In 2003, Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) established the art gallery in the Red Barn Classroom at Point Reyes National Seashore. Rotating painting, photography, and educational exhibits several times a year, themes of the selected shows reflect the natural or cultural aspects of the Seashore and surrounding area.
The Red Barn Art Exhibitions of 2015 included:
West Marin Vernacular: 1850–1960
In celebration of the centennial of the founding of the National Park Service, this show presented a collection of seldom-seen photographs of the lives and landscapes of West Marin. The oldest among them dates back to the 1850s, when many of the ranches on the peninsula were first established. Most were taken by family members and friends documenting everyday activities—afternoons on the porch, milking in the barnyard, play with dogs and children, picnics on the beach—as well as the regionalisms that characterize life in West Marin in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as unique—peninsula-wide ranch parties, the Lighthouse, the Bear Valley Rodeo, the hunting lodge, shipwrecks.
The show invited visitors to consider what's changed, what remains the same, how West Marin was shaped by its inhabitants, and how the spectacular and generous landscape gave shape to their existence. Even in their era, these photos read like a place out of time: the Point Reyes peninsula was a wild and isolated place to make a life, but provided a wealth of natural beauty and resources from the forests and hills and sea. In some ways, this collection is a depiction of people celebrating their own secret paradise.
This sensibility is at the core of the National Park Service's original intent, and it is still the place Point Reyes holds in many peoples' hearts.
West Marin Vernacular: 1850–1960 was on display at the Red Barn from December 1, 2015 through February 1, 2016. A reception for this exhibition was hosted by the curator, Zoe Sheldon, on Saturday, December 12, 2015, from 11 am to 4 pm. Prints (framed and unframed) were for sale during the reception, and are available for purchase at the PRNSA bookstore in the Bear Valley Visitor Center (while supplies last). Photos were then moved to other venues around the Bay Area.
"BayWood Artists Paint Point Reyes"
Marin County's BayWood Artists presented an exhibition and sale of landscape paintings at two West Marin locations beginning on the 2015 Labor Day weekend. "BayWood Artists Paint Point Reyes" featured paintings of Point Reyes National Seashore, as well as depictions of the town of Point Reyes Station. The exhibit took place at the park's Red Barn Gallery and at Toby's Feed Barn Art Gallery in Point Reyes Station. The artists donated up to 50% of the proceeds from "BayWood Artists Paint Point Reyes" to Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) for restoration and preservation of the national seashore. Prior to the benefit sale and show, the public were invited to observe the artists at work in various locations in West Marin creating paintings en plein air that were the available for sale at the "BayWood Artists Paint Point Reyes" exhibits. (See times and locations below.)
Opening Receptions and Exhibit Locations:
BayWood Artists is a group of professional Northern California artists dedicated to helping preserve and protect areas recognized as particularly beautiful and important to future generations. Since its founding in 1997, the BayWood group has partnered each year with a Bay Area nonprofit environmental organization to produce a show illustrating their passion for preserving the landscape and to raise funds for important conservation causes. The sale of paintings by this remarkable group of artists in 2015 benefited the Point Reyes National Seashore Association to ensure that this uniquely beautiful area of parkland open space will be preserved for generations to come.
According to BayWood Artists spokesperson Zenaida Mott, "We in Marin and the greater Bay Area are incredibly blessed to be surrounded by the beauty of our protected open spaces. But we also recognize that this amazing heritage and its protections are fragile. So through our paintings, we strive as a group and as individual artists to raise awareness and funds for the preservation of those lands with the hope that they may be passed down to future generations to enjoy."
Life Along the Coast: Historic Photographs from the Gertrude Southworth Collection
Visitors were invited to view an exhibition of historic photographs from the Gertrude Southworth Collection. From the late 1890s through the 1930s, Gertrude Southworth used her artistic eye and Kodak camera to capture images of the small Marin County town of Bolinas, California. Drawn from the Bolinas Museum archives, these images of community gatherings, dramatic shipwrecks, and sweeping coastal vistas present an invaluable window into life at the turn of the last century. Prints were available for purchase.
ART Contemporary Marin CONNECTIONS
Visitors were invited to view an art exhibition of women environmental artists coinciding with the Geography of Hope Conference. Visitors were also invited to Artists Receptions from noon to 4 pm on Friday, March 13, 2015, and Sunday March 15, 2015.
Artists: Pamela Blotner, Hagit Cohen, Mary Mountcastle Eubank, Tess Felix, Deborah Kennedy, Marie-Luise Klotz, Jacqueline Mallegni, Renee Owen, Virginia Stearns, Judith Selby, Patti Trimble, Zea Morvitz, and more.
Visitors were invited to view paintings and relief prints by Rik Olson. Visitors were also invited to a reception for the artist on Sunday, January 18, 2015, from 11 am to 4 pm.
Last updated: July 26, 2019