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Magic Makers

Artists explore their imaginations at new Bedford Gallery exhibit.


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courtesy of bedford gallery

"Dig It" by David Huffman


Artist David Huffman’s childhood—growing up in the activist environment of Berkeley in the 1960s—certainly influences his wildly imaginative artwork. But so does his love for Star Trek.

“I describe my work as social-political science fiction in its figures and narrative,” says Huffman, whose work often shows African American astronauts in otherworldly settings, such as on basketball courts in outer space.

In his painting Dig It (pictured), he uses the space program to suggest exploring new frontiers. “But in the case of these searchers, their journey is a way for them to try to find a sense of home. The origins of their journey are the trauma of slavery and displacement,” he says.

Huffman, who lives in Oakland, is one of 10 artists featured in Land of Magic: Artists Explore Make-Believe, an exhibition opening this month at the Bedford Gallery. It features works from a range of artists who explore surrealism, fantasy, magic realism, and dreamscapes. Their pieces take the viewer into brave new worlds—while making a statement about the world we live in and its issues and concerns. Huffman says the show’s themes sync nicely with his artistic vision.

“Sometimes, it is more effective to remove the real world and all its props,” says Huffman, “and then have a conversation about what’s happening right now.”

Land of Magic, April 10–June 12, Bedford Gallery, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek, (925) 295-1417, bedfordgallery.org.

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