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Art Center Ukiah presents ‘Water, the Gift of Life’

Oct 01, 2023

Water is critically necessary for the survival of plants, animals and humans on our planet… we would not exist without it. Water comes in many shapes, forms and moods, all of which are captivatingly beautiful as the subject of artistic expression. Which leads us to the newest show at Art Center Ukiah… appropriately named “Water, the Gift of Life.”

Co-organizer Corine Pearce (Little River Band of Pomo Indians, Redwood Valley) hopes that the show will address many facets of what water means and what the concept of sacred means. “I am interested to see how people interpret the theme of water.” she says. “There are so many different views about how water impacts our lives. Water is sacred to all of us. It is for everybody.” She is especially interested in pieces which address the need to protect the water that we all require to live.

The other co-organizer, Jacquie Lolich, has a similar understanding of the importance of water. To her, “Water is beautiful, powerful, compelling, frightening, soothing, refreshing and dangerous. But whatever else it is, water is what we’re made of, and there could be no life without it.”

This show will incorporate a large display of two-dimensional wall art in a wide variety of mediums, as well as some three-dimensional pieces made of metal, seaweed, fiber and hopefully some surprises. One of the surprise entries is a painting of whales by Monique Sonoquie (Tongva/Chumash). It looks like a fabulously well-executed work by an experienced and confident painter, but Corine learned that Monique created it while she was recovering from a broken dominant arm. Monique did the entire painting with her left hand.

And another surprise entry is from Katie Gibbs, who intends to create a flower-shaped fountain out of torch-cut metal, with water spewing out of its pistils and stamens. Katie grins that the real surprise will be whether she actually manages to finish it in time for the show. “I have bought a pump, tubing and a big metal pot to contain the water,” she laughs, and now I’ll see if I can figure out how to put it all together. I’ve never made a fountain before.”

Fountain or no fountain, this show promises to delight.

An additional treat for the attending public will be a silk painting demonstration by Corner Gallery member Cassie Gibson, starting at 5 p.m. Friday. One of the enchanting properties of painting on silk is the flow of the liquid dye on the stretched fabric… the colors move and blend with a mind of their own, and the results can look very much like the various moods of moving water. Cassie will have one piece set up as her personal demonstration, and another piece of stretched silk available for a number of gallery visitors to try their hand at the technique.

The First Friday opening celebration of “Water, the Gift of Life” will be on Aug. 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. Art Center Ukiah is located in the rear of the Corner Gallery at 201 S. State St. in Ukiah. Live music will be provided throughout the evening by Michael “Obie” Oberg.

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