Gualala Arts logo


Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

High School Art

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 12, 2007, 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit remains through June 3
Elaine Jacob Foyer

Point Arena High School: Stained Glass Gualala Arts will present an exhibit in the Elaine Jacob Foyer of work by students from local high schools starting with the reception May 12 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and continuing through June 3.

Point Arena High School

Stained glass is new to the Point Arena High School art department. Thanks to a grant from the Boosters club, new equipment was purchased and should last for years to come. Stained glass isn't an easy task, and really challenges students to do their best.

Here's what some students had to say about stained glass experiences:

  • "I love stained glass! It's the best thing I've ever done in art!"
    - Skyler Thomas Point Arena High School: Stained Glass

  • "I enjoyed it immensely. It keeps me busy and makes me feel like I'm creating something."
    - Ryan Dougherty

  • "Stained glass was really frustrating, and I got cut by glass at least once. But, I was pretty happy with how it turned out."
    - Gina Stornetta

  • "It was a challenge, but it will be worth it in the end."
    - Ayla Thurmond

Point Arena stained glass will be featured in the Gualala Arts High School Art Show.

Pacific Community Charter High School

The Pacific Community Charter High School maintains a robust, eclectic and innovative art department. The Charter High School works to inspire creative minds and to create outside the box thinking. The art class taught by Nicole Ponsler seeks to instill a fearless pursuit of all things creative. This philosophy extends beyond specific art projects, by aspiring to develop a sense of creative problem solving in all facets of the student's life.

High School Art Artist and teacher Nicole Ponsler has been a coastal resident for seven years. She received a BFA in Painting and BA in Art History from Indiana University in 2000. Upon relocating to Northern California, Nicole began working as an artist-in-schools. Realizing the importance of arts education particularly in schools with dwindling or nonexistent art departments, Nicole began to focus on youth art programming. To this end, Nicole began coordinating the Rural Mural project with three separate mural teams from 2001-2005. Experience with these youth art projects led Nicole to pursue a career as an arts teacher at the Pacific Community Charter High School. In addition to heading up the PCCHS Art Department, Nicole works as an administrative coordinator for the Gualala Arts Center. There, she acts as grant writer, facilitator, and teacher for the youth summer arts program, as well as various grants programming, including the Community Foundation of Sonoma County's Arts and Music in Schools project.

Above all else, Nicole is a painter and printmaker. Her work has been shown nationally, and is held in private collections. She shows her work locally at the Stewart-Kummer Gallery, and will be having an upcoming fall exhibition at Point Arena CityArt. In an effort to remain artistically engaged on a national level, Nicole takes frequent sojourns to artist-in-residency centers. Her most recent stay at Artcroft Center in Kentucky, culminated with an appearance in a public television documentary focusing on artists working in Appalachia.

High School Art Nicole wants her students to take from class a sense of an independent and creative spirit. She wants students to understand that being able to draw is not always what's most important. She wants to generate and support an independent voice in her students. Nicole sees a direct link between a student's confidence and ability to convey an artistic idea. There is a clearly defined point each year where the art class takes hold of the notion of independent thinking. From that point, students are encouraged to explore media and create their own unique voice. Consequently, assignments are given with loose criteria, and students work with Nicole to find the appropriate media to express their vision. The PCCHS art class this year has been exploring a multitude of printmaking disciplines, including drypoint, etching, collagraph, lithography, solar plate intaglio, woodcut, linoleum cut, and silkscreen printing. Nicole was able to secure grant funding from RCEF, and the Mendocino Arts Council (GASP Program) to provide relevant materials necessary for students to explore advanced printmaking procedures. In addition to printmaking, students also explore various painting media, three-dimensional projects, conceptual assignments, community-oriented projects, and environmental art. Beyond its diverse programming, PCCHS maintains a sister-school alliance with the San Francisco Art Institute. This connection allows for annual SFAI workshops held at the PCCHS campus, on-going scholarship opportunities, and student field trips providing a greater sense of the art school experience.

Another example of unique arts-based PCCHS curricula is demonstrated in the Creativity Passage. Passages are six-themed projects, requiring hands-on exploration of a variety of disciplines and experiences. PCCHS Junior Christina Rowland has embarked on a solo art exhibition as part of her creativity passage. Working in conjunction with Nicole, Christina is learning about the artist's exhibition experience, incorporating all aspects of preparing a solo show. Her work will be shown at the Think Visual Gallery in downtown Point Arena this spring. The work of fellow arts students, including Christina can be seen at the exhibit.

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.