Basketry, Masks and Photography at Pt. Arena's Coast Highway Art Collective

Basketry, Masks and Photography at Pt. Arena's Coast Highway Art Collective

     Coast Highway Art Collective's new show exhibits unconventional forms. Thought-provoking is a great way to describe the photography and basketry featured in September’s show at CHAC. An opening reception on Saturday, September 7 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm brings the photography of Barbara Johannes and the basketry and masks of Bea Acosta together for an imaginative, creative and inspiring show.

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     Johannes has a unique way of seeing the world and capturing it in her photographs. Her photographs always have something extra to delight the viewer. Johannes, a retired girls school principal, moved to The Sea Ranch, dusted off her accordion and her camera, and joined the local art scene. She soon found that the welcoming Mendonoma community included people who actually enjoy accordion music and who like her photographs. Her happy reaction: “Who knew!!”

     When Johannes began photography in earnest, she found that in many instances, her memory of the subject she photographed did not exactly match the camera’s view.   Because of her background with computer programs, she has found great pleasure in using Photoshop and other programs to make her photographs more closely match the vision in her memory.  Sometimes a little whimsy is digitally introduced.  She is known for creating digital borders that enhance the photograph.  

For this show, titled “A Passenger’s View,” Johannes will feature photographs taken during road trips both in the U.S. and Europe.  The photographs range from beautiful to humorous.  Most of the photographs in the show are works that have not been previously shown.

     Bea Acosta’s baskets and masks evoke another time and place. For this show, she has concentrated on pine needle baskets but also has new masks and some black pottery on exhibit.  Acosta started creating baskets 12 years ago, initially incorporating the pine needle weaving with her pottery. Over time, she delighted in the shapes and colors she could weave together to make a one-of-a-kind basket or basket form. “I love the earthiness of the material used in basket making and the reverence shown to the needles that are collected under the mother tree. I can sense the ancestors deep in my soul as I create,” says Acosta.

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     Acosta has branched out in the past several years and started making baskets that do not serve a normal basket function.  There are gaps in the coils with beads that usually fill the space. Acosta explains, “Creating a flowing nonfunctional basket is like being in a free-form dance. It is very meditative and a patience-type of creativity. I am always assessing and letting the basket speak to me.  I love combining colors and using beads.  As with my pottery, I rarely know how the piece will end.”

     The show runs from September 1 to 26 during regular gallery hours, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm. The gallery is located at 284 Main St., Point Arena, the little red building with the big yellow sun, next door to the Redwood Credit Union. More information is available at

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