Guest artists at Corner Gallery October 2023
Elaine Richard and Polly Palecek
article by Laura Fogg
Well-known local painters Polly Palecek and Elaine Richard will be featured in the front windows of the Corner Gallery for the month of October. They have the kind of friendship that leads them to work together, and this show named “Friends with Brushes” is the result of that close collaboration.
Polly explains that “the best part of painting and being creative is when you can do it with your friends. Sharing studio space, materials, even meals with friends enhances the experience. Friends can provide feedback, support, and especially constructive criticism. But best of all friends provide friendship. They can provide the love and support to help creativity thrive. When we’re being creative we are being productive. When we’re productive we are happy. Thank you friends for helping make me happy.”
Elaine is a well-schooled artist with a long history of connections with other local artists, including Adele Pruitt. In Elaine’s words, “I was lucky to spend several years with Adele, working with her and some other fantastic artists at her studio on Orr Springs Road. One of my favorite friends I met at that time is Polly Palecek. For me, every painting is an adventure and an exploration. Whether it’s a requested portrait or an expression of some inspiration I’ve been struck with, I enjoy every minute of my time with my canvas and oil paints. To share that time with a few good friends is just the “icing on the cake!”
Diana Steele and Cindy Lindgren will share the pony wall space in the interior of the gallery that belongs to the Mendocino County Art Association. Both are well known to gallery patrons, but promise to hang work that has never been seen here before.
“In Disguise” at Art Center Ukiah October 2023
article by Laura Fogg
“The month of Halloween is the perfect time to celebrate the art of mask making”, according to Art Center Ukiah show organizer Katie Gibbs. She continues, “It seems like a fun idea to showcase the originality and beauty of hand-crafted masks on the gallery’s walls. A variety of fun, crazy, delightful or downright macabre masks will be on display, some created from unexpected (and possibly even unwearable) materials.”
“Masks take on a entirely different significance, depending on how they are presented,” ACU Board member Jacquie Lolich muses, “A mask on a person, be he or she an actor or perhaps a robber, is the definition of disguise. Hanging empty on a gallery wall, a mask may spark the imagination of the onlooker.”
Britannica defines a mask as “a form of disguise or concealment usually worn over or in front of the face to hide the identity of a person and by its own features to establish another being. This essential characteristic of hiding and revealing personalities or moods is common to all masks. As cultural objects they have been used throughout the world in all periods since the Stone Age and have been as varied in appearance as in their use and symbolism.”
The masks on the walls for the “In Disguise” show may or may not embody all of these fascinating characteristics. What is guaranteed is that they will be original creations by local masters of the craft.
Of particular interest to locals will be a number of masks contributed by the Ukiah Players Theater. Crafted as costumes for productions such as Alice in Wonderland, many of these masks are spectacular works of art in their own right. This will be a rare opportunity for viewers to admire and appreciate these beauties up close.
The First Friday opening of “In Disguise” will be on October 6 from 5-8pm at the Corner Gallery, 201 S State Street in Ukiah. Live music will be provided by Steve Winkle throughout the evening.
Mendocino County Arts Association Wall
Cindy Lindgren, watercolors
I recently organized a Nature Journaling workshop for MCAA held at the Hopland Research & Extension Center. Kristin Meuser spoke to us about color, the easiest way to mix colors with a water brush on the palette while out in nature as we write about what we seen. I began writing Haiku’s to express my thoughts. It was a joy to look at trees and nature in a way I hadn’t thought about before. If we have the class again next year it may be of interest to people to really see and think about what they are seeing in a more intimate way.
Guest artist, Michael Eich on the pony wall Mixed Media
Painting for me has been a really helpful companion, offering balance in day to day thoughts and emotions. Immersing myself in the dialog of this process, something will eventually make itself known.
Kaleigh McEntree, Corner Gallery’s Young artist for August and September and October
article by Laura Fogg
Kaleigh McEntee is one of a very few of the featured Young Artists at the Corner Gallery who has actually had years of official art training. “I’ve taken probably close to twenty art classes, only a couple of which were online,” she says, “although I did not actually start studying to improve my skill until the end of high school and into the start of college.”
According to Kaleigh, “I don’t know if it was anything specific that got me to start creating art. I have two very artistic and creative parents, so art has always been part of my life.” Kaleigh was born and raised in Ukiah and is now taking art classes “for fun” at Mendocino College. Though she doesn’t have concrete plans for her future, she says, “One thing for certain is that I will continue to improve my art skills and keep on creating.” Kaleigh loves being able to take in-person classes now that the pandemic lockdown is over. According to her, “I don’t mind having online classes for other subjects, but I really benefit from having that space away from my home to paint and learn from my teachers and classmates.”
It was in one of these in-person classes that Kaleigh was noticed by several members of the Corner Gallery, who were also signed up for life drawing with Jazzminh Moore. According to Susan Blackwelder, “Kaleigh was a standout. Even though she was one of the younger members of the class, she tackled every pose with assurance, and appeared to be fearless experimenting with the various media that we were exposed to. And on top of that,” Susan continues. “everything she drew or painted was amazing!”
Kaleigh’s favorite medium is currently acrylic. “I enjoy how opaque it is,” she explains, “and how it mixes with other colors to create that blend like oil paint, but it dries a lot faster to add more layers. I make a lot of changes to my paintings as I work, and acrylic allows me to do that quickly without having to worry about the layers underneath.” Acrylic paint also supports Kaleigh’s love of color, which she says “can change even the ‘boring-ist’ picture into something interesting to look at.” Her favorite artists who influence her “each have their own ways of incorporating color into their pieces in a way that makes sense,” she says. “The value is still there to look realistic, but they all change up the hues to deepen the subject into something more interesting.”
Asked about her favorite painting that will be in the her show, Kaleigh admits uncertainty, because she is not sure yet what will fit in the space. However, one that stands out to her is a piece that is still in the process of being completed, called “Whose Birthday Is It?” This painting, she says, “features color and reflections that will really pop out to people and draw in their attention.” Kaleigh continues, “I really like painting reflective materials with all their abstract shapes and shine.”