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The Commonwealth Club of California Farmer Gallery Showcases: The Works of Debra Reabock

“Natural Abstractions” December 4, 2019 through March 13, 2020

In Conjunction with Special Event: Artistic Creativity and Consciousness: Art as Positive Energy in these Turbulent Times”

Monday, January 6, 6 p.m. Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium 

San Francisco (Dec. 4, 2019)—The Commonwealth Club continues its tradition of showcasing the work of local artists at its headquarters based at 110 The Embarcadero. The pieces are being displayed on a rotating basis in the Club’s new Farmer Gallery based on the Lobby Level of its new building. With funds from Tawnie and John Farmer, former Chair of the Commonwealth Club Board, The Club was able to establish a gallery space with proper lighting and a professional hanging system. The Club is pleased to present “Natural Abstractions” a series of photographs by Debra Reabock December 4, 2019 through March 13, 2020. The show will be highlighted with a special program, “Artistic Creativity and Consciousness: Art as Positive Energy in these Turbulent Times” Monday, January 6, 6 p.m. to be held in the Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium at Club Headquarters, 110 The Embarcadero.

Photo philanthropist Debra Reabock, an East Coast native who now lives in California, says, “I am drawn to the fluidity of photography. This visual medium enables me to express multiple perspectives. I observe ordinary moments of life, in which I seek to find beauty and inspiration in the various aspects of our surroundings. I take a great deal of pleasure in creating moments of inquisitive wonder by revealing what is hidden from one’s initial perception.” Many of her images are of Northern California’s spectacular coastline.  

Curator of the Club’s exhibits Lynn Curtis observes, “It is remarkable to see how Reabock is able to transform imagery of our Northern California Coastline into unusual and provocative pictures. She has the ability to capture hundred-year old tree roots, the tiniest of sea, floral and plant life, waves of sand dunes, and even modern urban architecture, and transform this imagery into unique geometric shapes ,patterns, and stunning designs in her unique body of work.”

About Debra Reabock: Debra Reabock is a visual artist and photo philanthropist who makes a difference in the world through connecting creativity with charity and community. Since moving to California from the East Coast she taught herself photography, focusing on abstraction, architecture and nature. Many of her photos convey a kinetic quality—they can be rotated to expose another point of view. Her goal is to portray “energy in motion, engage the viewer, pique curiosity, and inspire conversation.” She says that people often inquire if her photos are paintings. Reabock’s distinctive outlook magnifies the boundaries of perspective.

As one who calls herself a “photo philanthropist,” Reabock combines photography with philanthropy. She has worked with many organizations including Art4Aids Project, Human Rights Campaign, OutandEqual, Global Housing Foundation, Earn Assets Resource Network, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, ArtsUnbound, Touch of Life Foundation. These accomplished organizations have benefitted financially from their collaboration with her.

Her work is displayed in private collections in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington DC, Virginia, Minnesota, Utah and California. In addition to being an artist, Reabock is a Software Executive.

About Lynn Curtis: Longtime Commonwealth Club volunteer and artist herself Lynn Curtis has curated over 50 of the Club’s exhibitions since 2007. Curtis produced exhibits in the Gold Room of the Club’s former office space at 595 Market Street from 2007 through 2014.

Curtis noted, “I love looking at art and looking for artists. It’s an exciting adventure seeking these visual treasures. Open Studios in the Bay Area provides a great opportunity to visit the artists where they work.” Curtis also frequents local galleries, mines local papers, and receives recommendations of those she meets at the Club. About the work she chooses to display she says “All of them must be honest, with a unique insight. The winners draw me to them.”

Curtis, a native of Pennsylvania, attended the College of the Arts in Oakland, known as the College of Arts and Crafts. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the first and oldest art school and museum in this country, established in 1805. She says she is indebted to the classical training she received there which, in fact, is the substance of her art background.

Notes Curtis, “The exhibition program is a continuation of the purpose of the Club: to expose the public to new thoughts and ideas as a public forum. The exposure here, though, is silent. Each artwork speaks to the viewer’s eyes, and the viewer must internalize what he sees.” Curtis recommends that the viewer always asks, “What is this artist trying to say to me, and why?”

Exhibits of artworks at the Club's Farmer Gallery are available during most business hours and, unless otherwise noted, are free to view. Many exhibits will also feature a special event featuring the artist. For more information about Club exhibits please visit Interested parties may send exhibit proposals with photos via email: (300 dpi jpg)

About Artistic Creativity and Consciousness: Art as Positive Energy in these Turbulent Times: This panel will take place Monday, January 6, at 6 p.m. in the Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium. Matt McKinley, Vice President of the Board of ArtSpan and a Member of the Art for AIDS Auction, Michael F. Shea, Integrative Psychotherapist and Faculty Member for the Center for Mind-Body Medicine and Board Member of Doctors of the World USA will join Ms. Reabock for a discussion on Art as Positive Energy in these Turbulent Times. Robert Melton, the Outreach Coordinator and Curator of the de Young College Arts Program and a Freelance Curator will moderate the discussion. The panel will examine how the renewing energy of art helps to manage the stress of negative events. There is overwhelming research that contemplation, observing and taking in beauty stimulate the brain and create a sense of well-being. Notes Reabock that, “In these turbulent times, art can be a vehicle not only for fulfillment but to encourage and expand consciousness through conversation and connection.” The panel participants represent a spectrum of viewpoints of nonprofit, artistic and psychotherapeutic perspectives. Each of the panel members will share unique views during the discussion of artistic creativity and consciousness. 

About the Commonwealth Club of California: Founded in 1903, The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s premier public affairs forum, with more than 25,000 members. For the past 11 decades, the Club has fostered free speech and civic dialogue on a wide range of topics, addressing key issues in society, culture, politics, the economy and more in about 500 live programs each year. Based in San Francisco with a second office in San Jose, the Club presents speeches, debates and discussions each year on issues of regional, national and international significance. The Club continues to host its guests—from presidents and activists to scientists and chefs—at its headquarters on the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco as well as at venues around San Francisco, Silicon Valley, the East Bay and Marin County. In addition to its traditional forums, the Club hosts the Climate One project on climate change, and Inforum, a division oriented to younger community members. It has sponsored public policy projects over the years, ranging from early 1900s studies and reports leading to environmental and social legislative and policy innovations, to more recent efforts to improve state governance in California. The Club has produced a PBS film, published books and publishes a bimonthly magazine, The Commonwealth.

About 1 million people listen to The Commonwealth Club’s weekly radio broadcast—the oldest continuing radio program in the country—on more than 230 public and commercial stations across the country. The Club’s podcasts are downloaded about 5 million times each year. The Club’s videos also appear on the California Channel, C-SPAN and YouTube, where they have been viewed millions of times. For more information, visit