Art Wall Archive

October, 2017
Zach Ridings Presents the Romantic Surrealism of Hawaii in “The Art of Life”
Please join us for an exploration of Surrealism during the October Art Wall opening reception on Sunday, October 8 from noon to 1:30 pm in Forbes Hall. Artist Zack Ridings has created striking and stylistic art pieces, celebrating nature, life and love. Some of his works are as large as 6 feet by 4 feet, bringing new definition to the phrase, “larger than life!”
For artist Zack Ridings, it all started with, “the ‘Ahhhh!’ of Nature…one of the most powerful driving forces in a human’s life.” Ridings brings his appreciation of Surrealism and Impressionism to the forefront in his series of images depicting coastal and natural scenes of the Hawaiian islands. All of his works are done using a
traditional oil painting technique.
Ridings describes his inspirational process, “It all started with the way the wind moves, the [way] trees sculpt the mountains and guide the soul.” He continues, “To share these visions of strength and power of nature using what
I call a Simple Romantic Surreal style…
We end up with a beautiful figure or a face turned into a tree or resting on the ground as a mountain. The kind of things that are both enticing and calming, a true vision of Mother Nature.” Gaia enthusiasts would certainly agree!
Over the past five years, Zack Ridings has displayed his work throughout many of the Hawaiian Islands that are often the focus of his paintings. We look forward to welcoming his visions of tropical paradise, featuring the Surrealistic elements of surprise and unexpected juxtapositions.
Contact our Art Director, Beverly Alison, for further info about this show or about exhibiting on our Art Wall.
September, 2017
Story Painting by Nancy Romero
Nancy Romero, an award winning and well known artist in southern California, will be exhibiting a Sampling of Stories on the Art Wall at UU Santa Monica. The Artist’s Opening Reception is tentatively scheduled (watch for updates) for Sunday, September 10, from 11 am until 12:30 pm. Meet the artist and see a collection of her “Art Toys” at the reception. She works with oil and tempera on prepared panels, often gold leafed. The exhibit will run through the end of the September.
In Romero’s words:
“I celebrate glee, playfulness and irony: we are overwhelmed by violence and negativity in our world today. My work is a small antidote.
“My paintings and toys tell stories. The subject matter is often inspired by my studies in mythology and folk art. I focus on the small battles in nature and in human relationships, playing with the images of the larger myth that infuse the minutia of our lives.
“In my paintings, I experiment with techniques, ranging from old master oil glazing to tempera and gilding. My toys are automata- they move, driven by hand cranks or small motors. They are made mostly from wood and painted in tempera.”
Romero’s education started with a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, New York, and graduate studies in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. It moved on to 30 years of painting stories and making toys based on mythology, morality, personal relationships, and the mysteries of animals. Search YouTube for ‘Nancy Romero Art Toys’ to see the toys in action. (For the digital copy use this link: See Nancy Romero Art Toys in Action instead of the sentence.)
Contact Nancy Thompson in the church office for information or weekday appointments:, 310-829-5436 ext 102.
Contact Our Art Director, Beverly Alison for further info about this show or about exhibiting on our Art Wall.
July, 2017
Gerald Saldo (July)...and Church Artists (August)

July - Gerald Saldo:

Our own Gerald Saldo will host the Opening Reception for his photography show, Capturing Humanity, on Sunday, July 9 from 11 am to 12:30 pm. This exhibit will run through July 30 and is open on Sundays from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and on weekdays by appointment through the office. Additional prints will be available at the reception. After spending 40 years behind movie cameras, he has returned to his first love — still photography, but with a twist. For this show Saldo has selected works from his “Pixelism” series, these photos come directly from his camera. All the works in the show were done without filters and or compositing; Saldo refers to them as “Digital Originals.” Sharpness and focus rarely come into play, it’s all about color, shape, and form. In order to achieve a Compressed Watercolor feel, Saldo uses Low Resolution combined with high digital zoom — this helps smear the colors. Many of the images were captured from three miles away. Saldo often discovered interesting compositions with binoculars; he then lined up his camera with a fluid head tripod. He says, “With a fluid head, I am able to move smoothly, constantly composing, rapidly releasing the shutter, feeling the passion, hoping for that magic moment when I know I have captured humanity. Contact our Art Director, Beverly Alison for further info about this show or about exhibiting on our Art Wall.

