Fabric and Wood . . . . Beyond Patterns
A New Exhibit at the Dolphin Gallery
Saturday, February 1, 2020, 5 pm – 7 pm
The February exhibit at Dolphin Gallery will feature the quilts of Bette Covington and the wood laminate projects of James Docker. Both Covington and Docker bring clear examples of the connection between form and function in their work: art appreciation with practical application.
Born in Claremont, California, and with education from both Stanford University and UCLA, Bette Covington—like many coastal residents—migrated from the Bay area. Purchasing land and ultimately building a house at The Sea Ranch, she relocated to the coast in 2003. She also changed her focus from 30 years of teaching and performing piano to exploring a new form of artistic expression.
Covington has a clear passion for fabric and quilts. “I discovered that working with fabric brought an exciting new kind of freedom of expression. My work involves an appreciation of fabricant and a spontaneous approach to design. I allow the fabric to direct my work one piece or shape leading me to the next, evolving as I work. I love the results and often use part of one design to influence the next. The results are abstract and evocative.” Covington dedicates her quilts to the memory of Marty, her husband of 57 years who died in 2018.
James Docker studied at Pepperdine and earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree from San Francisco State University. He lived and studied language, culture, arts and architecture in Kyoto, Japan from the late 1960’s into the early ‘70s. “I’ve visited Japan many times over the years to visit my wife’s family and re-investigate Japan’s culture and creative spirit.” During his 50-year career as a licensed General Contractor, Docker designed and constructed custom homes on The Sea Ranch, in the Napa Valley and throughout the greater Bay Area.
Switching gears a bit, in the winter of 2016 he began with the design and fabrication of knife blocks and boards for neighbors, friends and family and, in 2017, decided to stop building homes. Docker adds “I continue to do home design, but have focused creative efforts on knife block and serving board creation and fabrication.” He’s also worked on fabric design, based upon his wood creations. “My work has been described as ‘quilting in wood’. The influences on my work are many and varied. As a student of the Arts, the work I do has a conceptual component inspired by the work of both living and deceased, amateur and professional Artists and Arts and Crafts makers and architecture.”
James Docker’s thoughts on his work can readily be applied to both his efforts and those of Bette Covington: “Above all, my hope for my work is that it brings both visual delight and a certain usefulness!”
The exhibit continues through March 1, 2020.