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4 Tait Avenue at W. Main St.
Los Gatos, CA 95030

This 1927 Spanish Eclectic former firehouse is designated by
the State Historical Resources Commission,
and Santa Clara County Point of Historical Interest No. SCL-060.

The Art Museum…

  • Attracts fine and far-reaching artists, emerging and professional artists, and seasoned amateurs.
  • Displays works in many diverse media of the quality seen in top galleries.
  • Hosts two juried art shows, providing one of the few opportunities for emerging artists in the Bay Area.
  • Exhibits creative works by elementary and high school students.

2007 Exhibit Schedule

Rosalie Lang and Shelley D. Spray Exhibits
May31, 2007 – July 28, 2007

Rosalie Lang – “On The Rocks: From Reality to Abstraction Along the California Coastline”

Opening May 31 at the Art Museum of Los Gatos is a dramatic oil painting series celebrating the intricate beauty of the coastal terrain between Big Sur and Pescadero.

Rosalie Lang’s textured oil paintings look almost three dimensional. The paintings highlight the varied ways natural rock formations “mark the land,” subtly defining meeting points between land and sea. At first the work may appear abstract, but these paintings are realistic renderings of natural elements such as rocks, pebbles, cliffs and water which have been magnified to reveal their unique subtleties.

“For me this ‘close-up’ approach to handling subject matter visually unlocks a world of drama far removed from that which on readily perceives. It is the essence of that world which continues to challenge my sensibilities as a painter,” states Lang. She continues, “Researching the imagery for this series pushed my vision in new directions–to see more detail, to find intricate relationships among things normally unnoticed.”

 Born in New York and a longtime resident of California, Lang spent many summers in the Hudson River Valley where she developed a lasting interest in rocks.  From a first encounter with a rose quartz pebble to the shell-studded fossil found in her backyard, Lang’s reverence for rocky terrain never waned.  She searched for rocks in dry streambeds and studied the intricate patterning on stone houses and hand-built fences outlining rural country lanes.

During a trip abroad, she photographed sea walls, consequently inspiring one of her first painting series.  Filled with textures and dark, earthy colors, those paintings aptly celebrated the sea wall subject matter.  The Sea Wall series was subsequently shown in galleries and museums on the East Coast. 

Lang went on to produce a large group of oil paintings called The Gate Series.  While including references to rocklike elements, The Gate Series paintings mainly focused on the design and symbolism of passageways.  The Gate Series was exhibited in a number of venues between San Francisco and Monterey Bay. 

Lang’s current series, “On The Rocks”, has taken a new direction in her quest for rock imagery. For Lang this series represents a serendipitous, collective moment where past and present seamlessly intertwine.

After receiving a B.A. degree at Queens, Lang studied painting and photography in the masters program at Pratt Institute. Lang’s paintings have since been featured in solo and group shows in Bay Area galleries and at Stanford University, Cabrillo College Art Gallery, Davis Art Center, Monterey Museum of Art, and the Art Museum of Los Gatos.  Her work is also part of prominent corporate collections such as Pacific Bell, Syntex, 3M, Conner Peripherals, Seagate Technology, Failure Analysis and Amdahl

Shelley D. Spray: “Behind Closed Doors” – Fine Art Surgical Photography Exhibition

Opening May 31 at the Art Museum of Los Gatos is a dramatic fine art surgical photography exhibition—“Behind Closed Doors.” This traveling fine art photography exhibition, which recently showed in Geneva, Switzerland and Lyon, France, has international critics comparing Spray’s work to the 17th Century French painter, Georges La Tour known for his paintings of figures caught magically in the light and shadow of a flickering candle flame.

Now, 400 years later, the same haunting light emulates within her startling digital images. This exhibition gives you the opportunity to look into the world of open heart, brain, knee and eye surgeries. If you think surgery is “bloody” you’ll be amazed at the beauty Spray has created. Spray’s exhibition will take you to a mysterious world where silence screams and a second in time can mean life or death. 

Although her images have been exhibited worldwide, Spray had never imagined she would photograph anything but family pictures with her inexpensive disposable camera. Then, in October 2000 her life took a dramatic turn when she learned she was diagnosed with stage-1 breast cancer. Because she found the lump early, she survived with a small, ½ inch scar which she fondly refers to as her “scar of life.” However, following her treatments Spray realized her priorities had changed and she resigned from her position as vice president of global marketing with a leading medical company.

After storing her belongings, she moved to Paris, France to study photography. Turning in her disposable camera, she became a student humbled by her inexperience. “Knowing I am a breast cancer survivor seems important when I share how I began photographing surgery” explains Spray. “It was through my diagnosis that I found the courage to begin a new life which got me started in photography. I also want my story to show other women that amazing, wonderful changes can happen after you have learned you have breast cancer. I never would have started photographing if I had not been diagnosed and it’s become an important part of my life and who I am.”

“When photographing I move silently around the operating room. I never use a flash and have found that by using only the natural ambient light, I can capture an incredible world that can only be seen through the lens of my camera. It’s not easy as the room lighting is harsh and the subjects are moving fast, continually blocking the light” Spray continues. However, when you see her images they are haunting, many of them dark and saturated with black.

“Many people ask how I change my images in Photoshop to create the elegant black lighting. They are not altered and are the result of a special technique I use.” If you think you have a weak stomach don’t worry, there are many photographs that are so abstract you may not even know what you are viewing.

If you live in Los Gatos it would be a shame to miss this incredible representation of the medical teams who are dedicated to saving lives. And even if you don’t live in Los Gatos, it’s worth the drive.

Today, Shelley Spray lives in Los Gatos where she works as an executive business consultant specializing in leading edge technologies, many addressing the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. She also donates her time to the American Cancer Society, works with Roche in a global cancer awareness program called Image of Hope and lectures nationally on her experiences, helping other women who are battling breast cancer.

On June 28, at the Art Museum, the artist gave a special presentation, where she not only described her images that are on display,
but she also described many of the techniques she uses when photographing during surgery.

During the presentation the artist and Museum director Stephanie Hatch announced a special offer open to potential new members of the Museums of Los Gatos. The first 50 new members to join by July 28, 2007 will receive a complimentary signed matted fine art image of your choice selected from the images described below. The 5″ x 7″ print is set in a 11″ x 14″ black matte.

Peter Hobbs Digrazia
“Asleep in America, Photographic Reflections”

Ursula O’Farrell
“Redefining Figurative Abstraction”

August 9, 2007 – October 13, 2007
Reception: August 12, 2007, 1 – 4 pm

LGAA Member Juried Show
October 25, 2007 – November 30, 2007
Reception: October 28, 2007 1 – 4 pm

Are you interested in exhibiting?

Please mail:

  • A biography or resume,
  • artist’s statement,
  • images of works with medium and size (slides or photos or CD),
  • and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

Catherine Politopoulos
Art Curator, Museums of Los Gatos,
PO Box 1904, Los Gatos, CA 95031.

The Museums of Los Gatos is a non-profit educational institution that promotes and encourages a greater understanding of our rich local history and the fine arts through its exhibitions, collections and programs for the benefit of Los Gatos residents, and visitors to Los Gatos.