Given the inspiring scenery, it is unsurprising that artists have flocked to Northern California. (William Zacha, who founded the Mendocino Art Center, liked to claim that Mendocino County had the highest number of artists per capita in the country). We found several galleries that certainly attest to the region’s abundant talent.
Most eye-catching at this artists’ cooperative were the lovely oils of Joseph DuVivier, which depict coastal scenes as well as still lifes; the intricate bracelets, pins and pendants crafted by Margaret Paul; and the redwood bowls and sculpture of Greg Burdick.
356 North Main Street. Tel. (707) 964-4668
I always enjoy visiting artists’ cooperatives, owned and operated by those whose works are on display. A wide range of media is well-exhibited in this space — ceramics, watercolors, oils, glass and jewelry among them. I especially liked the plein air watercolors of Mariko Irie, the Japanese-style ceramics of Satoko Barash, the jewelry of Tara Turner and the whimsical ceramic plaques and garden art of Jon and Ann Maglinte, many of which feature Celtic designs.
Northcoast Artists Gallery
362 North Main Street. Tel. (707) 964-826
This has been a favorite of mine for many years. The gallery is in new quarters, which are brighter and airier than the previous location. The Highlight represents more than 200 artists and craftspeople. Among those I admire are Cliff Glover, whose Japanese ceramics I find irresistible; Barbara Banthien, who has created stunning wildlife art, especially of birds; Gabor and Carlson, who make richly colored pieces in glass; and John and Debbie Turnbull, whose fabulous Noah’s arks are crafted in wood and filled with charming painted animals.
The Highlight Gallery
45094 Main Street. Tel. (707) 937-3132
In a delightful yellow building with a bright-blue door, this gallery proved to be one of our recent favorites. We thoroughly enjoyed poking around on both floors, wishing we had space at home for many of the works on display. I admired the paintings of Charles Waldman, who practiced medicine for many years before turning to art full time; the extraordinary works of glassblower Michael Hopko, whose octopuses are a wonder; and the elegant still lifes of Karen Cahill.
45120 Main Street. Tel. (707) 937-1234
We made the diversion to visit this gallery on our way to Anderson Valley and are glad we did. I was most taken with the painting-like photography of Jon Klein and the pottery of Alison Gardner, especially her tea bowls. The Collective has the added bonus of being right next door to Queenie’s Roadhouse Cafe, whose breakfasts are renowned.
Artists’ Collective in Elk
6031 South Highway 1. Tel. (707) 877-1128