Vessels is the May exhibit at the Willits Center for the Arts featuring the world class ceramics of HP Bloomer IV and the striking black and white photography of Craig Gardner. The opening reception May 6th is not to be missed.

HP Bloomer grew up in central Texas and has honed his craft nation-wide including receiving a Doctoral Fellowship at the University of North Texas Toulouse Graduate School. He lived in Colorado after receiving his MFA and has shown his work in many fine gallery’s including the Aspen Art Museum and the Harvey/Meadows Artstream Gallery. HP Bloomer is currently an Artist in Residence at the Cobb Mountain Art and Ecology Project. Bloomer mentions that because he has a background with painting as well as ceramics that his work is a stealthy way to bring art into peoples everyday lives.

Craig Gardner’s main focus in photography is called “Bodyscapes” similar to landscaping photography. “It’s all about the curves of light and shadows. You look at landscapes and you see highs and lows, darks and lights that are really amazing”, he said. “I see these same features in the human body”. “I would like people to see nudity as something beautiful and natural and this is what I try to capture in my photos”. To Gardner lighting and manipulating that light to make his subjects a beautiful art form is the most important part of his photography. Craig has lived in Ukiah for 30 years has 4 children and 6 grandchildren and has been married for 23 years and started his hobby of photography in 2008.

Craig has appreciation for the female form and the subject of women being accepted breastfeeding inspired him. He started photographing women who thought their images would help ease the prejudice people were feeling about this natural human process. More than twenty-five women have wanted to be part of this show. They want people to feel that it’s ok, its natural and it serves a very important purpose, nurturing their babies. “Some women are told that their bodies are ruined by pregnancy”, says Gardner “ That is not true, their bodies are different but still beautiful.” Gardner adds that many of his subjects have never modeled before. Some were nervous at first but once they saw the images they were at ease. This show is best for mature audiences.

Come see both of these fine artists at the opening May 6th. Romi’s BBQ is generously providing refreshments for the evening. The 6:00pm Members Hour will include a conversation with the artists.

Willits Center For The Arts Winter Gallery hours are: Wednesday - Sunday 11-5pm