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Award Winners for Autumn Art Fest 2018

Over one hundred art works are currently on display at Mistlin Gallery, having been chosen from a field of over 250 entries by jurors on August 11. The Autumn Art Festival show runs through October 5. The following awards were given in five categories, plus judge’s picks and “people’s choice” from votes at 3rd Thursday Art Walk on August 16.

Best of Show by Nicole Slater, World on a String, mixed media.
Best of Show – World on a String, Nicole Slater

Sponsored by Tony Mistlin

Category 1  – Water Media

Hope Meadow, watercolor by Dan Petersen, 1st place water media.

1st Place – Hope Meadow, Dan Petersen

Sponsored by Artist Open Studio

2nd Place – California Colors, Vince Walsh

Sponsored by Dan and Lila Petersen

3rd Place – By the Light of the Moon, Shirley Green

Sponsored by Dan and Lila Petersen

Category 2 – Oil /Pastel/Encaustic

Edge of Day, oil painting by Rick Ingraham, 1st place

1st Place – Edge of Day, Rick Ingraham

Sponsored by Rick Allen

2nd Place – Central California Coast, Carolyn Rossmann

Sponsored by Dr. Ralph Moriconi

3rd Place – Espiritu de Mesteno, Chris Obers

Sponsored by Annette Nielson

Category 3 – Graphics/Photography/Drawing

Brown Research Station, photograph by David Schroeder, 1st place

1st Place – Brown Research Station, David Schroeder

Sponsored by Michael and Maria O’Brien

2nd Place – Chaps, Alyn Brereton

Sponsored by Michael and Maria O’Brien

3rd Place – Brockle Face Bawl, Cali Roberson

Sponsored by Virginia White

Category 4 – Mixed Media

Focus, mixed media painting by Carrie Arnold, 1st place and judge’s choice by juror, Tina Moore.

1st Place – Focus, Carrie Arnold

Sponsored by Artist Open Studio

2nd Place – Curly Cow, Linda Knoll

Sponsored by Newby and Georgia Herrick

3rd Place – Fall Pumpkin, Karen Kingsbury

Sponsored by Michael and Maria O’Brien

Category 5 – Three-Dimensional

Ship of Fools, ceramic piece by Eva Hass, 1st place and judge’s choice by juror, Jacob Weigel.

1st Place – Ship of Fools, Eva Hass

Sponsored by Phonsie Bates

2nd Place – Flyway, Randy Crimmel

Sponsored by Alice and Alan Richards

3rd Place – Lidded Shiro Jar, Randy Crimmel

Sponsored by John and Rebecca Wynn

Judges’ Merit Awards

By the Light of the Moon, Shirley Green

Judge: Terri Wilson   Sponsored by Linda Knoll

Ship of Fools, Eva Hass

Judge: Jacob Weigel   Sponsored by Betty Jean Reynolds

Focus, Carrie Arnold

Judge: Tina Moore    Sponsored by John and Mary Jane Kiskinen

People’s Choice, pencil drawing by Cali Roberson

People’s Choice awarded August 16

Backward Glance, pencil drawing, Cali Roberson

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Congratulations to Autumn Art Festival Prize Winners!

This year’s Autumn Art Festival has been another success for Mistlin Gallery and CCAA. The gala reception was well attended and our fundraising efforts rewarded. We’d like to thank all of the artists who entered, and congratulate prize winners. We’d also like to acknowledge our organizing committee,  jurors and sponsors who make the show possible.

