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Charlene Mosley: 'Pollinators' and 'minis 2022'

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Sparks Gallery
Every week from May 15, 2022 until July 3, 2022.
Sunday: 11 AM - 5 PM
Monday: 12 PM - 7 PM
Tuesday: 12 PM - 7 PM
Wednesday: 12 PM - 7 PM
Thursday: 12 PM - 7 PM
Friday: 12 PM - 7 PM
Saturday: 11 AM - 7 PM
Sparks Gallery

From KPBS weekend arts preview:
Opening Sunday with an evening reception, San Diego-based artist Charlene Mosley has long been fascinated by pollinating insects, bees and birds — and has manifested this interest into a new exhibition that parallels the largely unappreciated labor of a pollinator with that of women of color. Mosley's paintings teem with depth and movement, full of vivid color and an almost mythic crossover of wild, natural elements with the human form. These women, surrounded by exquisitely detailed birds, foxes, flowers, butterflies (you name it), evoke — for a split second — a fairy tale princess and her army of woodland creatures, but there's something too desperate, curious and sharp-edged in these works for that.

Also opening on Sunday is Sparks' annual "Minis" exhibition, the popular group exhibition of small works (with small price tags).

Details: Opens Sunday, May 15 with a reception from 5-8 p.m. and is on view through Jul. 3, 2022. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 7 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sparks Gallery, 530 Sixth Ave., downtown. Free (RSVP requested for the reception).
—Julia Dixon Evans, KPBS

From the gallery:
RSVP for the opening!

A pollinator is anything that helps carry pollen from the male part of a flower to the female part of the same or another flower, with the movement of pollen fertilizing plants to produce fruits, seeds, and young plants. Naturally a pollinator is integral to the survival of life on Earth.

The exhibition “Pollinators" reveals Charlene’s love and fascination for nature and extraordinary insects, birds, bees and other animals that play a vital role in the massive operation of pollinating 80% of the world’s flowering plants. She strives to not only celebrate their beauty, but their resilience by defying the odds every day. One remarkable insect, the Monarch, is known to be the only butterfly to migrate over 3000 miles to perpetuate its species all the while carrying thousands of pollen grains from one flower to another. That seems like a miracle when considering the mere fact that metamorphosing into a butterfly alone is highly unlikely with only a 10% chance of survival from its egg form to adulthood.

The women portrayed in the exhibition represent another type of pollinator. Women, especially women of color, have always ‘pollinated’ the development of civilizations with countless incredible contributions and achievements and were rarely credited for any of the ‘honey’ that was made from. Today, women rewrite history and are constantly defying stereotypes and breaking barriers. So, naturally Charlene feels a sense of empowerment and pride in creating strong, well-rounded characters based on real-life women in her family and surroundings, women she admires from afar, and even herself. Painted in a confident yet natural pose, the female figures often grab the viewer’s attention with a captivating eye contact, pulling them in to further analyze all the intricate details and the ever-moving vibrant strokes to their story.

The artist draws similarities in her work between the two pollinators, focusing on their shared resilience, courage and strength as they flourish in each other's presence. She showcases a deep respect and appreciation for their achievements and the unequivocal endurance to the struggles of both their existences.

“In a way, my work is the manifestation of imagination and endless conversations with myself and about life, examining my own identity as a woman, as an artist, as a person of color, as one individual within 7.7 billion and my impact on nature. Every one of my paintings and drawings play their own role and spark their own conversations in order to grow a bigger understanding and appreciation for what it means to be a pollinator of this world, in a literal and symbolic sense.”

Sparks Gallery’s annual minis exhibition returns this year with a variety of small works from a wide range of artists. Each piece in this exhibition, sized 12in x 12in and under, constitutes a bite-sized sampling of each artist’s unique style and vision.

This is a great opportunity to purchase a small piece from one of your favorite Southern California artists, priced $500 and under.

Mosley’s works and our annual "Minis" show will be on view at Sparks Gallery from May 15 through July 3, 2022.

We invite you to join us in the gallery on Sunday, May 15 from 5-8 for the Opening Reception.

RSVP here:

Regular Gallery hours: Monday - Friday from Noon - 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sunday 11a.m. - 5 p.m.

Event Supported By

Sparks Gallery

Sparks Gallery

530 6th Ave.
San Diego, California 92101

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Dates and times of events are subject to change without notice. Always check the event organizer's website for the most updated schedule before attending.