Five must-see gallery shows to check out this Second Saturday

Courtesy of the Natsoulas Center for the Arts
Robert Arneson's painting "Let's Play" is among the works featured in a new dog-focused group show at the Natsoulas Center for the Arts in Davis.

With a rainy weekend coming up, it’s the perfect time to go gallery hopping. Here are five must-see new shows around town this Second Saturday, featuring everything from powerful images of the unseen side of California to lighthearted odes to man’s best friend.

B. Sakata Garo (Feb. 8-March 1)
Soul-The Other Side  Featuring the work of Chinese artist Tian Fu Kong, an art professor at Minzu University of China, this exhibition includes paintings that are inspired by Buddhism and incorporate various symbols, images and figures from the ancient religion. The artist will be in attendance at a reception held this Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. 923 20th St. 447-4276.

Elliott Fouts Gallery (Through Feb. 27)
40 & Under  The work of seven cutting-edge artists, all 40 years old and younger, will be featured in this show at Elliott Fouts Gallery, like San Jose-based Jeanne Vadeboncoeur’s rich oil paintings of tempting deserts; Sacramento artist Jose Di Gregorio’s geometric mixed-media pieces; and St. Louis painter Ali Cavanaugh’s “modern frescoes,” her distinctive style in which she applies watercolor to clay. A number of the artists will be on hand for a Second Saturday opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. 1831 P St. 736-1429.

JayJay (Through March 1)
A Tribute to Genius-ism  This retrospective show at JayJay gallery celebrates the prolific career of artist David Wetzl, who retires this year from decades of teaching drawing and painting at Sacramento State. The exhibit will feature never-before-seen drawings from the early 1990s, a number of pieces from private collections, and other recent mixed-media postmodern works. A Second Saturday reception with Wetzl, live music and refreshments will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. 5520 Elvas Ave. 453-2999.

Natsoulas Center for the Arts (Through Feb. 24)
Bark!: An Artistic View of Man’s Best Friend  Man’s best friend is the focus of this annual group show at the Natsoulas Center for the Arts in Davis, which will feature representations of dogs by such artists as famed ceramicist Robert Arneson and painter Roy de Forest, well known for his abstract, often humorous paintings of the animals. A reception for the show will take place this Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. 521 First St. Davis. 530-756-3938.

Viewpoint Gallery (Through March 1)
In the Shadow of the Sun  This exhibit by Sacramento-based photographer Max Whittaker—Sactown magazine’s senior contributing photographer whose work is also regularly featured in publications like The New York Times and Wall Street Journal—seeks to raise awareness about the plight of California’s residents and communities that are often overlooked. On display will be about 20 photos from the last five years portraying the likes of farmer workers in the Delta (pictured below is a laborer harvesting grapes in Clarksburg), a trailer park near Coachella, and a homeless tent shelter in Sacramento. Whittaker will host receptions taking place on Friday (5:30 to 8:30) and Saturday (5:30 to 9 p.m.). 2015 J St. 441-2341.

Max Whittaker presents this photograph of a farm worker in Clarksburg along with about 20 other images at his new exhibit at the Viewpoint Gallery