Still life by Lynn Niekrasz (Courtesy of the artist)

Two local artists, Lynn Niekrasz and Erica Brooks, have joined the Trinidad Art Gallery. Both have been inspired by oil painter Michael Hayes, and have joined the ranks of painters who enjoy the challenge of plein air painting, the practice of painting in nature.

Neikrasz’s parents took her to fine art galleries as a child, instilling a love of art and a longing to join the ranks of artists. It took her a while before following the call, but after years of expressing her creativity through being a hairdresser and salon owner, she sought out classes with Hayes and studied with him for more than eight years.

Neikrasz is currently attending workshops with Jim McVicker, Stock Schlueter and Ryan Jensen and has joined the Sunday Paint Out group. Neikrasz is also a member of the Redwood Art Association.

Pet portrait by Erica Brooks (Courtesy of the artist)

Brooks began creating art at a young age. During high school, she was awarded scholarships to take classes at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she moved to Brooklyn, New York, eventually settling in Humboldt County. Hayes has served as Brooks’ mentor.

Recently, Brooks graduated from an online master’s program with Academy of Art San Francisco. She especially enjoys painting still life arrangements and she also paints portraits of both people and pets. She teaches oil painting classes in her studio and participates in a local Sunday painters group, developing her skills in painting plein air.

Brooks is actively involved with the Redwood Art Association and the Humboldt Arts Council and was recently awarded “Best of Show” at the Redwood Art Association’s Spring Exhibition.

Trinidad Art Gallery is located at 490 Trinity St. in Triidad. For more information, call the Trinidad Art Gallery at 707-677-3770 or go to



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