Benicia’s art galleries are in the holiday spirit and inviting you to visit this month.
Benicia Plein Air Gallery’s ornament-sized paintings
Benicia Plein Air Gallery, located at 307 1st Street, will have its traditional holiday tree full of ornament-sized paintings. Many customers visit the gallery every year to select new ornaments as presents for holiday giving. The Gallery’s December exhibition will be a group show featuring paintings with the theme of winter light. The gallery’s twelve artists create paintings of Bay Area scenes centering on Benicia and the Carquinez Strait, as well as other regional areas. beniciapleinair.com
A short walk up the street at 333 D 1st Street, the HQ Gallery will feature a group exhibition titled Reflections. The approximately twenty HQ artists are celebrating the holiday season by serving cider and cookies during the Benicia Holiday Tree Lighting on Friday, December 3, from 6 to 9 pm, with musician Marcy Orendorff providing vocal entertainment. On Saturday, December 11, the gallery will welcome shoppers after the Holiday parade to its Holiday Booth where small artworks and artist-made cards and gift items are ready for gift-giving. Mini-painting ornaments will also be on sale at HQ Gallery, and the featured artist for the month is Ebba Navas, whose impressionist landscapes capture northern California scenes in bright jewel tone colors. hqgallery.net
Across and farther up the street is Happy Life Pottery, at 632 1st Street, where families with children home from school are invited to participate in their most popular pottery project classes – making ceramic dogs, cats, flowers, pots, and the like! These are fun, creative, and affordable activities for families to do together during the holidays. In addition, on the second & third Saturdays in December, Happy Life will be expanding the store into the studio and having a special, limited-time pottery show featuring work by local ceramic artists, including their own David and Amy Stellato, specifically geared for the gift-giving season and those who are looking for unique, hand-made gifts. Collage and mixed media artworks by Novato artist Janet Glore Davis are also featured. happylifepottery.com
HQ Gallery’s Reflections exhibition
Happy Life Pottery class
A few blocks up the street is Gallery 621, a contemporary art gallery now open in its new location on the second floor above Olson Realty, at 920 1st Street, Suite 203. After you pick up your coffee and pastry at the nearby One House Bakery, take a tour up the stairs to see the new spacious gallery, with three gallery rooms featuring an exhibition of works by the sixteen member artists, a holiday show with 8” by 8” paintings priced for gift giving, and a small works gallery including artisan-made jewelry and fine art. Artistic mediums represented include painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. The new location has doubled the gallery’s available space and made it possible to welcome several new regional artists. gallery621.com
In the Benicia Arsenal, Arts Benicia is featuring an exhibition titled Pure Paint, a juried show with ninety works selected by Nicolas Wilton, an internationally known Sausalito artist and teacher. The gallery is located at 991 Tyler Street, Suite 114. Arts Benicia is also offering an online Holiday Art Market designed for gift shopping, with artwork by regional artists, at artsbenicia.org/art-market
You can learn more about each gallery through their website, including open hours during the holiday season. Each of the galleries observes appropriate safety protocols for visitors. Fill your holidays with art!
Arts Benicia’s Pure Paint exhibition