Tomales Students Share Art in Gallery Route One Exhibit

Under the supervision of art instructor Ginny Geoghegan, the Tomales High School art program remained a bedrock of creativity for students navigating the course of the past year’s unprecedented distanced learning ordeal.

With the support of the school staff, these art students flourished at home and continued to develop a pantheon of new artworks inspired by their individual experiences and growing identities.

This month, several of those students participate in Gallery Route One’s exhibition, “Tomales High School Artist Showcase 2021,” featuring paintings, drawings, photography and mixed media works.

The show opens with a virtual reception on Friday, May 14, and will be viewable online as well as in-person from Thursdays to Sundays, 11am to 5pm, through May 23.

Gallery Route One is following all recommended safety protocols related to the pandemic, including sanitizing, distancing and mandatory face coverings in place for visitors.

“I hope you will enjoy escaping into these works for a little while,” instructor Ginny Geoghegan writes in a statement. “I send my deepest thanks to Gallery Route One for giving us a chance to escape our Zoom screens and celebrate the brilliant work of our THS artists.”

In the Tomales High School art classroom, students explore a broad spectrum of topics, media and sources including comics, portraiture, linoleum block printing, acrylic painting, observational drawing and color theory.

In the past year, art has been particularly essential to students currently processing the many emotions which have stemmed from the pandemic’s interruption of their social and personal lives.

The exhibited work in the “Tomales High School Artist Showcase 2021” displays the ways in which the students have used creativity to explore their contemporary world, while at the same time escaping into the realm of imagination, innovation, and possibility.

In addition to the artwork itself, some students have also contributed a short essay about the motivations, imagery and motifs in their piece. Liam Riley writes that his painting To Pimp a Caterpillar (pictured) was “based on American rapper, songwriter, and record producer, Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album, “To Pimp a Butterfly.” The album…addresses our society’s conflicts. It embodies the struggle and change within Kendrick Lamar’s inner self, and preaches his conscious findings for the world to hear and learn from.”

In my English class, we were studying Greek Gods and their myths so I was inspired to make a poster about Eirene, urging citizens to remain neutral,” writes fellow art student Sloo writes about their painting Remain Neutral. “I hope this speaks to those who see it, to be the soldier who carries Peace herself on their back, trying to venture forward in tranquility instead of hostility.”

“Tomales High School Artist Showcase 2021” runs May 13–23 at Gallery Route One, 11101 Highway One, Point Reyes Station. Thurs–Sun, 11am to 5pm. galleryrouteone.org.

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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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