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Greater North Fork Art Gallery

Art Gallery or Studio
Greater North Fork Community Art Gallery – Joanne Freemire

ADA Accessibility Notes

Handicapped access is available. Upon arrival, notify the gallery docent, and he/she will open the door to the ramp.

Located a half-hour drive from the south gate of Yosemite National Park, in the former lumber town of North Fork, the Greater North Fork Art Gallery is housed in a historic sawmill office building. Operated from 1943 until 1994, the sawmill was one of the last three in the Sierra Nevada. After it closed in 1994, its land and buildings were donated to the community. Since then, little North Fork, population 3,300, has become a haven for retirees, many of whom are experienced artists whose works are on display in the Gallery.

Attracted and inspired by the beauty of the central Sierra Nevada, Gallery artists depict the foothills and mountains, waterfalls, wildflowers, wildlife, and history of the area in their fine art photographs, paintings, jewelry, manzanita treasure boxes, hand-woven rugs, and more.

Because the Gallery is operated by volunteers, costs and therefore prices of the Galley art pieces are very reasonable.

On your way to or from the Gallery, keep an eye out for murals of local Native American, pioneer, lumber, and natural history painted by volunteer artists on several of the lumber-era buildings in "downtown" North Fork.

Following is a sampling of our more than 20 Greater North Fork Art Gallery Artists:

Gay Abarbanell

Gay began taking photographs at the age of 8 under the tutelage of her artist father. He taught her darkroom techniques from a ‘footlocker’ as they traveled by ship from Guam to the United States. Gay has loved taking photographs since that time and has studied with contemporary professionals such as George Lepp and DeWitt Jones.

During the intervening years she progressed from her “Brownie” camera and film to pro Canon equipment and ultimately to digital. She loves digital for the many conveniences it offers and the many things it can do with such ease. However, she strives to capture the image and produce the picture as she saw it. Only for fun does she try ‘modifying’ an image.

Gay has explored watercolor and fabric painting, ceramics, sculptures and other three dimensional work from various materials. She found each provided another avenue for self-expression. Nevertheless, for the past several decades photography has been her main modality. As a very visual person she finds it a challenge to capture what excites her.

The challenges expand as she tries to find new ways to express that excitement. Gay particularly enjoys ‘abstracting’ the vision. Sometimes she does it subtly, as by softening an image, at other times by capturing a small part of a whole or by adding motion. If someone else relates to and enjoys her images it is a bonus. You can reach Gay at 559-877-4867 or [email protected]

Paul Henry Abram - Photographer

As a young child, Paul sat up late at night watching his dad, a lithographer at Lord Menu Co. in Los Angeles, hand-carve linoleum blocks. Years later Paul was able to relate his ability to easily read black and white photo negatives and compose subject matter to those experiences with his dad. Linoleum blocks used in printing are carved “upside down and backwards” resulting in a virtual negative. Paul has used that skill to develop what he calls “photographics” - black and white photos which use lithographic film sheets to create the appearance of pen and ink and charcoal drawings.

Paul is a retired attorney and has been a professional photographer for almost forty years.
He has taught photography at the Pacific College of Art and Design, Medford, Oregon, and for the Kings-Tulare Regional Arts Council in Porterville. He has shown his work in galleries from Big Bear Lake, CA to Ashland and Medford, OR, where he was a founding member of the Siskiyou Artworks, an art co-op. His work has received many awards, most recently 1st Place in the Sierra Scenic Byway Art Show in North Fork. He is the past President and charter member of the North Fork Arts Council. His photos can be found at and

Joan Constable

Known as "Joan of Art, Queen of Paper and Dancing Colors," Constable comes from a family of artists and enjoys mixing painting with sculpting using natural and found objects. As owner of The Burning Brush Art Studio, her brush 'never cools off.'

Joanne Freemire

An award winning and published photographer, Joanne has lived in North Fork for nine years. She retired here after a 34 year career as a park naturalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Joanne delights in photographing local Sierra Nevada landscapes, especially wildflowers and waterfalls, exactly as she sees them, with her digital camera.

She and husband Michael also create wire-wrapped jewelry. Their pieces feature semi-precious gems, many of which they found where they formed in nature - locally and during their travels internationally and throughout the United States. Michael transforms these minerals into cabochons that he and Joanne then wrap with silver and gold-filled or brass wire. Some pieces feature dichroic glass crafted by other artists.

For additional information or to inquire about purchasing prints and photo notecards or jewelry, please contact Joanne at 559-877-4911.

Don Grove

Don took up digital photography after retiring in 2004. His interests vary from natural and man made scenic views to people and pets. Don has a multitude of images taken in national parks and forests, including Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Sierra Vista National Scenic Byway.

His work is displayed in the Greater North Fork Gallery and he will be the featured artist in that gallery July 23, 24, 30 and 31, 2011. He expects to be featured as an artist in the Sierra Art Trails on October 1 and 2, 2011, pending confirmation.

Don is also adept at photographic restoration. He learned these skills when he put together a family tree and photo album. He gathered photographs from family members that required restoration as well as placing people in photographs and removing others. This was necessary to achieve the family photos that were not always available from family members.

Phyllis Overstreet

Living all her married life in the Sierra Nevada mountains, an area rich in inspirational beauty, has given Phyllis an appreciation of the majesty and splendor of nature. She feels that watercolor offers the opportunity to quickly capture the essence of a scene, using composition, color and light in her work as a "plein air" artist.

Phyllis also does studio painting from photographs she has taken stating, "You must remember why you took that photo and try to capture that feeling with beautiful colors, atmosphere and emotion."

The many workshops with nationally known artists, lessons, and 30 years of painting has resulted in her winning awards in competition and success in the field of fine art. Phyllis is a member emeritus of Timberline Gallery in Oakhurst and shows her work in Kingsburg and the Greater North Fork Art Gallery.Phyllis is experienced in giving watercolor demonstrations and workshops and as an instructor. Call 559-877-2678 for the dates of the next scheduled lessons or workshop.

Eco-Friendly Notes

The building in which the Greater North Fork Art Gallery is located is powered by solar electric panels which were purchased with donations from the community. The gallery is part of Earth Day festivals at the sawmill site which today houses woody biomass, repurposed lumber, and recycling businesses.

Pet Friendly Notes

Service animals are of course welcome in the gallery; pets stay outside in the rural parking lot.


11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Seasons Open

Saturdays and Sundays - May through the first weekend in October



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