Winter Art Gallery Exhibit December 1 - January 30th, 2016
Dec. 12th 1-4pm Join us for the opening reception and meet the artists. Cathryne and Mel will showcase new works in progress during this event! Free and open to the public.
"The amazing thing to me about art is in the idea of the visual as a shared experience. It is communication across cultures, time and experiences. There is magic in art, inviting all to look, and yet allowing each individual to interpret that image in their own mind's eye. Both the artist and the viewer can learn from each other, and that sharing leads to discovery on both sides. It is that communication that inspires me to keep painting and sharing my work." - Cathryne Trachok
Cathryne Trachok has been an artist for the past 35 years. Since graduating from the University of Nevada with a BFA, she has attended Art Center College of Design, worked in commercial art, illustrated children’s books, done public artworks, and is now working as a fine artist, and is attending workshops with some of the most prestigious artists in contemporary art today. Her commissions have included the Reno Rodeo, portraits of Federal Judges, a mural at the Napa County Library, and portraits for clients from Greece to Hawaii. Her work has been featured in shows and Galleries throughout the Southwestern United States.
In the past few years she has been accepted into Oil Painters of America Western Regional Show, Salon Juried Show, and National Show. In the 2012 American Women Artists Show her entry won the prestigious Rogue Guirey Simpson Award for Excellence, in the 2014 American Women Artists Show she received an Honorable Mention. This year, she received Best In Show in the 2015 American Women Artists Show. She currently lives in Napa, CA with her family.
Ceramic artist, Mel Simpson, was born in Nelson, British Columbia in 1945. Growing up in this idyllic Canadian town, observing daily its rich valley benchland, the wandering shores of Kootenay Lake, and the purple peaks of the Selkirk Mountains, Mel knew even as a child that he wanted to be an artist. Color and form and light fascinated him, as it probably did his father, a builder, and also his grandfather and great-grandfather, stone masons who, working with their hands and simple tools, built Canadian monuments, carved tombstones, and helped to construct the chateau-style, granite Parliament buildings in Victoria that still stand today. Like them, it was this permanence and pureness of form that first captivated Mel as a young student in 1964 at Kootenay School of Art in British Columbia.
After completing the two-year program at Kootenay, Mel came to the United States wearing a ponytail and carrying his many books. He enrolled at Washington State University, Pullman, and there he fell in love with clay. Influenced by early Chinese and Japanese pottery, and entranced by the use of light, the palette, and mood of the expressionist painters, Mel was driven to create. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1968, and completed his Masters in Ceramics in 1970. Prompted by his appreciation for the work of Masters, Peter Voulkos and John Glick, Mel’s style had matured, his glazes were rich and unique, and his original shapes personal, comforting, like sunshine on shoulders.
“A day without clay is a day without sunshine,” Mel likes to say, and there is warmth in the Napa Valley studio he established in 1973 that comes not only from the California weather, but from his welcoming personality.
Mel Simpson is a much-loved teacher of ceramics at Vintage High School where he has nurtured budding artists for 25 years. Prior to Vintage, he taught and directed the ceramics program at the Concord Ceramic Studio. He tells students to “Follow your passion but get your degree.” A firm believer in education for all, Mel will retire in 2016 and return full time to the studio that he shares with his lovely wife, Trish, an artist who repurposes and paints vintage furniture. There, he will continue to create new visions in clay.