In August each year, the big event in this part of our world is Art in the Redwoods. This year was no exception. Artists, some local and some from far away places, showed their extraordinary creations to an appreciative crowd in the redwood grove on the southern edge of Gualala during the third weekend in the month. Visitors and residents mingled in the grounds of the Gualala Arts Center and admired, and judged, and (most importantly for the artists) purchased the art. If you have not already stopped by the art center, you really should check it out on your next visit. The local community holds it in high regard and is proud of the fact that we not only built it with our own hands, but we manage to maintain it to high standard - even in these difficult economic times.
Gualala Arts is a remarkable phenomenon created and sustained by the coastal community including many of us who live here in The Sea Ranch. (Full disclosure - I currently serve on the Board of Directors and also, in my Rotarian hat, direct traffic for Art in the Redwoods.) This community art organization sponsors events running the gamut from burlesque to chamber ensemble. Subject matter is varied and quality is high. The plays and art shows are very well attended and provide ample opportunity for the community to participate. After you move here and get settled in, you can expect to see your neighbor in a leading role in one of the next plays and I guarantee that you will be astounded by the quality of his or her performance. Some of the individuals behind the scenes are retired professionals in the performing arts who love their craft so much that they continue to put in the long hours necessary to help aspiring thespians of all ages hone their skills.
There is so much local interest in the performing arts that we have a second venue right here in The Sea Ranch. About forty years ago, a group of Sea Ranchers decided that the old Knipp-Stengal horse barn should be preserved as an informal community center of sorts. The key word here is informal - it is after all a nineteenth century wooden horse barn, but the "Barnies" have done a great job. Today, we stage plays in the barn and we even have a revolving stage! There is no admission charge, but seating is limited to those that will fit between the two rows of horse stalls, consequentially you have to make reservations as early as possible. The next play on the schedule received the Tony Award for Best Play as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama a few years ago. Our production of Proof, written by David Auburn, is sure to be a hit and my wife and I are looking forward to attending. It is always delightful to watch a professional level Broadway theatrical performance in a nineteenth century horse barn that is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
Proof runs for eight days in the second half of September. If you would like to attend, I might (repeat might) still be able to get tickets so that you could come as our guests, but you had best give a shout soon, else we will find ourselves waiting at the door in the hope that someone fails to show up for their tickets. But don't fret. If you can't catch this one, just move here and get tickets to the next one. I will be happy to help.
The sheep are hard at work clearing the grass around the barn for Proof.