The City of Oakdale is embarking on a new artistic venture with its introduction of the City Chamber Gallery. This display will feature local artists on a monthly basis in the Oakdale City Council Chambers, and it opened on Jan. 3 with a showing of paintings by Larry Hogwood.
The inaugural artist for the City Chamber Gallery is an Oakdale native. Hogwood has been interested in art his entire life, but that interest found a real outlet when he was a student at Oakdale High School.
Under the tutelage of Mr. Jericoff, Hogwood decided to pursue art at a college level. He attended Modesto Junior College and studied art under Dan Peterson.
He took a different path professionally and worked at a food warehouse for 18 years, but he continued his art as a hobby on the side.
Hogwood’s displayed paintings are a collection of his work from the past 30 years. Many of his acrylics and watercolors are landscapes of local scenery. His displayed landscapes are mostly from local areas including Knights Ferry.
Hogwood said that he likes to take photos on hikes in the area and paint scenes he photographs. The rest of the collection displayed in the council chambers leans in the opposite direction from his realistically depicted scenes of waterways. Hogwood’s surreal paintings of impossible scenes are some of his favorites.
Long-haired cellists watch balloons float over a checkerboard landscape as rabbits in tuxedoes sip wine. The scenes might look like they are out of a dream, but Hogwood gives the same attention to technique and detail as he does to all of his other paintings.
“I try to mix it up a little. I try not to get stuck doing the same thing over and over,” Hogwood said of fantasy art.
In his latest venture, Hogwood illustrated a children’s book. He said that it was something he had never done before, and he enjoyed the experience. Hogwood has also shown his art publicly at the Gallo Center, Central California Art League shows, and locally at Café Bliss.
Hogwood said that he enjoys doing solo shows in his hometown.
“I’m proud to be an Oakdale boy and I’m proud to show it off,” Hogwood said.
His collection can be viewed at Oakdale City Chambers, 277 N. Second Ave. The building is open during public meetings of the Oakdale City Council and city commissions.
The idea for a public art show has been floating around Oakdale for quite some time. The new gallery is intended as a free public arts display to showcase Oakdale’s artists. Michael Brennan, Oakdale City Council member, said that the gallery will hopefully have a new artist every month. Interested artists can contact Brennan at 847-1581.