Posted Monday, October 23rd

Art As A Spiritual Metaphor (Exhibit).  November 1 – December 16, Firehouse Arts Center Harrington Gallery. Six Bay Area artists will address the spiritual in art, using mythology, mandalas, Biblical narrative, and calligraphy in their diverse expressions. Artists:  Salma Arastu, Johanna Baruch, Pauletta Chanco, Pam Fingado, Wendy Robushi, SeongMi Seol.

RECEPTION: Thursday, November 2, 7-9 p.m. Free opening reception with the artists.

SPECIAL YOUTH EVENT: “My Special Holiday” Young@Art session: November 16, 4:30-5:45 pm. $15 for residents, $22 for non-residents.  Students tour and discuss the exhibit, then head to the Art Studio to create an art piece. To register, visit and select “School Age,” and “The Arts,” then “Young@Art.”  The class code is 4784.  Instructors: Julie Finegan, Debbie Wardrope

Regular gallery hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 12:00-5:00 p.m.; Saturday 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  Harrington Gallery at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton, 4444 Railroad Avenue.  Donations always appreciated.


Art As A Spiritual Metaphor: Fine Art Exhibit

Harrington Gallery @ Firehouse – Opening Reception November 2, 7-9 p.m.

Pleasanton, Calif. – Six diverse Bay Area artists will address the spiritual in art in a new installation set to open at the Harrington Gallery at Pleasanton’s Firehouse Arts Center.  Using a variety of expressive forms, methods, and inspiration, the artists employ the tools of mythology, mandalas, Biblical narrative, and calligraphy in this thought-provoking exhibit, which is open to the public from November 1 through December 16.

A free public Opening Reception with the artists will be held on Thursday, November 2, from 7:00-9:00 p.m.  Light refreshments will be served.  Guests are welcome to come explore the exhibit, and ask questions and chat with the artists about their work. ($5 suggested donation)

The Artists:  Salma Arastu, Johanna Baruch, Pauletta Chanco, Pam Fingado, Wendy Robushi, SeongMi Seol.

Salma Arastu is a Berkeley artist who paints calligraphy on free hanging, large format canvases.  She describes these as “a new series of paintings to enlighten and awaken the spiritual connection of universal humanity through lyrical and fluid imagery of Arabic Calligraphy and Islamic patterns.”

Johanna Baruch from San Francisco has created a “Cosmos Series,” inspired by the photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope. Baruch’s work is painted on metal panels and is sharp, flowing, and dramatic. She felt that “the pictures of deep space beckoned to (her), or rather, its gravity pulled (her) inexorably into it.  The beauty, color and movement, the astonishing science and ultimate mystery of the cosmos were like songs that called to be sung.”

When the idea for this exhibition was first proposed to Harrington Gallery Director Julie Finegan in 2016, she asked Alameda artist Pauletta Chanco to join.  “Paula was gracious to accept,” notes Finegan, “and mentioned that though she would still be going through chemotherapy, she felt positive that she would be able to participate and hopefully attend the artist reception.”  Although sadly Chanco passed away in June, her husband and daughter agreed to have Paula’s work shown, so she could be remembered and honored, and her powerful work celebrated posthumously.  Says Finegan: “Her work was imbued with the process of her life journey—it’s uplifting times, anxious times, and times of solitude, loneliness, and comfort.”

El Cerrito artist Pamela Fingado calls this body of work her “Meditation Series.”  Designed to pull the viewer from the physical sensations of light and color into the inner world of consciousness, the work is an extension of Fingado’s meditation practice, reflecting her “inner landscape.”  Light and depth are blended and imagined, and forms float in an undefined otherworldly atmosphere.

Wendy Robushi of San Francisco creates involved and exacting mandalas out of the tiniest scraps of paper, all meticulously placed in the mandala formation. “My cut paper pieces have taken the mandala to its simplest form.  Being labor intensive yet simple, using words, symbols, colors, and sometimes pure white, each one is a meditation in and of itself.”

SeongMi Seol studied in South Korea at the Ye-Bak Art Institute, received her MFA at Pusan National University, and has participated in a number of exhibitions in South Korea and the U.S.  Her art “expresses the human spirit through living forms… exploring universal human sentiment.  Under the color’s breath, movement and structure express essence and vitality.”

YOUNG @ ART: “My Special Holiday” – November 16, 4:30-5:45 p.m. Exciting and educational afternoon program for kids ages 5-11. After exploring and discussing the exhibit, students will work in the studio to create an art piece about their favorite holiday or family gathering. $15 for residents, $22 for non-residents.  To register, visit and select “School Age,” and “The Arts,” then “Young@Art.”  The class code is 4784.  Instructors: Julie Finegan and Debbie Wardrope.

The Harrington Gallery is located inside the Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Avenue, Pleasanton, Calif.  Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12:00-5:00 p.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., and also one hour before most performances and during intermissions.  Admission for this exhibit is free, and donations are gratefully accepted.

Information about the Harrington Gallery:


Located inside the Firehouse Arts Center, the Harrington Gallery is a state-of-the-art 2000 square foot exhibition space operated by the City of Pleasanton.  Exhibits are located in the gallery, the grand atrium lobby, the upper mezzanine, and across the glass bridge in the Firehouse Lounge.  The gallery and exhibit spaces maintain a lively schedule of rotating art installations featuring a variety of media, themes, and styles. Exciting interactive programs in performing and visual arts are on-going. The Firehouse Arts Center opened in 2010, and also houses the 227-seat Firehouse Theater which presents world-class performances.  The Firehouse Arts Center is located at 4444 Railroad Avenue in downtown Pleasanton.  Media:  Jane Onojafe,