Debbie Croft: Mariposa reopens Treetop Gallery

November 10, 2012 


For those who missed the grand opening of Mariposa County Arts Council's Treetop Gallery, let me share some highlights.

Last Friday evening's reception was a huge success, with dozens of guests mingling and chatting. Squeezing through the crowd to view artwork and greet familiar faces was a bit challenging, but well worth the effort.

A line formed, extending outside beyond the front entrance. In the back room were refreshments.

The mood was not only festive, but triumphant.

In less than six months, one of Mariposa's prized nonprofit organizations has been raised from the ashes and is open for business once again.

It was something to dress up for, one guest remarked.

A photographer from the Mariposa Gazette took photos.

In my hands was a peace offering for MCAC's executive director, Cara Goger. I had unintentionally misspelled her name in that day's issue of the Merced Sun-Star. It was corrected online, but hard copies were stuck with that extra letter. I was full of apologies and she was forgiving. Not to mention beaming.

This unassuming and very talented young woman has accomplished much in the short time she's been with the Arts Council. Mariposa is truly fortunate.

Elaine Seymour, owner of the building where MCAC now resides, is excited about the gallery.

"She has such wonderful ideas," Seymour said of Goger.

After the Fifth Street fire in May, local artists and volunteers worked together to build a new space for the Arts Council.

I wasn't the only one impressed. Guest comments were: "It's very lovely what they've done here," and "Classy. Not boring like some."

Dove gray walls show off drawings, paintings and photos, glass art, jewelry, watercolors and sculptures.

In this gallery situated so close to Yosemite, nature, landscapes and animals seem to be the recurring theme. Included in the displays are the always expressive drawings of Madison Seamans, Penny Otwell's brilliant oil paintings, and Helen Willoughby-Peck's boldly colorful fused glass.

Treetop Gallery is at 5009 Highway 140. Call (209) 966-3155 or visit for more information.

At Mariposa's Sierra Artists' Gallery, ribbons were awarded in this year's Gold Rush Art Show. In its 16th year, this is one of the premier juried art shows in the Central Valley and Sierra communities.

And the winners are:

Jack Lantz received Best of Show for an oil still life he calls, "Vanitaus (Ecclesiastes 1:2)."

Lantz placed first and third in the oil-acrylic category, with Vickie Stewart taking second, and Althea Stevens receiving an honorable mention.

Carol Lee Rayle's watercolor of white irises was awarded a first place ribbon. She received an honorable mention for another watercolor. Second place in this category went to Reva Colliver, and third to Ronna Adler.

Lorie Setterberg's pencil drawing of an elderly gentleman won first prize in the pen and ink-charcoal- graphite category. Second place went to Sandy Myers. Pam Pennington received third prize and an honorable mention.

Sally Skogen took first prize in photography. Her lens captured a cowboy on horseback at the edge of a river. She titled it "End of the Day." Natasha Bookout took second place, Ron Setterberg came in third and Kay Price received an honorable mention.

In mixed media (colored pastel-pencil), Sharon Bortugno placed first, Adra Holland, second, and Lorie Setterberg, third. An honorable mention went to Carol Sill.

In the three-dimensional category Vickory Ohmer's unique, handcrafted jewelry won first and second places, and an honorable mention. Karen Simmons' painted rock received third place.

The People's Choice award went to Daniel Horner for his "Ice and Maple Leaf" photograph.

The Sierra Artists' Gallery is located on the southwest corner of Sixth Street and Highway 140 in downtown Mariposa. Call (209) 966-2284 or visit www.sierraartists for details.

Debbie Croft writes about life in the foothill communities. She can be reached at

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