US and THEM
6-9pm Saturday, August 31
Matt Beard Art Gallery
1636 F St, Eureka
(Inside Eureka art and Frame Co, same building as Brick and Fire Bistro)
What happens when you take 4 artists that have never set foot in Humboldt County, and place them on Trinidad’s scenic drive for three days and tell them to paint as much as they can? Probably an argument, or a corny joke, or possibly both. But after that you get to see our beautiful coast through fresh eyes. And what if 4 local artists joined them who collectively have painted that stretch of coast more times than most can count? Well, then you get US and THEM, a unique art show set to take place at the Matt Beard Art Gallery in Eureka.
Local plein air artist Matt Beard is behind this experiment, inviting a group of artists up from San Diego that he has worked with many times over the last several years during his visits to their area. They are Jeff Yeomans, Norm Daniels, Wade Koniakowsky and Greg Gorgas. Welcoming them from Humboldt County and painting alongside the group will be established local artists Jim McVicker, Ken Jarvela, and Steve Taylor.
After three busy days of painting, the finished work from the invited artists will be hung at Matt Beard’s gallery at 1636 F St in Eureka (inside Eureka Art and Frame, same building as Brick and Fire Bistro). A reception for the artists will be held from 6-9pm on Saturday August 31. There is no cost to attend and snacks and light beverages will be provided. The visiting artists leave town the next morning, so don’t miss this chance to see their work, connect in person, and hear what they thought of their brief visit to Humboldt.
The work will remain up for viewing through the month of September. Collectors may contact Matt Beard about previewing the work prior to the opening reception at 707-440-9375
Ok, but what’s with the donuts? Nothing much. Matt Beard put the graphics together and he happens to enjoy an occasional donut with friends. It’s just an art show. Really.
All local artists are welcome to join in the painting sessions, though no schedule will be announced -just look for 5 to 8 painters clustered along the coast between Moonstone Beach and Patrick’s Point on any given day from August 28-30. While not required, it is strongly encouraged that visitors bring donuts and/or coffee in the mornings, and cold beer in the afternoons.
Jim has been painting plein air landscapes with a feel for nature and light like no other for as long as I’ve known of him. He’s one of those rare artists that could be dropped anywhere on earth with his easel and find inspiration to create a masterful painting in whichever direction he faced. I’ve never known Jim to attempt to paint within any rigid style, he simply responds to the landscape before him afresh each time. And the results speak for themselves.
In my mind Ken Jarvela is a true living legend. I’ve spent years refining my process and hunting scenes that are a bit further out than most painters would bother to venture with a full painting setup. Ken makes me look like a lazy tourist that won’t even get out of their car to take a selfie. Miles, days, and weeks on end spent in Humboldt county’s high country, leap frogging multiple packs around this lonely rugged terrain, surviving unexpected snowstorms, improvising a dark paint from the charcoal of last nights campfire, being stalked by confused mountain lions who’ve never seen this particular species of human in their country, often with his cat for his only companion. Ken is the real deal, and he paints with a passion unrivaled by anyone.
Steve is a long time friend. Always a creative soul with a lifelong background in carpentry, the ability to craft something beautiful with his hands and follow through in bringing a vision to reality is simply part of who he is. When he took up painting just a few years ago, I knew he would have no trouble finding his way, and its amazing to see the rate at which he’s progressed. Many artists who paint outdoors feel locked in by what they see before them, but Steve is one of those that understands the task of the artist is not simple record what is seen, but to build a painting worth viewing in the process. Good on ya, Steve!
Well, yeah I’m part of this thing too. But you knew that. What you might not realize is that this is the first show I’ve ever hosted at my gallery involving other artists. I tend to cram my walls with art yearround, a hodgepodge mix of prints and originals, best-sellers and recent oddities. There’s never a whole lot of rhyme or reason to it, I just want folks who go out of their way to visit my space to not leave wondering what else they might have seen. But for this show, and this show only, I’m taking it all down. The only art on display will be art that was made over the three days with this group. I imagine there will be groupings of similar scenes and vantage points as translated through each artists individual approach. Should be fascinating and to say that I’m honored to host these guys is an understatement.
I’ve loved Jeff’s work for years and I was a big fan long before I ever met him in person. Painting alongside him at various events over the years in San Diego has been a high honor. You know how sometimes you can meet a hero and then they turn out to be a big jerk? Not with Jeff. A great guy, a great sport, a solid approach to painting without any sense of outsized ego. I learn a lot from Jeff every time I paint with him. I can’t wait to see how he approaches our local coastline.
Norm is one of the most amazing people I know. While sheepishly cracking jokes and talking himself down, he’ll sneak up and paint masterpieces, then proceed to tell you why he doesn’t think they’re any good. He’s not fishing for compliments either. He is just a truly humble human being with a great sense of humor and an even greater talent with a paintbrush. About 5 years ago, Norm and Wade invited me to tag along with them and do some plein air painting on a crystal clear day in La Jolla. I had no gear with me and ended up crouching on the ground uncomfortably to paint, but that day re-ignited my joy for painting outdoors and I haven’t looked back since. Thanks Norm!
I’ve painted with Wade more than anyone other artist I can think of, which really isn’t all that much. I just don’t often seek company while painting. But he’s been a great friend and paint companion over the years. His approach is different than mine in the field and I think we both puzzle over each other’s methods, and push and inspire one another as well. Wade spends a lot more time painting in the studio than I do, exploring several different ocean related themes in his art. One of my favorites is when he just paints waves- rugged, chaotic, and beautiful. They often remind me of our north coast ocean here. I’m looking forward to seeing what inspires him when he sees our coast in person for the first time. Also looking forward to finally hosting a show with Wade after he’s hosted several shows for me over the years at his gallery in Solana Beach. Back at ya, Wade!
Look at that painting! Greg’s painted some great stuff in his day but life has a way of taking us different directions at times and these days I think it’s pretty safe to say Greg isn’t painting as much as he’d like to. All the more reason to look forward to turning him loose for three days surrounded by the beauty of Humboldt’s coast without the distractions of daily life. He’s also driving the other three up here in an extended cab Ford F350 dubbed the Beaver. That’s 4 artists sitting enclosed in a tight space while driving for 16 hours from San Diego to Humboldt. Oh my. Have mercy on his soul. By the time he’s done with this trip, he’ll be happy to be done with art for awhile I reckon.