Corner Gallery Ukiah, a cooperative gallery
Article about Sue Sweet, Corner Gallery front windows in June 2023
By Laura Fogg
Watercolorist and mixed media artist Sue Sweet was last exhibited at the Corner Gallery at the very beginning of the pandemic in 2020. She had hung a beautiful springtime show in both front windows, only to end up with a closed gallery and few passers-by as the worried citizens of Ukiah hunkered down in their homes for fear of catching the virus. Thanks to Sue’s determination and generosity, she is back in the gallery’s front windows for the month of June.
The title of Sue’s new show, “Finding Solace,” beautifully matches the subject matter of the florals, birds and aquatic life for which she is known across Mendocino, Sonoma and San Francisco Counties. She has always been drawn to the natural world as a place of solace, and the pandemic offered her more time to dive into the beauty that nature offers. Thinking a bit more about the collection of work in her show, Sue muses, “I am moved to paint florals and create beauty because the world has and continues to be so taxing with lingering Covid, divisive politics and worries about climate change. I want to create something that is soothing and lovely to look at… kind of an escape. I don’t care that it’s not edgy like the work in a lot of other galleries”. Her love of Georgia O’Keefe shows clearly in vibrant colors and lovely lines in the paintings.
Sue has been a prolific artist for most of her life, though painting wasn’t her first love. After receiving a BFA in sculpture (ceramics, casting, welding and neon) with a minor in printmaking from the Academy of Art in San Francisco, she went on to explore printmaking and then fell in love with paper making. She took a class at Sonoma State and created huge sheets of paper (mixing it with neon), taking advantage of the college studio where she could use their equipment. Her current mixed media work reflects her love of paper and texture. Her sculptural sensibilities somehow morphed into a fascination with gourds, and it wasn’t until Sue was featured in four books about that art form that she took another turn and made the dive into watercolor painting… one skill in which she had never received any formal training.
Sue describes her adventures with watercolor. “I discovered watercolor about 14 years ago and continued with it because I love water and the unbeatable translucency of the medium. I’m a swimmer and I love color. The happy blending of what I love most led me to where I am now with my art, which is primarily watercolor.”
Sue’s beautiful watercolors are currently featured in San Francisco Women’s Art Gallery and the Healdsburg Center for the Arts, and she was just accepted into the international Watercolor West show in Newport Beach.
“The world needs more beauty and solace and quiet,” Sue says. Beauty and solace and quiet are exactly what visitors to this show will experience.
Art Center Ukiah your community gallery“High off the Land” show at Art Center Ukiah June 2023
By Laura Fogg
Cannabis has a long and colorful history in Mendocino County, and it affects both residents and visitors in diverse ways. It has fueled our economy for years, and has recently become legal. With 20/20 hindsight on half a century of local cannabis cultivation and use, Art Center Ukiah board members decided that it’s time to do a show about the different aspects of how it speaks to all of us.
With the thought that this topic is relevant to the entire county, ACU collaborated with the Willits Center for the Arts and the Gualala Center for the Arts to create a larger show than any one of us could have managed to organize alone. The call for artists was spread to all corners of the county with the support of all three art centers, the Arts Council of Mendocino County, cannabis dispensaries around the county and announcements on the KZYX “Cannabis Hour” program. Each art center chose semi-finalists from their respective geographic areas, who were then juried for the show by the expert team of Alyssum Weir (Arts Council of Mendocino County) and David Burton (Grace Hudson Museum).
Artists were challenged to interpret their own experiences with cannabis in any medium, both two and three-dimensional. Both positive and negative responses were welcomed and encouraged. The result was a collection of thirty wonderful pieces in a huge variety of mediums and styles, by artists from the Ukiah Valley, the North County and the Coast.
This first-ever collaboration of art centers made it obvious to the organizers from the very beginning that this would be a traveling show. It opened at the Willits Center for the Arts on May 6, where it will stay through the month before moving to Art Center Ukiah for the month of June, with the First Friday opening celebration on June 2nd. The last venue will be the Gualala Center for the Arts from July 14 through August 6th.
The Arts Council of Mendocino offered guidance and support throughout the planning of the show. The show is sponsored by Sparetime Supply in Willits.
NO workshop in June.
Mendocino County Arts Association Wall
Mary Waters Monroe Watercolors
Article in Ukiah Daily Journal January 31st, 2023
By Laura Fogg
Mary Monroe is not a newcomer to the Corner Gallery’s front windows, but she will be showing almost entirely new work for the month of February. Here theme is “A Walk in My Garden” and it’s a showstopper.
