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    Art: Geomorphic; The Living Earth


    Old Women of The Shores


    SANTA PAULA, CA – The Santa Paula Art Museum presents “Geomorphic: The Living Earth,“ an exhibition of 42 abstract paintings inspired by nature by Ventura artist Kay Zetlmaier. The exhibition is the first major showing of Zetlmaier’s recent shift to abstract painting, and will be a first look for many at the lesser known but breathtaking medium of oil and cold wax. All of the artworks in the exhibit will be available for purchase. The artist will be on hand during a special premiere reception on Saturday, May 14, 2022, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission to the reception is $5.00 for SPAM members, and $10.00 for non-members. “Geomorphic: A Living Earth” will be on view May 14, 2022, to September 11, 2022.

    Kay Zetlmaier has been making art her entire life. She has been a full-time professional artist since 2010, painting primarily plein air landscapes and seascapes, before which she spent 30 years teaching art in Ventura high schools. Four years ago, Zetlmaier decided to transition away from representational painting, and finally found her true voice in abstract art. “Going into abstract art was a huge leap for me,” she says, “and it was the right leap. I feel very at home here.” Kay’s art has long referenced her affinity for the natural world, but abstraction has given her the freedom to communicate her thoughts in a more expressive and emotional way. The results are some of her best paintings to date. Kay hopes her new works will evoke in viewers a stronger appreciation of the beauty and fragility of our planet.


    Frail Normalcy
    Earth Teach Me

    Alongside abstraction, Zetlmaier has devoted herself to cold wax painting in recent years. Cold wax painting sees a mixture of primarily beeswax combined with oil paints. While cold wax has been utilized by painters for thousands of years, it has yet to enter mainstream use. Artists like Kay embrace cold wax painting for its ability to create complex textures and translucent layers of color. Some of Zetlmaier’s paintings contain over a dozen layers of paint.

    Cold wax medium also encourages experimental approaches. “I often scrape, print, dig, compress, and add particulates during the painting process,” Zetlmaier explains. “I use brayers, pallet knives, and squeegees­—very seldom do I use brushes.” Wielding an unconventional medium and a renewed sense of self, Kay Zetlmaier’s “Geomorphic: The Living Earth” is a must-see exhibition.


    About Kay Zetlmaier

    Kay Zetlmaier (b. 1948) graduated from Long Beach State University with a degree in art, and later a secondary teaching credential. She earned her master’s in humanities with an emphasis in painting from Cal State University, Dominguez Hills. Zetlmaier was a high school art teacher for 30 years, first at St. Bonaventure High School and then Ventura High School. She is a member of Buenaventura Art Association, Los Angeles Art Association, Santa Barbara Abstract Arts Collective, and the Encaustic Art Institute.



    About the Santa Paula Art Museum


    The Santa Paula Art Museum occupies two historic buildings located at 117 N 10th Street and 123 N 10th Street in downtown Santa Paula. The Museum features rotating exhibitions of historic and contemporary art, art classes for children and adults, creative community events, a well-curated gift shop, and more. Regular museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Regular admission is $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, and free for students and museum members. Contact the Museum: (805) 525-5554, [email protected] Follow the Museum on Facebook and Instagram. Website:




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