Art appraiser, adviser and curator Lily Yu owned two restaurants that doubled as art galleries, so her Paintings and Pairings event, a conjunction of Chef Soerke Peters and artist Paul Seftel, is a natural progression.

It’s a free art opening in The Village Corner, comprising about 20 pieces titled Arts Techtonic, Forces of Nature by Paul Seftel. That’s followed by a four-course dinner ($95) of Peters’ “abstract cooking” that matches the themes, colors and processes of the art. It’s all paired with by wine from Albatross Ridge and conversation likely to veer in a few directions.

One may be the elusive concept of blockchain technology. It’s the encrypted, shared, decentralized network that powers transactions like Bitcoin, and variously described as revolutionary and as hype.

“It’s being adapted into all kinds of industries, one of which is art,” Yu says. “Remember when we didn’t trust buying things online? ‘No, I want to drive to the store and see it and pay a person.’ Now we buy everything online. After a while, [blockchain] will just be the way.”

Seftel is experimenting with it to register, authenticate and archive his paintings, but it’s a separate conversation from the content of such.

“[My art] is inspired by the landscape of this country,” says the British-born 44-year-old. “These [paintings] come from observing the endless changing horizons, mist on landscape, fire on the hills, our sense of place in time.”

He uses minerals with different colors and properties to make his own paints, which he applies onto the canvas, layer by layer, building up textures, peaks and valleys, topographies and cosmologies, landscapes of space and color.

He saved up his money and started traveling as a teen – to North Africa, Southeast Asia, New Mexico, New York, Europe, Central America – and he says that gave him an existential perspective of being part of this “rock floating in space.” He’s in a good spot now, with a spacious studio in the American Tin Cannery, a supportive colleague and friend in art like Yu, and a Peninsula contemporary art scene he describes as sleepy: “Other places, you get lost in a tremendous crowd of oversaturation. Here, we’re blessed with the inverse.”

He’s looking forward to the food at the event, food that will be crafted to match his paintings. Lily Yu doesn’t even speculate what that’s going to be like, but is excited about the fusion, saying, “Both Paul and Soerke are innovators.”

PAINTINGS AND PAIRINGS is 5-7pm/art reception and 7-9pm/dinner (RSVP), Wednesday, Sept. 5, at The Village Corner, Dolores and Sixth, Carmel. Free/art reception; $95/dinner (all inclusive).

Walter Ryce has been an arts writer, calendar editor, culture columnist, sometime photographer, and one-time web content coordinator for the Monterey County Weekly. He began working at the paper, which is based in his hometown of Seaside, in 2007.

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