Valley Grown: A New Exhibition

The Carnegie Arts Center is excited to present the exhibition Valley Grown in the Ferrari Gallery from February 1 through March 26, 2017.

In a series of annual exhibitions the Carnegie Arts Center has featured the work of established, late-career artists from the Central Valley. These shows have explored the works of individual artists, highlighting creativity and talent that has reached well beyond this region. In 2017 the Carnegie focusses attention on a younger generation of artists, and specifically those whose careers have a starting point in Stanislaus County. For this exhibition the Gallery Committee selected three artists with roots in the Central Valley: Jody Sears Barbuta, Alexander Cheves and John Karl Claes. All made their mark first while students at California State University, Stanislaus; all have gone on to have impressive professional careers.

Links between these three artists may not at first be apparent. Their unique talents are admirable and their works are highly personal. However, in much of their work each continues to explore visual and thematic elements that may be seen as part of their Central Valley experience – the agricultural landscape, an interest in our changing environment, a “small town” or rural American perspective. Connections can also be found in their love of technique, each one highly individual in approach but (as many would point out) stemming from their experience as students in the CSUS Art Department.

RECEPTION: The Carnegie will host a reception for the artists on Thursday, February 9, from 6-8 p.m. as part of the quarterly Art Around Town downtown art walk. Open to the public.

 DATES OF EXHIBITION: February 1 – March 26, 2017

HOURS AND ADMISSION: The Carnegie is open to the public Wednesday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Admission to the exhibition is $5 general admission, $3 students & seniors, free to Carnegie members and children 12 and under.

Artist bios appear at the end of this post. Enjoy!


Jody Sears Barbuta: Born in Redlands, Jody began her studies in biology and art in southern California before transferring to attend CSU Stanislaus. She completed her BA in Fine Arts in 1994 and had works included in regional exhibitions (including the Carnegie Arts Center’s annual Spring Juried Art Show) as a student. She relocated to New York for graduate studies at the New York Academy of Fine Arts where she received her MFA in 1996. She spent time as a studio assistant to artist Jeff Koons in New York before spending a year in Carrara, Italy, working in the studio of sculptor Manuel Neri.  Since returning to California in 2000 she has taught courses at UC Berkeley, Idyllwild School of Art, Pacific Union College, and Folsom Lake College.  Jody had two solo exhibitions in New York, and her work has been featured in several gallery exhibitions in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Sacramento and Davis, as well as five annual Yosemite Renaissance exhibitions since 2009.  She currently lives in Sacramento with her husband and two children.

Alexander Cheves: Growing up in the Central Valley (Modesto, Turlock and Ceres), Alexander made the choice to attend CSU Stanislaus as an art major, graduating with a BA in Fine Arts in 1993. He attended graduate school at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, where he completed his MFA in 1996. As a student, his work was included in juried and group exhibitions in Turlock (Carnegie Arts Center), Modesto (Gallo Winery) and Philadelphia. As both a painter and a sculptor, Alexander has been featured in group shows throughout the Bay Area since 2001, as well as in London, New York, Miami, Philadelphia, and Portland, Maine.  His solo exhibition, Farms, Barns and the Ranch House, was on view at the Carnegie Arts Center in 2000, and was also shown at The Project Room Gallery in Philadelphia. Several solo exhibitions of Alexander’s work have been seen at galleries in San Francisco and Oakland over the past 15 years.  He currently lives and maintains a studio in Oakland with his wife and daughter.

John Karl Claes: Born and raised in Turlock, John began painting in high school and went on to complete his BA in Fine Arts at CSU Stanislaus in 1993. He relocated to North Carolina to pursue graduate studies, completing an MFA in 1995 at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.  Since returning to central California in 1996 he has won numerous awards including Best of Show and First Place in several regional juried exhibitions, including Yosemite Renaissance. John’s work has been in group exhibitions throughout northern and central California, and has been seen at galleries in in Colorado, Arizona and New York.  Solo shows have been presented at Turlock’s Carnegie Arts Center and First Street Gallery, Modesto’s Central California Art Association Gallery, Sonora’s Vault Gallery, Sacramento’s Elliott Fouts Gallery, and most recently at Aerena Galleries in Healdsburg, California. John lives with his wife and two sons in Turlock where he also maintains his studio.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: