Monday, February 17, 2014

Art of the Heart in Anaheim - Artist Reception 2/8/14

Richard Buntin
Art Director

Saturday evening was clear and crisp for the Anaheim Art Walk.   Early birds in sweaters and light jackets began strolling on the Center Street Promenade, where 2 blocks had been closed to automotive traffic, even before the Art Walk officially began at 6pm.  Several dozen illuminated, white canopied booths and food trucks lined both sides of the street offering an interesting variety of art, crafts and cuisine in addition to the open stores and restaurants which also beckoned the crowd.

 Down a short passageway between high-rise buildings at the western end of the booths were two special attractions of the Art Walk, Museo and the CIM Group Gallery.  The Museo generously waived the admission fee to its exhibits of photography and local history for the evening.  The CIM Group Gallery featured a solo exhibit of the work of fusionartist Rickey Hoefnagel, “Visions of the Inner Landscape.”  A steady stream of visitors paraded through the Gallery for several hours to meet the artist and view the 22 original paintings adorning the walls and available for purchase.  The atmosphere was welcoming and tasteful, from the balloon-festooned entrance to the beautiful flowers, refreshments and background music all courtesy of the CIM Group Gallery staff.  The vivid colors and dramatic compositions of the art acted as a catalyst for the lively, elevated ambience throughout the evening.  Many of the guests could be seen smiling, expressing surprise that they felt so energized and moved as they lingered and conversed in front of the canvasses.

Drawn into deeper contemplation of the paintings, some wondered what the inspiration was for this unusual uplifting art.  Some of the titles – “Celebrate Life” “Color Me Free” “Love of Peace” “New Vision” - offered hints.  Hoefnagel states that she would like to offer a ray of hope in a world that often appears addicted to chronic conflict and violence.  Her paintings point to the possibility of a world of radiant joy.  By exposing her soul on canvas, she invites each of us to explore the powerful visions of our inner landscapes and express them in ways that help bring forth a happier, more harmonious world.  In the words of the artist, “I have come to understand more deeply that the love we have for anybody or anything is what keeps our inner life alive and provides us with a sense of purpose in life. That is what brings inner wealth, and nothing is more important than to let out the love within us.  Be the mirror of your own radiant soul.”

The exhibit is open to the public from 9am-6pm daily through April 30th at CIM Group Gallery, 184 W Center Street Promenade in Anaheim.