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A Beautiful Life 

Roger Cinnamond's paintings at Westhaven Gallery

click to enlarge Alignment of the Forces serigraph by Roger Cinnamond.

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Alignment of the Forces serigraph by Roger Cinnamond.

When you walk into the gallery, the first thing you notice is the colors — every hue in the spectrum represented. As you stand at a distance and take in multiple pieces at once, there is a momentary sense of being in the middle of a prism, light refracting in a rainbow around you. Suddenly, a specific work catches your eye and you step closer, drawn in by an image that speaks to you. As you focus, the details become clearer, each layer revealing itself to compose a story for you to interpret. The work is abstract and immersive. Each piece speaks and what you take away from a first viewing may not be what you gain from your second. Such is the gift of the late artist and educator Roger Cinnamond's work, on display now through April at the Westhaven Center for the Arts. The show, Remembering Roger is made possible through the generous donation of over 150 of the artist's works by his wife Jane Cinnamond.

Speaking with Jane by phone, she describes Roger as someone who was "always involved with the creative process." In each of their homes, including a beloved property in Hawkins Bar, the couple shared an art studio where he spent much of his time. However, it was with his students during his 38 years of teaching that he did much of his work. He was a passionate educator, inspiring students not only at Arcata and McKinleyville high schools, College of the Redwoods and Humboldt State University, but also through his support of the children's art calendar produced by the Friends of the Redwood Libraries. Roger was a passionate creator, working in multiple media, including photography, acrylic and serigraphy (screen printing, with a separate screen for each color in the image). A favorite medium was narrative collage. In his later years, Jane says, much of his work took on a spiritual theme.

Ann Anderson of Westhaven Center for the Arts explains how this showing of Roger's work came about through a series of conversations with Jane during their painting group. Jane donated a large and diverse collection of Roger's work. A few pieces will ultimately find homes in the permanent collection of the Morris Graves Museum, but the majority of pieces are available to the public for suggested donations ranging from $20 to over $100 for some larger works. Ann makes specific note of the variety of the pieces in both subject and size; everything from detailed colored pencil drawings to abstract collage, with some pieces as large as 3-feet square. One included work is a serigraph entitled "The Alignment of the Forces." From a distance, it evokes primary colors and sacred geometry. Upon closer review, further layers are revealed: a hand holding a staff, a stegosaurus, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Wonder Woman. Rather than overwhelming, it is bright, captivating and engaging. It is art you want to spend more time with, to share with friends so you can learn what they see.

This special show runs through the end of April and is an opportunity for friends and former students to remember Roger and the deep impact he had on the community. For those who did not have the pleasure of knowing him, it is a beautiful introduction to his impressive body of work. The funds raised from the donations will go to support the Westhaven Center for the Arts, which is a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization.

Westhaven Center for the Arts is located at 501 South Westhaven Drive in Trinidad. The gallery is open Friday through Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information call 677-9493 or visit www.westhavencenter.org.

Interested in writing for Art Beat? Send an email and writing sample to jennifer@northcoastjournal.com.

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About The Author

Kate Haley

Bio:
Dog mom, amateur photographer, and theatre kid, Kate Haley is currently working towards her degree in critical race, gender and sexuality studies at Humboldt State University.

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