Past Exhibitions 2019


The Sculpture of Dan McCauley

December 1 to August 25, 2019

Artist and welder Daniel McCauley of Dan’s Custom Metals learned the art form and technique of welding as a child in his grandfather’s machine shop. “I was always up there and got interested because I could take raw materials and make something,” McCauley says.

McCauley’s scrap art is created with material he finds in scrap yards. The artist’s work is nothing if not sustainable. Turning objects that would otherwise end up in a landfill into things the community can gather around and enjoy is the essence of recycling. He also mimics nature’s art, as he builds realistic and life sized mountain lions and bears. McCauley also hopes by sharing his work he can encourage other people who dream of doing art to embrace their hopes and work to see their own pieces in the public eye.


Lida Penkova: Dreams of Far Away Places


My show will present a selection of some of my favorite black & white and hand colored linocuts, canvases and painted driftwood sculptures created in the last 8+ years. My art works are memories of different cultures, their customs, ceremonies, myths, as well as honoring their artists and artisans. I lived and traveled in some of them, have studied and admired others. My inspiration comes from self-taught artists of aboriginal Australia, Mexican and Nepalese villages, Inuit communities, from Irish and Indian festivals, etc. They all tell stories reflecting their everyday life, religious beliefs and folk celebrations. Last, but not least, Humboldt County, my home of the last 11 years, has inspired my later pieces. Exhibition Sponsored by Lucy Quinby.


Nishiki Sugawara-Beda: Spirit of the Day

July 6 to August 11, 2019

Nishiki Sugawara-Beda is a visual artist working primarily on painting. Her multicultural background through travels and immigration from Japan to the United State as a young adult has formed her interests in examining various cultures. To speak to the core of humanity, she seeks the connections among cultures both from the past and present, and she focuses on tracing traditional Japanese activities back to their origins through her research.

Spirit of the Day is an attempt to highlight an oft-forgotten engagement in contemporary society—a deeper connection with their own spirit. The paintings present a moment of this spiritual engagement through mindfully cultivated marks on the surface. Sumi-ink brings out subtle and nuanced shifts in values and highlights a myriad of layers so that viewers may get lost in them and find their core of shared humanity and the core of their humanity.


Miya Hannan: Layered Stories

June 8 to July 14, 2019

For the last 13 years, I have been working on installations, sculpture, and drawings that are driven by my cultural perception of death. After working for a hospital and experiencing death for seven years, I came to view the world as layers and linkages of histories. This exhibition “Layered Stories” depicts this view. Every dead person becomes a part of our land both physically and spiritually, creating rich histories around us. In my home county Japan, people inherit the histories of the land where they live. Whatever happened and whoever died underneath one’s feet become a part of one’s own story. I am interested in stories buried beneath the present layer. 

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Wesley Hurd: The Odyssey of These Days

June 1 to July 7, 2019

Wesley Hurd’s painting series, The Odyssey of These Days, explores intimate depths of loss, struggle, grief and hope. The paintings present an abstract visual narrative evoking the intensity of human suffering and our journey beyond it, into hope.

According to Hurd, “This series of abstract paintings formed an unexpected narrative in three movements: shock and struggle, loss and grief, and finally memoriam and acceptance of loss. Rather than focusing on the social, political and ideological, I am interested in how we form meaning from life experiences—good and bad, pleasurable and painful.” The tragic shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College in 2015, occurred in the midst of the making of this work, deeply influencing the final two paintings.


Ian Carey: Blunder-Bus

May 18 to June 30, 2019

This current body of work is a result of my reflections on an often confusing and absurd world.  A world that beyond any existential belief is created by the actions and inactions of all those involved.  I believe that my use of painting and drawing strategies is akin to thinking out loud.  The process of making helps me to navigate my interaction with an extraordinarily complex and conflicting world.  The visual language that exists within my work embodies my perception of human activity that mimics our current reality.  If the free use of gestural marks at one time suggested an internal struggle likened to the musicality of jazz, I believe the intermingling of a painterly and aggressive visual dialogue now represents the progressive attitude of what could be called punk.