Every one of Mary’s vibrant new watercolor paintings is a floral. They are views out her window and down the hill from her wildly gorgeous Rancho Mariposa home in Redwood Valley. Mary describes her impetus for doing these pieces… “Flowers are exciting to me because they represent the change of season, plus I’m attracted to all the beautiful textures inside them… sort of like Georgia O’Keefe.” She continues, “It’s good to work on a theme since it really pushes you into the space.”
Mary’s big effort with this theme was to work on large sheets of watercolor paper, something relatively new to her. She explains, “I chose to work on big paper because it’s more of a body experience. I have to stand up and can use bigger brushes so I can get texture, swirls and all-in-all enjoy a looser experience. Since there is a whole lot more background to paint, I’m feeling freer to lay down colors and washes as I start a painting, which is nowhere near as tedious as my usual ‘negative painting’ in the background.”
After doing almost nothing besides creating new floral pieces since last spring, Mary is taking a well-deserved break from the flowers and looking forward to switching artistic gears. “I’m pulling out some older paintings which need more work,” she says. With her newfound looseness and confidence with the medium of watercolor, she can revisit some pieces that didn’t completely satisfy her and make changes to improve them.
A subject that is calling to Mary is birds. She laughs, “There’s a birdbath outside my studio, and there is a bluebird that keeps visiting it, so now I have a ton of bluebird photos for inspiration, in addition to other birds.
Katelyn Tussey, Young artist for June and July
Corner Gallery Young Artist June 2023
By Laura Fogg
Katelynn Tussey is one of a growing number of young artists featured on the Corner Gallery’s dedicated wall who is thrilled with the chance to shine in a professional setting. “I’m so thankful for this opportunity to get my name out in the world and start my career in art.” She says. “I have dreamed about this time since I was a little kid and it is exciting to see it come true.”
Katelynn is a transplant from coastal North Carolina, where she spent the first half of her life using her vivid imagination to have tea parties and draw with her dolls. She was homeschooled most of her life and also attended Ukiah Independent Study Academy once her family moved to Ukiah. She explains, “Growing up I’d always draw but never seriously until my freshman year of high school. I was able to take multiple drawing classes through my high school and it fueled my love for art.” By Katelynn’s senior year of high school she was committed to pursuing a career in art, though she has very realistic trepidations about the difficulty of being recognized by “the right crowd” and making a living at it.
A major inspiration came to Katelynn through a class at Mendocino College. “I took a ‘Fundamentals of Drawing’ class with Jazzminh Moore,” she says. “Jazzminh was a wonderful and helpful teacher who aided in my artistic growth, and helped me to discover my unique artistic style.” Another mentor was Katelynn’s dad, who she describes as “a talented artist who really inspired me to draw when I was little.”
Katelynn, like many young people who weathered the pandemic, did not get through it unscathed. She explains, “As I got older, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression. My anxiety was made worse from the 2017 Redwood Complex Fire and from the COVID pandemic of 2020. COVID-19 lockdowns took a severe toll on my mental health, as I am a very sociable person.” Katelynn continues, “I found drawing and painting to be a form of therapy for me to ease my mind and to be able to draw out those feelings I couldn’t express in words.”
Her unplanned years of reliance on drawing and painting for therapy also gave Katelynn opportunities to explore a variety of media and get to know them. As she describes it, “Painting came naturally to me. I couldn’t explain how to do it, all I could do is show you. I think every artist who is self-taught can relate on a certain level.” When asked which medium is her favorite, Katelynn says with certainty, “My favorite medium is acrylic on canvas. I love to do many layers on my painting. Acrylic dries fast so it makes adding layers much easier than oil paint or watercolor. I would love to keep practicing other mediums such as charcoal and or pen and ink as I love how dark and bold you can be with each one. Trying out new things is always something I strive for as an upcoming artist.”
When asked to choose her favorite painting on her wall, Katelynn wasn’t quite so sure. “It’s hard to pick a favorite piece of mine that I am putting in this gallery,” she explains. “But I think my favorite is “Poppy Blooms” as it reminds me of Mendocino County when the poppies are in full bloom and how bright and on fire they look. You can look any direction and it’s a guarantee you will see a few blossoms. It gives me a sense of home and spring, which is my favorite time of the year.”
And do enjoy our website, cornergalleryukiah.com., kept up to date by member artist Elliot Little.