By Bonny Zanardi

February is a month rich with exhibits and special gatherings.

The human condition

The Wiegand Gallery at Notre Dame de Namur University presents Remains to be Seen, a show of new work by Robert Chiarito, recipient of the Sister Catharine Julie Cunningham Chair for Visiting Scholars at the university.

Gallery director Robert Poplack notes Chiarito is “a highly dynamic painter” who uses “abstract imagery to convey visceral and emotional states of being, reflecting the human condition.”

Chiarito is a professor emeritus at San Jose State University. He’s shown his work locally at the Triton Museum of Art and Stanford University as well as internationally in a number of prestigious venues.

The artist will give a public lecture at 4 p.m. on February 22 in the gallery. He also will conduct a collage workshop at 2 p.m. on Feb. 22. (Call the gallery at 650-508-3632 to attend the workshop; note that seating is limited.)

Remains to be Seen will be on view through March 3. The gallery is at 1500 Ralston Avenue, Belmont. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free. Visit

Walking cure

Nature and culture photographs by DeWitt Cheng are featured in The Walking Cure, a show on view through March 19 at Avenue 25 Gallery.

The show’s Epson pigment prints have been produced “utilizing only the most archival materials and inks available,” Cheng says. His images vary from views at Ocean Beach to slats in a fence to an elevated walkway on Florida Street in San Francisco.

The Walking Cure is curated by Charles Anselmo. Avenue 25 Gallery is at 32 West 25th Avenue, San Mateo. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Contact the curator at 415-407-3870 or e-mail

At the Sanchez

Work by Sara Friedlander is featured in the show American Women: Birds of im/Migration presented in the Sanchez Art Center’s Main Gallery. The exhibit combines vintage photographs with Friedlander’s own photographs, enhanced with paint.

She notes, “At this critical time, when immigration is seen as a national and global threat throughout the world, these portraits can help us remember and reflect deeply on the reality that most Americans … are relatively recent descendants of immigrants or immigrants ourselves.”

The exhibition is curated by Susan Hillhouse Leask.  An Artist/Curator Talk will be given on the show’s closing Sunday, February 11, at 3:30 p.m.

Also at the Sanchez, in the East Gallery is the studio artist show Earth Matters and in the West Gallery is (un)FINISHED, featuring work by members of the Art Guild of Pacifica.

The shows are on view through February 11. The Sanchez Art Center is at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd., Pacifica. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Call 650-355-1894 or visit

At Gallery House

Oil and Water opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, February 2, at Gallery House. The exhibit features work by Maura Carta and Ruth-Anne Siegel.

Carta paints models, interiors and landscapes, with light a driving factor in her works. Siegel uses acrylic to create abstract paintings.

The gallery is at 320 S. California Avenue, Palo Alto. (Enter through Printer’s Café.) Hours are 10 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, noon to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. Call 650-326-1668.

Romantic leanings

For the month of February, the Portola Art Gallery presents the group show Winter Romance – Celebrating the Season. A reception will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. February 10.

The gallery is at the Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Call 650-321-0220 or visit

Sam Francis documentary

San Mateo Public Library is showing a special film screening of The Painter Sam Francis from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 28, in the Oak Room.

Francis, who was born in 1923 and died in 1994, was an internationally acclaimed abstract expressionist painter--and a San Mateo native son. The film covers his life and career from his childhood to his years in post-war Paris, his time spent in Japan and his return to the United States.

The library is at 55 West Third Avenue, San Mateo. Call 650-522-7818 or visit

Black History Month

An exhibition and a special talk are part of the San Mateo County History Museum’s celebration of Black History Month.

The exhibit Noah’s Ark: San Mateo’s Historic Restaurant centers on African American restaurateur Noah Williams. The former railroad chef moved to San Mateo in 1920 and opened Noah’s Cafeteria at 139 South B Street. In 1923 he moved it to a larger location on Third Avenue and named it Noah’s Ark. The Depression forced it to close in 1931.

His restaurant was as famous for featuring huge paintings of African animals as it was for his food. A selection of these paintings will be on display at the museum. The show will be on view through April 15.

A special presentation by Claire Mack, the first African American mayor of San Mateo, will be given at 1 p.m. on February 10. She will speak on Historic African American Families in San Mateo.

The museum is at 2200 Broadway, Redwood City. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for seniors and students. Call 650-299-0104 or visit

Poetry on the Coast

San Mateo County Poet Laureate Lisa Rosenberg and La Honda poet Terry Adams will be the featured readers on Tuesday, February 13, at Café Society, 522 Main Street, Half Moon Bay. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the featured poets at 7 p.m. An open mic period will follow. Visit

I hope you find much to enjoy this month! 


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