Art Wall Archive

April, 2018
Father and Daughter: Tom and Ellie Peters
Opening Reception Sunday, April 8, noon. Forbes Hall
Ellie Peters has created art work worthy of attention since she was quite small. After four years of art classes at Mission Renaissance School of Art, where she was taught techniques and kept on task, her art work has become more refined.
Tom Peters has enjoyed creating work in photography and painting for over 40 years. Tom self-published three books
featuring his art work, and just recently published a memoir titled, “Step Away from the War.”
Contact our Art Director, Beverly Alison for further information about this show or about exhibiting on our Art Wall.
March, 2018
Don't Miss Los Angeles-Based Legendary Chicana Artist Margaret Garcia

Please join us for our March Art Wall Opening Reception on Sunday, March 4, from noon to 1:30 pm. You won’t want to miss the chance check out the highly celebrated works of Chicana artist Margaret Garcia. Garcia brings her artistic sensibilities gained from a lifetime of living in Los Angeles. The show will run until March 25.

Garcia relates of her childhood and artistic viewpoint: “I grew up in Boyle Heights / East L.A. … the refuge of many displaced residents of Chavez Ravine. Considered a haven for some of the lefties, Jews, Russians, Japanese, African-Americans, and Mexicans, I learned tolerance, which was reinforced by a diversity of teachers as well as my father and grandmother; I flourished and appreciated the differences…Yet with all of that it wasn’t until 1969 that I learned and embraced the term Chicano. The term allows me to embrace all facets of my culture and became like a rebirth of my identity. It doesn’t mean that every work of art I do must be culturally identifiable, political, representational, or even colorful. Though I don’t avoid those things, I define Chicano Art by producing it.”

Margaret Garcia is a practicing and regularly exhibiting artist and teacher in Los Angeles. Her work is represented in museums and collections such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, National Museum of Mexican Art, and the Cheech Marin Collection. She received the William Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, the Feitelson/Lundberg Award, and, California Community Foundation Grant, among others. As a mentor, she nurtures and teaches and has taught a good number of artists in her community.

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

February, 2018
Explore the Vibrant Colors and Themes of Painter Stacy Diehl’s Works

diehl1.jpgPlease join us for our February Art Wall Opening Reception on Sunday, February 4 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm. Explore the vibrant colors and (sometimes) familiar images of painter Stacy Diehl, an extremely prolific painter who rediscovered her passion for painting and never looked back. The show will run until February 25.

The year was 1998, and Stacy Diehl was feeling vaguely dissatisfied. A mentor sensed that Diehl was an artist at heart and recommended that Diehl do “The Artist’s Way,” Julia Cameron’s workbook for unblocking creativity. It was during “reading deprivation week” that Diehl rediscovered painting. Cameron encourages students to avoid reading and suggests alternatives, including painting. Diehl pulled out some old acrylic paints from her youth and started to paint. Of her first painting during this time, Diehl says, “It wasn’t ‘good,’ but I was hooked. Looking at it now, I see it’s simply unfinished. I kept painting and gradually figured out how to manipulate paint into the images I wanted to see.”

In that first year, Diehl painted 38 paintings. Nearly 20 years later, she estimates that she has completed 300 paintings.

As is evident from her works, Diehl loves color. “The more, the better,” she says. Pets are also a favorite subject. “It brings me pleasure to capture their likenesses and, hopefully, essences on canvas.” Diehl’s specialty is custom paintings - commissions from photos (cats, dogs, kids, airplanes, golf courses, gardens, sunsets, etc.). The paintings make meaningful gifts; people adore art based on what they love. Says Diehl, “Art is supposed to make you feel something, and I think my paintings do that. I enjoy collaborating with customers to help them choose great photos on which to base their paintings.”

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

January, 2018
The UUSM Art Wall Shows off Quilts in January!

Please join us for our January Art Wall Opening Reception on Sunday, January 7 from 12:00 noon – 1:30pm when we welcome seasoned quilting artist Cathy Seidman, aka The Crazy Quilter. Cathy says, “I have been a textile artist for as long as I can remember I have been a quilt maker for the last fifteen years.,” She has been very active in the Santa Monica Quilt Guild and the Westside Quilt Guild. Come meet the artist and see what imagi - nation looks like as a quilt. Contact our Art Director, Beverly Alison for further info about this show or about exhibiting on our Art Wall. 



December, 2017
Catherine Tirr: Watercolors
Please join us for our December Art Wall Opening Reception on Sunday, December 3 from 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm.
You saw the work of Catherine’s art students in April – now view the works of the artist herself in this special exhibition and biannual watercolor showcase and sale.
Catherine Tirr is an award-winning artist whose works have been exhibited widely in Europe and the United States. Tirr was born in England and studied at Chelsea School of Art in London. Her work in one of her first group exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Art, London, in 1979 was awarded the Stowells Trophy.
Catherine Tirr is well known for painting expressive watercolors of various landscapes.She describes her interest thus, “the landscape we see is a combination of chance events, relationships and juxtapositions, constantly in flux. Yet the shadow of what was formerly there can still be traced, just as random boulders deposited along a broad moraine suggest the shape and scope of a glacier that is no longer there.”
After successful shows in England and Iceland, Tirr relocated to the U.S. and has since exhibited at Detroit’s Robert Kidd Gallery and Fischer Gallery, the Sixth Street Gallery in Royal Oak, Michigan, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Armand Hammer Museum, and San Francisco’s Olga Dollar Gallery. Catherine Tirr has been teaching the Plein Air Painting class in the Santa Monica Emeritus College program since 2000.
Catherine Tirr is also the author of “Saturation,” and “The Color of Hindsight,” both portfolios of her paintings. Her work is represented by Double Vision Gallery, Los Angeles and The Gascoigne Gallery, Leeds, England.
Contact Our Art Director, Beverly Alison, for further info about this show or about exhibiting on our Art Wall.
November, 2017
Wonderful Watercolors Await on the Art Wall in November

Please join us to view the world through watercolor creations this November during our Art Wall Opening Reception: Sunday, November 5, from noon to 1:30 pm in Forbes Hall. Artist Kathy Wilczek will be on hand to share her thoughts and inspirations behind the pieces on display.

Wilczek grew up in the Boston area, where from an early age she was inspired to create art, often winning contests put on by the Boston Globe. Her passion led her to degrees in Fine Arts and Graphic Design; she taught Art and Art History in Illinois for over ten years. In Chicago, Lake Michigan replaced her New England ocean as she continued to explore art forms in every way possible. Her work was displayed and sold in art galleries and design studios throughout the Chicago area for decades.

Wilczek has studied and created a variety of art forms by working with oils, acrylics, mixed-media, sculpture, and most recently, watercolor. Wilczek’s influences include Van Gogh and “the whole Wyeth family.” Wilczek mentions, “My point of view is nature, whimsy, and generally illustrative. Color and how it effects other colors is something always on my mind.”

She and her husband retired and relocated from the Midwest to the Tucson desert six years ago. The vastly different surroundings, especially the mountains, inspired her to learn to paint with watercolors in order to express the dryness of the desert through water and color. She has developed an enduring love for the West Coast. Wilczek loves to visit Santa Monica and the Pier, finding new enchantment in the West Coast vibes and ocean fun. Although the two coasts she has lived on elicit very different feelings, to study both is her delight.

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

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.