You may not be able to visit Yosemite in person due to the government shutdown, but you can get several views of the national park through the eyes of nearly a dozen artists this weekend.
Knowlton Gallery at 115 S. School St. is exhibiting “Art of the National Parks — Yosemite” through Sunday.
The exhibit kicked off last night with a book sale and signing.
The artwork on display this weekend is featured in the 432-page “Art of the National Parks” book, which will be available for purchase while supplies last at the gallery. The book features paintings of several national parks, including the Florida Everglades and the Grand Canyon, among others.
Each park is represented by 10 artists in the publication. A total of 70 artists are featured in the book.
Gallery owner Robin Knowlton said the book’s publisher, Albuquerque-based Fresco Fine Art Publications, asked the artists which galleries near each park would be a good place to put the artwork on display, and hers was chosen for the Yosemite area.
While she had her gallery schedule set for the rest of the year, Knowlton said that when she was asked to showcase the Yosemite paintings, she ended another show early to accommodate this weekend’s exhibit.
“I’m thrilled to have this here because Yosemite is everyone’s favorite park in our region,” she said. “And the book is so well done. It would be a great addition to anyone’s collection.”
Terry Lawson Dunn, co-author of the book, said it was a project four years in the making. With a background in wildlife biology, she paints on the side, and one of her works is featured in the book.
She said finding 70 artists for the book was a bit of a challenge, but many were discovered through artist and resident groups or festivals. She’s proud of the finished product, which features the painting entitled “Friendship” by John Budicin, a Yosemite piece, on the cover.
“One thing that was a little unexpected (in the book’s creative process) was what the artists were saying about the parks through their work,” Dunn said. “How they felt and what they wanted to say was so eloquent ... They had a poetic way of expressing how they felt about these places.”
Moira Donohoe, another artist who contributed to the book, is a Yosemite native who grew up in the park. Now a resident of Alturas, she said she gets homesick for the place she once called home. She said being featured in the book was great, and that she was among stellar company.
Donohoe paints a variety of landscapes, and said she bases everything in the world on Yosemite’s beauty.
She was inspired to paint one of her featured pieces, “Ribbon Falls,” after seeing the scene on her daily run through the park.
“Every day I would run by this (waterfall), and sometimes there wasn’t any water in it, but I thought it was very beautiful and people didn’t know about it,” she said. “It’s right next to El Capitan, but everyone is so focused on El Capitan that they never notice it. But it’s in such a beautiful little alcove.”
Other Yosemite artists featured in the book include Jane Culp, Gil Dellinger, Kim Lordier, Clark Mitchell, Penny Otwell, Joseph Paquet, Marc Pandone and Charles Waldman.
Knowlton Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit www.knowltongallery.com.