Patssi Valdez has a lot of great stories. Some she told in her lauded performance-art career with the Chicano art collective ASCO, surveyed in a major LACMA show last year. Some she's told in her long career as a painter, ceramicist and imaginative visual experimenter. But if you're lucky, she's saved some of her best stories for her chat with gallery director Jane Chafin at this weekend's High Tea at Offramp Gallery. The event celebrates Valdez's current show at this landmark exhibition space, a reimagined Craftsman house set in a thoroughly enchanting garden that just begs for a proper tea party. In fact, the gallery's verdant grounds and the views of it through the windows of its domestic interiors look remarkably like Valdez's paintings — all intense color palettes and magical spatial perspectives, with a sense of symbol and fable in every brushstroke. In fact, muscular, sentient plant life and peekaboo cityscapes, visible through wood-framed windows across perennially mad tea parties through billowing curtains, are predominants motif in Valdez's paintings. With some 50 pieces installed, as well as ceramics, boxes, embroidery and books, this show still only scratches the surface of her wide-ranging practice and fascinating life — but the afternoon's engaging tea-klatsch should add a lot to the conversation. Offramp Gallery, 1702 Lincoln Ave., Pasadena; Sun., Dec. 9, 3-5 p.m.; $25. (626) 298-6931, offrampgallery.com.
Sun., Dec. 9, 3-5 p.m., 2012
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