New show at Trinidad Art Gallery

Next month the newly reopened and refurbished Trinidad Art Gallery, located on the main street of the historic and picturesque beach town of Trinidad, is pleased to feature ceramics artist Laura Rose as its first Artist of the Month for April.

This is a newly-formed cooperative gallery of 20 local artists who have banded together to highlight and support our strong Humboldt County art community. They have been supported by the Trinidad Land Trust who has made the building available to them and to another new business in the county, Cornelius Loewenstein Leathers. This partnership has allowed the artists to be able to set up business by taking turns running the gallery each day.

Laura Rose is new to the world of ceramics and fine arts.  Up until the last few years she enjoyed a richly rewarding career as a teacher of children and of teachers at Pacific Union Elementary School, then at Humboldt State University, and she spent several years working with elementary schools of Humboldt and Del Norte counties through the Humboldt County Office of Education. She has authored six books designed to help teachers teach reading and writing by developing their depth of imagination and combining language arts with visual and performing arts.

As she drew near to her retirement, she began the new adventure of creating pottery at the Fire Arts Center in Arcata, learning quickly from the excellent array of teachers who offer classes there. Beginning with utilitarian work such as kitchenware and porcelain vases, Laura has recently moved to a focus on the various forms of Raku pottery that are featured in her current display at the Trinidad Art Gallery.

The art of Raku pottery is a format that was developed here in the U.S. in the 1960s and 70s, based on an ancient Japanese technique used mainly for ceremonial teacups. In the U.S., Raku has been used experimentally in a variety of forms of art work, often vividly metallic in appearance.  The pots, glazed and heated to about 1850 degrees Fahrenheit, are removed from heat and placed into large metal cans that have been filled with combustibles such as newspaper. The incandescent pot lights the paper to a sudden blaze. When the cans are quickly covered with a tightly fitting lid, the resulting smoke affects the cooling pots in various ways, such as the development of dramatic coppers and black smoke effects.

In addition to the presentation of examples of this kind of Raku work, Laura also displays a number her newest Raku development of a stark black-and-white format, ideal for representing powerful ancient images of animals which she draws from the cave walls of venues such as Lascaux, Chauvet and Altamira.  You will see aurochs, rhinos, horses, ibex, bison, deer, bears and cave lions running across her pieces looking very nearly as they were recorded by ancient hands working by torchlight some 20,000 to 30,000 years ago. This most recent series of pots has quickly developed a following, and Laura’s Cave Art Pieces are now represented in six California art galleries.

In addition to the featured pottery of Laura Rose, Trinidad’s newest gallery has on display exemplary work from all of its members: jewelry by Alex Connell, Kris Patzlaff, stained glass by Amy Taylor, Mosaics and glass by Barbara Wright, Paintings by Beverly Harper, Linnea Tobias, and Susan Stephenson, ceramic work by Diane Sanderegger, Ed Hanlon  and Elaine Shore, fabric and beadwork by Oceanna Madrone, textiles by Terri Tinkham, glass and watercolor by Susan Morton, copper sculpture by Sarah Magnuson, photography by Jim Lowry, and music of Tim Breed, J.D. Donahue and Howdy Emerson.

The Trinidad Art Gallery is open from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm every day excepting Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you would like to meet Laura Rose and talk to her about her work, her next day to be in charge at the gallery will be on Saturday, March 30.