Cementing Benicia’s status as an artist community, a new gallery will be opening next week. Milinda Perry Salon will be hosting a gallery in the shared space previously occupied by DOTS Consignment, which is moving its business to 920 First St., Suite 205. The gallery will feature works by Benicia’s local artists, and it will kick things off with new work by Terry Hughes.
Terry Hughes, a Benicia painter since 2000 and founding member of the city’s Plein Air Gallery, has become popular in his community with his paintings of animals and unique method. Instead of using a brush, many of his works are created with caulking tubes of oil paint and a pallet knife.
“It’s kind of a unique style that I was introduced to by a local artist named Jerrold Turner who mentored a lot of local artists,” Hughes said. “I always give him credit with getting me started on using the pallet knife. It allows me to use directly on the canvas a lot of vivid colors.”
Some of Hughes’ most recent works include paintings of the latest Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Yosemite’s Half Dome and a bolt and wire on the Alfred Zampa Memorial Bridge in Vallejo. All of these works will be the subject of the Milinda Perry Gallery’s first exhibition, which will feature new pieces of art from Hughes as well as his wife Janet Brock.
Hughes became involved after doing a project with the salon’s owner, Perry, and she informed him that a space was available following DOTS’ exodus.
“I had done a painting for her of her grandfather, who was a cowboy,” he said. “In the process of doing that painting, we would talk every once in a while, and she said ‘You know, the consignment gal’s gonna move, and I’m gonna move one of my chairs up into the front so I can work up there in better light. I’d like to have a gallery in this vacant room next door.’”
Perry painted and renovated the space for gallery purposes. Hughes was happy with the high ceilings and track lighting.
“I’ll be able to put some nice lighting on the paintings, so they’ll be able to show well,” he said.
Even after Hughes’ exhibit is over, he will continue to assist Perry and the gallery.
“I’ll be the first featured artist, but then I’m gonna help select other artists to show there in the future,” he said.
A reception will be held at the gallery from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 18. Hughes and Brock will be present, and wine and soft drinks will be served as refreshments. The event is free and open to the public.
“No speeches,” he said. “There will just be personal contact with other artists, clients who bought my paintings and interested people from the public.”
“Because it’s the day after St. Patrick’s Day, nobody’s required to wear green,” he said.
“Terry Hughes New Work” will run at Milinda Perry Salon and Gallery from Monday, March 14 to Saturday, April 30. Milinda Perry Salon and Gallery is located at 117 East F St. and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Terry Hughes poses with paintings he made of Yosemite's Half Dome. (Photo by Nick Sestanovich)