Women and Nature: Collages by Ulrica Bell

Energy is a difficult element to pin down. But you know it when you see it. And you feel it right away when you see Ulrica Bell’s collage work.

The energy jumps right out at you.

Bold colors and innovative patterns highlight Bell’s collages, which are being showcased in a new show at Sagebrush Café in Quartz Hill this summer. “Women and Nature” is a collection of new work that promises a fusion not only of mixed media components but also of ideas.

Queen of the Wind

As an artist, Ulrica Bell seems to call on a variety of influences in her work as she knits together a body of ideas, sometimes taking chances, often asserting a palpable confidence, which may be borne from years of teaching. Bell went to college on the east coast, at Bryn Mawr, and built a career in the classroom.

Today, in person, she cuts a striking figure with a balance of deep sympathy and no-nonsense honesty. She clearly sees past the first layer of things – and people – and her artwork invites us to do the same.

If we are going to dance, then let’s dance. If we’re going to speak, then let’s say what must be said. Take the straight path, she seems to say, and we will be where we are going.

What form will this message take in “Women and Nature”?

As an aside: These observations are based on conversations, on encounters with Bell’s work in person and online, and on her social media persona. In sharing a few thoughts there is much left to tell – and to figure out. The art of Ulrica Bell is something to conjure with, to quote a phrase. Something to see for yourself.

Bell is an active and award-winning Antelope Valley artist. At MOAH’s Cedarfest, Bell won a prize for her mixed media work. But she also shows paintings and plans to bring original poetry into “Women and Nature.” These things point to a certain diversity of character that makes Bell difficult to summarize (if one were to try).

This little speech is not a summary. It’s more of an invitation.

“Women and Nature” will be showing from late June at Sagebrush Café.

Ulrica Bell Women and Nature 2

Graphic Experience – Showcasing Local Artists

In downtown Lancaster, the Graphic Experience is under new ownership and the new leaders are both friendly and ambitious. The Lakes & Valleys Art Guild recently held the first of what is promised to be a series of shows at the location on the BLVD and the Graphic Experience is also looking to showcase a new local artist every month.

All this is good news for artists and for the Antelope Valley. The people here at AV Arts decided to look into the space as a way to help promote locally businesses that are helping to promote the arts. It’s a beautiful cycle and we are very glad to be a part of it.

You’ll be happy to know that we turned up a mystery during our internet scrounging. The Graphic Experience is currently showcasing a local artist, as promised, but we don’t know who it is. Do you?

Can you name the artist behind this image? The Graphic Experience website offers no clues beyond the information embedded in the URL when you click the image (“incenseSalesmane”).

If you know who the artist is, please let us know. And maybe if you want to help us find out, you can stop into the frame store/gallery and check out what else they have to offer beyond the satisfaction of our curiosity.

A note to potential helpful sleuths: Show up in a trench coat and a Sherlock Holmes hat and take a selfie to include with your solution to the Riddle of the Local artist and you will get One Million bonus points! Or, if you prefer, we will actually send you a dollar for your trouble. A real American one dollar reward.

Cheers.