2017 Autumn Art Festival Awards

Artist, Sue Richardson, with her Best of Show mixed media piece, “On the Ferris Wheel”

Best of ShowOn the Ferris Wheel, Susan Richardson

Sponsored by Milt and Carol David

Category 1  – Oil and Acrylic Painting

1st place, category 1, Howard Rees’ oil painting, “Bodega Bay”

1st Place – Bodega Bay, Howard Rees

Sponsored by Michael Obrien – Beckwith Veterinary Hospital

2nd Place – Three Palms, Chella

Sponsored by Alice Richards

3rd Place – Steve, Eva Hass

Sponsored by Mary Jane Kiskinen

Honorable Mention – Open Range, William Scheuber

Honorable Mention – Incoming Tide, Rick Ingraham

Category 2 – Watercolor and Pastel Painting

First place, category 2, Howard Rees’ watercolor “Newport Harbor”

1st Place – Newport Harbor, Howard Rees

Sponsored by Dan and Lila Peterson

2nd Place – Autumn Celebration, Carol David

Sponsored by Richard and Wendy Allen

3rd Place – Toby, Chris Obers

Sponsored by Nicole Slater

Honorable Mention – Perched in the Palms, Marilyn Wear

Honorable Mention – Puerta del Patio, Barbara Gill

Category 3 – Mixed Media and Photography

1st place, category 3, mixed media by Nancy Burch, “SHH”

1st Place – Shh, Nancy Burch

Sponsored by Barbara Gill-Salerno

2nd Place – Epic, Carrie Arnold

Sponsored by James and Jill Clayton

3rd Place – Havana Condo, David Schroeder

Sponsored by Chella

Honorable Mention – 1000 Leaves, Barbara Kamps

Honorable Mention – Rural Horses, Anna Barber

Category 4 – Three-Dimensional

First place, category 4, Jason Bream’s metal sculpture, “The Better Half”

1st Place – The Better Half, Jason Bream

Sponsored by James and Jill Clayton

2nd Place – Dia De Los Muertos, Karina Jauregui

Sponsored by John and Rebecca Wynn

3rd Place – Bird Love Box, Linda Knoll

Sponsored by Phonsie Bates

Honorable Mention – Passing Through My Spirals, Randy Crimmel

Honorable Mention – Cherry and Turquoise Bowl, Larry Lew

Thank you to all the 2017 Autumn Art Festival Sponsors

Premier $5000 – $1000


Michael O’Brien  – Beckwith Veterinary Hospital

Supporting $599 – $200

Memorial Hospital dba Sutter Health, Rick and Wendy Allen, Stanislaus Artist Open Studio, James and Jill Clayton, Barbara Kamps, Jared and Galen Martin

General $199 – $20

Phonsie Bates, Anise Burns, Barbara Gill, Chella Gonsalves, Georgia Herrick, Mary Jane Kiskinen, Dr. R.J. Moriconi, Oak Valley Bank, Dan and Lila Peterson, Alice Richards, Louis Santistevan, Shirley Sharp, Nicole Slater, Marianne Ward , John and Rebecca Wynn

Thank you to all who donated items for the Silent Auction!

Wine donated by

Special Thanks to Jurors: Daniel Kasser, Leslie H. Hurst and Georgia Herrick

Langlois Music – Live Music by Patrick Campbell

Sammuel W. Mann – Information Technology

Civic Partners and Tenth Street Place

Modesto Downtown Improvement District

Tony Mistlin and Mistlin Honda

Autumn Art Festival Committee

Show Hosts: Phonsie Bates and John Wynn

Silent Auction: Suzanne McCaslin

Gala: Marianne Ward and Jo Ewell

Photography: John Wynn

Graphics: Linda Knoll

Publicity: Laura Stokes

Barbara Gill: Ribbons

Lou Santistevan

Janet Hardie

Special thanks to Dixie Zambruno and Rebecca Wynn and all the volunteers who gave their time and energy to help make the Autumn Art Festival a success!

