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Midtown’s musicians featured in new art exhibit

Brooke Walker-Knoblich with some of her works on display.

Art pays homage to art in a new gallery exhibit called “Musicians of Midtown” at Gallery 2110 as artist Brooke Walker-Knoblich exhibits 10 paintings of local musicians playing in Midtown venues.

“I’ve always been intrigued by musicians in particular – not just music, but the performance of music,” Walker-Knoblich said.

The paintings – all done in oil – evoke the emotions she felt in hearing the music, she said, adding that she watched the musicians perform, drawing sketches of them in as little as 30 seconds, then painting the larger works using the sketches as foundations.

Some of the works have shorter brush strokes to fit with the quicker pace of the music, while others are longer, and light and darkness are used to show emotion as well.

Musicians such as Musical Charis, The Nibblers and Clemon Charles are featured in the paintings, and the venues in which they are performing include The Urban Hive and Bows & Arrows, though the musicians are the prominent parts of the paintings.

Walker-Knoblich’s painting of Clemon Charles.
For the exhibit, 20 sketches and 10 paintings are on display, and Walker-Knoblich said she spent the past year working on the body of work, which could extend into the future if other galleries are interested in the style.

Originally from Nevada City, the 29-year-old Walker-Knoblich moved to Midtown about three years ago. The current show is a departure from her normal style of work, which is Renaissance Realism.

“It was very liberating, and very challenging, too,” she said. “It was very different. I could kind of do whatever I wanted.”

She sketched more than 450 musicians over the past year, but for the show in Midtown, she chose 10 locals to turn into paintings.

Twenty of her sketches are on display in the gallery.
“When I moved down to Midtown, I started checking out the scene, going to venues, and I was totally shocked at how great the scene was and how personable the artists were,” Walker-Knoblich said.

Walker-Knoblich said she has been an artist from an early age, but a year spent in Paris when she was 21 was the year when she determined art would be her career.

Clare Bailey, owner of the gallery, said that she would like to see Walker-Knoblich’s work tour to other cities, allowing Walker-Knoblich to add new paintings as some are sold and keep the exhibit evolving and financially successful.

“There are some artists, whose sketches she did, (who) have traveled from across the country to get here, and those haven’t turned into paintings yet, but they could, and this could be an exhibit that travels,” Bailey said.

“I think one of the elements that I love the most is we’re paying tribute to music in a fine art gallery – and it’s all related,” Bailey said.

All works are for sale, and the exhibit will run through March 2, Bailey said.

For more information on Gallery 2110, click here.

The exhibit is currently on display, but a reception will be held Thursday, with Walker-Knoblich available from 6 – 8 p.m. Guitarist Sean Paul Mee will be playing music during the reception as well.

Viewing the show on Saturday will be possible anytime between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m., as the gallery extends its hours for the Second Saturday Art Walk. Walker-Knoblich Will be in the gallery from 5 – 9 p.m. Saturday as well.

Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Darnell.

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