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Painting a 'Cosmic Terrain'

The Petaluma Arts Center is hosting an opening reception and dance party for a new exhibit with a surreal feel called "Cosmic Terrain," on Saturday, April 13.

The exhibit features individual and collaborative works by Mars-1, Damon Soule, Oliver Vernon and a large scale mural on the Phoenix Theater by Ricky Watts.

Mars-1, also known as Mario Martinez, has a style of vast, abstracted, quasi-extraterrestrial looking landscapes. His painting techniques result in very three-dimensional forms, which echo the anatomy of architecture, and microcosmic structures of biology.

Soule began his lifelong pursuit of what he describes as the application of homogenous forms to linear topography during childhood. In his bold use of saturation and composition, he strives to transform everyday subject matter and its refuse into unintended correlative material.

Vernon's paintings draw upon a varied pool of influences, from abstract expressionism, to post-pop surrealism and the polished finish of figurative realism.

North Bay resident Ricky Watts grew up painting in and around the Phoenix Theater. He has a strong base in photo realistic illustration as well as an abstract sweep. He recently created a mural for the stage at the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco.

As part of the exhibition, Watts has been busily painting a mural featuring interlocking waves of color on the massive south wall of the Phoenix Theater.

The opening reception for "Cosmic Terrain" takes place from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 13 at the Petaluma Arts Center, 230 Lakeville St. The dance party will be held at 8 p.m. at Zodiaks, 256 Petaluma Blvd. North. Admission to the dance is $10 and will benefit the Petaluma Arts Center.

The exhibit will be on display through June 2.


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