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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Watercolors About Us

    Opening Reception: Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.
Closing Celebration: Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.
Gualala Arts Center

The Backbone of the Community, by Ruth Hynds Gualala Arts will host a Ruth Hynds exhibit / fundraiser titled "Watercolors About Us" opening Saturday, February 6 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. through the Closing Celebration Saturday, February 27, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

A silent auction will run throughout the exhibition dates and the opening and closing gatherings will have refreshments and appetizers. Thanks to these gracious gifts from Bebe McCoy and Ruth Hynds, 100% of the proceeds will benefit Gualala Arts. Bids close at 6:00 p.m. on February 27.

Old timers will remember all these wonderful moments and many of the people featured in the paintings. Newcomers will appreciate the sense of community the whole set represents. If you would like to own part of this collective memory, please participate in the silent auction.

About Ruth Hynds

A 500 mile commute

The Backbone of the Community, by Ruth Hynds In 1987 when Carlton Hand and I moved up to Gualala, he stayed put at our Woodside house and built a garage / office / shop building. I began to make my eleven hour, 500 mile commute to continue my watercolor business in Newport Beach. I'd load up my van with commissions and gear, leave at three a.m., pass San Francisco by six, do the five hour I-5 trek, arriving in Newport wired up with coffee. For a week I'd do meetings, exhibits, give talks or teach workshops. Perhaps do the Newport to Ensenada Race, then return to Gualala.

Newport didn't stay in Newport, however. One day, Jim Wood who owned a Corona del Mar newspaper called my Gualala Studio and asked to meet for coffee at Marty's in Seacliff. On a trip down Highway One he thought he remembered where I lived. He interviewed me for an article, laughing that he'd recognized some of my notecards in town and had said out loud, "Oh there's our artist." He was corrected: "No, she's our artist." I was flattered at being fought over, of course, but also mildly stunned at having the distance collapsed between where I lived (private) and my public Newport image.

Deciding to paint the backbone of the community

The Backbone of the Community, by Ruth Hynds Returning home from a trip to Newport, I found workmen everywhere, smoothing newly poured cement, erecting retaining walls; electricians, plumbers, a small John Deere tractor offloading lumber. One morning I took a break from painting, to notice shafts of light through the redwoods beaming down on Kent Littleton and his crew. I starting shooting with my camera and soon had a pile of photos, even one of Carlton and Guy Guynes planning the garage.

New to Gualala, I photoed the Lionesses marching in the 4th of July parade in Pt. Arena. It wasn't until I caught Steve McLaughlin and Joe de Witt with the guide dog, Crimson, on White Cane Day that I realized I'd been collecting material for the series, The Backbone of the Community. The workers were the backbone, and I began to paint the twenty six originals that Richard McCoy coveted and purchased. His words were, "Now I have all my friends."

He allowed the series to be shown in Washington, D.C., in the Cannon House of Representatives Rotunda Gallery and in the Sonoma County Art Museum before putting them on exhibit in the Wine Room of Anchor Bay Store. He was a true patron of the arts to me, while Carlton always met with him as a friend for his birthday.

When the Series showed at Stary Sheets Gallery (the present Elaine Jacob Center), David Sheets said it drew "more local people than had ever been in the gallery." I remember seeing cars parked out of sight in both directions along Highway One.

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.