From Plein Air To Studio, Nikki Basch Davis’ New Painting Style

Photos: Nikki Basch-Davis
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Nikki Basch-Davis has been creating art in Benicia for 27 years, and has been a member of Arts Benicia for the same length of time, since its inception. Her paintings, sculptures and poems are on display at the library’s Marilyn Citron O’Rourke Gallery until July 27. The show, called Moments, captures human expression and emotion in its range of experience, from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Artist Robert-Jean Ray says, “The portrayals realized in her paintings and sculptures celebrate the human spirit; conveying moments of serenity, affection, tolerance, despair and joy.”

Basch-Davis’ intention is to “draw the viewer’s curiosity. I hope for an emotional reaction rather than an appreciation of the craft.” Indeed, perhaps what’s engaging about her work is that the human moments she depicts are decidedly recognizable, creating a poignant lens for a deeper understanding of the individual and the collective. She finds human stories exciting. “If my painting tells a story, I am satisfied,” she says. Basch-Davis began as a Plein Air painter, and, desiring a change in scenery, she transitioned to studio work in the last couple years and started creating sculptures. She says, “I find it interesting that my 2D and 3D work are so similar. It’s as if the figures walked off the canvas and formed into clay.”


There’s a reception at the gallery July 2, 3-5pm, and a poetry reading July 23, 3-5pm. According to Ray, Basch-Davis’ “poetic visualizations provide a sense of hope, despite humanity’s turbulent journey towards uncertainty.” The Marilyn Citron O’Rourke Gallery is located inside the library at 150 East L Street, and gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 10am-9pm and Friday-Sunday, noon-6pm. For more information, visit benicialibrary.org/gallery.

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