Mid-century Madness Galore

Curator has lots of mid-century inspiration behind upcoming exhibition in Sacto area
Walt by Malia Howe and The Hostess with the Mostess by Maria Winkler
Two pieces to appear in 'Mid Century Madness': 'Walt' by Malia Howe (left) and 'The Hostess with the Mostess' by Maria Winkler (right).

Tony Natsoulas is a man on a mid-century mission.

"I love that era!" says Natsoulas, exhibition consultant for Blue Line Arts in Roseville, near Sacramento. "I'm just trying to familiarize people with it.

"Part of the problem is, people don't know what mid-century modern is. That's sort of the motivation for doing the show."

Natsoulas is curator of 'Mid Century Madness,' an exhibition of contemporary paintings and graphic prints—"inspired by the mid-century modern period," he says—that opens Thursday, June 5 at Blue Line's Coker Family Gallery in Roseville.

Natsoulas is also a sculptor of whimsical and sometimes shocking pieces rooted in the mid-century, and happens to live in a Sacramento Streng home.

"Everybody is very influenced by mid-century modern now," he bubbles about the style, giving the exhibition details: a 30-piece juried show with appropriate furnishings and artifacts surrounding the hanging art, including period furniture of time-honored makes like Heywood Wakefield and Craftmatic.

Natsoulas borrowed from numerous sources for the setting—including, he admits, sneaking some items out of his and his wife's own collection.

Some of his favorite pieces are lamps made from silicon computer chips by lighting artist Sean Christopher, one of which features peepholes revealing slides of '50s scenes.

The centerpiece of the setting is a restored classic in red and white, a gleaming 1957 Nash Metropolitan.

Blue Line hosts a monthly reception at the gallery from 6 to 9 p.m. on third Saturdays (including next month on June 21), and Natsoulas will be there, happy to talk about the exhibition.

For more information on 'Mid Century Madness,' which runs through July 12, visit bluelinearts.org.