August - Church Artists:

A group show of art works by church artists will be held this August. The show always proves to be a wonderful exhibit of our church talent. The reception will be on Sunday, August 6, 11:30am -12:30pm. If you are a church member and wish to exhibit, contact Diana Spears.

May, 2017
UUSM Children's Works
Our Art Wall for the month of May features works from our talented children. All proceeds from purchased items will be donated to the Religious Education Program. Stop by on Sunday, May 7 for our opening reception.
May, 2017
Faith in Action Committee

Art Wall Opening Reception: Sun, June 4, 11 to 12 pm in Forbes Hall

Please join us the first weekend in June for the Art Wall Opening Reception, featuring UUSM’s Faith In Action Committee (FIA). Faith In Action is a very active committee of UUSM and currently acts as an umbrella for other church committees, including the Peace and Social Justice group. Over the past year, FIA has hosted many important events focusing on peace in the Middle East, the economy and labor rights with emphasis on hotel workers, racism and police brutality, and immigration and immigrant detention. In March and May, there were two events relating to the important documentary film, “S. Brian Wilson: Paying the Price for Peace.” What’s next for Faith In Action? Come to the Art Wall reception in June and find out! 

April, 2017
Catherine Tirr Presents In Situ
In April, the Art Wall in Forbes Hall will display works from Catherine Tirr’s Plein Air Painting class at Santa Monica College’s Emeritus College. Devoted to working in situ, the students have created paintings in a variety of locations in Santa Monica, Venice, and Malibu.
The class meets Friday mornings for three hours. The students bring mostly water color and sometimes oil paint to work with, along with boundless enthusiasm.
Catherine Tirr has been teaching the Plein Air Painting class since 2000. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from Ravensbourne College of Art and a Master’s Degree from Chelsea School of Art and Design, both in London. She continues to paint and exhibit her work, while teaching at Santa Monica College and Pierce College.
For further info about this show or about exhibiting on the Art Wall at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica, please contact our art director, Beverly Alison, at For weekday appointments, please contact Nancy Thompson at or 310-829-5436 ext 102.
Jackie Schwab
March, 2017
Frank Dorrell: Addicted to War
During these uncertain and tumultuous times, it’s good to know that there are artists and citizens fighting for the
cause of peace. Please join us as we highlight the peace activism of Frank Dorrel and friends at the Art Wall Reception Sunday, March 19, from 12 to 1:30 pm. (The show will be up March 5 through 26.) On display will be anti-war art, photos, and posters from Frank Dorrel’s collection, including art from his book, “Addicted to War,” and movie, “What I Learned About Foreign Policy,” along with art from S. Brian Wilson’s book, “Blood on the Tracks,” and movie “Paying the Price for Peace.” Posters and other peace products from the organization Code Pink will also be featured. These books, and movies, along with Code Pink items, will be available for purchase, some at deep discounts.
Longtime UU Santa Monica members may remember the screening of Dorrel’s “What I’ve Learned About U.S. Foreign Policy: The War Against the Third World,” in 2000. It has since been seen by over two-million people worldwide. Dorrel’s book, “Addicted to War,” released in 2002, has sold over 250,000 copies.
Dorrel is the associate producer of “Paying the Price for Peace: The Story of S. Brian Willson,” which exposes United States’ addiction to war and the lies perpetuated to wage ongoing violence. It will screen at the Peace on Earth Film Festival in Chicago in March and at UU Santa Monica May 20.
Dorrel first came to UU Santa Monica in 1981; he became a member; he met his wife here in 1982; he was married here in 1988; his daughter’s naming ceremony was done here by the Rev. Judith Meyer. He served in the U.S. Air Force and is a member of Veterans for Peace. In 2004 he helped to create the Arlington West Memorial, which is still erected every Sunday next to the Santa Monica Pier.
For further info about this show or about exhibiting on the Art Wall at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica, please contact our art director, Beverly Alison . For weekday appointments, please contact Nancy Thompson at or 310-829-5436 ext 102.


February, 2017
Justin Tzorfas - Nature-Inspired Vibrant Landscapes

Bring the vibrant world of nature indoors this February when landscape artist Justin Tzorfas joins the UU Santa Monica Art Wall. We look forward to seeing you at the Opening Reception on Sunday, February 5 from 12:00 noon – 1:30pm. The exhibit will run through the end of the month.

