-long struggle with radiation and chemotherapy for cancer.  These pieces provided both a path to peaceful meditation and a chance for play.  She is convinced that "art saves lives."

For Steve Long, a self-taught artist, painting has been a life-long hobby while he earned his living as Director of Locomotive Maintenance for Union Pacific Railroad.  Upon retiring a year ago, he decided to devote the rest of his life to being an artist.  Inspired by an abstract view of things, he is currently using a modeling medium along with paint to portray not just color and texture but also depth and the irregularity of the shapes he creates.   His current body of work is entitled "The Red Series."

As an artist and sculptor, Jay Reed looks to create a strong visual impact on the viewer.  Most of his art is large in scale and is concerned with structure, shape, materials, texture, and color, and he often uses materials that have come from his career in construction.  Some of his work deals with human social or political conditions and makes a statement about them from his perspective.   Bringing into existence physical objects that express his vision of possibilities and realities in this world is his primary desire.

Mervyn Seldon began painting in 1985 alongside a career in book publishing and fund-raising. Since retiring in 1990, she has focused on painting and gallery management.  In her compositions, relationships between colors and shapes are often a metaphor for human relationships in all their mystery, color, and ambiguity.  She is also exploring the meanings of patterns and symbols.   For her, art is both a search for unexpected beauty and a time to play and remember.

Yi-li Chin Ward, born in Taipei, Republic of China, spent her high school years in Manila and her college years in Los Angeles.  For the past 15 years, she has painted models.  In one meaningful portrait  after her  father's death, she sketched a figure with its arm falling and falling from over its head--an image that felt both natural and alright.  In a portrait  of herself watching TV, she painted over the figure until it had almost disappeared.  Her models are both themselves and her, linked in a common experience of "who they are" and "who we are."

March 09 - April 28, 2012




57 UNDERGROUND, a non-profit art gallery located at 300 South Thomas in Pomona, California, will present "SERIOUSLY PLAYFUL", an exhibit of three artists working in diverse media. The exhibit runs from March 9 to April 28, 2012. Gallery hours are Friday through Sunday, 12 - 4 P.M.
The artists will be present during public receptions on March 10 and April 14, 2012 from 6 - 9 P.M. The receptions are free of charge and light refreshments will be served.
Pomona Artwalks will be on March 31 and April 28, 2012 from 6 - 9 P.M.
Desiree Engel will show hand-built ceramic vessels incorporating diverse images. Karen Feuer-Schwager uses polymer to produce the illusion of the perception of matter. Mildred Kouzel is inspired by the Chinese Elm trees in her neighborhood.
Artists' Statements:

Desiree Engel

Most of my work has been based on shapes and colors encountered in nature and everyday life. These investigations of natural life forms metamorphose into imaginative objects which hover between quasi-utilitarian objects and pure invention.
In the past I have worked in diverse media such as oil painting, watercolor, printmaking, mixed media, handmade paper constructions, cast glass and clay. At this time I am primarily concentrating on hand-built ceramics because I enjoy the immediacy of clay and the endless possibilities of working with it. Reinventing the glazing process is also one of my favorite aspects of ceramic work.
Some of my current work has been "raku" fired which means that after being fired in the kiln the hot pieces are placed into a covered container lined with paper, leaves, pine needles and other materials. The heat ignites
this material and the ensuing flame and smoke change the coloration in somewhat unpredictable ways. I have experimented and adapted the  "California Raku" method by combining conventional glazes with raku glazes in order to achieve the unique look of my pieces.This has taken my work into a new and exciting direction.

Mildred Kouzel
The Chinese Elm trees in my neighborhood are a daily visual treat. The endless variety of twisted trunks unfettered by leaves resonate as sculpture to my eye. In order to acknowledge the reality of the environment that I live in, I sometimes insert some utility structures such as the towering power lines in my composition. I like the starkness of pen and ink for this body of work.

Karen Feuer-Schwager
Art making is my communications medium of choice and I currently communicate through the means of crafted images that have emerged during meditations and dreams.
For several years I have been working on two series: TIKKUN OLAM and "one with no name". Both series are deliberations on the illusion of the perception of matter. We perceive the visible physical material world as composed of solids, liquids and gases. However, these substances are actually comprised of minute unattached moving particles. These paintings and drawings are metaphors for this illusion in our perception. I refer to them as particle-puzzlings. Individual particles constantly moving in space, independent in one sense but actually highly dependent, gravitating towards and influencing the movement of each other and which, when in the correct number and order, are perceived by us as "some thing".
The TIKKUN OLAM series is the metaphysical face of the above, inspired by the 16th century Jewish mystic Isaac Luria's version of creation that eventually led me to particle-puzzling. The Hebrew phrase  "tikkun olam" translates as repairing the world. For me, it encapsulates the true role of humanity in the ongoing evolution and spiritualization of the cosmos.
Luria taught that God created the world by forming, within the Divine's all encompassing form, vessels for the purpose of holding Divine Light. But as God poured the Divine Light into the vessels, they catastrophically shattered, tumbling down toward the realm of matter. Thus, our world consists of countless shards of the original vessels entrapping sparks of the Divine Light. Humanity's great task involves helping God by freeing and reuniting the scattered Light, by doing good deeds, returning the sparks to Divinity and restoring the broken world.



