William Zacha (1920-1998)
Divine Inspiration, Creative Genius. A Whim.
By Lucia Zacha.
Whatever you call it, Bill and Jennie Zacha’s move to Mendocino in 1958 provided a place, a space in the post-war world to slow down, to contemplate and to create.
People, friends, artists and families came to visit and stayed, inspired by the place, and by Bill Zacha.
Bill had a talent for dreaming a dream, sharing it with others, and making it real. He first saw Mendocino when it was nearly deserted, a haunting vestige of its former self, and realized he had found his place in the world.
Jennie had an equal talent and spirit, and she agreed. Together, along with many others, they worked to bring the Mendocino Art Center to life. Today, fifty years after the Art Center’s founding, though most of the original artists and founding members have either moved on or passed on, it is still a vibrant place.
The incredible thing is that the people, friends, artists and families keep coming. They too feel the magic of the passage from the outside world, through the Redwood forests, along the edge of the continent, into the peaceful town of Mendocino and the Art Center. They too find the time to slow down, contemplate and create.
One evening Dorr Bothwell had Bill and Jennie over for dinner in her studio, which Bill had designed to her specifications – with everything sized for the diminutive five-foot tall artist.
Jennie arrived, dressed in a floor length caftan from Mexico with a basket of fruit on her head, showing just how much weight she could carry!
Life here, like the painting of Jennie by Dorr on the cover of this magazine [Mendocino Arts, Fall 2009/Winter 2010], was an explosion of light, color and creativity. May it continue for another fifty years! Reprinted with the permission of Mendocino Arts Magazine / Mendocino Art Center
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