Tuesday, January 12, 2010

6.5 earthquake hits the North Coast, what happened to our art galleries?

The first report came from Jack Bentley at HSU’s First Street Gallery:

"Hello All -

I did an inspection of the gallery last night after the quake. The gallery, and its storage areas fared well with minor plaster damage to the ceiling at the drywall joints . The building was seismically retrofitted before we moved in in 1998; and it looks like the upgrade did its job. There are reports that other buildings in Old Town, which were not retrofitted, have sustained significant damage.

All the artwork was safe, undamaged and in place as we had installed it. This is a testament to the professional standards that our students and gallery assistants employ in their earthquake-proofing installation practices. So you artists who have work at the gallery, especially you ceramists, can rest assured that your work is safe.

Thank you interns and assistants for your excellent work!"

Note: my paintings are still there, as they have been held over to a new group show featuring animals in art during February. I am impressed that the clay sculpture was intact. Have to learn about their practices.

Note: Dolores Vellutini who owns the Janssen Building that houses the First Street Gallery, hired architect John Ash to do the seismic retrofit - and they became a couple. He must have done a good job on more than one front.

Next I heard from Tanya Nordberg of the Ink People, on Facebook, that the Municipal Auditorium that houses The Ink People for the Arts (where I have spend every Friday afternoon, making monotypes for a year now) was badly damaged
and "red tagged" that is, nobody has access to it, except guys in hazmat suits inspecting the cracks.

Note: we were in Old Town during the quake and it was terrifying. On the way home I found that Facebook had very current information, generated by numerous plugged in friends. Having an iPhone turned out to be useful. Our home did not show any evidence of the quake - well, just a few paintings askew.

Yesterday I emailed Jemima Harr at the Morris Graves Museum for the Arts, a building that was retrofitted, and it did well. I also heard from Sue Natzler at Piante that all is fine at that gallery, and so is the Accident Gallery. ( information about other art venues is welcome. How did galleries in Ferndale do?)

Ran into Cynthia Hooper at the COOP who said CR's Art building was not damaged, but a kiln had fallen down and broken, but that the students are planning to repair it themselves!

The Arcata Artisans had no problems, not even any broken items, and at the Upstairs Gallery in the Umpqua Bank, the paintings had already been straightened by the staff. Arcata was much less impacted than Eureka.

See if you can give the Ink People your support. They will need temporary housing for all their numerous art incubator programs. And money. Contact Libby Maynard:
TIP is a very important part of our art infrastructure!


  1. And he was married at the time to someone other than Dolores Vellutini.