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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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Joann Cassady, raku &
Judy Pfeifer, paintings and drawings

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 1, 2014, 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit remains through February 26
Dolphin Gallery

Figures & Fins - Joann Cassady and Judy Pfeifer at the Dolphin Gallery, February, 2014

The February 2014 exhibit at the Dolphin Gallery features two artists showing for the first time at the Dolphin - Joann Cassady and Judy Pfeifer. The opening night reception is on Saturday, February 1 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and the show runs through Wednesday, February 26.

Joann Cassady

Barracuda, by Joann Cassady Joann Cassady's inaugural exhibit at the Dolphin will introduce patrons to her colorful, whimsical interpretations of fish, birds or other subjects that may strike her fancy. Her raku and pit fired pieces certainly add a provocative element to an indoor décor or enhance a garden planting.

Born and raised in Northern California, Cassady currently works out of her studio in Healdsburg. She discovered her love of pottery while attending the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn where she graduated in 1979 with a BA in Graphic Design. After a career in graphic design she resumed her work with clay in 2001 and has followed that passion ever since.

Red Bird, by Joann Cassady Over the past few years she has studied pottery and sculpture locally with Joel Bennett and Hiroshi Fuchigami. She makes an annual visit to Mata Ortiz, Mexico, where she studies with internationally renowned potter, Juan Quezada. Her work has hints of the magical realism influence found in so much Latin American art and literature.

The raku firing process she uses dates back to sixteenth century Japan and was traditionally used to produce tea bowls for the tea ceremony. It involves a very rapid heating and cooling process. Each piece is first bisque fired to prepare for glazing. During the second firing while gazes are still molten and glowing hot they are removed from the kiln and sealed in containers of combustible materials. This process is difficult to master and produces dramatic and sensual metallic or crackle finishes.

Besides the Dolphin, her work can be seen at Graton Gallery in Graton, Highlight Gallery in Mendocino, and Local Color Gallery in Bodega Bay. She has also taught glazing and firing techniques at Healdsburg High School and at numerous other venues from Mata Ortiz, Mexico, to various Northern California art centers. More examples of her creativity can be seen on her website,

Figurative painting, by Judy Pfeifer

Judy Pfeifer

Although this exhibit is Judy Pfeifer's first at the Dolphin gallery, she is no stranger to the local art scene. She has received four awards at Gualala Arts Center for her work. Most recently she received the Figurative Drawing Excellence Award at the Art in the Redwoods Festival for a piece titled, "All About Eve."

Pfeifer calls herself an eclectic artist who likes to explore different media and topics. Lately her focus has been in figurative arts, and she enjoys exercising her hand and eye in weekly life drawing sessions. Starting with ink or charcoal studies she later develops them into mixed media drawings or paintings, predominantly with the use of gouache paints. The paints can resemble watercolors or acrylics so she finds it to be versatile and freeing to work with.

Most of the pieces in the show will reflect Pfiefer's interest in the human body, while others will explore similar forms and shapes that can also be found in nature.

Figurative painting, by Judy Pfeifer Whatever subject matter or media Pfeifer chooses, she focuses first on the line to reveal her subject. Her strong control of line brings out the form. However, in her view the lost line, the one not drawn, can often make the strongest statement of all.

Pfeifer attributes her classical training at the University of Kansas, where she earned her Fine Arts Degree, for providing her the freedom to explore her artistic expression with more confidence. After her training in the Fine Arts, Pfeifer took her skills in various directions. She enjoyed a 15 year career as an illustrator and then migrated to another 15 year career as a costume and set designer.

Retirement has allowed her the freedom to explore her artistic interests and come full circle back to her beginnings. She and her husband have had a summer home in Sea Ranch since 1999 and officially made it their full-time residence last year.

Dolphin Gallery is located at 39225 Highway 1 in downtown Gualala, CA,
behind the post office on the south side. Open daily 10am - 5pm
(closes at 4pm January-March).
Call (707) 884-3896 for more information.