STABLE, a horse stable-turned-exhibition space adjacent to artist Jeremy Ehling’s Bennett Ridge home in east Santa Rosa, had what he calls “an occasional exhibition program.” Shows were up for one day only—usually installed the morning of—and came down the same night.
Founded in September 2015, Ehling had plans for STABLE well into the spring of 2018. “Unfortunately,” he says of the space, “it won’t be there.”
At 2:30am the morning of Oct. 9, Ehling and his partner Jillian Jirik woke to popping sounds they would later discover were neighbors' exploding propane tanks. Ehling remembers looking out from their deck and seeing the approaching Nuns fire. “I could just see a huge wall of flames, the whole sky was red,” he says. The couple had only enough time to pull on clothes, grab their cat and jump in the car. As they drove out of their small neighborhood of about 100 homes, sparks and embers fell across their windshield.
“The crazy thing was there was no one there,” Ehling says, “no firefighters, no police.” Neighbors warned each other up by honking their car horns on their way out. One resident told the Press Democrat he woke up only because his neighbor wouldn’t stop pounding on his door.
Ehling and Jirik’s rented house and over 75 of their neighbors’ homes were completely lost to the fire. Ehling’s home studio, and all of his paintings, are gone. The empty STABLE, fresh off Chevalier, Bay Area artist Ben Peterson’s one-day sculpture show, is gone.