Bay Area Artists to open Thursday at Lowe Art Gallery at IVC

IVC students
IVC students unwrapping Salma’s paintings at the gallery.​​


IMPERIAL — Cultural diversity from the Bay Area marks the new exhibit opening this week at the Juanita Salazar Lowe Art Gallery at Imperial Valley College. The exhibit features the work of Salma Arastu of Berkeley and Jon Fischer of San Francisco.

Ms. Arastu incorporates daily Muslim prayers in Arabic writing in her beautiful, multi-layered acrylic paintings. Mr. Fischer uses collage, silkscreen, text and images to convey movement in his artworks.

Bay Area Artists will open with a public reception 4-7 p.m. Thursday at the art gallery. Admission and parking during the reception is free.

Ms. Arastu was born in Rajasthan, India and she has been creating and exhibiting her paintings internationally since graduating with a Masters degree in Fine Arts from MS University, Baroda, India in 1974.

Her work with continuous and lyrical line is influenced by her native culture and her residence after marriage in Iran and Kuwait before coming to the US in 1987.

Born into the Sindhi,Hindu tradition in her native India, she later embraced Islam through her marriage.

She has almost 40 solo shows to her credit, won several awards including East Bay Community’s fund for artists in 2012, three works in public places and three books published with her poems and paintings. She has been invited to Germany twice, first on artist residency in 2000 and In  2011, Westphalia Wilhelm University in Münster, Germany invited to publish her paper “Art Informed by Spirituality” in the publication on the International Symposium: ‘God Loves Beauty: Post Modern Views on Religion and Art.

Shortly after arriving in the United States, Salma became an entrepreneur with the creation of Your True Greetings, a successful greeting card company that uses her paintings and calligraphy to serve the needs of Muslim communities in the United States, Canada, Japan and Great Britain.

Born in 1979, Jon Fischer was raised in Pennsylvania by Israeli parents from Morocco and France. He earned degrees in bio-engineering and philosophy of science from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters in mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley before learning to screen print at CELLspace, an arts collective in San Francisco. There, he spent four years as a studio member and teacher, renovating a communal screen print studio for studio members, workshops, and public programs.

Fischer’s current screen print studio focuses on large works on canvas, interactive screen print-based installations, and limited edition series. Recent projects include a series of screen printed installations based on the moving image, and “Character Profile,” a group show Fischer curated at Root Division in San Francisco. In 2014, his work was on display at the  Florida State University Museum of Art, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, and White Stone Gallery in Philadelphia. This year he will be exhibiting at Imperial Valley College, Secession Art and Design (SF), as well as developing a solo show at Vanderbilt University in June.  Fischer currently holds an appointment as Associate Professor of Engineering Technology at the California State University Maritime Academy, where he was one of two faculty members selected for the 2014 Award for Outstanding Teaching.  Fischer currently lives and works in San Francisco, his studio is based in the heart of the Mission district.