New Gallery Show! Leul Asfaw, The Storm Clouds are Leaving

 In Blog, Careers in the Arts, Developmental Disabilities

Tierra del Sol proudly presents Leul Asfaw: The Storm Clouds are Leaving. Asfaw joined the Tierra del Sol Art Studio program in 2012. This is his first solo exhibition with the gallery.

Leul Asfaw creates lush land and cityscapes that reflect his travels and his interests in the language of spaces and places. He is drawn to color-rich vistas that allow him to express the diverse palettes of natural and built environments. Asfaw is inspired by the landscape of Northern California, and many of his renderings are based on recollections of scenery from trips he takes with his family to Oakland.

Like the works of Santa Cruz artist Richard Mayhew, Asfaw’s landscapes are meditative, reflecting inner emotional pleasure while highlighting certain external realities. Where Mayhew uses soft shapes and brushstrokes, Asfaw’s imagery evokes the geometric concepts of Skunder Boghossian and William T Williams. Asfaw employs short vertical lines that register color fields and gradients, creating unique suggestive, yet ordered artworks.


Asfaw constructs his landscapes with repetitive strikes of colored pencil on paper. Similar to Williams’s drawings with pen and ink from the 1970s, these works feel like paintings. With his attention to color Asfaw thoroughly works the medium, saturating the paper and boldly transforming layers of hues into forms that delineate structure as well as suggest something more poetic.

The Storm Clouds are Leaving represent Asfaw’s pre-pandemic works that focus on how his imagination plays an outsized role in his practice, both in his memories of space and his pursuit of imagery that piques his aesthetics. He is interested in the totality of place, including clouds, stars, planets and people. He continues to develop his expressive language, recognizing how the pandemic changed his environment but remaining true to his work as a colorist and landscape painter.

Tierra del Sol Gallery is committed to exhibiting the diversity of aesthetics encouraged from makers in our program. Leul Asfaw’s hopeful studies of our world is one of the many important voices the gallery highlights. Leul Asfaw: The Storm Clouds are Leaving opens July 16 and shows through September 3, 2022.

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