Lamorinda is a creative place. Whether you want to see it, buy it or make it, there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the visual arts culture in our charming trio of towns. Don’t let the suburban vibe fool you - there is something interesting to be found with just a tiny bit of effort!
The Art is On The Wall
The Lamorinda Arts Council has a rotating monthly exhibit at the Art Gallery in the Orinda Library, open to all during normal library hours. Stop in for a chance to view photographs, ceramics, paintings and sculpture. Visit the Arts Council’s website for a list of the current exhibits and to find dates for the artist receptions hosted each month. They also offer additional community programs, including a very fun “Lamorinda Idol” contest. Also sponsoring local exhibits is the Lamorinda Arts Alliance, which puts on both shows and sales in and around the area. Check their website for upcoming events. Exhibits selected by the City of Lafayette Public Arts Commission are on view Monday evenings in the Lafayette Library Gallery between 7:00-9:00 p.m. every week or during any public event in the library’s Community Hall.
Hanging It Up
Looking for a fabulous painting for your entry or a gorgeous piece of pottery for that niche in your dining room? Look no further than the Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery. With a small space at one end of Mt. Diablo, Jennifer Perlmutter has Lafayette covered. Known for her spring/summer 2019 pop-up at the old Wells Fargo (which ended in June 2019), Jennifer aims to bring art to people of all ages and interests and is a creative entrepreneur who cares about the community. Can’t find what you’re looking for anywhere? Moraga Art Gallery, or MAG, located on Center Street, is a cooperative of local member artists and artisans. Join their email list or visit their website to find out about shows and receptions. Finally, a town favorite is independent artist Alexandra Mathias. Alex’s pieces are small, colorful and full of life. Buy direct from this Reliez Valley (Lafayette) artist after being invited into her personal studio to see what she has on hand.
Art Around Town
You don’t always have to go out of your way to find art in our community. Look out your window as you drive down Mt. Diablo in Lafayette and you’ll see the public utility boxes displaying art by local students brightening things up. Duck under the trees on Golden Gate Way near Lafayette Plaza for a glimpse of “Ursus Redivivus, Recycled Bear”. The 12 foot tall, kinetic, interactive scrap metal sculpture weighs 7,200 pounds and is the work of Chad Glashoff and Alex Nolan. See if you can figure out how to make him move. “Speechless”, a 16 foot high bronze sculpture of stacked books graces the plaza at the Lafayette Library on First Street and Golden Gate Way. Stop by the Orinda Library for a look at the “Whirly Wheel Peacock” by Patricia Vader. If you need a rest, take a seat on the “Asymmetrical Chair” or the “Lips Bench”, functional pieces of art outside the Orinda Community Center by Colin Selig.
Make It Yourself
Channel your inner Picasso by taking a class at The Art Room in Lafayette. Offering courses for both children and adults in drawing, painting, ceramics and digital photography, The Art Room is a Lamorinda institution. Don’t want to go it alone? Gather your friends for a party and spend a couple of hours making your own art, or rent the space and host your own exhibit. Looking to make something rustic for your cabin in Tahoe? Spend an evening at Board and Brush in Walnut Creek and create something special while enjoying a glass of wine (hint: you can probably get a Groupon). Tucked away in Saranap, you’ll find Lafayette Studio, where a group of artist/instructors teach classes in watercolor, life drawing, sketching, painting and more. Take a peek at their website for the current class offerings. If classes are your thing and you have tenacity (the art classes often sell out), make sure you are ready to register when classes are opened up at the public Adult Education center, run by the local school district.
Whatever you’re looking for, Lamorinda has a vibrant community of galleries, exhibits and classes...everything is yours to explore.