"Wood Creations"

Opening reception: Saturday, July 9, 5 pm
Exhibit remains through August 7th

Gualala Arts' "Wood Creations" show, July 9 through August 8, is an expansion of previous fine woodworking shows held at the Arts Center. In addition to pieces by woodworkers, carvers, and turners from Mendocino and Sonoma counties, this year's show will provide a unique opportunity to view woodprints by Micah Schwaberow of Santa Rosa. He was one of the judges at the juried Gualala Arts members' show at City Arts, Pt. Arena, in March, 2005. Jack Lorenz (a.k.a. Stickboy), will exhibit three of his bundled- stick figures. "Thoroughbred Stick" is a life-size horse with a brushy mane and tail - a horse that the Los Angeles Times reports, "seems to all but leap from its mounted post on the wall." "Weeping Willow" and "A Sticky Situation" will also be shown.

Schwaberow's prints reflect the traditional Japanese woodblock (moku-hanga) technique he learned in Japan decades ago, when he sought a color medium to express his love of light and place. Watercolor driven deep into the paper by a carved wooden block offers a unique medium to show color as transparent, layered, and complex. His images are rooted in California, whose environment offers light and shadow as sky, water, and land interact, each with the others. These works, often accompanied by lectures and demonstrations, have been exhibited and retained in the permanent collections of the Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts at the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; the Antonio Prieto Memorial Gallery at Mills College, Oakland; the Lee Institute for Japanese Arts, Hartford, CT; and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Authors Michael Verne and Betsy Franco devoted a chapter for his work in their 1997 book, Quiet Elegance: Japan through the Eyes of Nine American Artists.

Jack Lorenz recycles discarded tree limbs and branches to transform them into contemporary, powerful figurative art. He likens each branch, with its unique, subtle curve to individual brush strokes in a painting. When enough branches are put together in just the right positions, the sticks form a sculpture that Lorenz feels is a reinterpretation of nature. His goal is to inform, educate, and promote nature's beauty and to provoke thinking about environmental issues.

The show's opening, from 5 to 7 p.m. on July 9, will feature a demonstration by members of the Sonoma County Woodcarvers and Wine Country Woodturners. A special presentation will be made by the Sonoma County Woodcarvers to the Redwood Coast Educational Foundation at the opening, and a video presentation will be shown during the exhibit that will feature techniques used to produce furniture, carving, and turnings. All are invited to come and enjoy the beauty, feel, and magic of these fine wood creations.

Gualala Arts Center is located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, and is open from 9 am to 4 pm weekdays, and weekends from noon to 4 p.m. Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information.