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Roy Austin, woodworking &
Richard Skidmore, photography

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 2, 2012, 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit remains through July 4
Dolphin Gallery

The Dolphin Gallery presents an exhibit of the woodworking of Roy Austin and the photography of Richard Skidmore from the opening reception on Saturday, June 2 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. to the show's conclusion on Wednesday, July 4, 2012.

Roy Austin

Always interesting, the work of Roy Austin combines skillful working of materials and an artist's eye that unlocks the particular qualities of each piece he creates. His work is familiar to frequent visitors of the Dolphin but his last show there was in April, 2006, over five years ago. This exhibit displays in one collection of pieces his particular genius that combines both analytic and his artistic talents.

Austin's preference for working with a wide range of wood stock not usually used by wood turners is part of his appeal. He sees imperfections such as checks, knots, or swirls as an inspiration and a challenge. It has taken years of practice and many failures to hone his skills so he can work successfully with raw materials others would see as flawed or too difficult to turn. The end result is prize-winning pieces that are collected for their artistic value.

Manzanita Root Urn by Roy Austin Briar with Cocobola trim by Roy Austin
Manzanita Root Urn and Briar with Cocobola trim by Roy Austin

Explaining his approach Austin says, "I start with a rough burl or tree crotch, gaze at it a while to sense the inherent shape and then work to release that form. I prefer to use natural sources. Defects are incorporated into the final piece and are part of its inherent charm." Consequently, no two pieces are exactly alike; each of his turnings has its own uniqueness.

After a successful 35-year career in engineering research and development, he retired and took up his new interest with a renewed passion and dedication. A member of the American Association of Woodturners, Austin specializes in bowls, urns, platters, and candelabras. Not only are his creations collector pieces but they are also reasonably priced. He now resides on The Sea Ranch.

Richard Skidmore

Empire State Building, photo by Richard Skidmore
Empire State Building
photo by Richard Skidmore
Richard Skidmore's show will definitely include urban landscapes at night, a subject matter that combines his interest in travel and photography. He says, "My favorite time for taking photographs is the last hour before sunset, when the sunlight casts a warm glow on buildings, monuments or landscapes. I often find myself continuing to photograph through dusk and into the beginning hours of darkness."

A lifelong, self-taught photography enthusiast, Richard Skidmore acquired his first 35-mm camera in his early 20s ("I recall that it was quite heavy - built like a tank."). Living in Austin, Texas, in the early '70s, Richard photographed student protests and a lively music scene.

Upon relocating to the Bay Area in the mid-'70s, he continued street documentary photography and eventually transitioned from B&W to color print film, though he was indifferent to the processed color prints.

In the summer of 1990 he took a 3-week photography class in Paris, France. Richard notes, "That experience with 35-mm transparency film and Velvia's deeply saturated colors transformed the way I saw. I became drawn toward vibrant colors, abstract patterns and cobalt blue skies, day or night."

Palace of Fine Arts, photo by Richard Skidmore
Palace of Fine Arts
photo by Richard Skidmore
By the time he (hesitantly) switched to digital capture, Richard had accumulated and catalogued over 20,000 slide images of documentary and travel subjects. "That's my big project for 2012 - editing down and scanning those images into digital files."

Richard and his partner, Mark Pierce, discovered the Mendonoma coast in the 1980s when they rented houses for long weekends at The Sea Ranch, where they settled full-time in 2005. His Mendonoma images are available at the Dolphin Gallery. Last spring, the Sea Ranch Lodge featured a number of Richard's photos taken at Sea Ranch over the past two decades. His popular Mendonoma Coast Calendar sold out for its fifth consecutive year.

Select matted prints are available at Gualala's Dolphin Gallery, the Mendocino Art Center Gallery and Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in Sacramento. Examples of his photography can be viewed on Richard's website at:

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.