Travel photography and new art exhibits at the Lopez Library

  • Thu Nov 14th, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

Submitted by the Lopez Island Library

The Lopez Library is pleased to showcase the talents and stories of a number of fellow Lopezians in two upcoming programs this week. On Thursday, Nov. 14 at 4:30 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room, join local photographers and ecologists Gene Helfman and Judy Meyer for a multi-media presentation of their recent travels from the End of the World to the Edge of the World—Antarctica to Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. In February of 2019 Helfman and Meyer joined a Sierra Club expedition to the West Antarctic Peninsula, where they communed with (and photographed) penguins, whales and icebergs, among other natural wonders. Their stay in Antarctica was one week long, and their journey also took them to the Falkland Islands and Patagonia. Then, in September of 2019, the couple headed north in their truck and cab-over-camper, boarded four ferries, and finally arrived in Haida Gwaii, a remote archipelago on the northern edge of British Columbia, Canada (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands). The islands form the heartland of the Haida Nation, a First Nations people who have lived there for 13,000 years. Their photographs and stories from the ten days they spent in Haida Gwaii focus on ancient forests, ancient cultural relics from the Haida nation, and totem poles. As ecologists and avid naturalists, Helfman and Meyer’s travel stories and photographs focus particularly on the natural world and the splendor and fragility of it remote locales. Their presentation is part of the Know Your Neighbor program series that the Lopez Library hosts on an ongoing basis. If you are interested in being a presenter in this series, to share your travel stories or your knowledge and expertise in a particular field of study, please contact Programs and Art Coordinator at

Following the Know Your Neighbor program, on Friday, Nov. 15 at 4 p.m., the Library will host an opening reception for two new art exhibits by local artists Erica Nordean and Robert Wood. Erica Nordean is an internationally known painter recognized for her stunning, abstract depictions of horses and horse racing, as well as haunting landscapes and vibrant still life. She began exercising racehorses at Long Acres Racetrack in Renton, Washington, while attending school. Throughout her college years, Nordean says, “I was taking all the classes, but art was all I liked. I finally decided in my late twenties that I really wanted to be an artist.” Primarily self-taught, Nordean’s art career took off in 1998 when she began showing at the Gambados Gallery in Kirkland, Washington, where her paintings were enthusiastically received. With a powerful presence in the national horse racing world, Nordean’s paintings have shown at the prestigious Del Mar Thoroughbred Club where she was the 2010 featured program artist, and her art hangs in galleries from Seattle, Washington to Saratoga Springs, New York. In California, her work has been shown at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Del Mar and Bay Meadows racetracks. And now it will be featured on the walls of the Lopez Library. Recently she has expanded her work to include multi-media; figurative; abstract landscapes; and commission pieces. She says of her art: “My current work is about capturing an overall presence of a single figure. My paintings are intense, ambiguous and many have a slightly lonely feel.” The Library’s display case will feature the art of Robert Wood. His series of whimsical and technicolor found-object collaged sculptures, titled “Left Luggage of Gnome Island” will be on display. In his artist’s statement, Wood says he identifies as “being a creator of ‘art’ in many forms throughout my life… As a classically trained ballet dancer in my youth, a culinary artist in commercial kitchens and event venues, and as a mad collagist, textile painter and abstract expressionist at every stage of life starting with flour paste glue and a ball of twine the size of my head at the age of six.” Wood’s multi-disciplinary experiences inform his creative process. From the wet mold techniques learned from handling forcemeats and delicate doughs, to the frenzied but disciplined aesthetic of ballet port de bras, the muscle memories transfer into the hand manipulations of canvas, paper, and other creative media. Wood says, “It excites me to work between mediums, creating impressions from paint, foliage, wasps’ nests, disintegrating book pages and driftwood.” The two exhibits will be on display from Nov. 15 through Dec. 20, and can be seen whenever the Library is open.