High-Hand Gallery showcases 30 local artists

Inspiring art found at former fruit shed
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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An area of the High-Hand fruit shed that was once full of crates of peaches and pears and plums is now the home of the High-Hand Gallery. The textures, colors and shapes of the works of two- and three-dimensional art created by the members of the artists’ cooperative bring the refurbished gallery space to life. The gallery, which opened in November, showcases art by 30 contemporary Sacramento-area artists. Jeweler Doug Horton, of Loomis, and Penryn resident Ingrid Rice, a painter, are two local members. Horton such the fruit shed is a great space and location for an art gallery. “The response we’ve gotten so far from the public is incredible, and to have something like this in Loomis is even better,” he said. Horton is a self-taught artist whose work is informed by worldwide travels that he embarked on in 1985. “I do a lot of work with silver and gold and Tahitian shells and pearls,” Horton said. The pieces embellished with Chinese characters are a result of two years living in China, the salmon motif on his jewelry comes from a decade spent in Alaska, and the use of Tahitian materials was influenced by the seven years he spent sailing on a 27-foot boat with his wife, Jennifer, and then their daughter, Majken, born in 2000, he said. The Hortons returned to Loomis in 2003 to the family-run Horton Iris Farm and Gardens. That’s also where Doug Horton has his studio and where he continues to renovate the old family farm. Even though she has painted landscapes and portraits in the past, Rice is currently working mostly in abstraction, a style that Rice said can be difficult to understand. “Abstraction is like a vitamin,” she said. “It’s getting the essence out of something, and painting it.” Rice describes herself as a colorist who focuses on texture and design and paints mostly in oils. Rice has also been an art teacher and runs the fine arts program at Bayside Church in Granite Bay. “I love painting and I love God, so the combination of both delights my heart,” she said. “My painting is … an act of worship. We sing, pray, but I also believe art is another way of celebrating the gift of life.” Sandy Johnson and Kathryn Rice, both of Auburn, toured the gallery Friday afternoon after having lunch at the High-Hand Conservatory. “We saved the gallery for dessert,” said Johnson. Rice, no relation to artist Ingrid Rice, said the gallery was a “feast for the eyes.” Gallery artists have also started a series of classes. Coming up April 4 will be a class on wire wrap, hand-color black and white photographs begins April 18, and a fused glass class begins May 17. Call the gallery at 259-4298 for details. High-Hand Gallery is open for viewing of work by all member artists from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. On Saturday, March 21, from 5 to 8 p.m., the gallery will hold a 3rd Saturday reception featuring the work of “Celebrate Romance” artists Kathleen Oliver, Dianne Poinski and Paula Amerine. Amerine retired in 2007 after 34 years of teaching art at Del Oro High School. The Auburn artist paints exquisite flowers and, quite fittingly, fruits such as peaches, plums and pears. The gallery, nursery and conservatory will also be a beehive of activity during the day Saturday and Sunday, March 21 and 22, when an arts and crafts fair will be going on. There will be art demonstrations in the gallery, crafters throughout the fruit shed, and the conservatory will be serving its fine food.