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Roseville gallery hosting artwork of Maija Peeples-Bright

Artist best known for vibrant, colorful ?beasties? now residing in Rocklin
By: Gloria Beverage, Placer Herald Editor
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An exhibit showcasing the work of renowned artist Maija Peeples-Bright will open Friday at the Blue Line Gallery in Roseville. A resident of Rocklin since 2009, Peeples-Bright launched her art career at the beginning of the Funk Art Movement in the late 1960s. Blue Line Gallery Chief Executive Officer Julie Hirota is excited to be presenting this collection of brightly-colored paintings and sculptures featuring Peeples-Bright?s signature ?beasties.? The exhibit, she said, will appeal to all ages ? from children to senior citizens. And art lovers will have an opportunity to meet the artist in person during a reception scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. on June 23. A resident of Rocklin since 2009, the artist and her husband, Billy Bright, had been living in Citrus Heights when they decided to relocate to Placer County. Born in 1942 in Latvia, Peeples-Bright grew up in Sacramento. ?We came here via refugee camps,? she said. ?We fled before the Russians came.? As a young student, Peeples-Bright excelled in math and chemistry and dreamed of becoming an astronaut. ?I thought maybe I could work at the Livermore Accelerator,? she said. But, she dumped her original career plans after taking an applied arts class during her third year at UC Davis. She switched majors and studied with noted artists Wayne Thiebaud, William T. Wiley and Robert Arneson. Peeples-Bright earned a B.A. degree in 1964 and a masters? degree the following year. During her marriage to artist David Zack, Peeples-Bright began hand-painting her signature ?beasties? in endless variations on the walls and ceilings throughout their two-story Victorian in the Fillmore District of San Francisco. ?The Rainbow House,? as it became known, was featured in ?The Saturday Evening Post? in 1968. It became the central gathering place for Funk Movement artists. After a tour of Europe, Peeples-Bright moved to Folsom in the 1970s then began to pursue her art career in earnest while teaching at Sierra College. Her early paintings and ceramics were shown at the prestigious Candy Store on Folsom?s historic Sutter Street. The gallery, founded by Adeliza McHugh, showcased the art of up and coming artists, including papier mache artist David Gilhooly, Roy DeForest and Peter VandenBerge. Through the years, Peeples-Bright has received numerous commissions for her work, which is in private collections and on display at the Crocker Art Museum. Nor does she have any intention of slowing down. While her home in Rocklin serves as a gallery for her many works, she has a large studio and workshop where she can continue to create her ?beasties.? ?I have been able to live such a wonderful life and create art at my own pace,? she said. ________ Know and Go: Exhibit featuring work of Maija Peeples-Bright When: June 8 through July 14 Where: Blue Line Gallery, 405 Vernon St., #100 in Roseville When: Gallery open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays Reception: 7 to 9 p.m.on June 23