Redwood Coast: Sea and Land Photographs by Gary Wagner and I SEE YOU Culminating Exhibition

Redwood Coast: Sea and Land will feature the black and white photography of Gary Wagner. The show opens June 2 at YoloArts’ Gallery 625 in Woodland.

Wagner’s career spans more than three decades. His love of the photographic image began in Kokomo, Indiana as his high school newspaper’s photographer. He attended the University of Bloomington, followed by obtaining a Master’s Degree in Photography from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. His professional career includes fine art, portrait, and commercial photography. Wagner has taught theory and technique at colleges in Europe, focusing on the English country landscape. His latest book, “Digital Black and White Landscape Photography, Fine Art Techniques from Camera to Print” has recently been published and copies will be available for sale at the reception.

“The coastal landscape is an exciting and challenging environment to work in, as it is constantly changing with the light of the day and the interplay of tides, sand, and rocks,” Wagner said in his artist statement. “I find freedom, and inspiration to create my interpretations of the natural elements and scenic vistas that come to my view at these locations.

On working exclusively in black and white, Wagner states “color imagery for me is too close to reality and more of a visual record, than an artistic interpretation…I find the magic of light on the sea to best be conveyed in black and white.” The artist will be attending the opening reception 5:30 – 8 p.m. Friday, June 2, during the downtown Woodland First Friday Art Walk.

In the upstairs gallery of Gallery 625 the culminating exhibition for the almost year-long “I SEE YOU” project will open. Participants in this special collaboration and arts engagement for people experiencing homelessness in Yolo County are from Woodland, West Sacramento, and Davis. YoloArts, the Yolo County Library, Fourth & Hope, Yolo County Social Services, Woodland Library and other agencies worked together to provide art exploration and access to a variety of social services.

“The I SEE YOU art program connected those needing a helping hand to some vital services with compassion, understanding and empathy. I got to know some very talented folks who touched my heart, and I expect that time spent listening to them will help them be successful in the future,“ said Kristen Cline, of the Yolo County Department of Health & Human Services, Homeless program clinical supervisor.

Beginning at Yolo County’s Davis Branch Public Library, and moving to the West Sacramento Branch Library last year, the program recently concluded at the Fourth & Hope homeless shelter in Woodland.

“The clients have shared with me the excitement and joy the art class has brought to them over these weeks, and some of them will have their art in the show – it was a great opportunity to reach out to the community and share a fun activity,” said Charlotte Baur, Fourth & Hope lead case manager.

The artwork in the show includes pastel drawings, prints, 3-D work, masks, watercolor, and painting. Teaching artists Melissa Uroff, Mary Anne Kirsch, Andrea Ross, and Jim Vetter are expected to attend the reception along with those who created the artwork. All of the artwork will be for sale (cash only) with proceeds going to the artists and the program.

Both exhibitions open June 2 and continue through June 30. A meet the artists reception is planned for 5:30 – 8 p.m. Friday, June 2, during the downtown Woodland First Friday Art Walk. Musician Julie Dachtler will be playing the piano during the reception 5:30-7:30 p.m. and gallery sponsor, Matchbook Winery will be providing the wine for tasting. YoloArts board member, Susan Lord Bovey, will be the reception’s host.

Gallery 625 is located at 625 Court Street in Woodland, in Yolo County’s Erwin Meier Administration building and is open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., and by appointment. For more information contact YoloArts at 530-309-6464.