Home of Bay Area Muralist Dan Fontes

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I have an ongoing interest in Bay Area history. I favor local and personal art over the trendy and fashionable art. At the same time, I try to gear my work toward timeless images. In both my murals and studio works, I try to consider attention to "place" or "site specific" pieces of art. Some of them are geared around surprising the viewer, some of them are about leaving a person with a sense of serenity and at other times the paintings can be whimsical or amusing. Often, my concerns for architectural heritage or historical storytelling play a large role in what I choose as my subject matter. When I make a mural, I try to focus in on redirecting or channeling the energy of the place. These newly created places can serve as landmarks, entranceways or emphasize historical properties or many other ideas; the possibilities are limitless. At best, they have taken the surrounding environment (its character, its architecture) or perhaps the light and movement of a place's activity into account.

In addition to my murals I have worked with thousands of children in many schools and taught dozens of workshops throughout Northern California as well as in two of Oakland's sister cities in China and Japan. I feel it is important to have children use professional quality art materials and hopefully gain more understanding about painting by practicing techniques and concepts such as brushwork, composition, line, form, perspective and light and shadow. Then the challenge is to have them deal with subject matter and thoughtfully re-present it. By learning some of these basics, I feel they can sense a fuller understanding of all art forms, not just painting. I view art as a problem solving tool and a great humanizing force of our time.

Last Updated: March 01, 2010

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Copyright 2005 Dan Fontes