Arts Benicia’s newest exhibit explores the toy as a work of art—a vehicle for the imagination. Used as play or a reference to playthings, toys can embody our own personas, filled with nostalgia, with fun, or be scary, ridiculous, or thought provoking. The exhibit is free and open to the public with the opening Reception (during Holiday Open Studios) Saturday, December 3, 2-4pm.  Arts Benicia Member Preview includes a walk-through with juror Tony Natsoulas, Thursday, December 1, 6-7pm. Natsoulas, after receiving his Masters of Fine Art at the University of California at Davis in 1985, has been working as a professional artist in ceramic sculpture, with his main interest in large-scale humorous figurative ceramic sculpture. He studied at the University of California, Davis' TB9 ceramic studio with Benicia’s Robert Arneson, the artist who put figurative ceramic sculpture on the map. Since then his work has been shown in galleries and museums around the world. For the past 5 years he has been Exhibition Coordinator of the Coker Family Gallery at Blue Line Arts,

Participating artists

Cecilia Ackerman, Bob Barton, Marie Bergstedt, Nancy D. Brown, Mel Christopher, Rejina Christopher, Donna Covey, Carolyn Crampton, Carol Dalton, Greg Davis, Ryan Davis, Pam Dixon, Susan Else, William Foley,  Anne Garvey, Linda Grebmeier, Sarah Gross, Seana Higgins, Jeannie Ichimura, Cynthia Jensen, Joe Johnson,  Marty Jonas, Mike Kendall, Diana Krevsky, Barbetta Lockart, Suzanne Long, Mark Mattioli, Cecile McNulty, James Mullen, Jeffrey Nebeker, Robert Nelson, Kent Odell, Nancy Roberts, Nicky Ruxton, Anne Savageau, Randall Sexton, Thomas Eric Stanton, Jennifer Tachera, Roy Tatman, Pearl Jones Tranter, Sandra Trujillo, Mark Van Norman,  Weijue Wang, and Ingrid Wells