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Celebration of Fiber Arts open through July 7

June’s show was organized by Country Crossroads Quilters, a Modesto area quilting guild. The show is filled with a variety of sizes, styles and techniques in quilting, weaving and other textile arts. The use of fiber in art has expanded in the past 30 years to include not only fabric but thread work, beading, painting, hand dyed fibers, and photography that lift the traditional quilt to new heights. A resurgence of knitting and crocheting has occurred nationwide and television shows such as Project Runway have inspired new interest in sewing and textiles. The exhibit is designed to showcase the work of local artists and educate the
public on the breadth and creativity of fiber art. Here are a few samples:

Nuno felted “painting” by MJ Kiskinen
Spinning wheel and wool
Closeup of a picture quilt.
Circular quilt with geometric patterns

The quilters have made a special section with “mini” quilts, matted small creations selling for a the low price $40. Most of the larger quilts and works are for sale as well.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Country Crossroads Quilters, their website is or find them on Facebook. They welcome quilters of all experience levels, and encourage the growth of their skills. To aid this growth, the Guild has special speakers on a regular basis who bring the latest in quilting design and techniques to our members. Members also share their techniques and skills, and there is an extensive lending library with several books in each of the most common techniques used in quilting.

Blocks on the Move

This special group of panels is also on display at the gallery. Blocks on the Move is an outreach program of the guild. It is moved from place to place in order to bring the joy of quilts to everyone in our community.


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What is our CLASS Teaching Artist program all about?

Linda Knoll, far right, with other Stanislaus County “Outstanding Women.”

Our education coordinator, Linda Knoll was recently awarded “Outstanding Woman of Stanislaus County” by the Stanislaus Commission on Women. The following is her acceptance speech, given Saturday, March 11. It describes what the CLASS program does, as well as who is to thank for making it all work. For more information about how you can bring CLASS to your school, email Linda at

I’m a teaching artist. I have a professional art practice. And I teach what I am passionate about: making art and having a voice through my work. Over the past few years, I’ve come to realize how much I can do in just one hour,  coming into classrooms from the outside as an “expert.”

When I visit a classroom, I look for that kid whose desk is set apart. The one who blurts out, who gets told, “you won’t have art if you can’t behave.” They’re the ones I have to tell, “just keep trying”, or, “you can do it!” at least 10 times. And most times, they make the most amazing art. These are students who’ve said, after making a successful art project, “I’ve never been good at anything before.”

There are the kids who shout excitedly “I made brown!” after stirring their plate of primary color paints into an ooze of grayish muck. Or the kid in the hallway who runs up with a hug and says “Your’e the best art teacher” and I know I’m their only art teacher. Or the one who asks “are you a famous artist?” and I have to admit, no, not yet.

Thank you to all the people who make it possible to do what we do….

Thank you to Julie Hawkins, who over the last 3 years has been SO generous with her time and enthusiasm for my ever expanding plans. She’s been an ear for new ideas, a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on.

Thank you to my family. My dad has cut thousands of pieces of wire for classroom sculpture projects, and given up half the garage to store my art supplies. My sister, a kindergarten teacher, keeps me grounded. My daughter keeps me excited by looking at my photos of kids’ projects and hearing about my challenges with children and messy supplies. My mom, who passed away about 18 months ago, knew this was what I needed to do.

Thank you to my team of teaching artists who put up with crazy schedules and sometimes crazier ideas, and love being with kids and sharing their art and their excitement for creativity. Through their patience and positivity, I see how we are affecting students. They send me pictures of students’ work, and tell stories about the kids in their classrooms. Like the student who just arrived from Syria with no English, but she can draw with the best of them. Or the autistic student who just wants to do the work all by himself, and when he’s allowed, does it wonderfully.

Thank you to the Central California Art Association for their moral and financial support. CCAA is a group of artists, supporters and friends who volunteer to run one of the finest art galleries in Modesto, the Mistlin Gallery. Members contribute time and talent to put on 10 shows per year and provide classes for all ages.

After the Stanislaus Arts Council’s “STARS” program stopped providing visual art classes, the folks at CCAA stepped in to create our CLASS program — Community Liaison for Art in Stanislaus Schools –- and asked if I’d like to take charge. So began the work of reaching out to schools to let them know about us. Four years ago, it was just myself and one other teacher, and now I coordinate 18 teaching artists. In just the past year, we have visited more than 30 schools in 7 school districts, touching the lives of more than 12,000 students.

