Los Gatos: Art gallery celebrates Super Bowl 50 with football-themed exhibit

Photograph by George Sakkestad • Charlotte Bonano art consultant for JCO'S Place for Fine Art.

Photograph by George Sakkestad • Charlotte Bonano art consultant for JCO'S Place for Fine Art.

Football paintings aren't unusual, but using a football as a paintbrush is--unless you're Tom Mosser, that is.

The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based painter is one of a dozen artists whose work is part of the new "Art of the NFL: Celebration of Super Bowl 50" exhibit that runs through Feb. 7 at JCO'S Place in downtown Los Gatos.

The fine art exhibit is a collaboration between JCO'S and Sports & the Arts. The latter helped curate the art collection at Levi's Stadium that celebrates the San Francisco 49ers.

JCO'S has brought together two dozen works by Mosser and six other artists whose work hangs at Levi's Stadium, plus five of the gallery's favorite artists for the exhibit.

Los Gatos artist Gordon Smedt, San Jose artist Ryan Carrington and San Francisco artist Russ Wagner are among the locals whose works are included in the exhibit.

"About half the pieces in our show are by artists from the Levi's Stadium collection," gallery director Bridget McMahon said.

Mosser, for instance, made an NFL shield and a 49er logo for the JCO'S Place exhibit.

"He makes the most incredible paintings," McMahon said. "He learned to paint with two hands, and once he'd mastered that, he started painting with objects, including footballs."

Mosser uses a brush to slather a football with paint, then simply rolls the ball over a canvas to produce what he describes as a "raw screen-printed look."  Mosser demonstrated his technique at a Jan. 14 reception at JCO'S that was also attended by former 49er wide receiver Dwight Clark and current 49er tight end/long snapper Kyle Nelson.

A portion of JCO'S sales made during the exhibition will be donated to the San Francisco 49ers Foundation, which supports programs for underserved youth.  JCO'S Place is at 45 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos. Visit jcosplace.com or call 408.888.1500 for gallery hours and more information.

New Museum Los Gatos has Super Bowl fever, too
The history curator of the New Museum Los Gatos has put together an exhibit of items from the 1985 Super Bowl, when Joe Montana and Dan Marino went head to head at Stanford Stadium. Curator Amy Long says the exhibit includes many "quirky trivia" items, including seat cushions emblazoned with the Apple rainbow logo that Steve Jobs used to advertise his then-young company.Long has also gathered a Super Bowl ring, a signed game ball, autographed jerseys, original tickets, posters and videos and photographs documenting the 49ers 38-16 win over Miami.

The exhibit runs Jan. 21-March 27. The New Museum Los Gatos is in the town's civic center at 106 E. Main St. Call 408.354.2646 or visit numulosgatos.org for gallery hours and more information.

Burning Man Photosculpturist Comes to Town

Michael Garlington in his studio. Image courtesy of BAMM.   

Michael Garlington in his studio. Image courtesy of BAMM.


Known for sculptures behemoth in size but meticulously detailed, Michael Garlington--of Burning Man notoriety--is exhibiting his haunting yet fun work at a South Bay gallery.

His photosculpture collection, titled "Let it Burn," will be on exhibit until Nov. 8 at JCO's Place in Los Gatos.

JCO's is a fairly petite gallery and much smaller in comparison to the vast desert where Garlington's Totem of Confessions was explored by thousands in September, then subsequently burned to the ground with a dose of Timothy Leary's ashes inside.

But the gallery offers an up close and personal vision of the artist's surreal approach to photography and the sculptures he creates to place his subjects into an alternate world.

Michael Garlington, whose Totem of Confessions at this year s Burning Man became a vessel for Timothy Leary s ashes, is exhibiting a series of 'photosculptures' called 'Let It Burn' at JCO s Place for Fine Art. (Anne Gelhaus)"All I want is to portray mystery and wonder," Garlington said of his work. "It tells [the onlooker] to follow a pathway and story."

It's often up to the viewer to decipher his photosculptures. Using black, white and sepia tones, the Petaluma artist sometimes double-exposes his photos to leave a ghostly imprint as characters move about. Others are still shots but set in sculpted scenes reminiscent of early 1900s carnival photos.

Garlington takes only a couple shots of each of his set-ups, as his time and energy is devoted more to the sculpting and design elements. To that end, some of the photos themselves are framed in his art.

Tea cups, porcelain knickknacks, figurines, fabrics and even paper cutouts of other photos are carefully assembled creating a border around the photographs, and a doorway into the image.

"The way I started making art was through my parents' dark room," he said, working in their Bay Area photo lab. "I printed photos for 10 to 15 years before I ever took a picture. When I finally started taking pictures, I just loved being with people."


And as he snapped more pictures, he said, he found that he loved to build ornate costumes and three-dimensional collaged settings for his shoots.

While the photosculptures on display in Los Gatos are for sale, Garlington's largest pieces have been burned to the ground--and he is totally fine with it.
"At Burning Man, it's such a massive place and I can make these big things, then you don't have to bring it home because you burn it," he said. "A lot of people have mixed feelings about that, but it's like one of those Tibetan sand mandalas. ... When they're done with it, they blow it away."

He said letting go of the massive Photo Chapel in 2013 and this year's Totem of Confessions was "very easy."

"More than 70,000 people saw it and then went away with it," Garlington said.
The 60-foot high structure was plastered in photo collage, and much of it was trimmed in gold, giving it a gothic cathedral look.

Inside were peep-hole dioramas that people lined up to see.

"My concept of the totem was to give them everything," Garlington said. "A lot of the pieces at the [JCO's Place] show are extensions of the cathedral."

The gallery is at 45 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos. Call 408.888.1500 for gallery hours.