PictureArtist Irene Belknap’s “Unraveling (From The String Theory Series),” on display in April at the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center at 85 Throckmorton Abenue. Courtesy image.

Located in the heart of downtown Mill Valley in the same building as longtime First Tuesday Artwalk venue the Depot Bookstore & Café, the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center is making its Artwalk debut in April, showcasing the work of longtime local artist Irene Belknap.

“We’re elated to become a First Tuesday Artwalk venue,” Chamber Co-Director Paula Reynolds said. “This is one of our town’s landmark events, showcasing the amazing abundance of talented artists in Mill Valley and bringing them into our shops around town. Events like this bolster our artistic and economic vibrance as a community, and we happy to join in on the fun.”

The First Tuesday Artwalk is set for April 7 (6–8pm) with art receptions at more than two dozens venues and storefronts. The Chamber’s inaugural First Tuesday Artwalk artist, Belknap was born in Munich, Germany, and moved to Mill Valley in 1967.

Belknap and and her first husband, Joseph McHugh, founded a East Totem West, a company that specialized in creating psychedelic posters. They had a storefront on Throckmorton directly across from the where the Throckmorton Theatre is now. East Totem West’s entire collection of posters is now in The Victoria Albert Museum in London.

Belknap, who primarily works in oil on linen and also publishes in limited edition giclée prints, has shown her work nationally and internationally across the Bay Area and all over the world in both group and solo exhibitions.

“I use figurative images that have associative meaning,” Belknap says. “Significant gestures, the relationship of nameable objects, juxtaposed in sometimes unexpected ways, ask for the viewer’s interaction. An enigmatic element that defies the tyranny of a single meaning stands at the forefront.”

“In my work there can be no final ‘this means that,’” she adds. “It is my belief that that which sustains in painting is the evocative; that which calls to mind both the artist and the viewer. My aim is to evoke a sense of the unknown where final meaning is withheld, Thus the mind is incited to allow a journey beyond ourselves toward that which we sense but cannot explain; that which we know but cannot prove.

The 411: The Mill Valley Chamber’s debut First Tuesday Artwalk reception is set for April 7, 6–8pm, 85 Throckmorton Avenue. More info on Irene Belknap. And check out the First Tuesday Artwalk Guide for all of the participating venues and artists.

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