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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Kashaya Portraits:
Historic and Contemporary

Opening Reception: Friday, September 7 at 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit remains through September 30, 2012
Gualala Arts Center

Kashaya Portraits: Historic and Contemporary, a selection previously on view at Sonoma County Museum, highlight the cultural heritage and generational continuity of the Kashaya Pomo people through past and recent photographs.

In the early 1960s, photographer William Heick, working on the American Indian Film Project for the Anthropology Department at the University of California, Berkeley, visited the Stewart's Point Rancheria. He recorded images of the Kashaya Pomo, including iconic photographs of revered spiritual leader, Essie Parrish. Parrish, the last local Kashaya spiritual leader, passed away in 1979, but her daughters and close family members have carried on the Kashaya language and traditions in a secluded corner of northern Sonoma County.

Fifty years after his father, William Heick, Jr., has photographed the Kashaya, portraying a living, contemporary culture, as well as the remarkable legacy that is passed from generation to generation. The exhibition will feature the photographs of William Heick, Jr. and selected photographs by his father. Kashaya Portraits is part of the ongoing commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Fort Ross.

Kashaya portrait, by William Heick, Jr.
© 2011 William R. Heick, Jr.

The Kashaya were the first people known to have lived in this coastal area. This exhibit not only records the people whose oral tradition tells us of this history, but also highlights the fact that the Kashaya live here to this day and have an oral history of the events of the last two hundred years.

The exhibit was arranged with the kind permission of the Kashaya elders, Violet Parrish Chappell and Vivian Parrish Wilder, in conjunction with Daniel Murley who worked for 25 years as a ranger in Fort Ross Historic park and for 10 years as Director of Healdsburg Museum, photographer William Heick, Jr. and Marion MacDonald of The Society of Living Traditions, long time resident and former Board member of the Fort Ross Interpretive Association and member of the Fort Ross Bicentennial Committee.

Contemporary art of baskets, dolls, beads and cards from the local Kashaya members will accompany the photo exhibit.

Kashaya baskets

"Table Working Basket" used for serving breads and gathering hazelnuts and seaweed, made from hazel tree by Martina V. Morgan. Right basket is titled " A Small Burden", woven by: Yokayo Pomo, Robert E. Morgan. This is a traditional Kashaya weave made from hazel tree switches. Front and center basket is titled "Teaching Basket," a Kashaya pattern working basket, made from non-traditional materials used to teach the art of basket making, made by Martina C. Morgan. To the right is "Spanish Moss Doll", made from lichen and hazel switch. This doll was made by Martina C. Morgan.

Kashaya moss dolls

Artists in the Kashaya exhibit

Bill Heick, Sr.
Bill Heick, Jr.
David Marrufo, age: 13
Diedra Wilder
Eric Wilder
Joseph McCloud, age: 12
Julia Marrufo, age: 12
Khayme Morgan, age: 14
Martina C. Morgan
Robert E Morgan
Shawn Marrufo
Susanna Morgan, age: 14
Violet Parrish Chappell
Vivian Parrish Wilder

A group with representatives from Kashaya, Fort Ross and Gualala Arts left on Thursday, September 6, for a trip that included visits to St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Tot'ma, home of Alexandrovich Kusko, the founder of Fort Ross. Join us for the "Welcome Back From Russia" party on Friday, September 28 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Burnett Gallery.

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.