Lithographs and drawings by two Visalia artists will be featured in the first exhibit of the fall semester at the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery at Bakersfield College.

The collection -- the work of Matthew Rangel and Amie Rangel -- opens with a reception this evening at the gallery, located in the library building.

"In Tandem," the show's title, refers to the fact that they are married to each other, share a home, and share a studio, said Margaret Nowling, curator.

"Living and working together one would expect to see similarities in their work," Nowling said. "And one does in the subtle use of color, the precise, elegant drawing, and attention to craft."

Each artist works independently, however. The show will include 10 pieces by Amie and 13 by Matthew. A common thread is their interest in land -- or a sense of "place" -- and our connection to it in terms of the ways humans use it.

In terms of instruction, Nowling thinks the exhibit will demonstrate the possibilities of working in this particular medium that go beyond merely serving as beginning point.

"Very often we think of drawing as just the base for something larger such as a painting," she said. "Amie's work on linen shows us that drawings can be monumental in themselves."

In addition, the artist's drawings on medium density fiber board show that you can draw on just about anything.

"One thing I hope will inspire (students) is the personal nature of Matthew's investigations," Nowling said. "Start with what you know best -- yourself, your life, and expand from there. Matthew's pieces document experiences he has had."

For instance, four years ago the artist made a "pilgrimage" from the floor of the San Joaquin Valley to the summit of the Black Kaweah, a prominent peak in the Sierra Nevada range. Many of the works featured in the show are from a suite of original lithograph prints he made from notes he recorded during the journey.

"In an effort to demonstrate meaning within our connection to land, my work embodies physical aspects of landscape through personal narrative," Matthew Rangel says in a statement accompanying the work. "This I believe enables us to develop a deep-lasting sense of place."

Following the reception the exhibit can be seen during the gallery's usual hours, 1-4 p.m., Monday-Thursday through Oct. 4. Free parking is available in the library parking lot which is on the northwest side of the BC campus via the Haley Street entrance.

Freebo concert

A musician, singer and songwriter who goes by the single name of Freebo will perform Friday evening at Fiddlers Crossing.

"He has just released his fourth CD, called 'Something to Believe,' with songs that show his musical range from blues and rock to folk and country," said Deborah Hand, owner of the coffee-house-style venue in Tehachapi.

In the early part of his 30-year career in the industry he collaborated with Bonnie Raitt and other stars, principally as a bass player. Now he performs solo and also teaches workshops on songwriting and performance. He and his wife, Laurie, now live in nearby Tulare County at California Hot Springs.

"To folk, rock and blues musicians, Freebo is an icon," Hand said, adding that during his career as a bassist, his television appearances included "Saturday Night Live" and "Midnight Special."

Thayer's Claremont exhibit

A multi-faceted oral history project created by Bakersfield-based artist Jill Thayer is on display through Sept. 21 in the East and Peggy Phelps galleries at Claremont Graduate University.

A graduate of North High School, Bakersfield College and Cal State Bakersfield, Thayer received her doctorate in museum studies from CGU in 2011 and has devoted the past year to the project, which is called "In Their Own Words: Oral Histories of CGU Art."

Its focus is the lives and works of seven artists who were either students or faculty at the university. Ted Kerzie, who was one of her art professors at CSUB, is one the seven featured.

Thayer tells me the audio portion of the exhibit is derived from lengthy interviews she did with her subjects and others.

"I personally transcribed over 900 pages from my digital voice recordings and edited selected audio clips for the interactive presentations down to 2.5-to-18 minute sections," she said. "For each, I recorded intro lead-ins and content summaries."

The content for each portion of the exhibit is wide-ranging. It includes the artists' early experiences in art; methodologies of their work and genre; regional and international exhibitions, grants, and accolades; influences and philosophies; the Los Angeles art market; and their relationship to the culture, the art world and the Claremont academic community.

"It has been an amazing journey," Thayer said. "A real page-turner revealing life behind the scenes of the artists' academic and professional careers."

In addition to Kerzie, the artists featured are Mowry Baden, Karl Benjamin, Michael Brewster, John Frame, Roland Reiss and Connie Zehr.

Thayer, who owned and operated a gallery in the Fox Theater building from 1994 to 2009, continues to offer design projects for print and websites. She also teaches online graduate courses for National University and its La Jolla School of Business and Management.

'Mango Street' vignettes

Kevin Shah is recruiting writers who will write and perform short pieces in the upcoming "Mango Street Monologues" to be held at The Empty Space.

The performance isn't until Oct. 25, but Shah is holding two introductory writing sessions this weekend in the café at Barnes & Noble. The first one begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday; the second at 4 p.m. Sunday.

He's asking those who attend to read "The House on Mango Street," this year's One Book One Bakersfield, beforehand.

At each session, participants will be encouraged to write two vignettes based on personal experiences. One piece should be serious in nature, the other lighthearted.

"The vignettes will be three minutes in length when read out loud," Shah said. "For the show, you will perform one or both of these."

For details, contact Shah via email at