PLEASE NOTE: GALLERY ROUTE ONE FOLLOWS CURRENTLY RECOMMENDED COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS. Masks are encouraged.
On exhibit Saturday, November 19 to Saturday, December 31
In-Person Opening Reception: Saturday, November 19, 3-5pm
Artist talks begin at 3pm.
Virtual Exhibition Walk-Through available at www.galleryrouteone.org
The gallery is open to visitors Thursday to Monday, 11 – 5
The exhibition will soon be viewable online: www.galleryrouteone.org
Betty Woolfolk: The Museum of Curious Memories
SUMMARY: The Museum of Curious Memories is a fundraising exhibit of sculptural works by one of the most iconic of the Gallery Route One’s 39-year community of artists, Betty Woolfolk.
Gallery Route One is pleased to present an exhibit of work by one of the most historically iconic members in the gallery’s community of artists, Betty Woolfolk. Her soft-woven, life-size jukebox sculpture and selected mixed media works will be on display in Gallery Route One’s commemorative exhibit, The Museum of Curious Memories. To facilitate gift giving during the winter holidays, any of the artwork in this exhibit can be taken home on the day it is purchased. Funds raised through this exhibition will contribute toward the support of GRO’s exhibition and community outreach programs.
In addition to Betty’s jukebox, the exhibit will include fifteen other works from a wide pantheon of magical pieces, these ranging from her small wall hangings to several three-dimensional sculptures. The title of the exhibit references the ongoing installation piece she called The Museum of Curious Thought, a continuing work which included sculptures eerily concocted from a host of unique objects that Betty discovered at thrift stores and garage sales. Her keen interest in objects began as a young girl when she accompanied her father on weekends to the plant where he made vending machine parts; this experience became the origin for her lifelong search for fascinating discards.
A founding member at Gallery Route One, Betty was actively involved with the gallery on numerous levels and functioned as the Executive Director for many years. In addition to managing the GRO gallery store, she also created many imaginative window displays at the West Marin Community Thrift Store until she passed away in 2016 in her 69th year.
Betty also organized the Box Show, a longtime annual event in which the gallery distributes 150 identically sized wooden boxes to 150 aspiring community members and artists, all eager to interpret their art within this unique form. Two months later, an incredibly diverse exhibit of artwork occupies the gallery for seven weeks before the works are sold in a closing auction. Her partner, Nick Corcoran, had the original idea for the event that became the gallery’s most significant annual fundraiser, but said most of the credit should go to Betty and others. “All I did was come up with the idea and build the boxes. Betty organized the artists and hung the show… There would be no Box Show without Betty.” She was a key participant in the event from its inception in 1999 until 2015.
Although Gallery Route One occupied a huge part of Betty’s life, she was also an artist in her own right. Known for her playful, madcap installations that were often infused with humor and mystery, Betty might introduce a beaded curtain entrance or, for a Halloween installation, a mysterious liquid into which visitors would dip their hands.
Gallery President Toni Littlejohn writes, “Wacky humor was her by-line, along with being responsible, easy-going and wildly creative.” Remembering Betty’s vibrant and innovative sensibility, GRO Artist Member Mary Mountcastle Eubank recalls that “Her work…was very mysterious and very inventive and satirical… She had a wonderful mind.”
Also in the Project Space:
Gallery Route One Artist Members: Off the Wall
SUMMARY: Off the Wall is an exhibit of small works by Gallery Route One artist members.
An exhibit of small works by GRO’s Artist Members, Off the Wall features a captivating variety of pieces by Charles Anselmo, Pat Augsburger, Austin Buckingham, Steven Hurwitz, Zea Morvitz, Steve Pring, Will Thoms and Ellen Vogel. With the holiday season coming, works are priced to sell and any piece can be taken home on the day it is purchased. As works are purchased, new ones will take their place. Funds raised through this exhibition will contribute toward the support of GRO’s exhibition and community outreach programs.
Will Thoms: Variations
SUMMARY: Will Thoms presents Variations, an exhibition of eighteen mixed media works which combine collage and painting in uniquely innovative ways.
Gallery Route One is pleased to present Variations, a new series of eighteen mixed media paintings by Will Thoms. As improvisations using rectangular grids as starting points, these works are strongly influenced by the ready availability of media not typically associated with artmaking, such as pre-stained newspaper, wood scraps and found metal, materials fused together through the use of latex, acrylic and commercial spray paint. As Thoms describes, “Eventually, with patience and resolve, something emerges from the inert materials that is lively, even surprising and with luck, beautiful.”
A San Geronimo Valley resident and fifteen-year member of Gallery Route One, Thoms has been making art for sixty years. Always using his hands, there is a contiguous thread between his former profession as a building contractor and his material-driven artwork. He writes, “I don’t start with any fixed idea, but rather let the pieces evolve intuitively. As much as possible, I try to get out of the way and let the materials do the talking.”
Fueled by a compelling sense of trial and error and experimentation, Thoms’ work offers a visceral response to the beauty that is discreetly resonant in everyday life. Articulating his creative process, Thoms writes, “I want each piece to have a clear physical presence and come forward from its place on the wall to meet you, the viewer. There is no illusion and no reference to anything beyond the thing itself. The driving impulse for me is always one of hopeful, open-ended experimentation and the simple pleasure of making something new.”
Ellen Vogel: Pandemic Companions
SUMMARY: Ellen Vogel offers a series of drawings in black, white and red, engaging a dialog between trust and awareness, to create visual representations of pandemic states of mind.
Bay Area artist Ellen Vogel presents a series of drawings that engage a dialog between trust and awareness, to create visual representations of pandemic states of mind during the COVID era. Titled Pandemic Companions, the exhibit is the result of Vogel’s use of deliberately simplified tools, including a rigorous adherence to the graphic beauty of red, white and black. She works by trusting her drawing hand, at the same time isolating the thinking mind so it cannot censor immediate responses. In this way, she “follows” drawn marks which are innately authentic until the process becomes self conscious.
All works were created during the 2nd year of the pandemic. Vogel writes, “This seemed like a timely exercise in trust and opening. The resulting drawings were often amusing to me and seemed reflective of my “pandemic time” emotions taking temporary form. I found them good company.”
Vogel often works with rich visual resources, such as the language of symbols. Blood cells, so vividly suggested by the exhibited works, represent our inherent commonality and reference a sense of equality and become “…a symbol for the body and what emotions pass through.”
About her creative process, Vogel says, “Since I was a child, art has been a way for me to dialogue with myself. The process has often assisted me in resolving unprocessed emotions in a non verbal way. I have a deep respect for the mystery we are; occupying so many levels simultaneously! This and a love of materials, is what brings me into the studio. Like in dreaming, images take forms that feel satisfying and lead to a sense of resolution. This is not a land of logic. It is an environment of intuition.”
About Gallery Route One:
A regional landmark since 1983, Gallery Route One is a nonprofit arts organization located in the town of Point Reyes Station, adjacent to the entry for Marin County’s Point Reyes National Seashore. Besides offering rotating exhibits by member artists, GRO also maintains its outreach programs: the Latino Photography Project, the Artists in the Schools Program, the Artist Fellowship Program, as well as Visiting Artist Program exhibitions in the Project Space addressing environmental, immigration and social justice issues. For more information, please visit www.galleryrouteone.org.