From Elvis to Prince – Times-Standard


“Royals,” an art exhibition featuring works by artists Lisa Green, Tawny Morgan and Gina Tuzzi, is on view through November 5 at Canvas + Clay Gallery, 233 F St., Eureka.

The exhibition features ceramic paintings and sculptures depicting American ‘royals’, including celebrities, musicians and popular TV and film characters – from Mr. Rogers and Pamela Anderson to Prince, the Jackson 5 and Moreover.

“The idea for ‘Royals’ came from Lisa Green and Tawny Morgan’s tremendous passion for creating art about all the celebrities, musicians and TV show characters they love,” said Jen McLaurin, director of Canvas + Clay Gallery.

“‘Royals’ seemed like a fitting name,” McLaurin said, “because of both the way America treats celebrities and entertainment industry figures and also what Lisa and Tawny think of their beloved heroes of music and television.

“Prince is represented in both painting and ceramic form by Lisa Green,” McLaurin said. “She also has several paintings and a ceramic bust of ‘The King of Pop,’ Michael Jackson. Tawny Morgan created ‘The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ Elvis, in a cookie jar. Tawny even made a bust ceramic tile from “The King of Flavortown”, Guy Fieri.

Green said, “I paint characters and famous people. I like doing this because it’s quite fun to do. I like this.”

According to its website,, Canvas + Clay “provides an inclusive studio environment and gallery for artists of diverse abilities to foster authentic artistic practice and professional growth within an inviting artistic community.”

“Sexy Purple Rain” by Lisa Green is an acrylic painting celebrating Prince. (Submitted)

Green started hanging out with Canvas + Clay Studio in 2012 after graduating from Glen Paul School in Eureka.

“I really like making art. It makes me happy,” she said. “…I draw, paint and sculpt. I also make videos. I like to listen to music all the time. I really like watching movies.”

Morgan has been creating art since she was in kindergarten and attended South Bay Elementary, Zane Middle and Glen Paul schools. She first came to Canvas + Clay Studio in 2014.

“Art is so much fun,” said Morgan, who also enjoys doing art at home. “I paint at my kitchen table. What I like to do on weekends is paint and watch movies… and go shopping with my sister-in-law.

by Lisa Green
“The Jackson Five” by Lisa Green is an acrylic on canvas. (Submitted)

The Canvas + Clay guest artist for this exhibit is Gina Tuzzi, a professor in the Art Department at Cal Poly Humboldt in Blue Lake.

“Gina’s work is part of the group show we’ve agreed to title ‘Royals.’ However,” McLaurin said, “her work is a different theme than the two Canvas + Clay artists have been working on.” chosen to focus in. Alone, his work is called “Pennyroyal,” and it is more personal to Gina and her sacred experiences with Mother Nature.

This piece by Tawny Morgan depicts Mr. Rogers in clay.  (Submitted)
This piece by Tawny Morgan depicts Mr. Rogers in clay. (Submitted)

Tuzzi received a bachelor’s degree in painting and printmaking from Humboldt State University (now Cal Poly Humboldt) and a master’s degree in painting from Mills College in Oakland.

“The origins of my recent work were born out of a deep and urgent desire to find refuge,” Tuzzi said. “…The visual elements of the work were mainly collected from memory. The palette is inspired by the endemic color landscapes of the wild environment around me. The abstract gestures mimic my bodily memory of navigating this wild landscape.

McLaurin says Canvas + Clay is “grateful and delighted” that Tuzzi is exhibiting her work in the “Royals” exhibition.

“It’s always very inspiring for the artists at Canvas + Clay to have guest artists show their work here,” McLaurin said. “We learn to see different techniques and styles of art up close and personal. Artists who work on their art during the week at the gallery can even study the work of the guest artist daily for the duration of the exhibition.

Pictured is guest artist Gina Tuzzi
Pictured is ‘The Lotus Jewel’ by guest artist Gina Tuzzi, an acrylic on panel. (Submitted)

She added, “Gina was supposed to have a show here two years ago in October 2020. However, our program was temporarily closed and we were all working remotely due to COVID-19. Her show, “All Lit Up // Midnight Choir,” with Deanna Dutra, was an online-only show. We feel very lucky that she wanted to come back and have a show in person now that we have reopened.

The Canvas + Clay Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment. Current COVID-19 safety guidelines are in place. For more information, call 707-273-1026, ext. 823.


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