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Published October 4th, 2017
Ongoing discoveries at Perlmutter gallery: 'Refuge' and 'Stranger Things' pop-up show
Jennifer Perlmutter in front of work by Susan Sharman and Susan Taira in her gallery. Photo Sophie Braccini

Jennifer Perlmutter is never afraid to take risks and venture into new art territory. She is a modern art painter who dared entering the gallery business three and a half years ago. Since then she has brought to Lafayette contemporary ambitious art that attracts curious local collectors and art lovers alike.
Two exhibits will follow each other this month and provide opportunities for very different types of discovery: the current show exploring connections to the natural world, "Refuge," and an Oct. 28 one night pop-up show tribute to the popular Netflix series "Stranger Things."
Entering the gallery next to Rancho Cantina is always a treat. The current exhibition, "Refuge," gathers work from Susan Sharman and Susan Taira who were students together at the California College of the Arts. Perlmutter says Sharman, who develops the graphics for the gallery's communications, proposed the idea of the joint show.
The idea behind "Refuge" is finding a grounding sanctuary in one's roots - both family roots as well as the roots of nature. It is a very feminine show: some works are simply peaceful, others almost haunting.
For several years now Sharman has been working with needlepoint. Mixing craft work, paint, prints and family memorabilia she created a series of images deepening the exploration of her ancestry, from farmers and land explorers who preserved pressed flowers to pictures, journal entries, and ancient fabrics. She was particularly inspired by a beekeeper ancestor and created a bee's rendering with her needlepoint over family pictures printed on fabric.
Taira, a photographer and hiker who collects objects and natural ephemera she picks along the way, mixes her photos and objects, creating unique 3D displays that are evocative of the natural space around us, as well as a little mysterious and intriguing. The show ends Oct. 21.
At Halloween time, Martin Segovia will bring a very different vibe to the gallery. Perlmutter was immediately interested in the idea of a pop-up show when the Lafayette artist proposed it to her. Perlmutter says that she loved the first season of the Netflix series "Stranger Things," which is available for viewing, with the second season starting at the end of this month, the day before the pop-up show.
Segovia, an illustrative artist, is curating the tribute show. He does portraiture, realistic portraits, marvel or icons like sport figures. He said he would find 11 artists for the Stanger Artists show, among them Jane Fisher who teaches art at Diablo Valley College and Jesus Anna Hernandez. Segovia's 11 artists commitment is to bring work to the gallery that night that is inspired by the "Stranger Things" characters or stories.
The exhibition's promotional card features one of Segovia's paintings of "Eleven," one of the series' characters and of the Upside Down, the show's other realm. Additionally that night the artists will create a live collaborative piece about "Stranger Things." Segovia's and Perlmutter's desire is to attract a younger crowd to the gallery.
Perlmutter knows it is a risk to offer something new like that in Lafayette. She is charging $10 to enter that night, a ticket price that will include refreshments, a costume contest entry, and generous servings of Eggo waffles, the food the heroes of "Stranger Things" eat. The paintings will hang in the gallery until after Halloween.
Stay tuned for the November show that will also push boundaries, presenting Igor Caparibe, an augmented reality artist. "Refuge" runs through Oct. 21, and the one-night "Stranger Artists" show is on Oct. 28. For information, visit jenniferperlmuttergallery.com.

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