Punk may be defined as a cultural and societal critique represented through several similar historical movements offering an ever-fluid opposition to a perceived status quo.  Punk provides a sporadic yet constant reminder of our need to reevaluate and challenge our political realities. It is the creative act (whether visual or sonic) that can aid in our development of an emotional range, informed by our internal understanding, constructing and informing our shared realities. I would like the viewer to enjoy an experience of self-discovery while navigating the images presented.  This activity allows for the spectator to seek out a psychological relationship to the distortion of the image while reveling in the information provided. It is my sincere hope that the work offers an opportunity of a shared thinking experience, one that allows the viewer a time to reflect and perhaps find a greater awakening to the problems that affect all.   In an idealized world, my work acts as a catalyst that may help us all find common cause to create positive change.


Divine Providence

April 28 to June 2, 2019

Divine Providence features selected photographs, works on paper, and sculptures by three artists that each explore what it means to own and exploit a landscape. As a national debate rages over public control of land and resources, the Lee Running, Meredith Lynn and Nicole Jean Hill are interested in fundamental questions about how a struggle for dominance has impacted the current relationship to a sense of place and environmental stewardship in the American West. The artists grapple with the physical and cultural remnants that point to the struggle for power and mythmaking that molded the national character of western expansion.  The works question the impact of this violent relationship to the natural world and critique a narrative that was written by men and glorifies a decidedly masculine relationship to the environment.

Roadkill is just one part of the collateral damage of our economy, land use, and speed. Lee Emma Running finds the bones of whitetail deer in the ditches and waterways near Interstate 80. These remains are the material for a series of sculptures and works on paper. Nicole Jean Hill creates landscape and still life photographs along the periphery of rural communities in the American West, collecting evidence of the lawlessness inherent in the liminal space between public and private land. The images contain evidence of the disruptive character of human activity, efforts at cultivation, and the inherent wildness of an environment. Meredith Lynn’s text-based paintings draw upon the romantic language that has framed our relationship to the frontier - poetic mantras that both obscure and narrate violence as a uniquely American spiritualism.


Pat Durbin: Picture this...

April 20 to May 26, 2019

Pat Durbin is inspired by the beauty of creation.  Many of the art pieces are large and most reflect the places in and around Humboldt County.  The familiar medium of fabric and thread are her tools.  She uses them to build works of art that bridge the gap between fine art painting and traditional quilting.

Pat’s style is to complete a pictorial fabric piece by machine quilting it with many threads which add depth and texture to her work.

Pat’s art has been shown often in national shows and exhibited in art and quilt shows locally, nationally, and internationally.  One of her special quilts “Forest Walk” was purchased by the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY, for their permanent collection.

You may enjoy walking through the exhibit, “Picture this...” and guessing where the inspiration photos were found by Pat and her husband, Gary.  Many of you will remember walking the same paths through the beauty of our great North Coast as well as some more distant places.

Pat has written several books which share her methods: “Mosaic Landscape Quilts”,  and “Painted  Picture Quilts” as well as a photo journal: “A Walk in the Woods”. Pat and her work have been featured in newspaper and magazine articles and on the online “” Show # 2103.

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28th Annual Images of Water Photography Competition & Exhibition

April 3 to May 12, 2019

Celebrating years of creative visions of water, this annual competition highlights the inspiring beauty of water. From images of lakes and streams to ice-cube trays and snow, Images of Water is a fun, theme-based show to take part in or to just take a look at. Open to all photographers, this is an exciting opportunity for all to become involved in the arts on the North Coast.