Desirée Engel, "Granpa's Mug," raku.


Mildred Kouzel, "Tree Series 3,"
pen and pastel.


 Karen Feuer-Schwager,
"Triple Dipple," polymer.

January 13 - February 25, 2012




It’s not exactly that every artist draws/paints/sculpts landscape, it’s just that they turn from what they are doing occasionally, and escape to something they’re not doing enough.  They’re relaxing. They’re “land escaping”.  And that’s what we call this show.

The show consists of wall based works by 5 visual artists, a set of ceramic sculptures (by Maria Leon), and a series of animated computerized landscapes (by DA Ward).


Maria Leon


Space, of course is the inherent medium of Sculpture. By that we usually mean the cavities between between an arm and a thigh and how this relationship conveys altered and new information as the viewer circles and shifts their perceptual axis. But really no reason the original space conveying Art-form, should relinquish landscape and the Natural World to the deceptive two dimensional modes.

And on the subject of “deception”, why not “editorialize”- leave things out and put things in? After all, we are artists, here!


Andrew Kovner


It has been a long while since the painter with his/her brush and little bowl of colors has been the sole distributor of representations, of and from, distant unknown places. It can still be done, at least the activity. Call it quaint and certainly irrelevant to the mad dash. Art we think, is the hiatus from the “mad dash”, (and so it is – until it is not) “oh that I could be one!”[a perpetrator].


Freedom taken, Freedom granted, the amateur vs. the professional – but discipline all; and “on spec”.
The “hunter-gatherer” places the body and all those accoutrements, where others scatter like sunlight, meandering hither and yon – snapping imagery on smart phones of children in X-mas attire, often between the painter and the “object of desire”.

And so it goes, until the myopic choice, the slither of available perception, is beaten into “permanence “, to be exchanged at the public market place.


Gregory Liffick



Gregory Liffick has been making and exhibiting art for many years. He works mostly in the found object-assemblage medium. He is also a poet and a special education teacher. He is a member of Gallery 57 Underground.

His works for this show combine painting and frame together, into a kind of assemblage. When making them he started with the painting and then added the pieces for the frame, this sometimes requiring that the painting change to meld with the frame into a single cohesive work. The works that emerge comment on how he sees and feels about the world at that moment.


Mary Hughes


My work deals with layering processes that evoke a sense of wholeness, with oscillating harmonies of rhythm and the micro/macro cosmic similarities of natural order.   Time and space layer as memories coalesce, recycle..  Flowing eddies of marbled paint offer a vast range of language to explore symbolizing outer reality and inner possibility. 


I am interested in the topographical similarities found in paint, earth and figure.  Intuition weaves conscious and subconscious processes into a unison.  My work explores turbulence, chaos, and the emergence of primal creativity.  In folded layers of paint, patterns of texture speak about different aspects of being.  Metaphor and matter play, revealing states of reflection in the development of thoughts and feelings in psychological inner work.  This structural complexity embraces individual, community and environment.


My images of women and hammocks are often interwoven with abstraction.  The marks of abstract expressionism carry the energy of awakening existence .


Mike Vegas



Inspired by Cubism, I am fascinated by the idea of creating one picture made up of different viewpoints.  Today's world of televisions, computers, and internet has become two billion viewpoints all vying for attention.  Which ones do we pay attention to?  Which ones are valid?  How do I make sense of this?


I simplify everything to it's basic forms made up of lines, circles, and semi circles.  Everything is a combination of these units, rhythms, and patterns.  What is front?  What is back?  How do things exist on the picture plane?  I want things to work in and out, over and under, as ambiguous as possible: a dance.  No winners and losers, just participants.  It's all illusion on top of another illusion.  Pictures form and dissipate.  Ideas come and go.


DA Ward



Walking one spring up the Mojave River canyon toward the hot springs, I was suddenly up to my ass in rattlesnakes.  One beneath the rock I just stepped over, then as I was getting over that shock, I turned around, and two came slithering right off the bluff and onto the trail nearly at my feet.

Devout hippy that I was then, I did not take this lightly, but teared up and prayed, something like:  “Mother Earth, don’t destroy us.  We’re not very good stewards, but we aren’t trying to kill you.  This civilization will soon be just another one of these layers along the trail side. A little burnt smell, lots of iron ore and strange trace minerals…”


Then I realized, the snakes weren’t trying to kill me.  They were blind, just roused from winter hibernation, looking to slither down onto the warm dirt of the trail.  Frightened silly by my sudden intrusion as I was of theirs.  So we stood frozen there, under that warm spring sunlight, and thawed out together in the smell of chaparral, the luxuriant warmth, and the whirring silence. Then after about 15 or 20 minutes, they moved on, and I moved on.