Dolphin Gallery
Verena and Ray Borton (weaving & photography)
February 5 through March 2, 2005


Loom & Lens: Weaving and Photography
by Verena and Ray Borton

At the Dolphin Gallery
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 5, 5 pm

An exhibit of weaving and photography by Verena and Ray Borton will open on Saturday, February 5, at the Dolphin Gallery in downtown Gualala. Please join the artists for wine and hors d'oeuvres from 5 to 7 p.m. The show will run through March 2.

Verena Reckendorf Borton represents the third generation in her family's weaving tradition, reaching all the way back to the beginning of the last century in northern Europe. She first learned her craft as a small child during World War II in her mother's studio and later as a student in her mother's classes in an international school in the Netherlands. After immigrating to the United States in the late fifties, she eventually served her apprenticeship in Master Weaver Edith Reckendorf's Massachusetts and California studios.

Since 1959 Verena has taught weaving and other crafts to children in situations as diverse as a Massachusetts art and drama camp, an occupational therapy program in an Ethiopian pediatric malnutrition ward of an Addis Ababa hospital, a recreational program for children of the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, in classrooms at North Davis Elementary School and in a private summer crafts workshop in her backyard and home in Davis.

In 1987 she moved most of her looms to the newly built Davis Art Center (1919 F Street, Davis, CA 95616) where she maintains a fully equipped studio for year-round weaving classes serving students ranging in age from five to 79. For several years the classes have been listed as "high priority" and enrollment is by lottery drawing.

Although the combination of teaching English Language Development at North Davis Elementary School until her retirement in June 2004, and the ongoing weaving program at the Davis Art Center left Verena limited time for her personal weaving, she has participated in exhibits at The Sea Ranch Lodge, the Artists' Collaborative Gallery in Old Sacramento, the Davis Art Center, the Yolo County Administration Building, the Sacramento Arts Festival, and Art in the Redwoods. Verena shows and sells each year at the Davis Art Center Holiday Sale (the Art Center's principal fundraiser) in early December and in 2004 emerged as the top seller among 70 artists. Her work is currently available at the Noel Flynn Gallery in Roseville.

Verena says, "I weave primarily large throws, shawls, scarves, baby blankets and rugs, using both natural and synthetic fibers (depending on what suits the purpose). Many of the yarns are unique and in limited supply, which means that the resulting articles are one-of-a-kind. The smaller pieces, such as scarves and baby blankets, are pre-washed while dry cleaning is recommended for the larger items. Because of common wool allergies, I weave some scarves that have no wool content at all."

After 25 years of amateur photography Ray Borton first ventured into marketing his work in 1978. Photography as an avocation began in high school in his native state of Michigan and continued through degree work at Cornell University (B.S.), Michigan State University (M.S.), and Montana State University (PhD in Agricultural Economics).

Ray has resided in Holland, South Vietnam, Mexico, Ethiopia, and the Philippines, as well as in Michigan, New York, Montana, and California, as part of his work in international agricultural development. In 1996 he retired from The California State Trade and Commerce Agency where he was Senior Economist, Office of Economic Research. In retirement he is keeping his Hasselblad handy and spending more time on his photography business.

His work can currently be seen at The Artists' Collaborative Gallery in Old Sacramento, The Avid Reader Bookstores (Sacramento and Davis) and The Sea Ranch Village Store. He annually exhibits and sells at the Davis Art Center Holiday Sale. At Art in the Redwoods he has received Best in Show, Judges Award for Artistry, and awards for illustrating ocean environmental preservation.

Ray talks about his work: "My favorite photographic subjects are California landscapes and flowers. I use a Hasselblad medium format camera and a 35 mm Canon. The resulting prints are mounted on folded cardstock for photocards, or matted and framed for hanging. Some of the larger images are printed digitally. There will be many scenes from The Sea Ranch, most taken within walking distance of our vacation home.

The Dolphin Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call 884-3896 for more information.