Some things really are black and white

By Laura Hagar Rush , Townsy Media, June 28, 2021

Or The Whale

Artist Jos Sances points out some of the features of his work, 'Or, The Whale."

The Sebastopol Center for the Arts reopened last week on June 23, drawing a crowd of over 200 art lovers. They came to cheer the re-opening and enjoy two exhibits: the annual “Black White and Shades of Gray” and Berkeley artist Jos Sances’ massive piece, “Or, The Whale.”

A whale of a piece

“Or, The Whale” is 52-feet-long and 14-feet-high and consists of 119 scratch board panels fitted together to create a giant image of a whale. Every inch of the whale’s body is inscribed with drawings depicting the ecological and social devastation wreaked by capitalism since 1850.

It’s a moving and mind-boggling piece, which took the artist eight months to complete.

The image is on display in the auditorium behind the main gallery, where it takes up an entire wall.

Sances will be giving a talk on “Or, The Whale” (the title is taken from the title of Moby Dick) on Wednesday, July 14, at 6 pm at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts.

or the whale

A whale’s eye view of a century of industrial progress and destruction.  Detail from Jos Sances’ “Or, The Whale.”

Detail from “Or, The Whale,” by Jos Sances

Black White and Shades of Gray

This international, juried exhibition never disappoints, and it’s particularly strong this year, offering a combination of paintings and drawings, photography, fiber arts and mixed media pieces.

The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Here’s a taste:

Adaptation / On the Town by Lori Almeida (Photo by Bill Theis)

Counterpose # 1 by Joel Bennett (Photo by Bill Theis)

Tsunami with Cherry Blossoms by Rachel Binah (Photo by Bill Theis)

Covid? You Still Out There? by Cherie Gooler (Photo by Bill Theis)

Detail from “Covid? You Still Out There?” by Cherie Gooler (Photo by Bill Theis)

The Wave by Kathy Pallie (Photo by Bill Theis)

The Wave by Kathy Pallie (Photo by Bill Theis)

The OAK…a Blackened Memory by Sally Briggs (Photo by Bill Theis)

RESET by Tina Maier (Photo by Bill Theis)

Pondering the meaning of… by Joyce Sakato Rau (Photo by Bill Theis)


The author of this article, Laura Hagar Rush, is the founder of Townsy and the social media manager for Sebastopol Center for the Arts.