Tom Eckles, Photography and Mendocino Inland Ceramic Artists (MICA), Ceramics

Dolphin Gallery Exhibit of photography by Tom Eckles and ceramics by the Mendocino Inland Clay Artists (MICA)

Dolphin Gallery Exhibit

Opening Reception Saturday, September 5, 5 p.m to 7 p.m. Exhibit remains through Tuesday, September 29

Dolphin Gallery


The September 2015 exhibit at The Dolphin Gallery features Tom Eckles and the Mendocino Inland Ceramic Artists. The opening night reception is on Saturday, September 5 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the show runs through Tuesday, September 29.

Tom Eckles Dolphin Gallery September 2015 image 1Tom Eckles

 One word that appropriately describes Tom Eckles’ photography is “integrity.” He always provides a pure image for the viewer. In the era of digital photography where alterations of all sorts are available with one keystroke of a computer, it is refreshing to know the images are unaltered.

He says, “I do not employ filters to alter color. I avoid manipulations of the images and even avoid cropping the images composed through the lens. What the viewer sees is what I saw.” Frequently, Eckles focuses on patterns, lighting, and perspective in larger settings and highlights them in interesting ways.

Tom Eckles Dolphin Gallery September 2015 image 4His desire for authenticity was apparent even in the classes he took as a student at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where staging scenes by placement and lighting in a studio was completely unappealing. Manipulating the scene either in a studio or out in nature is of no interest.

Tom Eckles Dolphin Gallery September 2015 image 3In his fifth show at the Dolphin Gallery since 2002 Eckles offers an eclectic selection of both color and infrared photographs. He believes working beyond the rage of visible light explores the idea of what is real and what is illusion. He says, “Photography for me is keeping my eyes open. Everything else is just technology.”

Eckles was attracted to the magic of photography from an early age when he went to the darkroom his father had built to pursue his own love of photography. The young boy enjoyed the mystery of darkness, rolls of film, papers, and developing process.

You can view more photography on his website at where there is further information about how to obtain prints.

Mendocino Inland Ceramic Artists

 MICA Heidi Vaughan Dolphin Gallery September 2015 1A select group of artists from MICA, Mendocino Inland Ceramic Artists Guild, are pleased to be invited to the Dolphin Gallery for their first exhibition in Gualala. MICA members formed their group in August of 2011 to celebrate ceramic art and to collaborate on providing professional opportunities. They all have an intense passion for making art with clay, yet their individual work is quite diverse.

This show is a collection of many categories of ceramic art, including sculptures, garden pieces, and tableware. Their avenues of expression range from primitive influences to contemporary styles. Multiple modes of creating with clay and a variety of firing methods distinguishes their individuality, creating an exceptional exhibition.

MICA Heidi Vaughan Dolphin Gallery September 2015 2Member Heidi Vaughan explains her experiences with ceramics. “I’ve been working with clay for over 52 years and never tire of its silken, fleshy feel in my hands.” She burnishes her leather hard clay to a sheen with a smooth stone, finding this ancient process very meditative and soothing.

MICA Gail Rushmore Dolphin Gallery September 2015 1In contrast to Heidi’s serene methods, Gail Rushmore prefers the adrenaline rush of lifting red hot sculptures out of her kiln, pushing the limits of clay with extreme temperature differences. This process for raku firings often leaves unique marks on her sculptures in a random manner. She considers herself a designer with an interest in cultural ornamentation.

MICA Melanie Liotta Dolphin Gallery September 2015 3Melanie Liotta has been creating clay art for over 44 years. She has a strong love of color, often using brightly colored glazes on her intricately carved functional stoneware. Influenced by Mediterranean ceramics, her art is meant to be used daily, appreciating the intimate quality of celebrating each meal with her tableware.

MICA’s September show is exciting, demonstrating an exceptional sense of quality and experience with their medium of clay and fire. The work of these participants and many other members can be viewed on-line at

MICA Gail Rushmore Dolphin Gallery September 2015 2

MICA Melanie Liotta Dolphin Gallery September 2015 1

MICA Gail Rushmore Dolphin Gallery September 2015 4

MICA Melanie Liotta Dolphin Gallery September 2015 2

Dolphin Gallery is located at:
39225 Highway 1 in downtown Gualala, CA,
behind the post office on the south side.

Open daily 10am – 5pm (closes at 4pm January-March).
Call (707) 884-3896 for more information.