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Liberty Arts' first exhibit after COVID is 'Wonderfully Twisted'

Bill Choy
Artists Brenda Eastman, John, Uttech and Mimi Bailey are all part of Liberty Arts' newest exhibit, "Wonderfully Twisted."

Liberty Arts Gallery in Yreka is giving three local artists an opportunity to display their uniquely edgy creations.

“Wonderfully Twisted” will feature the bold artistic voices of Siskiyou County artists Mimi Bailey, John Uttech, and Brenda Eastman. The show launches on Friday, June 26, with an opening celebration being held on July 10, from 5 to 8 p.m., featuring music on the plaza by the local rock band Honeyglove.

This event will be held pending Siskiyou County Department of Health’s final approval. Liberty Arts asks people to check the event status on their website prior to attending.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two previous Liberty Arts Gallery exhibits have been held remotely online. Social distancing guidelines will be in place for this show. Gallery admittance is limited to a few guests at a time, face masks are required for entry, and outdoor tables will be spaced appropriately.

Liberty Arts Executive director Sharon LoMonaco said she’s “ecstatic” to finally have the public in the gallery to see the artwork displayed in person.

“I’m just grateful we’re able to be open again,” she said.

Liberty Arts’ hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, call (530) 842-0222 or visit www.libertyartsyreka.org.

“Take this opportunity to step out, throw a mask on, and experience a gallery filled with vibrant color and ideas and allow yourselves to be taken on a journey away for a few moments from the chaos,” said Eastman, one of the three “Wonderfully Twisted” artists.

Eastman said she wanted to bring something different with an edge that’s “a bit wild” to Liberty Arts.

“These three contemporary voices want to share fresh ideas, whether they be playful, prickly, or purely thought-provoking,” she said.

For Bailey, being able to be part of this show is special.

“Art brings together all walks of life,” and is a vital and important way to express yourself, she said. On her social media posts, Bailey uses the hashtag #artwillsaveus,” and firmly believes this idea.

“It (art) doesn’t have to always be pleasing to the eye either it just needs to evoke something in you,” she said. “A good piece will make you think, feel emotion, remember a memory, or inspire something in you.”

Bailey posed a question when asked her thoughts on having an art show again at Liberty Arts after the gallery had only online shows the past few months.

“What got you through the downtime of quarantine?”

Her response?

“The arts!” she said, “Books, movies, Netflix, art. People need art in their lives, and it needs to be different unique art sometimes, not the stuff you buy at Target. I hope people come to see our pieces with an open mind and whimsy in their hearts.”

For Bailey, “Art is a vital way to express myself in that I just have to get out onto paper what won’t stop hamster-wheeling in my head.”

Describing herself as “a pretty big introvert,” Bailey said art is a way to do something she loves and is passionate about, “yet connect with so many people, many on personal levels. When I get commissions for portraits of people’s loved ones, family and pets. Alive or gone, I hear a story of importance and love about every subject, and try to approach that with care and compassion. I am so lucky to be able to be a working artist and provide for my family doing something I am so in love with.”

For Eastman, art is another language to communicate with.

“Often concepts are too complex for words, saying something in image form allows for form, shape, rhythm, and color to be a part of the conversation,” she said. “Art also allows the viewer to interpret and customize an idea in their own light, making that piece personal.”

Below are brief descriptions of the three artists provided by Liberty Arts.

Brenda Eastman

In her new body of work, Eastman depicts a future world void of all life but humans where plants, creatures, and insects are preserved only as relics. Embracing a rich, colorful palette, this collection celebrates the intense joy of life splintered with great loss.

Mimi Bailey

Cloaked in a dark, whimsical world, Bailey’s bold, organic work is rich with detail and tinted with strong femininity. Primarily working in watercolors, she exhibits a spunky, contemporary view melding, classic stylings of the Art Nouveau movement with modern macabre. Bailey said that in her social media posts she uses the hashtag #artwillsaveus

John Uttech

A tattoo artist by day, this creative dynamo produces iconic, graphic images straight from the pop culture zeitgeist. Uttech’s bold, high-contrast compositions are infused with his passion for urban street art, and tattoo culture.