Stephen Willard’s Gallery Reopens

September 30, 2014 at 5:55 pm

The Jokis Bring Energy and Knowledge to the Task


Robert and Susan Joki have  worked out a special use agreement with the US Forest Service to operate the old Willard cabin, adjacent to the site of the 1860s mining town, Mammoth City.  The gallery season will be short as the cabin is often covered with snow from as early as the end of October to sometimes mid to late June.   During tourist season they’ll feature historic 19th and early 20th century artwork of the eastern Sierra and Yosemite. They live on site in season and show visitors Willard’s Real Photo postcards that he once sold through the gallery, and also his hand-colored photos of nearby places TJ Lake, the Forest Chapel, the Devils Postpile, the old Lake Mary Store, Hot Creek geyser and more.



The Jokis will also feature contemporary landscape artists and plan to offer an artist’s residency, once they restore an old miner’s cabin on the property.This all sounds like a lot of work for an encore career, until you hear the couple describe how they imagine their days. First they’ll shed their modern trappings and live like 1930s pioneers, down to their wardrobes. “Sue has about 300 pairs of shoes she’ll trade for boots,” Robert says.

Sue plans to begin her days hunting wildflowers with an old-fashioned camera with real film. Robert envisions getting up early to fish at TJ Lake. He’ll fry up the trout on the old stove, and then prop up the “Open” sign when he feels like it. “If we’re there we’re open,” he says. “We’re not going to limit our happiness.”