Resourceful artists scramble to salvage their weekend
One hundred and fifty-three professional fine artists will open their studios this weekend and the weather is wreaking havoc! This is a major selling opportunity, and these artists have been producing work and preparing their studios since December for the two-weekend event. Art at the Source has a record number of artists participating this year, many pinning their hopes on reports that the economy has turned a corner and is improving modestly. Those that are most vulnerable are the “guest artists” (those artists being hosted in another artists’ studio) who have work on paper – the watercolor, photography, printmaking. Many of them had planned to display their work outdoors under shade canopies, but the prediction for more wet weather has them scrambling for shelter, paved parking for their guests and alternative display techniques.
Sebastopol Center for the Arts is serving as “Information Central” for artists to share advice with each other via email and Facebook postings. Following are messages coming in and going out:
Glass artist Carla Sarvis has tents, patio umbrellas and a large sail covering her work, as well as artwork on display in her studio.
Jeweler Barbara Harris is transforming her kitchen into a display space for Valerie Adam’s glass work. “A bit tight, but should be fine.”
Veteran studio artist Jane Garibaldi advises “Clear out your garage. Buy sheetrock, score it and bend it to create free standing walls. Paint it and hang your art on that. If you have a guest with 3d work, they can go in the middle of the garage. Hang track lights from the rafters. That is what we are doing here. With three guests, I am lucky that I have two garages. We will all be dry.”
Referring to the yellow directional signs leading the way to the 84 studio locations: Potter Kate Silver always tapes her yellow directional signs with black electrician tape noting “it always stays nice---- rain, fog, or shine.”
Mosaic artist Lisa De Soto sends words of encouragement to her fellow artists: “I went to Open Studios one year a zillion years ago when it was horrible rainy weather and had a great time. All of the artists were really hospitable and so grateful I'd come out to see their work. It was quite the adventure going through the 'back woods' of West County. I am hoping there are others out there who will enjoy the pioneer-like adventure of searching for gold in them thar hills. Hang in there.”
Some studios had planned mid-week open houses organized geographically. Originally intended to allow the participating artists to see each others studios, these open houses may now serve a larger audience including those deterred by the wet weather. A listing of Open Houses is available here.
Sebastopol Center for the Arts sponsors this annual self guided tour now in its 17th year. Painters, sculptors, photographers, potters, jewelers, fiber, wood and glass artists showcase the best of their works in the popular event. For a dry spot to preview work from each artist the Center’s Gallery has the Preview Exhibit through June 12 at the Art Center’s Gallery located at 6780 Depot Street in Sebastopol (10am – 5pm Sat & Sunday; then 10am-4pm Tue-Fri ).
Open studios are located in Sebastopol, Forestville, Occidental, Bodega Bay, Valley Ford, Guerneville, Graton and Santa Rosa west of Highway 101. Color catalogs with detailed maps are available free at the Center for the Arts, or on-line.
For further information, please contact the Center at (707) 829-4797.
Telephone: 707-584-2000 Fax: 707-585-1363