Youth Arts Festival- Celebrating Humboldt County Youth in Visual and Performing Arts

March 2 to April 14, 2019

The Morris Graves Museum of Art in partnership with the Humboldt County Office of Education proudly presents the Youth Arts Festival; a celebration of student creativity in visual, media, and performing arts. This exhibition features various styles of visual artworks in both traditional and communication media created by Humboldt County preK-12 students in their public and charter classrooms during the 2018-2019 school year. The exhibition highlights the promise of equity and access in quality arts education for all students preK-12, in every school, every day, made real by Humboldt County’s Arts Education Plan.  The festival itself is the living portfolio, where all who attend may see for themselves the inspiration and creativity inherent in all of Humboldt County’s Youth. We welcome students, parents, teachers, artists and community members to see, hear, and feel what has been taught and experienced in so many classrooms across Humboldt. Become the beneficiary as you stand in wonder at what our children are capable of; the enormity of their creative dreams becomes immediate and evident, viewed in the context of a historical museum. Join us in this annual culminating event that celebrates the creative power of all students of Humboldt County!


Nicole Havekost: Massed

February 23 to April 21, 2019

Nicole Havekost’s exhibition includes works from her Sewing and Cooking Doll series.  This body of work was begun when her son was small and she was finding her way as a new mother.  Since, the sewing pattern paper of the dolls surface has inspired new works exploring the body in a group of embroidered works and stitched three-dimensional forms. 

Nicole Havekost is an artist living in Rochester, Minnesota.  Her own work is varied in media and technique, but linked by her interest in material and process. Her work has a delicate and feminine quality, but one that is driven by her particular obsessions.  Nicole is a 2018 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant recipient and a 2018 Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council Advancing Artist Grant recipient.  Additionally, Nicole was a finalist for the 2016 Jerome Emerging Artist fellowship and was a fiscal year 2013 recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She has recently exhibited work in  California, Rhode Island and Texas as well as Tasmania, Australia.  Nicole earned her BFA in Printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA in Printmaking from the University of New Mexico. 

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Humboldt Collects!

February 2 to March 17, 2019

Why are we a nation of storage units, packed basements, and reality TV shows about hoarding? Humboldt Collects presents extraordinary collections from Humboldt County residents, exploring the fascinating practice of collecting. Celebrating the intrinsic beauty and insightful stories found within the collections and the people who make them, this show examines how the items we collect inform notions of who we are as individuals and a community.

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Paul Flippen: 36days

January 5 to February 24, 2019

I lost my father to a stroke his third day in the hospital. 

He didn’t die for another month.

36days examines the emotions and ethics of the end of life, through drawings and text describing the narrative of one family’s experience.  Negotiating with doctors, each other, and our own feelings, my family and I sought to do what was best for my father, as he would have defined it.

Thirty-six drawings of pen and ink layered over eroded surfaces of paint weave in and out of thirty-six text panels that detail my relationship with my father and my reactions to his passing.  Shifting from crisp scientific renderings to the atmospherics of memory, the words and images navigate one account of modern medicine meeting family history.

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Chris Motley: Feelings in Fiber

January 5 to February 17, 2019

Chris Motley’s sculptural forms use knitting in a unique way.  She takes a familiar medium and expands its possibilities, using texture, color and dimension to explore universal themes.

Often her sculptures tell personal stories.  “Slice of Life,” like a tree, has a ring for each year of her life.  “Living Alone” is about her Mother’s first year as a widow.  “Up, Really Down and Up Again” reflects the changing moods of our daily life. 

Widely familiar in its usual functional form, knitting in her art brings the technique up to date.   Motley has received wide recognition and critical praise for taking the craft of knitting and elevating the process into the realm of contemporary sculpture. 


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20 Years: The Victor Thomas Jacoby Award

December 8 2018 to January 27, 2019

Victor Thomas Jacoby was a local artist whose medium was French tapestry. He was internationally renowned for innovation in his field. When Jacoby passed away in 1997, he left a generous bequest to set up a fund with Humboldt Area Foundation, which would support visual artists and craftspeople, and encourage the exploration of new ideas, materials, techniques, mediums, images, and excellence. Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Victor Thomas Jacoby Award and view the work of over 20 artists that the award has supported. The works of these grantees will be showcased along side Jacoby's tapestries and sketchbooks from the HAC Permanent Collection.