Michelle Mongan "Boundary Oak series: Owl Moon"
Michelle Mongan "Boundary Oak series: Owl Moon"

Michelle Mongan solo show at Community Art Gallery, Walnut Creek Library

Shipyard artist Michelle Mongan announces her solo show:

BOUNDARY OAK

Wed, Sep 7, 2022 – Fri, Jan 6, 2023
Community Art Gallery inside the Walnut Creek Library (map)
1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek, CA

Gallery Hours:
Monday & Tuesday 10am-8pm
Wednesday & Thursday 10am-6pm
Friday & Saturday 9am-5pm
Closed Sunday

Click images below for a larger view

Artist Statement

Michelle Mongan “Boundary Oak Series: And when the earth shall claim your limbs then shall you truly dance”

On exhibition at the Walnut Creek Library Community Art Gallery is a body of work from my Boundary Oak series. This is a series of woodblock, woodblock-monoprints, and mixed media printmaking pieces created to celebrate, honor and memorialize the historic Boundary Oak tree. The Boundary Oak was a 325-year-old, California-native, Valley Oak tree that marked the boundary between Walnut Creek, CA and Contra Costa County, CA. The massive Boundary Oak was tragically destroyed in October 2019 during an intense windstorm.

Michelle Mongan “Boundary Oak Series: Calm Before”

In late 2020, in connection with the Bedford Gallery’s call for artists for their 2021-2022 exhibition, If a Tree Falls: Art of the Boundary Oak, I obtained numerous slices of wood from the Boundary Oak along with branches, leaves, sawdust and a honeycomb from a beehive that was discovered while the tree was being dismantled. The series was created using these raw materials and incorporating them into the artwork.

Michelle Mongan “Boundary Oak Series: The Tempest”

Slices of wood were hand-sanded, blow-torched and wire-brushed to reveal the detailed woodgrain, inked using oil-based etching ink that had ash from the tree mixed into it, and hand-printed by rubbing a metal spoon over paper that was placed onto the prepared wood. Handmade paper was created by incorporating my shredded bills, junk mail, and failed artwork along with crushed leaves and sawdust from the Boundary Oak. Three-dimensional and sculptural work includes wood and/or branches from the Boundary Oak. 

The artwork included in this exhibition was created from 2021-2022, however, the series is still in process and has additional artwork available.  

While the Boundary Oak is no longer standing, it continues to live on in another time, form and place in my ongoing, evolving, and ever-growing Boundary Oak Series.

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