Work of Lorna Yarbro to be featured at TIL

Staff Writer

Agent recalls life of local artist

The Imagination Lab will be hosting a “novel art experiment” in honor of Lorna Yarbro from 5 - 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at The Imagination Lab, 621 W. Line, Bishop.
The following is from Dianne Tucker-LaPlount, who was Yarbro’s agent in the 1980s:
Born in Venice, California, in 1930, Lorna Yarbro spent virtually all her life in that state, having lived in Huntington Park, Lone Beach, Compton, Lake Hughes, Lancaster, Hawthorne, Torrance, and San Bernardino. She painted all her life.
Yarbro’s first entry in a juried exhibit was a semi-abstract painting of the workings inside the steering column of an automobile. At the time, late 1966, she was studying art at San Bernardino Valley College. “… the kids in the shop were taking apart an automobile and I went in and drew the workings of the steering wheel. I made a painting of it. I did it in silver – aluminum paint – and pencil, with some blue oil paint, ultramarine, and … it worked very well. I entered it in the Orange County Art Association Show – Fox (San Bernardino professor) said I should – and it was rejected. The next time I saw him, he said, ‘Enter it again.’
“The Inland Exhibit was opening in a couple of months – it won honorable mention. You never know … I was so poor, I had no money and George Riday (Riverside minister, professor, patron) used to come over to my place – one room and a kitchen, with paintings all over the walls, and beads and fantastic feather things hanging from the ceilings … a nut artist’s pad. Called one entry ‘Nine Irises,’ another ‘Eight and a half Roses.’ Both entries got into the Inland Exhibition.”
From then until 1976 her work could be seen in 20 juried exhibits in the Riverside, San Bernardino and Redlands area.
She spent her last years in the Owens Valley in Inyo County, living an almost reclusive life. In the small town of Bishop, dominated by the White Mountains on the east and the High Sierra on the west, “where they still paint John Wayne.” Yarbro had a reputation for thinking her own thoughts and going her own way, experimenting all the time with new techniques and new themes in a variety of media.
Of the pearl-like light that is seen in some of Yarbro’s watercolors, she said, “During sunset, especially in the summertime, the light reflecting off the White Mountains has just that pearly glow.”
Yarbro’s watercolors have names like “Connections,” “Interiors,” “New Paradigm” and “The Great Slush.” She was concerned with the interrelatedness of things, the ultimate oneness of opposites, persons all alone in a world of billions, blue roosters (“if there are any”), large ladies eating slushes. She communicated with each work as if it were a mysterious new person in her life.
The gala event on Saturday, Dec. 15, will include a raffle, door prizes, silent auction, poetry on the hour and music on the half-hour as well as refreshments.
Ten percent of all Imagination Lab sales and donations this night and through the end of December will go to Wildcare Eastern Sierra. Another 10 percent will go to ICARE.
The Imagination Lab wants to honor all our local artists, living or not, and all our local animals, wild or tame. 760-872-244.