Circles and squares

Marti Somers and Mary Street

This month, Pamela Skinner/Gwenna Howard Contemporary Art is featuring the works of artists Marti Somers and Mary Street. Somers’ mixed-media works are described as “narrative storytelling,” each square panel framing a nature vignette. The focus is typically a singular piece of flora or fauna, often a perched bird, but Somers steers clear of “cutesy,” her mottled surfaces evoking a painterly version of Joseph Cornell’s assemblages. Mary Street’s paintings—she works in encaustic and oils—explore the geometry of curves. Her choice of encaustic, like Somers’ juxtaposed media, creates a heightened sense of texture—and doing so without the broad showmanship of impasto keeps the viewer’s focus on the image itself, not the hands that crafted it. The exhibition continues through March 1. The gallery is located at 723 S Street. Regular hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and by appointment. For more information, call (916) 446-1786, or visit