On October 20, from 6–9 p.m., join the Arts Council for Long Beach for the opening reception of Murky Realms. The exhibition presents the work of Cynthia K. Evans and Peter Zokosky, two of the most highly regarded artists working in Long Beach today. Both are incredibly skilled at their craft and both draw from historic traditions. Evans references the rich history of Indian miniatures and illuminated manuscripts and Zokosky the old masters. Evans creates small, but vivid and masterful narratives that have the presence of much larger works. Zokosky has spent years honing his skills and creating works with the technical virtuosity of the Baroque painters he admires. While the practices of both artists have roots in historic painting traditions, their work is contemporary and relevant.

The works of both artists are aesthetically beautiful, but they can be challenging, often giving the viewer a voyeuristic feeling, as if we are looking at something forbidden, and yet there is something universal and familiar that draws one in and keeps one from turning away. Neither artist feels the need to translate or impose their own interpretation on to the viewer, allowing instead, an opportunity for each individual to ponder symbolism and meaning for themselves.

Evans’ and Zokosky’s paintings differ in many ways, yet there is commonality in the nature of their practices and paintings. Evans’ work is figurative and incorporates elements of collage, while Zokosky’s continually returns to portraiture. And yet, the symbolic nature of both artists’ works draws the viewer away from the “painterly” and into a liminal realm that straddles reality and other layers of meaning, belief, and feeling that hover just beneath the surface. They have both had their work compared to that of the Surrealists, portraying the fantastic, as though it could strangely exist in the real world. These narratives and glimpses into murky realms leave the viewer with an uncomfortable feeling that these images could not only be part of our reality, but actually could be us.

Evans said, “I’m very grateful for this opportunity to show at the Collaborative with one of my favorite artists, Peter Zokosky. Like my own works, Peter’s mysterious paintings invite viewers to find content that resonates with them and allows them to create their own meaning. Special thanks to Terry Braunstein and Brian Trimble for their encouragement and hard work to make the show possible”

Zokosky said, “It’s a pleasure to show with Cynthia Evans, we both seem to find meaning in the murky realms of metaphor and mystery. We share respect for timeless technique and explore personal meaning to create memorable art.”

The exhibition is curated by Brian Trimble and Terry Braunstein, both members of the Arts Council for Long Beach’s CAP Committee. Murky Realms and the Collaborative Gallery are projects of the Arts Council for Long Beach. The Collaborative Gallery presents exhibitions curated from the Artist Registry to raise awareness of both established and emerging artists plus innovative approaches to art.

The exhibition will be on view at the Collaborative Gallery (421 W. Broadway) through December 21, with gallery hours Wednesday–Saturday from 12:30–5 p.m.

For more information about the Collaborative Gallery visit the gallery page.

Participating Artists