June starts the summer, though I often think Memorial Day weekend gets the campers in summer mode. We remember June for some auspicious occasions like D-Day, when U.S. troops stormed the Normandy beaches (June 6, 1944) and so many died for our country and the launch of the first woman in space, Dr. Sally Ride (June 18, 1983), who made all of us so proud. June is also the birthday month for a wide range of historical characters from Anne Frank, Judy Garland and Frank Lloyd Wright to the Marquis de Sade and King George III. Lots of good reading available for these folks.

June also brings a beautiful featured artist show to the Gallery by Lompoc artist Barbara Willey. Willey, a 12-year member of the Lompoc Valley Art Association, showcases her love for nature with "Little Birds and Flowers," and her oil paintings are both bright and colorful as well as serene. I especially love her triptych of an American robin, cedar waxwing and varied thrush, that when hung together, give every bird lover a daily dose of these beautiful creatures in floral settings. Another piece, titled "Hydrangeas," is painted with shades of blues and lavenders and hung in a stunning gold wooden frame. Join Willey and other art lovers at the artist's reception June 10 from 3 to 5 p.m., where you can enjoy all the art in the gallery and sample some wine and appetizers.

The People's Choice award for May was "Wisteria" by Linda Gooch, which brings many gallery visitors to ooh and aah at the cottage covered with such amazing floral vines. Congratulations, Linda.

Walking through the gallery to the main rooms, you will find a delightful array of glass works, acrylic, oil and watercolor paintings, photography and ceramic bowls and vases. Joellen Chrones' "Cinque Terre, Italy" of fused glass, is a colorful wall hanging depicting sail boats and Italian villas on the water, and Mikel Naccarato's "Remembering" features a small fused glass piece mounted on cold-cast bronze. In photography, Debby Fuller's "Three Red Barns" illustrates an interesting intersection of architectural planes in rusty red colors.

A couple of paintings caught my eye. Carol Oliveira's "Meadow" depicts a storm waiting to happen in the green and oak-covered Central Coast hills, and the textured acrylic abstract design on canvas by Betsee Talavera is bright and colorful. We are so lucky to have so many talented artists in our community.

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Join us at our general membership meeting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments and a special video presentation celebrating the work of renown American artist Georgia O'Keeffe. The meeting will be held at Stone Pine Hall, 200 South H Street in Lompoc.

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Cypress Gallery is operated by the members of the Lompoc Valley Art Association and is located at 119 E. Cypress Ave. in Lompoc. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, call 737-1129 or visit lompocart.com.

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