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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

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"After an Age of Leaves and Feathers"
Paintings by Nicole Ponsler

Opening Reception: Friday, April 6 at 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit remains through May 27, 2012
Gualala Arts Center

A solo exhibition featuring new constructions by oil painter Nicole Ponsler, "After an Age of Leaves and Feathers," will show in the Elaine Jacob Foyer at the Gualala Arts Center from April 6 through May 27, 2012. A reception for the artist will be held Friday, April 6, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

For Yen, painting by Nicole Ponsler

The genesis of this show began while taking an en plein air workshop at Anderson Ranch Artist Residency Center with painter, Julie Heffernan. The theme of the workshop explored the use of site and story in contemporary painting and became the foundation for Ponsler's graduate thesis work. Ponsler graduated with an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College in March of 2011. She is currently a graduate mentor in the Prescott College MFA program.

Nature and landscape have always been a driving force in Ponsler's work. "I grew up alongside a river in rural Southern Indiana, where much of our lives were determined by the rise and fall of the nearby water. Those experiences engrained in me a deep appreciation for the forces of nature," says Ponsler.

Babel, painting by Nicole Ponsler As an only child in an extremely rural environment, Ponsler learned to entertain herself by drawing for hours on end and exploring her natural surroundings. Those same principles are the basis of her artistic practice today. Almost all of her work culminates with hikes on nearby beaches or along coastal trails.

For Ponsler, the environment has always been synonymous with memory and experience. The exhibit, "After an Age of Leaves and Feathers," examines how the layering of human experiences imbue meaning and lend definition to notions of place, home and community. Ponsler adds, "I want my paintings to tell a story, and I want the stories to be challenging, personal, encoded and posited uncomfortably somewhere between beauty and chaos."

Much of her concern for the environment is processed through these pieces, and that interest is often reflected through the theme of reclamation.

Ponsler moved to Point Arena 12 years ago after receiving her BFA in Painting from Indiana University. A semester abroad in Florence, Italy, developed her affinity for epic compositions. The impact that Mannerist and Baroque paintings had on her developing aesthetic was immeasurable. This affinity became the catalyst for her work as a muralist which Ponsler has done for the past decade. Her public artwork is held in collections in Point Arena, Olympia, WA and Santa Clarita, CA.

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.