Shared Lives, Shared Work

May 1, 2021

After a long period of isolation, we feel the bonds that have held with a special intensity. Each Partner has invited another artist to show with us in our virtual space because of some particular connection we feel: being children together, having a family relationship, a friendship, use of similar subjects or materials in our work. The connection speaks of a respect and appreciation for the chosen artist’s work. – Miriam Davis

Rachel Binah with Martha Kerr

Left: Bird TV – with Murmuration and Rooster by Rachel Binah
Right: Empty Tank by Martha Kerr

My paper and mixed media construction, Bird TV – with Murmuration and Rooster, is a compilation of farm images. My cousin Martha Kerr’s photograph is a portrait detail of a deserted truck she found on an Oregon road partially overtaken by rust and opportunistic weed. Three parts of this photograph were incorporated into my construction. Although the works are distinctly different, both of our pieces meld similar textural contrasts found in nature and on abandoned objects.

Kathy Carl with Becky Bowen

Left: Pudding Creek Bloom by Kathy Carl
Right: Down on Pudding Creek by Becky Bowen

A close friendship grew from our 15-year connection at the weekly sessions with the Mendocino Figure Drawing Collective (mfdc.com). During the pandemic, our encounters moved outdoors—I on my bicycle and Becky birdwatching along the haul road in MacKerricher State Park. Becky’s painterly Great Egret photograph and my interpretive solarplate print were both inspired by the reflections viewed from the Pudding Creek Trestle. Proceeds from the sale of Becky's photo will be donated to the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society’s conservation program SaveOurShorebirds.

Mina Cohen with Carol Mangan

Left: Laces by Mina Cohen
Right: Floating World by Carol Mangan

Carol Mangan (artificial-art.com) and I have known each other since the 1970s, when art in Sacramento was vibrant. We studied with artists such as Bill Allen, Joan Moment, Oliver Jackson, and Carlos Villa. Carol now lives in the Netherlands, but the past year has brought us closer online. Both works here are a result of our current state of mind. I have repurposed older work, and Carol is expressing the nebulousness of the times.

Miriam Davis with Ren Riley

Left: Echo by Miriam Davis
Right: Housetop Variation by Ren Riley

Ren Riley is a fabric artist who uses quilting techniques in unusual and striking ways. Her work can be seen at renriley.com and africanamericanquilts.net. She is energetic and lots of fun to be around. She and I both often use grid structures, evident or implied, and interfere with their regularity. Her work materials are vintage fabrics, and mine are wire and found objects.

Karen Fenley with Karen Urbanek

Left: Out of the Blue by Karen Fenley
Right: Edge by Karen Urbanek

I invited former Partner Karen Urbanek to be part of our Connected exhibit. As a Partner, Karen did beautiful felted silk wall reliefs, as well as encaustic paintings and pastel drawings. We chose the ocean as our image theme, because it was the big draw that brought us to this community. Karen now lives in Oakland and is a renowned Chocolatier. See her at flyingnoir.net.

Pamela Hahn with Caitlin Hahn

Left: Beyond the Blue by Pamela Hahn
Right: Awoken by Moonlight by Caitlin Hahn

I am connected to Caitlin because she is my daughter and also through art. We live near each other so we were able to share a studio space. We thought we would work on each other’s pieces, but ended up working side by side. We were inspired by and learned from each other. We had fun.

Carolyn King with Marc Yasskin

Left: Our Fragile World by Carolyn King
Right: Tidal Remnants by Marc Yasskin

I invited my partner Marc Yasskin. We both share a love of nature and the forms we see within its bounty. Marc photographs their interesting textures and shapes and I build sculptures that incorporate various natural materials I find.

Kristin Otwell with Suzanne Otwell Nègre

Left: Symbiosis by Kristin Otwell
Right: Pendant by Suzanne Otwell Nègre

I invited my sister, Suzanne Otwell Nègre, to join me in this show. She is a jeweler who has lived and worked in France for over 40 years. I was inspired to create a watercolor that mimics the lovely 3 dimensional forms she has created in many of her jewelry pieces. The title of my painting, Symbiosis, describes our connection: one of mutual appreciation, support and the shared joy of making art.

Arlene Reiss with Marianne Mitchell

Left: Deep Down II by Arlene Reiss
Right: Deep Listen by Marianne Mitchell

I met Marianne Mitchell (mariannemitchell.com) through my work as the Fine Art Coordinator at the Mendocino Art Center. I immediately felt a strong connection to her work, and as a result of speaking with her numerous times, I also feel connected to her as a person and to her philosophy about making art.

Carolyn Schneider with Bonnie Hull

Left: Lake Michigan in Winter by Carolyn Schneider
Right: Lightening Over the Lake by Bonnie Hull

Bonnie (@artistsatthemissionmill) and I met in art class, and in those days two 13-year-olds could take the El into Chicago from the suburbs, all alone. We did. We had Lake Michigan, big thunderstorms, big snowstorms, the Art Institute, reading, questions about growing up and wondering if we would. We did. We came West. We missed each other in passing and then found each other again. We grew into artists. Then into old artists, still reaching into the bag of Midwest memories.

Virginia Sharkey with Terry Church

Left: 14th Month Noon by Virginia Sharkey
Right: Miss Cellaneous the Juggler by Terry Church

I was impressed with the wonderfully creative Lake County sculptor Terry Church’s assemblages when I invited him to be in the last Partners show before closing for Covid, From the Ashes in March 2020. Here’s one of his creations in a lighter vein.

Ginny Stearns with Mei Li Isaacson

Left: Boonville Oak by Virginia Stearns
Right: Snags in the Fog by Mei Li Isaacson

I have invited my daughter Mei Li to join me in this show. We share a love of Nature and I am inspired by her Chinese ink landscape paintings and collages. We’ve decided to focus on trees.

Miriam Davis