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Arts & Exhibits

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Bay Area art picks for the last week in May 2014

"Blue Flower" by Donald Sultan, now at Serge Sorokko Gallery
"Blue Flower" by Donald Sultan, now at Serge Sorokko Gallery@Serge Sorokko Gallery

Esther Traugot, “Natural Alchemy” at Chandra Cerrito. Taugot's delicate crochet natural sculpture shows reverence for some of the the smallest organisms and objects on the planet. Her sculptured crochet pieces range from tree branches, seedpods, and eggs in hand dyed, goldenrod cotton thread. Intriguingly, many of her artworks will not completely hide the object from view.

through May 29, 2014. 480 23rd Street. Oakland, California 94612.

Donald Sultan: A Decade of Paintings and Drawings at Serge Sorokko: The exhibit marks the first time Sultan has shown in San Francisco in over 20 years. Sultan is known his for large-scale, stylized still life paintings and the use of industrial materials such as tar, enamel, and vinyl tiles. Sultan describes his work as "heavy structure, holding fragile meaning" with the ability to "turn you off and turn you on at the same time."

“After years of anticipation, we are thrilled to bring Donald’s extraordinary mixed media paintings and drawings to the gallery and San Francisco," said Serge Sorokko. “In the two decades since his last San Francisco exhibition, the appreciation for Donald’s inimitable imagery, as well as his use of innovative materials, has continued to grow among collectors and critics alike.”

Through July 1. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Serge Sorokko Gallery, 55 Geary St., S.F. (415) 421-7770.

"Reimagining Progress" at the Brower Center: The thesis of the show is our massive overconsumption while living in a world of shrinking resources. "Reimagining Progress" features local artists powerfully critiquing our unsustainable status quo, exploring our society’s relationship to production, consumption, and waste while proposing alternatives that balance valuing people and planet with financial profit. Selected from over 400 submissions, "Reimagining Progress" features artworks that offer diverse points of view regarding current patterns of production, our consumer-based society, and alternative, more sustainable practices.

Recently, the Brower Center interviewed three of the artists featured in Reimagining Progress about their work, the meaning of activism, and whether they see their art as hopeful in some way.

Through Sept. 4. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Hazel Wolf Gallery, David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley. (510) 809-0900. www.browercenter.org.

Wolfgang Bloch at Hespe Gallery: This Ecuadoran-born artist makes moody and bleakly beautiful landscapes by joining painted skies to strips of found wood that provide foregrounds and horizons. Their Zen like surrealism makes them seem from another dimension. Through June 14. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Hespe Gallery, 251 Post St., Suite 210, S.F. (415) 776-5918. www.hespe.com.

"Flag Stories" at SOMArts: During the course of "Flag Stories: Citizenship Unbound," teens from intercultural, refugee, immigrant, and Muslim communities in San Francisco and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia have been collaborating in a cultural exchange through art. Each week students meet at SOMArts Cultural Center and at the Islamic Art Museum of Malaysia to explore issues such as family culture, migration, community identity and belonging.

On Friday, May 30th, come to this year's culminating event for "Flag Stories" to see the artwork by 24 of the American and Malaysian "Young Diplomats" who participated. 5:30–9 p.m.