The idea for Gallery 1855 grew out of the creative curiosity of visitors to the Davis Cemetery District grounds. Cemetery staff observed that throughout the course of every year a number of folks came to the cemetery grounds with easels, cameras, sketch pads, instruments, yoga mats, binoculars, or writing pads. They tucked themselves away in a corner, or walked the grounds, perhaps waited for hours with a long telephone lens to photograph wildlife, or stretched their bodies in dance moves on the hill, or penned poetry, or teased the image of a 19th century statue onto a canvas. Most importantly, they let their creativity flow. As far as staff members could tell, these folks did not know each other nor did they ever get to see one another’s creative results. So the staff thought, wouldn’t it be interesting to have a celebration on the grounds where these artists could share their cemetery inspired work and meet one another, and where staff members could enjoy it too? Thus was born the first Celebration of the Arts, held on the cemetery grounds on Sunday, October 18, 2009.
The 2009 Celebration of the Arts was attended by over 100 people and the visual art remained on display in the office for a month. The public response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Plans for a second celebration in October of 2010 were made. Once the art from the 2009 festival came down, staff looked at the now bare redwood walls and thought how tremendous it would be to have art on them all the time. Joe Finkleman, a staff member with extensive experience as an artist himself, as well as connections with many area artists, proposed to the Board of Trustees that a monthly art show in the office be attempted on a trail basis. The first monthly show, featuring the work of Michael Radin and Jerry Berry, was hung in April, 2010. Again the public response was very positive, and every month since then the walls have been graced by the work of one or more featured artists. An art gallery had been born! Eventually the space was named Gallery 1855, in honor of the fact that the first interment in the historical section, once known as the Davisville Cemetery, took place in 1855.

In just two years, Gallery 1855 became a highly respected gallery featuring a number of internationally recognized artists each year. The gallery is open weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM, and the public is always warmly invited to meet the artists on the second Sunday afternoon of every month between 1 PM and 4 PM. Along with the art and the stimulating conversation, a number of tasty treats are offered, and one can always top of the day with a stroll through the sumptuous grounds.

For more information about the exhibits, please call 530-756-7807 during office hours or click one of the tabs on the menu bar.


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