The llamas will be back at CSAC during the August 11th Sonora’s 2nd Saturday ART NIGHT!
Pop in to our gallery at 193 S. Washington St between 5PM & 8PM to meet these woolly Camel Cousins! Enjoy the beautiful Andean textiles, realia of the region while simultaneously experiencing the exquisite weavings of the Mother Lode Weavers & Spinners Guild.
More than six months ago, artist Joy Severin brought an incredibly unique idea to Central Sierra Arts Council: To host a special exhibition about a very remote part of the world. One might expect a bit of reluctance at first. The show isn’t about our area. It’s a bit out of the ordinary, quite esoteric. Why would CSAC take this on?
But instead our local arts council and its creative executive director, Connie O’Connor-Gahagan, saw the hidden potential of this out-of-the-ordinary endeavor. Once everyone met the exhibition’s lead content researchers, George Caldwell, his wife Christine and Columbia College art professor/photographer Laurie Sylwester, CSAC recognized not only the artistic merit, but also the social relevance of this project. ”When you see the faces, the images and the beautiful textiles, we knew we had to share this cultural wealth with our community,” O’Connor-Gahagan notes. “And remember, this part of Peru is very similar to the Sierra Nevada: Deep cut mountains with centuries of mining history and a rugged life. The local connection is there. Part of CSAC’s mission is to educate our citizens through the arts. What a wonderful opportunity to do just that!” In addition, CSAC is proud to highlight many local artists in this exhibition. From photographers to storytellers to weavers and spinners, many local artists are involved in “Woven Arts of the Andes: The Fabric of a Culture.”
When asked to sum up the mood of last Saturday evening’s reception, Connie said, ”The culmination of a lot of hard work and many hours by the ANDES committee was a grand celebration of the arts community.” With delight O’Connor-Gahagan added, ”A throng of exhibit viewers attended, but TWO of George and Christine Caldwell’s LLAMAS had starring roles!”
And, the exhibition is receiving rave reviews. “We encourage everyone to stop by the gallery to experience this compelling visit to the Andes via this exhibit!” exclaims O’Connor-Gahagan. And there will be plenty to do and experience during the Andes Show. Weekends in August and September will also be filled with demonstrations by the Mother Lode Weavers & Spinners Guild. There will be lectures and slide shows by Caldwell and photographer and Columbia College art professor Sylwester. Not long ago the two traveled to Peru together to learn more and to ultimately prepare for this exhibition.
Recently readers learned about efforts by new Sonora resident Laurie Livingston, but who else has had a hand in creating this dynamic show? Along with Livingston, three other CSAC Board of Directors members dug in to help: Involved every inch of the way in curating this exhibition has been graphics designer and fine arts illustrator John Lytle. Back in the CSAC fold after a 10-year absence, Lytle has a history of being a tireless long-time supporter of CSAC. The organization is very grateful to have his expertise, his fine eye and his passion for the arts back in a strong leadership position.
Along with John and Laurie, the third co-curator has been the fun and charming Deb Mier. Meir brings her creative spirit as an artist/painter, as well as her own deep regard for the people of the Andes. Throughout the preparations for the “Woven Arts of the Andes: The Fabric of a Culture,” Meir has offered not only strong organizational insight, but also her talented sense of design. Meir recently joined CSAC’s Advisory Council, and already she is making valuable contributions to the strength of Tuolumne County’s designated public agency for the arts.
“And then we got help from the talented and generous publisher of Sierra Seasons Magazine–Don Hukari,” Notes O’Connor-Gahagan. Hukari has been a CSAC Board member for many years, and continues to make strong contributions by producing quality graphics and adding his expertise in all areas. ”Don truly is a Tuolumne County art treasure, who donates constant hours to this community.”
Another willing helper has been LuAnn Tillman, another woman who senses a strong connection with the rich folk arts of the Andes. Best known for her talent as a ceramic artist, Tillman also volunteers at CSAC on a regular basis. Preparing for this show has been right up her alley! ”LuAnn has a real strength of being able to span the space of design,” O’Connor-Gahagan notes. ”She creates intriguing displays and demonstrates genuine curation creativity.”
So, how do you really pull together a viable, important art exhibition? You learn how to tap into your greatest strength: The people of our community, their passions, their connections and their expertise. And of course, all that support from each exhibition’s sponsor goes a long way, too!
From CONCEPT to CONTENT. From IMAGINATION to ABUNDANT ART RESOURCE ACQUISITIONS. From BOXES to BALANCED, ELEGANT DISPLAY. From NOTES to APPEALING GRAPHICS. From NOBODY KNOWS WHY to EVERYONE IS GRATEFUL FOR THE EXPERIENCE. Pulling together a rich, culturally relevant art show: It’s one of the things that Central Sierra Arts Council does best for the Sierra Nevada region, its people and its visitors!