By Nancy Vigran
Reporter for the Sun-Gazette
TULARE – With its 11th Annual Miniatures show well underway, the Tulare Historical Museum is opening a second exhibit today, Thursday, Jan. 10. This will be the 15th Annual Tulare County Varied Impressions Show.
This acclaimed multi-artist show generates excitement for the museum’s gallery, and this year will be no different. Varied Impressions must represent either Tulare County, or the City of Tulare through the medium of the artist’s choice. Seen through the eyes and hearts of these local Tulare County artists this dynamic show represents each of their “impressions” of what the City of Tulare, or Tulare County means to their artistic eye.
Generally there are between 35-40 entries for this non-juried show.
Retired CHP officer Gene Rubey has been designing mosaics since 1965. This year he barely finished his Kaweah River Rainbow Trout piece in time for the show, he said. It takes a lot of times and supplies to complete a mosaic. Any given work often takes him up to 80 hours or longer. There is a lot of precise work involved.
Rubey explored other mediums in his early days as an artist, but really loves mosaics the most.
“The finished product is so solid,” he said, “and cannot be damaged as say with a watercolor.”
Back in the 1970’s many paint stores offered a lot of mosaic glass. It was quite popular back then, he said. But, now he has to search a variety of outlets for his supplies. He has designed clowns, horses, and dogs among other things. His work lines the walls of his studio and his home.
The Visalian artist finds mosaic work challenging. For example, it is far more difficult to do shadowing in mosaic than in various paint mediums, he said.
He has exhibited his work for seven or more years through various Tulare Historical Museum shows. He has also shown in variety of other locations including Sedona, Arizona and Laguna Beach, where his art sells quite well.
The Artist’s Reception for the Tulare County Varied Impressions Show will take place Thursday, Jan. 10 from 5-7 p.m. in the Heritage Art Gallery of the Museum. Admission is free. The show runs through March 2.
The 11th Annual Miniatures Show runs through March 9. This is a fundraiser for the museum with 19 local artists donating more than 30 miniature artwork pieces to be raffled off at the end of the show. All entries are a mere 7” x 9” or smaller and consist of a wide array of subjects from landscapes to still art, and cityscapes to wildlife.
Tickets are $5 a piece or three for $10 and participants may enter for whatever artwork they prefer.
All art exhibitions in the Heritage Art Gallery of the museum are open to the public and free. The museum is located at 444 W. Tulare Ave. and is open Thursdays through Saturdays from 10am – 4pm. For more information, call (559) 686-2074.