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
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
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.