An Art Lover’s Delight in Downtown Mountain View
Indulge your fancy for the finest, coolest, latest arts and crafts at A La Carte & Art in downtown Mountain View, where you can wander well-stocked booths of fabulous, hand-made and one-of-a-kind pieces. Dramatic photography, enchanting landscape paintings, wooden toys, hand-painted glassware, garden sculptures and eco-friendly bags are just some of the items offered by more than 200 professional artists and craftsmakers from throughout the West. Mountain View’s popular springtime festival of the arts takes place Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Castro Street.
Zeny Cieslikowski photography
Niki Stefanelli photography
John Botello sun chair
Phyllis Williams fused glass
Madhushree Muchhal uses oil and acrylic paint, ink and mixed media to create her extraordinary fine art. Her paintings have been showcased in galleries and private collections throughout the United States, India and the United Kingdom. She is inspired by simple elements of nature–such as the ever-changing shapes of clouds. The artist layers paint to reveal a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors and textures. From London to Paris, New York to San Francisco, Zeny Cieslikowski’s contemporary photos are thought-provoking snapshots of the modern world. He captures the vibrant energy and bustling spirit of the world’s most famous cities, and also has a penchant for rustic doors, unusually-shaped windows and colorful harbors. Catherine Haller remembers her passion for Crayola crayons when she was a little girl. Her high school art teacher encouraged her to enter and win two National Scholastic Art Awards. She describes herself as “a contemporary realist who paints abstractly.” What sets this artist apart is her ability to combine the techniques of the Old Masters with contemporary still life subjects. She paints thick and thin layers to add dimension to her canvases, and she creates a feeling of high drama with light and shadow. Niki Stefanelli’s astonishing photography reflects her extensive worldwide travel experiences, as well as her time in Ghana, West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer. Her work is bold and full of emotion, as she captures everyday life in Tanzania, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Dominican Republic. In addition to her vibrant photography, her fine art pieces mix photography with collage, paint and printmaking to incorporate layers of cultural symbolism.
Spring is the perfect season to purchase a Hawaiian sun chair by Char and John Botello. Their newest hammock is fully equipped with a head rest, foot rest, sun shade, comfortable pillow and, yes, a beverage holder! Each chair has a woven acrylic seat, which the Botellos claim is the best fabric for outdoor use because it is rot, mildew and fade resistant. A simple rope feature enables the sun chairs to be hung from hooks, tree limbs and most types of boats. Aloha! Create a tranquil oasis with an indoor or outdoor water fountain by Victor and Darin Franzen. He and his brothers balance and stack rocks to create amazing artistic structures. Their stunning designs are made from natural stone and wood. All fountains recycle water and are drought resistant. Switch it up! Cecily Reeve paints ceramic switch plates to add a dash of whimsy to any space. Choose from delicate flowers and butterflies, animals, elegant patterns, nature, and music themes. Phyllis Williams enjoys the metamorphosis of fused glass kiln work. She uses finely-crushed glass or powdered glass on sheet glass to create shimmering glass plates, vases, platters, glasses and decorative wall art. The artist’s palette ranges from soothing earth tones to vivid cobalt blue and turquoise.
Debbie Nolte tote and cosmetic bag
Peter Judge wooden sculptures
Don Antram mixed media paintings
Got summer travel plans? Pam Lynch designs travel-friendly jackets, vests, tops and accessories. All pieces are made from a rayon/polyester blend of knitwear. The best part? Everything can be hand washed and air dried. The stylish tops are one size and fit women who wear sizes 2 to 14. Jackets fit sizes 6 to 20, and her handy ponchos fit sizes 2 to 18. Bon voyage! Debbie Nolte learned how to sew when she was very young. She has a passion for rich colors and fabrics. She enjoys designing striking patterns for her recycled leather bags in all shapes and sizes. Choose from colorful iPad bags, large totes and zippered purses. Krista Sheldon often feels like an archeologist–she transforms ancient objects into contemporary jewelry. The jeweler scours foreign countries for amazing artifacts– including Roman bronze from 100 A.D. and Greek coins from 350 B.C.–and casts them in silver metal clay. She enjoys creating unusual works of art from spectacular pieces from the past. Lorna Ritter is a self-taught seamstress. When she was in middle school, she spent endless hours sewing on her mother’s Singer sewing machine. Today, she is well known for her one-of-a-kind, hand-painted clothing and accessories. Her gorgeous line includes dresses, pants, vests, jackets, pillows and handbags. In addition, her customers can custom order special home décor items.
Sculpture and Mixed Media
From coasters and bookmarks to wallets and pendants, Silicon Valley tech engineers Lora and Greg Price make interesting art from laser-cut wood, metal gears and 3-D printing. Their work reflects the concept of Steampunk, a subgenre of science fiction described by Greg as “imagining today’s world without electricity, with elements of Victorian science fiction.” The artists make unusual wall-hangings, display items and interesting gifts. Peter Judge builds wooden sculptures that celebrate the diversity and poetry of life. His whimsical, freestanding sculptures and functional bud vases and boxes are constructed from recycled redwood, patinated metals, ceramic beads and other found objects. Don Antram paints from the heart. He uses a multitude of mediums (molding and fiber pastes, granular and glass bead gels, mica, metallic and acrylic paint, and sea shells) to create textures that capture and reflect light. His work ranges from realistic to abstract. Check out his ethereal mermaids, pensive peonies and restless ocean scenes. After a successful art director career in the corporate world, Eileen Goldenberg became an accomplished artist. Her work has been collected all over the United States, and her paintings, sculptures and murals have been commissioned by many charities, businesses and cities. “Making art is a chance for me to feel magical,” the artist said. “Art is a kind of magic–it’s a transformation of one thing into another; an image infused with color, line, texture. The viewer is transformed…all sorts of wonderful things can happen when you are moved by a particular piece of art.”