The Eureka Art Scene
They say Eureka has more artists per capita than any other place in California. A walk around town Sunday introduced me to many of the impressive local wares. My first stop was the Morris Graves Museum of Art housed in the circa 1904 Carnegie Free Library. A jazz quartet was playing to a packed crowd in the atrium as I wandered over to the Humboldt Artists Gallery to see the inviting watercolors of poppies and hydrangeas by Karen Berman, photographs of the seascape by Jim Lowry like Camel Rock, a favorite surf spot in the region. In the upstairs gallery, Corey Drieth creates mesmerizing geometric shapes of gouache on wood. From Morris Graves, I walked down to the historic Old Town waterfront district of Eureka and stopped in at the First Street Gallery. Run by Humboldt State University, the fine arts gallery features the works of students, faculty, alumni, and visiting artists. Inside, Don Gregorio Anton’s 3D Lazergraph produced intriguing faces and mist etched in glass, while Teresa Stanley’s “The Waters No. 6” was an enticing play of color and geometric patterns, all created on yupo paper.
That evening I wisely chose to spend the evening at The Hotel Carter, one of four Victorians that form the Carter House Inns near the shores of Humboldt Bay. The hallways are lined with contemporary art, a sign that owner Mark Carter is a longtime supporter of the local art scene. Carter is perhaps best known as a winemaker in Napa Valley. Paired with a sublime beef tenderloin, I had the pleasure of sampling his 2006 Carter Cellars Cabernet at Retaurant 301. A perfect way to end a perfect day.