Thank you to the teachers who have made room for me and my team in their classrooms. Teachers work SOOO hard. And they deal with “that kid” for so many more hours than I do.

Thanks to the administrators who support the idea of art education with their time and school budgets. One principal, in particular, has secured thousands of dollars in outside contributions so that every child in her school has had this opportunity for the last 3 years. And an entire district administration that has committed to bring our art classes to every Kindergarten through 6th grade student with district funds. These people believe art really does make a difference to children.

Thank you to the parents whose children we serve. Who sometimes have to wash the paint or clay out of their clothes. I overheard a frustrated parent in the hall one day, saying “the only time my kid wants to come is school is on art day.” My heart swelled. Even though I really believe kids should be excited to come to school EVERY day.

Visual art is a window to the world. It gives voice to the students who are often unheard. Put a paintbrush in the hand of a child who doesn’t have even a pencil or crayons at home, and you’ll quickly see why art is called the universal language.

SO, in the long term, I’d like our program to keep expanding. We’d like to share hands-on experiences with more students… especially those who don’t typically have access to arts. Children need to participate, not just watch. To make this happen, we depend on the generosity of the community, schools and families who help CCAA keep its doors open. We all need to speak up and say, YES, the arts are important.

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Giving Thanks

by Linda Knoll, Education Coordinator, CCAA

While there are many challenges in the world, I’m still grateful for the people, places and things I have. I’ve been an active member here at CCAA for about 5 years now. I’ve become friends with this group of hard working volunteers, the folks that run the gallery day in and day out, who are very dedicated and caring people.

New members and old  are welcome to exhibit their work, take part in our activities and be part of our art community. I’m grateful for all of our members’ participation and contributions. I’m also thankful for all of our patrons, students and friends who continue to support us. Our gallery is a place that the community can be proud of.  CCAA’s exhibitions, whether members, students or community groups, remain free and open to the public. Our education center offers high quality classes for children and adults.

classlogo2Our teaching artist program, CLASS, is reaching thousands of children throughout the county. I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with schools and meet all the dedicated administrators, teachers, and families who support the idea that art is an important part of a child’s education. I’m also thankful to lead this dedicated group of teaching artists who bring creativity and enrichment to my life as well as their students.

If you’re thinking of making a year-end contribution to a local non-profit organization, please consider giving to Central California Art Assocation. Your tax deductible contributions directly support our gallery operations and education programs. You can donate through PayPal by clicking the Donate button below, or mail your contribution to CCAA, 1015 J Street, Modesto, CA 95354.

Thank you.

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“Making Time” exhibition runs Oct. 25th – Nov. 18th

An Inspirational Art Exhibit of Memorial Medical Center’s Complementary Therapy Art Program

"Time Spins On," Mixed Media Complementary Therapy Art Group project.
“Time Spins On,” Mixed Media Complementary Therapy Art Group project.

Each piece in this show was created by the participants in Memorial Medical Center’s Complementary Therapy Art Program. These survivors and caregivers have produced art in an atmosphere that fosters community and acceptance. In this setting they are free to create images, experiment with media and develop skill. This exhibit reveals their zeal for life, their passion for expression and their emerging talent. Here they are free to become artists.

The remarkable results of this art program cannot really be measured, for they encompass not only the art we see; they include deep human connections shared by those whose cancer journeys intersect in the studio. They include the dignity of personal achievement and the welcome discovery of hidden ability.

This show demonstrates the pleasure of finding meaning in suffering and creating beauty in the struggle. These works are proof that through creativity, the destructive and ominous presence of cancer has been transformed through image, color and texture.

