Morris Graves Museum proudly presents Out in the World

This year marks the Morris Graves’ 20th anniversary. With this celebratory year of exhibition
planning, the Museum’s curator Jemima Harr was inspired to create an exhibition featuring the
work of outstanding College of the Redwoods alumni. Harr invited Shannon Sullivan, a
longtime faculty in the Art Department at CR, to co-curate the show. Included in the exhibition
are culture makers living and working locally, regionally, and nationally. Artists who completed
significant foundational training in the CR Art Department were selected based on a sustained
commitment to a creative practice outside of an academic setting. Artist include Blake Reagen,
Carissa Clark, Cicely Suhayda, Crystal Thorpe, Diane James, Dominique Birdsong, Jake
Langston, Jon Bout, Julia Hayes, Meredith DeWess, Meredith Ethel Smith, Mir DeSilva, Patrick
Kingshill, Ro Lozano, and Shawnie Personious.

This exhibition showcases the variety of paths College of the Redwoods art alumni take with
their careers. Included in this show are paintings, photographs, digital collage, mixed media
sculpture, ceramic design, printmaking, works on paper, tattooing, mixed media installation with
video projection, and studio pottery. Attempting to reveal the nuances with which these artists
engage in their communities was a large part of the impetus for creating this exhibition. The
show highlights the success of College of the Redwoods trained artists in traditional art careers.
Blake Reagen, for example, is an artist whose murals and utility box you have likely seen in
Eureka. His monumental portrait outside the Speakeasy in Old Town and his blocks-long strip of
ecstatic color on the corners of sixth and E streets are two recent examples.

The show also seeks to celebrate the important creative work CR graduates do to heal and
support others in our community. Shawnie Personious is an artist who makes work about
memory and childhood trauma. Her work in the exhibition features ceiling mounted ceramic
cocoon forms comingling with projections of hand-written poetry. While maintaining an active
creative practice, Shawnie is a Master’s candidate pursuing her Licensed Clinical Social Work

credential, and will open a non-profit Expressive Arts healing studio in the future. Crystal
Thorpe is an art facilitator, working to foster the creative growth of visionary artists and artist of
all abilities through Trajectory, a DreamMaker Project of The Ink People. She frequently works
with clients who are enrolled in CR art classes. Her sculptural portrait included in Out in the
World combines wool, fabric, polymer, and gouache and is based on her personal experience
with the COVID-19 lockdown.

The exhibition is accompanied by a color catalog with a spread for each artist that reveals what
they’re doing now and reflects on how studying art at CR continues to inform their path. In the
book, Carissa Clark, an artist, volunteer, student, and arts administrator living in Oakland, states,
“In the vibrant and generous classrooms at College of the Redwoods, I felt supported,
challenged, and humbled as an artist. There was always someone to lift up, and there was always
someone to learn from. I learned how to critically develop my ideas, how to communicate about
my work, how to see with the eyes of a craftsperson. The skills I developed in sculpture,
ceramics, writing, drawing, painting, and welding courses have never stopped serving me. When
growing up in a rural community, even one that values the arts, the idea of pursuing a career in
art can feel unrealistic and out of reach. Through my education at CR, I gained the confidence
and skills to commit to the creative practice that makes me come alive.”

Support for this exhibition was made possible by the CR Foundation, which believes that the
College of the Redwoods Art Department is a great place to invest in art education. Marty
Coelho, Executive Director for College Advancement and the CR Foundation, said, “Art is even
more important now during these times of economic, social, and political turmoil. Humboldt and
Del Norte Counties have a long history of supporting the arts and understanding the value the
arts bring to their communities.”

The museum is not allowed to host gatherings, but the space will be open during regular business hours, which are Wed-Sun 12pm – 5pm. Closed: New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve. The catalog can be purchased through the Morris Graves Museum.

Contact Jemima Harr for additional details. (707) 442-0278


Nov 14 2020 - Jan 03 2021


8:00 am - 6:00 pm