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from The Merced Sun-Star
 
One man’s trash can be the springboard of another man’s imagination. Found objects, bits of clothing, natural materials and lushly applied paints combine with the eye of Bay Area artist Monjett Graham to form startling works.
 
Graham describes his work as “figurative, with a musical theme.” Graham often utilizes images from world mythologies and nature as well as drawing inspiration directly from contemporary life in forming and naming his works.
 
His “Keyboard Player” uses painted string to evoke hair reminiscent of dreadlocks. Other objects such as bits of newspaper, netting, a cheap earring or a detached designer label take on new meaning when incorporated it the college.
 
Originally from the Midwest, Graham has been developing his style of painting social commentary in the Bay Area for 20 years. Graham has worked for the San Francisco Opera Company, and he calls that job a key influence in his work, which often includes imagery from the word of music.
 
Graham said he experimented for more than 10 years with the effects of working with textiles and multi-media effects before he fulfilled his lifelong desire to create beautiful and evocative works of art. He has been showing in galleries in both solo and group shows since the early 1970s.

The Merced College Art Gallery is in the Theater Building on West Yosemite Avenue, between G and M streets.
 Regular gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During this exhibit, the gallery also will be open Sept. 7 and 14 in conjunction with the Friday Travel Lecture Series in the theater.

For information, call 3874-6064.

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