An Artistic Conversation


abstract2Spouses have a way of relating to one another.   Years of being together creates a dynamic that underlies almost every daily interaction.  Artists working on a gallery exhibit together develop some of that same rapport.  Finding pieces that complement one another and seeing how their works can inform and enhance each other as well.  So what happens when you have a gallery exhibit put together by artists who are also spouses?  You get an "Abstract Dialogue"...that's what. 

John Toki and his wife Pamela Stefl Toki are the artistic talent behind the current exhibit on display at the Village Theatre and Art Gallery.  "Abstract Dialogue"  shows how Toki's three dimensional sculpture pieces work with the two dimensional print pieces done by Stefl Toki.  The exhibit, which runs through February 17, 2012, allows both artists to showcase their work and their individual styles.  While at the same time, visitors to the gallery will be able to see how the intimate relationship between these two visionaries has allowed a complex interaction to occur in their work.

John Toki is a respected studio artist and adjunct professor at the California Collge of the Arts in Oakland.  His large scale sculptures in clay and porcelain have been displayed in a number of venues around the country.

Pamela Stefl Toki works with two dimensional prints.  her prints are created using a wet clay slab technique called clay monoprinting.  Each print allows Stefl Toki's imagination and designs to take shape.  Because the layers of clay build over time, some hint of previous designs will come through in each successive print.

The two artists believe an abstract dialogue encompasses both their interaction as well as that between the observer and the art itself.  abstract3 

As part of the exhibit, Toki is exhibiting one of his larger works in the front of the Village Theatre Art Gallery, 233 Front St.  Over 88 inches tall and weighing over three tons, the piece entitled Dream Spirit provides a visually compelling opening greeting to the exhibit.  The sculpture is one of the biggest single pieces of art clay in the Bay Area.  It is a single piece of extruded clay, not sectioned off and put together in pieces. 

The Tokis have provided video of their work so people can get a good idea of their process and methods.  Click here to view John Toki's interview. Click here to view Pamela Stefl Toki's video. 

Pictures from the recent opening night reception are available for viewing on the Village Theatre and Art Gallery's Facebook page

For more information, go to or call (925) 314-3400.