A regional arts landmark since 1983, Gallery Route One hosts artistic exhibits by member artists as well as exhibitions by guest artists that often address environmental and social issues such as climate change and immigration.
GRO also maintains several arts outreach programs like the Latino Photography Project, which was formed seventeen years ago with the support of the West Marin Literacy Services.
Over the years, the students who participate in the Latino Photography Project have become documentarians for the Latino community of West Marin, and the project often features Latino-Anglo collaboration and cross-cultural learning. The project also regularly exhibits at GRO, and the images on display often tell stories that help bridge the Latino and Anglo cultures in the North Bay.
This weekend, the Latino Photography Project returns to GRO for a new exhibit, “She Inspires Me: Nine Latina Photographers & the Women Who Inspire Them.” The show features portraits of Bay Area women who are in positions of leadership, and the images were taken over the last two years in a documentary-style project produced with the support of the West Marin Fund.
“She Inspires Me” explores the nature of women’s leadership as experienced not only by each photographer, but by the women who inspire them as well.
The images of leading community women include a portrait of Esther Vidrio Tejeda, taken by Ana Maria Ramirez. Esther is a leader and a godmother to many locals from her hometown of Atemajac Mexico, and the photograph captures Esther holding her wedding portrait.
Other contributions to the exhibit include Jessica Oliva’s striking image of Madeline Hope, a West Marin artist and community leader, and Isela Orozco’s portrait of her personal inspiration, Carmen Orozco (pictured).
The photos tell the common story of the external and internal obstacles women continue to face on their paths to empowerment, and how they overcome those challenges to achieve their individual goals.
Essays by the photographers about each of their subjects accompany the black-and-white images, and the text is presented in both Spanish and English. In addition, copies of a commemorative bilingual book containing all of the portraits and their related essays will be available at the gallery. Sales from the book will benefit the project.
“She Inspires Me” opens online and for in-person viewing by appointment on Saturday, Oct. 31. A virtual artist reception and art talk takes place on Sunday, Nov. 1, at 3pm. The show will remain open and online through Sunday, Dec 6.
Two other solo exhibits will also open at GRO for viewing online and in-person on Saturday; as Marie-Luise Klotz presents “Connected Earth” in the center gallery and Jenny-Lynn Hall presents “Diary” in the annex.
Klotz is a photographer and visual artist who specializes in combining environmental photography with fine art, and her work is rooted in the natural world. “Connected Earth” is described as, “An exhibition of photographs which consider the extent to which our planet is deeply connected as a single organism that is whole, but which is frequently perceived by humankind as a collection of separate entities.”
Hall’s abstract paintings are inspired by her daily trips to the ocean and her work often reflects the natural world as well as the nature of time. “Diary” is a new collection of paintings completed during Covid-19’s shelter-in-place ordeal, and Hall’s art documents her recent perception that days seems to blend into each other while irrevocable sociopolitical changes upend our world.
“When looking at one of my pieces, whether monumental or modest in scale, I want you to sense that the particular and universal are accessible to you, and present in every living thing, every person that you see,” Hall writes in her artist statement. “To recognize unfathomable uniqueness while understanding our interconnectedness is an underlying theme in my work, which uses light, texture and dimension to create experience.”
For more information, visit GalleryRouteOne.org.