Tahoe Activist Artists debut new show at High Vibe Society | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe Activist Artists debut new show at High Vibe Society

Claire Cudahy
Artist Shelley Zentner, left, and Erin Ulcicka, founder of High Vibe Society, prepare for the upcoming "Rising from the Fire" exhibition.
Claire Cudahy / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

On the heels of a successful first show in September, a group known as the Tahoe Activist Artists is keeping the momentum going with another emotionally-charged exhibition in South Lake Tahoe.

On Sunday, Nov. 5, “Rising from the Fire” opens at High Vibe Society Artisan Collective with work from more than 10 local artists centered around the theme of overcoming crisis. Proceeds from the event will benefit survivors of the California wildfires.

“The theme is like a phoenix rising from the ashes. We decided to broaden the theme even more to be about personal empowerment and how overcoming crisis can make you a strong person — but also make you kinder and more compassionate,” said Shelley Zentner, a painter and the founder of Tahoe Activist Artists.

The grassroots group was born out of fear and anger following the election of President Donald Trump.

“We started after the presidential election because we were all freaked out by what happened … We were all trying to figure out what we can do. Really what can we do? Well, we’re artists. We’ll make art,” said Zentner. “We’ve seen people turning against each other so much because of political differences and although we are just as angry as anybody else, we’re taking more of a compassionate approach to our differences and promoting tolerance.”

Tahoe Activist Artists began meeting at the start of 2017 and held their first group show, “We the People,” at the Tahoe Mountain Lab in September.

A silent auction at the exhibition raised $2,500 for Live Violence Free and Bread and Broth 4 Kids. Individual sales of paintings benefited charities of the artists’ choosing.

The artists featured in “Rising from the Fire” explore the theme of transformation and revival from a number of different struggles, using a range of mediums.

“Guy Gilmore. He’s a sculptor. His sculptures are all related to heroin addiction,” said Zentner. “Ellen BonBon is bringing work in related to gender identity and communication.”

Festivities for the opening night of the show begin at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

“We’re going to have some of the musicians from the Tahoe Activist Artists playing downstairs. There’s going to be a rock painting workshop going on for children to be able to send messages to the kids that were affected by the wildfires,” explained Erin Ulcickas, founder of High Vibe Society. “MoonHouse Brewhouse is going to have a baked potato bar and homemade sodas. We’ll have complimentary wine with donation at the door.”

Tahoe Fire Dancers will also perform an LED light show. Admission is free if you secure a ticket in advance online (find High Vibe Society or Tahoe Activist Artists on Facebook for a link to Eventbrite) or $5 at the door.

The show is on display until Dec. 27 and is available for viewing Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

“Rising from the Fire” is just one of the many events that Ulcickas has put on at High Vibe Society since opening the shared studio, storefront and community center for creatives this summer.

High Vibe Society now has 20 members — seven of which are renting studio space. There is still space for five more renters.

“Things are really moving forward. We’re getting events going and workshops,” said Ulcickas. There are also plans to start hosting paint and sip (wine) events.

“We’re going to be exponentially ramping it up,” added Ulcickas.

High Vibe Society Artisan Collective is located at 989 Third St. Unit B in South Lake Tahoe.

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