Center for Art, Culture and History-Exeter hosts artist reception for Betty Berk whose artwork will be on exhibit from May to July
EXETER – Exeter Historical Museum and Courthouse Gallery of the Arts will give the community the opportunity to meet a local artist who loves to use bright bold colors.
On May 21, the Exeter Historical Museum and Courthouse Gallery of the Arts will host an artist’s reception for new local exhibitor Betty Berk. The reception will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Berk is a neo-expressionist whose exhibition will be available to the public from May 6 to July 29. Art Selection director museum board member Robyn Stearns said her paintings bring joy and happiness from just looking at them.
“If I was going to describe her, my description would be happy. [Her paintings] are the happiest paintings you ever saw, they are just so bright, colorful,” Stearns said. “They’re just wonderful [and] make you happy looking at them.”
Berk is an expressionist painter emphasizing texture and color and she said her main interest is expressive color. She has been creating arts and crafts all of her life with a focus on oil painting over the last 30 years. Berk said she loves to use bright colors and that she has an innate sense of the balance of any color choice and she calls it the “intuitive art of color.” She said she discovered she was born with her own sense of color. She knows the science of color theory, but she finds it hard to explain her use of color to other artists because the sense and science don’t always fit, or overlap.
“I just look and ‘feel’ the rightness or wrongness of a color choice,” Berk said. “Sometimes I can explain the rightness/wrongness with color theory, but not always.”
She studied art in college, with mentors and workshops of nationally known artists. Berk taught art at Dinuba High School for over 20 years, where she developed a city-wide Festival of the Arts that highlighted fine arts in the schools of Dinuba. She served as the director of exhibits for Alliance of California Artists, of which she is also a signature member.
Berk said she finds a strong correlation between classical music, playing and listening, and her art and creating a finished painting. She has become a “serious piano student,” meaning she plays several hours each day. She loves the combination of music with her art. She said as she sees it, she experiences her paintings as if it was a symphony.
“They both use the principles of composition, but one is in sound, and one is visual,” Berk said. “So it’s really fun to apply what I know about painting to understanding the music that I play, and to apply what I express in my piano, and what I hear and classical music to a piece of artwork.”
Berk is excited to show her work in Exeter and finally have the opportunity to focus solely on her artwork. Once her show is over here she will be showing her art on the coast.