Quicksilver Mine Co. Gallery’s “Last Hurrah”
When Khysie Horn opened the Quicksilver Mine Company in Guerneville in 1983 her goal was to showcase the talents of craftspeople and artists who called the West county home. The gallery, now in Forestville has provided a forum for almost one hundred artists. On December 31 the gallery is shutting its doors, and on Saturday November 17 there will be a free reception for the 80+ artists who are part of the gallery’s final show, “The Last Hurrah.” and the community is invited.
Three years after opening Horn flexed her aesthetic muscle and moved across the street to a facility that allowed her to host rotating exhibitions of work by local artists, she continued to carry handcrafts, jewelry, books and cards in her gift shop, but was gratified by the additional space and the opportunities it afforded both her and those who wished to find an outlet for their artistic expression.
Her move to larger and somewhat more cosmopolitan Sebastopol in 1996 found her attracting more serious collectors, increased her visibility and taught her the fine art of making valuable contacts and linking with other venues. Whereas Quicksilver at one time specialized in local artists, it has since welcomed new artists who live beyond Sonoma County’s borders.
She found pursuing her dream would be more viable in a building of her own and in 2003 she purchased and remodeled a shop in Forestville adding a beautiful sculpture garden in back, and a custom frame shop.
Salon nights, gallery talks and a bright professional venue suited her well and fed into her ambition and she discovered combining painting, prints, sculpture, ceramic art, fine woodwork, assemblage and collage, and providing a well-lit and roomy space for emerging local artists as well as the occasional Sculpture Garden picnic satisfied many of her needs . She set a goal for herself to operate Quicksilver for 30 years and now that her goal has been realized, it’s time for a change.
Horn’s decision to close has “been a long time coming,” she said. Now she feels like it is time to kick back and relax, read the Sunday papers and not feel compelled to go in to work. Horn has listed the building with a commercial Realtor but is unwilling to sell the business name.
Horn fulfilled her commitments insofar as scheduled shows and events through the end of the year, and now it’s time for “The Last Hurrah,”
This final show, called “The Last Hurrah,” will be a group show running Nov. 16-Dec. 31, with a 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. reception on Saturday, November 16 for the almost 90 artists who have helped brighten and edify Horn and her gallery’s existence since she first opened in 1982. Gallery hours until closing date will be 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., Thursdays through Mondays.
Like the skeletal remains of Guerneville’s Quicksilver Mine Company which still casts its broken shadow where Sweetwater Springs Road begins its climb to the top of Mt. Jackson, its Forestville namesake has enough artistic memories to last a lifetime.
Upon viewing Breughel’s “Fall of Icarus” by W.H. Auden
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.