.Recent Mill Valley Art Installation Moves to Gallery Route One

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Last fall, visitors to Depot Plaza in downtown Mill Valley were greeted with an inquisitive art installation.

Titled “Perspectives: Past, Present, Future,” the installation seemed like a simple community building project. Three freestanding doors appeared in the plaza and the public painted and wrote on them.

Yet, the project served as a timely and visually striking statement on systematic racism in the North Bay. After sitting in the Depot Plaza for four months, the art installation is finding a new home.

Created by the Introverts Collective, “Perspectives: Past, Present, Future” opens in the Project Space at Gallery Route One in Point Reyes Station on Feb. 20

The Introverts Collective designed “Perspectives” as an interactive way to highlight Black history and Black portraiture in Marin County.

The doors served as a metaphor to view systematic racism through the three perspectives of the past, the present, and the future. Each door features a simple sketch on the front painted by the community last Labor Day weekend. The back side of each door posed a question, and community members were invited to write their answers.

Over the course of the four-month installation, “Perspectives” created many powerful and productive conversations on race and racism. Now, the exhibition at Gallery Route One will tell the story of the project’s inception and creation. In addition, the exhibit will focus on the interpersonal processes of the Introverts Collective.

The four artists that make up the core of the Introverts Collective are founder Zoe Fry, who lives and works in Mill Valley; Naima S. Dean, co-chair of the Mill Valley Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force; and Bay Area artists Winona Nadine Lewis and Sharon Virtue.

The Introverts Collective recently received a grant from the Rex Foundation to build new doors for Marin City. Beyond that, collective has plans for artistic doors throughout Marin County to continue creating dialog around racial justice.

Teatro / Moto

In addition to the “Perspectives” installation, Gallery Route One is hosting a new exhibition, “Teatro / Moto: Photographs on Paper and Silk,” from member artist and local photographer Charles Anselmo that features images from his trips to Havana, Cuba.

Anselmo has produced bodies of work based upon industrial complexes before. He has documented post-Katrina New Orleans and the derelict military bases of Marin County.

Over the course of twenty years and more than seventy visits to Cuba, Anselmo has captured Havana’s unique historical-architectural heritage. One spot in particular intrigued Anselmo; an abandoned hundred-year old theater.

“Nestled behind the extraordinary Baroque beauty of Havana’s restored Gran Teatro is the smaller, roofless Teatro Campoamor,” Anselmo writes in his artist statement. “For fifteen years I had walked by this remarkable relic, unable to enter due to its barricades and boarded doors. One oppressively humid day in July, 2017, I met the caretaker who had been living in the theater for twenty-four years in what had been a coat-check room. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the inner edifice, so magically overtaken by lichen and vines, its wooden stage turned into soil by many seasons of rain. Fifteen-foot tropical palms had been gifted to this interior from seeds driven by the hurricane winds of previous years, the gold gilt peeling from sensuously ornate plasterwork.”

“Teatro / Moto” displays in Gallery Route One alongside the “Perspectives” installation and an exhibit by sculptor Joe Fox Feb. 20 through March 28. A virtual opening reception takes place Sunday, Feb. 21, at 3pm at Galleryrouteone.org.

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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