Study For At Rest…, 1977
Image size: 10 X 12
Maria Alquilar Biography
A former social worker and teacher, Ms. Alquilar was known as Barbara Taffet when she and Colette Garrison opened Jennifer Pauls Gallery in Old Sacramento in 1970. With a strong interest in expressionistic, figurative imagery and a fine eye for distinctive works, she created a groundbreaking showcase for top contemporary artists, including Anne Gregory, Ken Little, Joan Moment and Mary Warner.
She became sole owner and maintained a loyal following as the Jennifer Pauls Gallery – named for two of the founders’ children – moved to her home in Lake of the Pines and then Roseville before returning to Sacramento to share space with the prestigious Himovitz/Solomon Gallery downtown. Meanwhile, she took up sculpting and painting and changed her name to Maria Alquilar.
In 1986, she sold Jennifer Pauls Gallery to Beth Jones and Dean Moniz and left Sacramento to pursue her own artistic career.
“It was one of the best galleries in town,” said artist Victoria Dalkey, a Sacramento Bee correspondent. “She worked really hard for the people she represented. She worked well with buyers and collectors too, and she championed a lot of women artists.”
Ms. Alquilar painted scenes of vibrant colors and primitive, dreamy images. She received commissions from the Sacramento Art in Public Places program, including ceramic murals at the light-rail station at 29th and R streets and the Fairbairn water treatment facility on the American River near California State University, Sacramento.
Her sculptures and paintings are included in collections in the United States, Mexico and Italy.