I live in Danville, a town on the other side of the Caldecott tunnel by about 30 minutes from Berkeley, without traffic. It is a pretty little place, but very suburban. OK, extremely suburban. And in this part of what is called the East Bay, there is a bit of a dearth of cultural ANYTHING, especially for the visual arts.
To be fair, there are some local arts associations made up of primarily painters of landscapes and still lifes, who show their work at a few local non-profit spaces. These are also host to performing arts shows and some juried art exhibitions. I have nothing against any of this, except that I start to crave seeing lots of art, especially contemporary art, and there is not a lot of it our here. In other words, we don’t exactly have any gallery districts, much less a gallery walk on a Friday night or an open studio tour. If you want those things, head your bum through that tunnel or over the Bay Bridge, and get your art fix in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco.
Then again, people don’t live here for the art and culture, they live here because it is safe and clean and pretty and has good school districts. It is great for raising kids- one of which, I have. But if you are an artist, or an art-lover, you start to miss having something interesting and beautiful to look at.
Imagine my surprise, then, when at my place of work in Walnut Creek, a friend mentioned that there is an art gallery in the town of Lafayette! Just two towns over from Danville.
On a Saturday, my husband and toddler and I drive all of 17 minutes to Lafayette to see this gallery, a cooperative space called the Lafayette Art Gallery. After checking it out (and it was really nice), I stumble upon another art gallery up the street, the lovely and gorgeous contemporary space Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery, named for the fabulous owner of the gallery herself.
Filled with Jennifer’s bold, expressive, and colorful abstract paintings, the space glowed with color. The gallery is clean and simple in design, allowing the art to pop! Nothing is overhung as well- each piece gets its own place on the wall. (No salon walls here!)
Jennifer opened up in February after lamenting the lack of art on this side of the tunnel. (She apparently read my mind.) She plans to rotate shows of contemporary artists throughout the rest of the year, and has some great events planned, one coming up in just two weeks. Learn more here.
I highly recommend checking it out, locals. It is filled with beauty!
Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery
Address: 3620 Mt. Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette CA 94549
Hours: Mon-Sat 11AM-5PM