Gualala Arts logo


Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Dolphin Gallery and Shop - logo

Bill Apton & Basket Makers

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 7, 2012, 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit remains through May 2
Dolphin Gallery

Photo by Bill Apton The Dolphin presents an exhibit of the photographs of Bill Apton and the selected pieces from the Gualala Arts Basketmakers from the opening reception on Saturday, April 7 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. to the shows conclusion on Wednesday, May 2, 2012.

Bill Apton

Bill Apton's previous show was a retrospective look at his prolific career as a commercial and artistic photographer, entitled The First Hundred Years. The April 2012 exhibit promises to be as interesting and evocative.

Photo by Bill Apton Since the days of Matthew Brady, photography has held a unique place in the artistic world and is rapidly evolving in new directions with the introduction of digital photos. Composition and creativity are moving from the darkroom to the computer. Apton is an individual who has participated in these changes and has been intimately involved over a lifetime of work in the medium. His work reflects those transitions.

Photo by Bill Apton He obtained his first piece of equipment, a Kodak box camera, as a youngster in the mid-1950s. That simple camera, used by so many, sparked an interest that has led to a career and a source of artistic expression that he pursues to this day. After majoring in photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Apton spent time traveling to exotic places for the type of photos he saw in national magazines such as Life, Look and National Geographic.

In addition, he tried to build on the work of great photographers of the past - Streglitz, Lange, and Cunningham among others. Eventually he emigrated to the West Coast and opened a freelance studio in San Francisco. His commercial work specialized in people and products on location. He did commercial work for annual reports and for advertising, fashion, and editorial clients.

Photo by Bill Apton He brought this varied and rich background to Gualala where he now works in his "dream" studio. Here he can find artistic expression to achieve the best effect through editing, lighting and composition. His well-known and popular photographic essay book The Mendonomans and his California Coast and Sea Ranch series bear testimony to the inspiration he finds in his current surroundings.

The photographs in this exhibit reflect both his lifetime dedication to his art and the creative vision unlocked by his current environment.

Gualala Arts Basketmakers

In April of 2007, a group of individuals interested in the craft of basket making formed the Gualala Arts Basketmakers under the directorship of Gerda Randolph. They meet once a month, usually on the second Thursday between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. That same year, the members first exhibited their creations at the Dolphin Gallery and this year return for their third month-long show.

Gualala Arts Basketmakers Basket making is an ancient craft that soon evolved from its utilitarian origin to also become an artistic expression of the person making the basket. Like their artistic antecedents, members of this group employ a wide variety of natural materials such as pine needles, wild iris, various grasses, corn husks and willow. Although the basket makers favor local, organic materials, one of the delights of this show is the surprises derived from what actually appears in the final product.

Gualala Arts Basketmakers require one of three criteria be met for a piece to qualify for this exhibit. The product must be made using basketry techniques or it must employ traditional basketry materials, or it must be in a form that matches the concept of a basket.

Not confining the idea of a basket too narrowly frees the creator to explore a myriad of possibilities. This way the process goes beyond the practical to a piece that is truly artistic, something that is both collectible in itself and that enriches the environment in which it is displayed.

Among others, Christy Bale, Cheryl Faconti, Barbara Fast, Gerda Randolph, Jim Shanower, Mike Turner and Anne Westwater will have pine needle baskets, baskets with gourds, woven baskets, and more in this exhibit.

Members support each other as they explore the artistic possibilities in this unusual medium. The group provides a forum to develop new concepts, solve technical problems, learn new techniques, share knowledge and provide encouragement. It welcomes new members and hopes the exhibit may stimulate more interest in this art form. For more information contact Gerda Randolph at 707-785-2206.

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.