By Derek Wilson
When the sun sinks down over the water, life starts to slow down and the world takes on a golden hue. This is the so-called “Golden Hour.”
The O’Hanlon Center for the Arts in Mill Valley is hosting an online exhibit of paintings, photographs and sculptures representing the meaning and impact of this moment in nature and within ourselves.
The O’Hanlon Center offers the following description from Curwys Brown:
“Artists talk about the golden hour as a special warm light found just after sunrise and right before sunset when there is a certain magical glow. This liminal time is momentary and captures our attention and imagination.
“Writers speak of the golden hour metaphorically as a transition time, time for contemplation and reflection. It can be an ideal moment, a time of special meaning, or enveloping warmth.
“In intimate settings and outdoors, this moment causes one to hold one’s breath viewing the beauty and reflecting on the serenity and solitude the golden hour brings.”
Nearly 40 artists are represented in the “Golden Hour” exhibit, which launched online last week with a roundtable discussion. The exhibit continues through Nov. 8 at www.ohanloncenter.org.
A group of photos and an oil painting highlight the golden tones in nature offering “depth through dusk.” Artist Jan Buscho’s “Crepuscule 36” painting shows the effects of sunset’s cool colors on a lakeside setting. Photos by Candace Swimmer and Suzanne Engelberg, among others, are almost pure gold in color as they capture nature at sunset.
Not all the entries are obvious depictions of the sun setting. Some are more examinations of “time for contemplation and reflection,” such as Beatrice Stenta’s acrylic “A few moments of solitude.”
Gallery director Kim Eagles-Smith served as juror for the show, helping to select entries from the more than 200 submissions. Eagles-Smith said he was pleased that art could still be shared and enjoyed, even during the pandemic.
“It’s much better to see the art in person,” he said. “Given the circumstances where the O’Hanlon Center is closed to the public, it’s difficult … but it’s more important than ever for people to be exposed to art. The artists I know and represent have said they needed this creative outlet more than ever. However, the pandemic and the lockdown offered some of them plenty of studio time without the distractions of sales and exhibitions.”
Eagles-Smith added, “I’ve always thought of art as being as important as food. Art is food for the soul really. It’s more important than many people really know. Art simply is not a part of many people’s lives. It hasn’t had a lot of exposure for students in their formative years in the past few decades because of budgetary constraints, and that’s a problem.
And with the pandemic and the loss of in-house entertainment, such as theaters and concerts and sports — with people being shut in and feeling depressed — being exposed to beauty and challenging one’s understanding is more important than ever.”