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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

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Jane Head (multi-media) & Barbara Tocher (ceramics)

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 6, 2007, 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit remains through October 31
Dolphin Gallery

Jane Head, painter, and Barbara Tocher, ceramist, will be showing at the Dolphin from their opening reception October 6 through 31.

Barbara Tocher's specialty is functional pottery that is decorative through simple shape and exterior sculpture. Mostly she uses the natural clay color exteriors of red, brown and black with interior glazes of turquoise and green. Pieces are wheel thrown, and some are altered with hand building. Occasionally she does a piece that is entirely hand built. The pieces are fired in a gas kiln to stoneware temperatures, except for the burnished pieces that are sawdust fired at low temperatures.

Jane Head, who paints beautiful pictures, shares the colors, textures and moods to integrate the two- and three-dimensional pieces. The texture of Jane's Venetian plaster may be found in one of Barbara's bowls. Or Jane may use one of Barbara's glaze colors in her painting.

More about Barbara Tocher

Barbara Tocher (ceramics) I was born in Oakland, California, a long time ago. While I don't remember the horse and buggy, I do remember my mother seeing that I participated in art classes at the local recreation department. I really liked the three-dimensional stuff, the plaster and the clay. I couldn't draw well at all. In spite of hours and hours in art classes in college, my drawing has not improved much. My art students used to tell me that I drew so well. If they only knew.

Like many who live on the Mendocino coast, my stay in Gualala started on a weekend basis, working in the bay area and driving to the coast for my weekends and my days off. I used to be an art, math and publications teacher; I am now retired from teaching and living in Gualala, taking weekend trips to the bay area to be with my husband.

Barbara Tocher (ceramics) My undergraduate work at the University of New Mexico was in elementary education and art education. As a teacher my sixth graders and I just had to spend our Friday afternoons on art. My graduate work at the University of Akron was in math education. Math and art go well together for me.

When I was a teenager, I visited my mother's ceramics class and made my first attempt at throwing a pot. Actually the pot threw me, but I promised myself that one day I would learn to use a potter's wheel. Thirty-five years later that promise was fulfilled. I was living in Antioch at the time and taking classes through Los Medanos College's excellent art department. Here I took a number of art courses, including ceramics. Working at my wheel now I experience a calm coming over me: as the wheel turns and the clay rises, the clay and I become one. My thoughts are recorded in the piece as I work on it. When I return to that piece, those same thoughts come back to me.

More about Jane Head

Jane Head (multi-media) Jane Head was born in Oxford, England in 1952. At the age of seven, she painted her first collaborative nature mural for her classroom - frogs and squirrels on a 12 foot canvas. Moving ahead to age of eight, she became inspired by a Bible story of Elijah and the Ravens. Her inspiration led to a painting that received 100% and an excellent! Needless to say this experience motivated her to enter local newspaper competitions, winning more money with drawing or painting than she could earn as a hard-working newspaper delivery girl.

She attended Alsager College of Education in Cheshire, England and studied to be an art and physical education teacher. On her first teaching practice, she balked at the little sea of faces, like baby birds waiting to be fed knowledge she didn't think she possessed - she flew the coop, and saved hundreds of children from years of therapy. She returned to the Cotswolds where she studied at Banbury College of Art and received a two-year Foundation Art Diploma.

Jane Head (multi-media) Then she was whisked away by a knight in shining armor to California where she has lived and worked ever since. Her artist and physical education training held her in good stead since she embarked on a career as a wall paper hanger, where she worked on scaffolding and was occasionally seen hanging from the proverbial chandelier! It was during this time that she met her future mentor, Charlene Clouse, who gave her the courage to try painting on walls, columns, fireplaces, cabinets, floors, ceilings - in fact, any surface that didn't move was fair game. She honed her marbleizing and wood graining skills with the English master William Holgate by painting at his home studio in Clitheroe, Yorkshire. Most of her later painting education came from the many art books that she has collected throughout the years.

Her current medium, Venetian plaster and acrylic glazes, have been developed as an art form after many years of application in fine homes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jane is used to "working large," so that large structural canvases give her the freedom to work broadly and boldly. She continues to work realistically and adding elements of an iconic nature to her painting. Since living in Gualala, California, she has been trying to capture the elements of earth and sky in her works. She recently (September 2006) won first place at the Art in the Redwoods exhibit in Gualala, California for "It's Heaven Here," a mixed medium 48" x 54" painting that depicted her vision of where she now lives.

This show is, for her, an exploration of color, medium and texture and has been an exciting and spontaneous endeavor, that continues to broaden her creative nature. She hopes her play will be visually exciting to the people who view it.

The Dolphin Gallery is located at 39225 Highway One in downtown Gualala, CA
(behind the post office on the south side). Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-3896 for more information.