Gualala Arts logo


Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Auto Art
featuring Michael Cooper

Exhibit: June 9 through July 31
Reception: Saturday, July 16
Gualala Arts Center
Elaine Jacob Foyer

The Tubester Gualala Arts will present an Auto Art exhibit featuring Michael Cooper from June 9 through July 31. Along with several other auto inspired art pieces, Mike will be showing "The Tubester."

The Tubester describes this inspiring auto art, "Mike Cooper spent seven years transforming his 1933 Ford pickup into a one-of-a-kind wild known as The Tubester. Chopped, channeled, and scooped, The Tubester took on an identity of its own when Mike created a custom header exhaust system like no other. Twisted tubes spill out of a 355ci Chevy 4 bolt V-8 with a 6-71 Teflon-lined blower, Carter 650-cfm carburetor and custom billet aluminum air intake, to mention only a few of the incredible modifications Mike has made to the engine compartment. Taking a look at the dashboard, truck bed and flooring one can only wonder how Mike managed to harness all that creativity before taking it all out on The Tubester! Customized to house radiators and engine cooling fans, the truck bed is covered by a ventilated floor of wooden tubes perfectly formed and molded to match the lines of the bed. What a perfect balance to the tangled tubes of the front end."

The Tubester Michael Cooper, aka Lodi Madman, creates exquisitely crafted four-wheeled vehicles made of out of fine and exotic hardwood, outrageous and wonderful chairs created from wood, polished aluminum, chrome and powder-coated steel along with figurative sculptures. His chairs, surreal and creature-like, meld organic form with geometric structure. Geometric, slightly off kilter, but always elegant.

About Michael Cooper

After completing his MFA in Sculpture at the University of California at Berkeley in 1969, Michael Cooper taught art and design for 34 years at De Anza and Foothill Colleges, and the California College of Art in San Francisco.

He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Fellowship in Sculpture at the American Academy in Rome; Fellowship at the Crafts Council of Australia / Craftsman in Industry; an NEA Fellowship Grant; a Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SECA) Award at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Eisner Prize for Sculpture from the University of California at Berkeley.

Solo exhibitions include the Whitney Biannual; the Phoenix Art Museum; the Hayward Gallery in London, England; San Jose State University; and The Art Gallery of Western Australia. Selected group exhibitions include shows at the California College of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (including Artists' Soapbox Derbies in 1975 and 1978), the William Zimmer Gallery in Mendocino, and the Santa Rosa Junior College Art Gallery.

About Sharon Nickodem

Sharon Nickodem, photography Twenty-five years ago, Sharon Nickodem discovered that photography was the best creative medium to express her love of the patterns and beauty in nature. She has extensive formal photographic training from Foothill College, supplemented by attending workshops given by such artists as Marion Patterson, Kathleen Carr, Huntington Witherill, William Neill, and Ruth Bernhard.

In 2006, Sharon retired from a high-tech Silicon Valley company to focus on volunteer activities and fine-art photography, especially alternative processes, such as digital infrared capture and the application of photographic images onto non-traditional substrates such as clay, canvas, metal and fabric.

Sharon Nickodem, photography Although cars are not typically the subject matter of Sharon's photography, cars do make wonderful subjects, with great graphics and colors. These photographs were taken in the early 1990s using a Pentax 6x9 medium format film camera, and printed in Sharon's wet darkroom.

The wonderful ivory and red car with all the chrome is a 1941 Hollywood Graham in beautiful condition, which was discovered at an antique car show in San Juan Bautista, California. The other images are of a huge, old Cadillac covered with graffiti that Sharon found at a body shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Gualala Arts 50th anniversary logo

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

Join us in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Gualala Arts, 1961 - 2011

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