Kinetic Weed in Humboldt
Eureka The Marijuana Show will embrace the elephant in the room, said co-organizer Alice Krause of the Humboldt Kinetic Association Artist Co-op in Old Town Eureka. Local artists and photographers will be sharing their take on the many aspects of Cannabis culture in Humboldt.
Co-sponsored by Hobart Galleries and The Kinetic Sculpture Race Museum, which shares the same space, the show features oil paintings by Curtis Otto and photos by both Kym Kemp and Sharon Letts. Humboldt Canna quilters will also be coming out of the closet with the 420 Quilt project.
The live music line-up includes, St John’s Bossanova Baby from 6 to 9 p.m., the Street Beats Dance Company will have a break dance performance by the Regulators, and Rocky and Dan the Man Valdez perform at 7:30. Stay for the Kinetic After-Party with rock band, Scotch Wiggly, performing from 9:30 to midnight.
The museum is full of past Kinetic contraptions and eye candy, including Kinetic Race founder, Hobart Brownâ€™s studio, dismantled and re-built in all its glory. Kinetic art and gifts are available in the gift shop, with other merchandise from sister company, â€œHumboldt Homegrown,â€ a local company with an eye to the future of Cannabis.
Longtime local artist Curtis Otto is often seen painting in the front yard of his Eureka home. His instantly recognizable signature style of free form canvas shapes and compilation design add to the overall impact of the imagery. Otto was a featured artist in Hobart Galleries in historic Victorian town of Ferndale for many years. A series of oil paintings exploring his views on the marijuana culture in Humboldt promises to be a highlight of the show.
Southern Humboldt blogger, Redheaded Blackbelt, and High Times Contributor/photographer, Kym Kemp, has been reporting and sharing images of Humboldtâ€™s marijuana culture for many years. Now a correspondent for The Lost Coast Outpost online newsfeed, Kym has established herself as a trusted source for honest reporting of the lives and lifestyles of local marijuana growers. With her photos of plants, people and places she sends a message of normalcy to what many see as a counter-culture.
Writer/photographer, Sharon Letts, has been reporting on the convoluted legislation of medical marijuana and legalization nationwide. A contributor to High Times Medical Journal, Kush Magazine, Skunk Magazine(s), Nug Magazine(s), and Columnist for The Puffington Host, Letts pens â€œHumboldt Stories,â€ a fictional account based on fact of the Humboldt grow scene.
As more of our population considers alternatives to traditional medicine, Cannabis healing is becoming very attractive as a potential moneymaker for large pharmaceutical companies. Showing the commonplace use of marijuana in her photos and writing, Sharon reminds us that we all are touched by the use and restrictions of marijuana.
Also on display at The Marijuana Show will be â€œThe 420 Quilt.â€Â Cannabis folk art has mostly been tucked quietly into the corners of the Emerald Triangle, until last year when nine local women came out from behind the proverbial Redwood Curtain, needles and thread in hand, laboring over a quilt that celebrates the long history of Humboldt’s Cannabis culture. These folk art pieces have often contained hidden cannabis art embroidered or appliqued in subtle places. With the entry for The Marijuana show, the women have chosen to highlight the controversial plant that brings so much fame/infamy to the area.
Some of the women artists, fearing repercussions, have chosen anonymity.Â Others are shyly stepping forward. Everything in this lovely piece speaks of women creating art in the quiet spaces of their busy lives.Â Rich raw silks and thick velvets, as well as a Cannabis leaf cloth especially designed for this piece by Eureka Fabrics are layered with applique and embroidery to create a vibrant and whimsical, yet practical, art piece.
The Kinetic Race that inspired the museum began in 1969 when welder and artist, Hobart Brown, took his sonâ€™s red tricycle and converted it into a moving piece of art. As back to the landers left San Francisco after the summer of love and headed north , arriving in Humboldt and eventually growing what would become the Countyâ€™s cash crop, Brown rode his creation down Main Street U.S.A., otherwise known as the historic Victorian town of Ferndale, starting what would become the wildest ride, lasting decades.
Co-founders Al and Alice Krause have a history with the race, as Al began building kinetic contraptions and participating when he was 15 years-old. â€œI never tire of telling kinetic stories,â€ Al said. â€œThe history of the race is long and convoluted, but this museum is part of Justinâ€™s history and his fatherâ€™s legacy. While Humboldt is known for its cash crop of Cannabis, Hobart put Ferndale and Humboldt on the map, kinetically speaking, that is, and his approach to life was fearless. Whether it was kinetic racing, or showing controversial objects in his galleries, we are more than happy to celebrate both.â€
Arts Alive! takes place the first Saturday of each month in Old Town Eureka. â€œThe Marijuana Showâ€ opens during this event with a reception, Saturday, March 3, from 6 p.m. to midnight. â€œAlmost freeâ€ beer will be available for purchase. The museum is located at 437 F St., Old Town Eureka. For more information, contact Justin Hobart Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (707) 443-8261.
Featured Image Top Right: “Passing the Love” Finish Hot Tubs, Arcata. Shot for pot tourism piece by Ed Murrieta for West Coast Cannabis
Photo Credit: Sharon Letts