Thursday, 30 May 2024

First Friday Fling shows off new artists, hosts LaForge Fund

Visitors to the Main Street Gallery on Friday, November 7, 2008, view an exhibition of masks and drawings done by Melanie Liotta's fifth and sixth graders from Cobb Mountain Elementary School. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

LAKEPORT – Art and local artists were celebrated in Lakeport during this month's First Friday Fling.

The monthly event, hosted by the Lake County Arts Council at its Main Street Gallery in Lakeport, is a chance to put the spotlight on local artists.

This month, Rod Newsick, Ruthie Martin, Terry Rogers and Sophie Lauterborn were the featured artists in the main gallery. In the student gallery, Dan Weiss' third and fourth graders from Cobb Mountain Elementary displayed Hawaiian quilt designs, while Melanie Liotta's fifth and sixth graders, also from Cobb Mountain Elementary, show ceramics and drawings.



Hawaiian quilt designs done by Dan Weiss' third and fourth graders from Cobb Mountain Elementary. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



"We have the only student gallery in Lake County," said Shelby Posada, the arts council's executive director.


Posada said that, beginning in January, the gallery will start to rotate in juried shows for adults in with the student art shows.

The event also included an update on the Barbara LaForge Memorial, founded by LaForge's friend, Gail Salituri of Inspirations Gallery.

Earlier this year the arts council became a supporter of the effort, which they hosted in a previous First Friday Fling.

On Friday, Salituri introduced some of the latest art available in a silent auction and raffle to benefit the fund. She was joined by local businesswoman and artistic patron Kathy Fowler, a member of the board for the Lake Family Resource Center. The center's domestic violence shelter will be the recipient of the proceeds from the fund.

“I never know what I'm gonna say, so I bring Kathy Fowler with me,” Salituri joked. “She loves to talk.

Salituri introduced a special guest for the evening, LaForge's niece, Stasha Prueitt, who came to honor her aunt's memory.

“This is Barbara LaForge's favorite person in the world,” Salituri said of the young woman.

Fowler called Salituri “the lady with the big heart” for her efforts to benefit the shelter effort.

Salituri said she plans to continue the fundraising efforts into next year.


Donations can be made to the Barbara LaForge Memorial Fund at 165 Main St., Lakeport, or to any Westamerica Bank.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Rod Neswick's sculptures are among the featured art pieces this month at the Main Street Gallery in Lakeport. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.




Sophie Lauterborn's colorful mixed media artwork is in the spotlight this month at the gallery.




Melanie Liotta's fifth and sixth graders created fanciful drawings and masks on display at the student gallery this month. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



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