Mar 21, 2012
Humboldt State University First Street Gallery presents Celebrating the Eel River Salmon Run with art by Michael Guerriero. The exhibition of works on paper, canvas and mixed-media commemorate the return of higher population levels of salmon in the Eel River watershed.
The show will be on display at First Street Gallery from April 3 to May 13. Ten percent of sales from the exhibition will be donated to the Friends of the Eel River whose mission is to restore the Eel River and all her tributaries to a natural state of abundance, wild and free.
Michael Guerriero lives and works out of his home in Bridgeville, Calif. His work, which has been widely exhibited and collected, is defined by his interest in the surrounding natural landscapes of Northern California, reflecting his passion for the environment. In this exhibition, Guerriero has departed stylistically from his previous work, with a new approach that incorporates a playful, exuberant and expressive approach in making his art.
Guerriero is involved in his community, having served on the Bridgeville School Board and on the board of the Friends of the Eel River (FOER). Through his active work with FOER, Guerriero has strived to increase awareness about the conservation of salmon, leading to the creation of the Salmon Run Project.
The Salmon Run Project is a series of workshops designed for children, ages 10-18, living in the Eel River Watershed. The drawing and screen-printing workshops are delivered by Guerriero with discussions about the watershed, the salmon cycle and restoration. Images made by the young artists during the workshops have been incorporated into Guerriero’s art, in which he combines the children’s naive yet beautiful images with his own, in order to tell the story of the Eel River Salmon Run and to celebrate the recent increase in the watershed’s salmon population.
“Like many rivers on the North Coast, this past year was exceptional for the return of salmon, because of ocean conditions and favorable water on the rivers for the past three years,” Guerriero said. “There’s evidence that sections of the river are showing some restorative effects. This offers us optimism that our once strong runs of fish can be regenerated. It will be the youth of the watershed who will see to this revival by their willingness to set priorities. I believe that the course may still be set toward a healthy recovery of the watershed.”
A reception for Michael Guerriero will be held Saturday April 7th during Eureka’s monthly Arts Alive event. Guerriero will present an Artist Talk and Tour of his exhibition at First Street Gallery on May 5 at 3 p.m. The talk is open to the public and is free. Celebrating its fourteenth year of service to HSU students and to the North Coast community, Humboldt State University’s First Street Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. and is located at 422 First Street, Eureka, Calif. Admission is free. Those planning group tours are encouraged to call ahead. For more information, call 707-443-6363 or visit the gallery’s website at humboldt.edu/first.