Local artist Sharon Nickodem will be on hand at the opening reception of her first exhibit at the Coast Highway Art Collective on Friday, May 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. titled “A Collage Retrospective.” The exhibit features her distinctive digitally altered collage images. Then, on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, from 2 to 5 p.m, the collective will host a special benefit event for Midwives on Missions of Service, or MOMS. This group works in Sierra Leone but is run by two local community members, Trish Ross and Chris McManus.
Nickodem, who has worked in several art forms, explains the technique she uses in these intricate and unusual collage works. “First, I assemble collage materials in the traditional “paste-up” manner, using materials taken from magazines, photos, collected mementos and even incorporating the written word using old books and post cards. Next, I scan the composition and reworks it on my computer, adding layers and additional elements until I create the desired result. Lastly, I print the final piece on high quality archival paper using an Epson 4900 printer. The result is an integrated image where the elements flow together, unlocking subconscious connections and revealing a deeper reality than photographic images by themselves can attain.”
Before moving to Anchor Bay, Nickodem retired from a high-tech Silicon Valley job in 2006 to focus on volunteering and outdoor photography. She had extensive formal photographic training at Foothill College, supplemented by attending workshops given by such artists as Marion Patterson, Kathleen Carr, Ted Orland, Huntington Witherill, William Neill and Ruth Bernhard. She is well known at Gualala Arts, where she has volunteered her services in numerous capacities.
The MOMS Mother’s Day event will feature items for sale, including jewelry designs by Ling-Yen Jones made especially for this group and handcrafted cutting boards of exotic woods made by Burns Wood Designs. Guests can enjoy West African food specialties, local wines, textiles and find out more about the work the group is doing through slide presentations and organizational volunteers on hand to answer questions.
Ross is excited about this opportunity for the local community to get various perspectives on what MOMS does and the country and the people it serves. “MOMS is a dinky and powerful humanitarian non-profit that makes a big difference to the people of one of the poorest countries on earth. MOMS goal is to reduce maternal and infant mortality among those who have the fewest choices; we do this through education and service. By teaching illiterate women in rural Sierra Leone to be change agents, teachers, and maternal health providers, MOMS empowers them to solve the problems that bedevil their communities. A small grant helps each class develop self-sufficiency while raising the economy of an entire area. MOMS has deliberately and carefully developed in-country staff, trainers, and a Leadership Council to increase self-reliance, resilience in crises, and overall effectiveness. MOMS work is hard and wonderful; volunteers and staff have developed strong bonds of affection and trust, and have a whole lot of fun!”
Nickodem’s show will be on exhibit from May 3 until May 27. Regular gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm. The gallery is located at 284 Main Street, Point Arena, the little red building with the big yellow sun next door to the Redwood Credit Union. More information is available at www.coast-highway-artists.com.