Even though the doors are now shut, the paintings are down and the sculptures are packed, the Mother Lode Art Association’s 60th Anniversary Art Exhibition will live in the memories of many!
Held each Autumn, this year’s show brought attention to several excellent regional artists. “Best of Show” was awarded to Tim Mulligan for his painting “Riverlogs.” The Mayor’s Award, given by Sonora Mayor Hank Russell, went to Chuck Knowles for his painting, “Next Time I’ll Get Off.” In addition, there were First, Second, Third and Honorable Mentions given in the following categories: Oils & Acrylics, Watercolor, Pastels, Mixed Media, 3-Dimensional Works, and a multi-media group of Portraits & Animals. For a full list of winners, please visit MLAA’s website and its awards’ page.
Central Sierra Arts Council was honored to help MLAA with their latest show by providing the CSAC Galleries for the show. Just on the heels of our popular “Woven Arts of the Andes” exhibition, this artists’ presentation was a great way to bring focus back to the considerable talent of our local and regional resident artists.
In fact, we’re pleased that in recent years Tuolumne County’s two best known arts organizations have engaged in a growing number of cooperative projects and collaborations. This is the first year that MLAA has hosted their annual Fall show in CSAC’s Galleries. As CSAC prepares to relocate at the Sonora Dome Campus, MLAA members have already started teaching classes for our new community arts education program, KASA [Kids Art Studies Academy] where people are considered to be aspiring artists from ages 8 to 80!. This past Spring the MLAA and CSAC collaborated on a jointly juried art show in celebration of the AMGEN cycling race. Billed as “Tour de Sonora” both organizations represented lots of local talent and visitors enjoyed touring the galleries as well as the biking tour routes.
Founded in 1951, MLAA was Tuolumne County’s first organization to support art in our community. Since then the nonprofit organization has helped anyone who had a keen interest in exploring visual art as a discipline. Its focus has always been on the artistic process and helping to encourage local residents as participants in that process. Along with their informative meetings, which often feature art demonstrations, MLAA also has an active scholarship program. And ever since that first year, this dedicated group has worked diligently to host one of the area’s most popular art exhibitions – and as the title of this years show attests for SIXTY YEARS! And this event celebrated the fact that the MLAA has been around for 60 years and CSAC has been established for 40! The leadership of both organizations have “billed” this event in terms of the MLAA and CSAC have been promoting and delivering ART to Tuolumne County for a combined 100 years!
The differences of the two groups missions explain the goals and aspirations of both organizations. While MLAA focuses primarily on visual art, visual art education and community participation. CSAC is mandated to promote all of the arts: Visual art, but also music, dance, theatre, literary arts and primarily arts education in our schools. In our role of Tuolumne County’s designated State & Local Partner to the California Arts Council, we’re required to represent many programs and interests of the California Arts Council. Today many people are members of BOTH organizations, which only continues to encourage and support their common causes to celebrate art in any form to help provide a better quality of life in our communities.
It’s an honor to work with organizations like the Mother Lode Art Association as we all work diligently to promote and encourage the arts and the creative process in our community. And today everyone at Central Sierra Arts Council applauds the participants and the winners of this year’s 60th Fall Art Show.
And as a final note, we’d love to make an important historical point that joins MLAA and CSAC even more. This original charter identifies Helene and Vin O’Connor (Dr. Vincent D. O’Connor, M.D.) as charter members of MLAA. They are the parents of CSAC’s current Executive Director, Connie O’Connor-Gahagan. So it goes that the relationship and bond of the two arts organizations continues into a new era.