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Marianne Kolb, from Oakland, CA is a nationally-known, figurative artist. Kolb grew up in Bern, Switzerland, in an isolated farming village. In 1983, Kolb studied figure drawing at the University of California, Berkley, CA. In her exhibition Explorations with Rust Kolb explores her figures with this dynamic, unpredictable medium. I am fascinated by rust. Rust’s various seductive colors, ranging from black-brown to red-orange to brilliant yellow-tangerine, express a beauty intrinsic to its destiny of complete decay. Rust can certainly stand as a metaphor for aging – for a life intensely lived and exposed, a sign of wisdom and erosion of the ego. Can rust stand for the dignity and beauty of our experience as a species and of life’s fragility and limitations? On another level, can corrosive thought patterns and behaviors weaken the immune system and make our bodies more susceptible to chronic diseases and disorders? Can this sort of rust potentially lead to a body’s ultimate breakdown and demise? These are some of the questions I’ve asked myself while working on the Explorations with Rust series.