"A Day in the Woods" Acrylic by Lori Shutler
“A Day in the Woods” Acrylic by Lori Shutler
"Making Time," Acrylic, Complementary Therapy Art Group project
“Making Time,” Acrylic, Complementary Therapy Art Group project
"The Protector" Mixed Media Mask by Margo Souza.
“The Protector” Mixed Media Mask by Margo Souza.

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Curator speaks about “From the Trenches”

by Dr. Richard Serros, Show Host and Curator

From The Trenches is an exhibition highlighting a selection of artworks by art students from local and not so local California colleges and universities. We brought together a rich and varied collection of works reflecting a broad range of interests and approaches to expressing ideas and working with various media.

Marianne Ward, chair of the Exhibition Committee at Central California Art Association and Mistlin Gallery, approached me with the idea for this show. She wanted to develop greater inclusion by targeting a group of artists that has not been traditionally included on the annual exhibition calendar of the gallery: college art students.

Out Of The Trenches X-6439These art students are undergoing the oftentimes brutal rites of passage that include working on creative projects in the classroom alongside competing students, suffering the challenges of hostile critiques and submitting artworks to public exhibitions for the first time while still unsure of themselves and the quality of their work. Sometimes assigned technical challenges and subjects they are unfamiliar with, or without much guidance, they experiment, desperately seeking resolutions armed with little more than their own experiences. Sometimes they are asked to question the very processes that engaged them with the arts in the first place. Sometimes they are asked to dig into their own biographies, biology, and psychology to reveal very personal details and attitudes generally hidden from society, family and themselves. Some students, scarred and angered by overprotection, neglect, abuse, accident or economic misfortune, are still struggling with maturing and defining themselves. Others, sure in their social positions and attitudes, focus on subjects and processes honed through years of experience with their chosen art. In other words, approach these artworks with an open mind and with the faith that they were produced by students with the good intentions of fulfilling the requirements of their assignments while simultaneously attempting to define themselves as persons and artists: a sometimes scary, confusing and overwhelming process.

Out Of The Trenches V-6433The title of this exhibition came to me as I contemplated who these students are and where they are producing their art. They are the foot soldiers of the next generation of artists, skirmishing in the trenches for a clearer sight of their objectives within a battlefield in which their domain is not given much attention. Our Great Central Valley, bounded on all sides by mountains, though proudly the food basket of the nation, is a great trench from where it is difficult to experience the highly cultured and fast-paced art worlds of the Bay Area, Los Angeles basin and beyond. New York and Paris are foggy, undefined dreams to most of these students. This exhibit was conceived as a way to bring these art students together in the hopes of building a stronger art community and to help them see themselves as an important cultural component. Finally, I hope to inspire them to continue creating during their time away from the classroom.

I worked with Professor Cheryl Barnett of Merced College and my former Modesto Junior College art student Randy Ammon, now at CSU Stanislaus, to attract artists. We contacted 42 of the best undergraduate art students across the region. These students are from our three local campuses and a number who have transferred to art departments at various CSU and UC campuses throughout California. These include: CSU Stanislaus, San Jose, Sacramento, Chico, Humboldt, Long Beach and Fullerton, as well as UC Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz and San Diego.

Thanks to the membership of the CCAA for making this show possible. Special thanks for the efforts of those (you know who you are) who helped receive, hang, tag and light the show. The public is invited to receptions for the artists on two 3rd Thursday Art Walks (July 21 and August 19: 5:00 – 9:00 PM) featuring music, hors d’oeuvres, soft drinks and wine.

Editor’s Note: Some of the exhibition’s art works may not be suitable for young children.


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Welcome to Our New Website

In order to improve our communications, we’ve decided to redesign our website. Our goal is to make the menus and information more user friendly by being concise and easy to navigate. You’ll find information about the Mistlin Gallery’s exhibitions, education programs, as well as membership and other timely information. Ultimately, we’ll be adding links to member artists’ websites, and forms that you’ll need to participate fully in the gallery’s activities. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to contact us.

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