Justin Tzorfas is a young artist creating dazzling landscape paintings inspired by his love of nature. This twenty year old college student has already created a vibrant collection of works early in his career as an artist. Inspired by the local landscapes of Southern California, Justin’s works portray a variety of natural settings: from oceans, to meadows to tropical motifs.

Justin explains that his love of art and nature started early and was inspired by childhood moments with his mom, “I grew up gardening with my mom…She taught me how to grow organic fruits and vegetables as well as flowers in our backyard. We would also go to pet stores to see all the exotic animals. My love for nature came from doing things with my mom. It has inspired me to paint landscapes…”

Justin’s persistence in his passion has led to a recent feature in issue 27 of Artists Portfolio Magazine, Annual Portraits Issue. His explains, “Art is what I feel and how I feel. Art is my infinite outcome of feelings…I put my visions and memories of nature on canvas.” We are very proud to welcome this young, emerging artist to the Santa Monica Art Wall. Come down and take a look at the variety of landscapes that our region inspires!

Contact our Art Director, Beverly Alison,for further info about this show or about exhibiting on our Art Wall.

 — Jackie Schwab


January, 2017
Evelyn Meyer - "Every Work is a Joyful surprise"
Brighten up your winter by checking out the bright, psychedelic-inspired works by artist Evelyn Meyer. We look forward to seeing you at the opening reception Sunday, January 8 from 12 to 1:30 pm. The exhibit will be hung by New Year’s Day and run through the end of the month. (Please note that the opening reception this month is NOT on the first Sunday.)
Evelyn Meyer, although an experienced artist at 82, has recently discovered a new way to create art, which will be showcased on the January Art Wall. “I found psychedelic poster board in pink, orange, green and yellow,” Evelyn says. “It has been an adventure working on them.…The colors you think you are painting come out differently and every work is a joyful surprise.”
Evelyn Meyer has been creating art since age three, changing her style as her artistic needs changed. She has also written many training materials and helped create two documentary films on preparing for retirement, notated by AARP: “A Week Full of Saturdays” and “So What if It Rains.” Evelyn also prepared course material for the docents at Carnegie Hall.
According to Evelyn’s artist book, which accompanied her exhibition at the Santa Monica College Emeritus Gallery in 2009, “As an international language, art speaks beyond culture as a medium for conversation and exchange of ideas.” Evelyn currently mentors art students from Santa Monica College, and she paints, and paints, and paints! Evelyn appreciates that our church gives young artists the opportunity to show their work in a welcoming setting, and has graciously decided to give UU Santa Monica 100% of the proceeds from the sale of her art.
For further info about this show or about exhibiting on the Art Wall at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica, please contact our art director, Beverly Alison. For weekday appointments, please contact Nancy Thompson at or 310-829-5436 ext. 102.
December, 2016
Translations: An Exhibit of Fused-Glass Wall Art by Bettye Barclay
Bettye Barclay, our award winning multi-media artist, has added yet another medium to her repertoire: fused glass. Her December Art Wall exhibit features “Translations” from previous works in acrylic, clay, and watercolor into gorgeous and meticulously crafted wall hangings of fused glass. She has particularly enjoyed exploring stylized figures, masks, and abstract designs. The show includes glass interpretations of “Seasons of the Heart,” a series that Bettye did in clay several years ago.
The Artist’s Opening Reception will be held Sunday, December 4, from 12 noon to 1:30pm. The exhibit will run through the end of the month. During the reception, many other pieces of Bettye’s work will be available for your consideration.
Bettye likes to think of her glass pieces as fancy and fun. By using iridized and dichroic specialty glass, she adds a touch of elegance to the fancy stylized figures. Fun shows up in the masks, funky faces, and totems, and in her colorful depiction of birds and fishes.
Bettye has won awards in local and national competitions for her clay creations and paintings. She has sold her one-of-a-kind clay creations in fine craft galleries throughout the United States. Her work is in collections in the US, Hong Kong, Korea, Canada, and Australia.
For more info or weekday appointments please contact Nancy Thompson at or 310-829-5436 ext 102. For further info about this show or about exhibiting on the Art Wall at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica, please contact our art director, Beverly Alison.