Tuesday, June 21, 2011

‘Food’ Exhibit Shown At Bay Ridge’s Gallery 364
by Harold Egeln (edit@brooklyneagle.net), published online 03-28-2011

By Harold Egeln
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BAY RIDGE — “Food, glorious food!” could be the theme song for Gallery 364’s latest art show.

The artistic serving of food-themed paintings, mixed-media artwork, photographs and sculptures was the idea of gallery owner and founder Georgine Benvenuto. “We believe in giving just one or a few key words to our artists and then see what they come up with in terms of visual artwork,” she said of the exhibit “Food.” “It challenges their imaginations and selections, and delights our visitors and buyers,” she said.

One of the newest artists to exhibit at the gallery is Charles Johnson, whose large and heavy gray sculpted stone artworks, such as “Quince,” “Walnut” and “Coconut,” have dazzled viewers. “He’s the latest addition, and his work is wonderful. He even made and supplied the pedestals upon which his carved stone-works are set,” noted Benvenuto.

Housed in Benvenuto’s historic 100-year-old limestone house on 72nd Street, the first-floor gallery and art studio has made a splash in Bay Ridge’s cultural scene since it opened four years ago.

“Food” at Gallery 364 not only exhibits the artwork but also sells it, and buyers have a variety of choices at both affordable and higher prices.

The opening-night festivities included an awards show. Best in Show winners included Johnson’s aforementioned “Quince” and Dave Foss’ large digital color photo titled “Uninvited Guest at the Luncheon of the Boating Party” — an enthralling impressionist scene of a nude female in front of a large, famous Renoir reproduction.

There were honorable mentions who received gift certificates. Dolores Valenza, a frequent exhibitor, got the nod for her mixed-media “Marzapan” while photographer Larry Nicosia, on board since the gallery’s earliest shows, was chosen for his large “Sliced Pears” digital photo. A third honorable mentioned went to John Avelluto’s huge mixed-media pizza pie, titled “J loves M.”

Real food was provided by Pierre of Circles Bay Ridge, with chocolate delights from Dove Chocolates.

Judges for the art competition were watercolorist Doug Opalski and Brooklyn College photography Professor Doug Schwab. Coldwell Banker and Mary Kae Higgins were the sponsors, and raffle prizes were donated by The Green Spa and Wellness Center, The Bookmark Shoppe and Dove Chocolates. “Food” is on exhibit through April 21 and can be seen by appointment. For more information, phone (917) 767-3848 or log onto www.gallery364.com.

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