Sometimes it takes an epiphany to see art as it’s intended to be viewed. Thanks to Epiphany Wine Cellars in Los Olivos, a diverse show of art pieces by local artists is on display and available for purchase from October through Jan. 15.

The show — aptly titled “Outside the Box” — refers to the artists’ use of various media in unusual and perhaps unexpected ways, resulting in works that engage the viewer on several levels.

Allen Koehn’s images reflect realism, while the works by Rebecca Gomez lean to abstraction. All the pieces, now on display at Epiphany on Grand Avenue, combine media in ways that make the finished work unique.

Koehn’s photographs

The photographic art by Koehn is based on digital photographs printed on archival art rag paper, affixed to a stretched canvas base. The photo pigments have been fixed into the paper using an unusual technique utilizing a specialized UV protective varnish in many coats absorbed into the paper. The works are then coated with an acrylic matte medium, resulting in photographic artwork as resilient as a finished painting. This allows it to be framed without matte or glass; in this case, within floater frames. Consequently, viewers can experience the artwork as they would other, less light-sensitive creations.

These “archival mixed media prints” can hang without the limitations sometimes imposed on photographic work, in that they are UV protected and will not fade in strong light and have a tough surface that’s not subject to damage without protection by glass.

The subject matter in the artist’s work incorporates a unique vision, lending enhanced meaning, deepening how one observes scenes and objects.

Gomez’s mixed media

Gomez noted that the many layers in her work sometimes create a sense of transparency.

“While my work may appear to be disparate in style or execution,” she said, “it is actually all part of an exploration of subjects or objects that can never truly be captured in a fixed way.

“Whether representational or abstract, the pieces are about asking questions, attempting to see beyond the surface, looking for openings, connections,” Gomez continued. “They celebrate not what we know and the limits of knowing, but rather the beauty of mystery and the impossibility of fixed knowledge about the manifest world.”

The work in the show includes some pieces from Gomez’s “Shadow Series,” which incorporates black-and-white digital photography as one of several layers in the finished artwork — an unusual approach. Other works involve a mixed range of painting and drawing media.

SYV Art Association

This exhibit introduces Epiphany Cellars as a venue supporting the efforts of the Santa Ynez Valley Art Association. Formerly the Artists Guild SYV, the SYV Art Association is a nonprofit organization with more than 30 years of history showcasing local art and artists. The organization coordinates and manages the “art without borders” installations in cooperation with local venues that have made a commitment to support Valley arts. A portion of art sales at these exhibits benefits the organization — and these collaborative efforts — as a way to keep art alive and accessible in the Santa Ynez Valley.

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