As a child living a mile outside of the gold mining town of Hammonton, CA, “Dude” spent many hours alongside his twin brother working with their hands and using their imaginations to create toys out of scrap metal and wood. Dude says “We made swords and gauntlets for playing Knights of the Round Table, we fashioned bows and arrows for playing western scenes. We didn’t have a telephone or TV, so we had to entertain ourselves!” Also, Dude took machinist and welding classes while at Marysville High School.
It’s no surprise that his vocation became metalworking, first as an apprentice machinist in a heavy job shop, then as an instructor making a career teaching machinist training and welding fabrication at Marysville and Yuba City High Schools. Dude also spent nights teaching classes at Yuba College.
After retirement, Dude and his wife Martha have spent time traveling around the country visiting art museums, art galleries, and craft shows. They have spent time in Canada, Alaska, Europe, and traveled to South Dakota to visit Dude’s Czech relatives. Dude’s surname “Bartos” belongs to his mother’s side of the family living in the Czech Republic. They have visited them several times.
Inspired by his travels, Dude began making metal-art objects representing the birds and animals in our local area: salmon, cranes, herons, dragonflies, etc. He notes that when his outdoor sculptures weather and lichen grows it adds a unique quality to each one.
An avid drawer since grammar school, I’ve experimented with charcoal, color pencils, and paints and was introduced to clay by Gil Azama in the early 1970s. Many of my pots have a painterly quality as I’m still drawn to the two-dimensional realm and design. Being in my studio surrounded by clay, glazes, pencils, paints, and drawing tablets is my refugee from everyday commitments where I’m free to explore, experiment, and create.
The military was a pivoting point in my life. Serving in the Navy from 1966 to 1970 aboard the Intrepid and the Kitty Hawk, I did five cruses to Viet Nam, the Philippians, Japan, Hawaii, and Hong Kong, and saw sights I had only seen in books. I meet people from all regions of the United States and world. The GI Bill helped me obtain my dream of graduating from Humboldt State University with a degree in art and secondary teaching credential. I’ve taught in Alaska, Japan, and California and am currently teaching ceramics at Yuba Community College.
George Unpingco is a former military brat that moved to the Yuba Sutter area in 1985. He received his Associates in Art from Yuba College and his Bachelors in Studio Art with an emphasis in Photography from San Jose State University. After a few years working in the Internet arena he found his calling teaching art at Yuba City High School. He is excited to be featured at the Theater Gallery as the September Guest Artist and he hopes you enjoy his images.
Jesse Harris is an Indigenous beadwork artist from Marysvillle, California. She is a registered member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and a lifelong resident of Yuba County. Jesse has been a member of an all-women’s powwow drum group (Formerly with Feather River Singers and currently the lead singer of the local powwow drum group Redwood Standing) since 2001. It was during this time that she picked up the art of beading, taught to her by both women in the local Native community and her own family members. She incorporates these traditional skills into modern designs and styles, using traditional natural materials like abalone and dentalium shells along with newer materials like handmade resin cabochons. Other materials in her work include Czech and Japanese glass seed beads, wood, mother of pearl, vintage Italian metal buttons, and buckskin. Beaded earrings are her specialty but she also creates necklaces, brooches, and most recently beaded bookmarks. Jesse believes in reclaiming and reconnecting to Indigenous identity through beadwork, language preservation, and community.
In Memoriam, Chris Thompson
A well-known northern California ceramic artist, Chris first worked with YSA in 2013 during his “Thousand Bowls” Feed the Hungry public art project. Chris is a U.S Air Force Veteran and served for ten years between 1979 and 1989 and is teaching at Sacramento State. Yuba Sutter Arts partnered with Chris during its “Veterans Mural Art Park” project in Marysville in early 2016. Chris contributed to the project as both a participating Veteran and an artist/mentor to other Veterans. “Art is about bringing community together,” said Chris. “I believe it can be a unifying force in the social fabric of our society. It should raise our consciousness up. I enjoy making art that speaks about social awareness or social needs,” he added.