The Monterey County Artists' Studio Tour lets you poke your nose right in the artist's easel.
Thursday, September 23, 1999
But here in the West, most people put away their Play-Doh and crayons about the time they begin to sprout body hair. In adult society, the world of art production is shut away, the province of "professionals." We go to special museums to view their "artworks," framed and hung carefully-- symbolically out of our reach.
That''s why the phenomenon of artists'' studio tours, which started in this country about two decades ago, is so refreshing. In communities across America, typically for one weekend a year, local artists open their homes and studios to the public, giving people the chance to see how and where painters paint, sculptors sculpt and glaziers...glaze.
This weekend, for the 11th year, the Monterey County Artists'' Studio Tour provides a chance to visit close to 75 working studios stretching from Partington Ridge, 45 miles south of Carmel, to the Peninsula up to Sand City, and inland to Salinas. Painters, sculptors, photographers, mixed-media artists, jewelers, carvers and ceramicists invite people to see their work as it''s being produced, ask questions, give comments, and perhaps even buy a work or two, direct from the artist.
"You don''t have to buy anything, of course," tour organizer Renee McClue says quickly. McClue, a Carmel painter herself, took part in the first nine local studio tours, but has been in charge of the annual event these past two years, and has had no time to show her own work. Although artists are "always happy" to find a willing buyer, the point of the studio tour, McClue says, is to encourage a symbiotic relationship between artists and their public.
"The public gets to visit the studios, find out how the artists work, see the paintbrushes, see the chisels," she says. "And the benefit to the artist is, since most of them work in seclusion so much of the time, this gives them the chance to meet their public and experience the interaction they absolutely need. As an artist, you so rarely get to talk about your artwork. Artists usually have one opening a year; otherwise, they have no contact with people who care about their art. This kind of interaction regenerates us."
This year, as is usual, many of the artists are returning participants, and many are first-timers, either new to the area or new to the concept of opening their homes and studios to the public. The annual turnover rate gives people a chance to see new work, as well as revisit some of their favorites from past years.
A particular note of interest is the fiercely democratic nature of the Monterey County studio tour. There is no acceptance criteria for participating artists. The tour can accommodate up to 80 studios, McClue says, and the first 80 who apply are accepted. Many years--like this one--fewer than 80 apply, so all are accepted.
And Monterey County''s tour is, McClue says, one of the few in the nation that is absolutely free to the public. "Most communities charge $15 to $50," she notes. "Even Santa Cruz charges." The Monterey County tour used to charge, but decided three years ago that encouraging access to as many people as possible was more important, and more in line with the spirit of the artists'' studio tour movement. "We think it''s very important to make art available to people in all walks of life, from all income levels," she says.
The Monterey County Artists'' Studio Tour ''99 takes place Saturday and Sunday from 11am-6pm. Maps of participating artists are available at many local venues, including the Pacific Grove Art Center, the Monterey Museum of Art, Searle, and Art Max. Call Renee McClue at 625-0578 for a complete list of locations. A gala kick-off party will be held Friday at the Pacific Grove Art Center from 7-9pm.Art Events
Carmel Art Association. Lecture. Kent Seavey lectures on early California art. Free. Dolores Street between 5th and 6th avenues, Carmel. 624-6176. Lecture: 9/23, 7pm.
Center for Photographic Art. 9th Annual Center Awards. Call for Entries. The Center is now accepting submissions for its international photographic juried exhibition. Over 40 artists will be selected for the December exhibit; cash awards will be made. Deadline is Oct. 12. Call the Center at 625-5181, or visit www.photography.org.
Congregation Beth Israel. Opening Reception. Paintings of New York City as it appeared in the 18th and 19th centuries by Hungarian-born artist Bela Newman. 5716 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley. 624-2015. Reception: 9/26, 2:30-4:40. Through: 10/3.
Henry Miller Library. Opening Reception. Fourth annual sculpture show, focusing on the works of local artists. Highway 1, one mile past Nepenthe, Big Sur. 667-2714. Reception: 9/25, 2-6pm.
Matrix Arts. Call for Entries. Matrix Arts, a nonprofit arts organization in Sacramento, invites artists to submit slides of their work for its exhibition screening for monthly exhibits beginning in the year 2001. Please send your slides to: Attn. Exhibitions Screening, Matrix Arts, 1518 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815 or email: www.martrixarts.org. For more information, call (916) 923-9118.
Monterey Conference Center. Exhibitions. Call for Entries. The Colton Hall Museum and Cultural Arts Commission of the city of Monterey invite artists to submit proposals for art exhibitions in the Alvarado Gallery at the Monterey Conference Center beginning Jan. 2000. Pick up applications at Colton Hall Museum daily. 10am-noon, or 1-5pm. Applications must be received by Oct. 15. Civic Center, Pacific Street, Monterey. 646-5640.
Monterey County Artists'' Studio Tour ''99. Special Event. Saturday and Sunday, 11am-6pm. Visit 73 county artists in their studios, for free (see article above).
Pacific Grove Art Center. Monterey County Artists Studio Tour ''99. Special Event. Gala party Friday, 7-9pm, to kick-off this year''s Artists'' Studio Tour. Showcase of works by participating artists is on display through Sunday; Also, Desert Landscapes, colored pencil works by Katherin McKay; and Incantations, paintings by Diane Romaine. 568 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-2208.
Pitzer''s of Carmel. Opening Reception. Showcase of new works by Peninsula landscape painters Molly Martin and Maurice Harvey. Dolores Street between 5th and 6th avenues, Carmel. 625-2288. Reception: 9/25, 11am-5pm. Through: 10/3.
Seaside Art Competition. Call for Entries. Entries are sought for Seaside''s annual adult art competition in three categories: paintings; works on paper; sculpture. $8 per entry, which must be dropped off Oct. 30, 9am-noon at Seaside City Hall, 440 Harcourt St. The show will be up Nov. 1-26; reception and awards ceremony Nov. 12, 7pm. Call 899-6336 or 6273.
Sunset Center. Demonstration. Portrait painter Gail Reeves presents this month''s demonstration for the Central Coast Artists'' Association. Printmaking by Noriko Constant is showcased. San Carlos Street at 8th Avenue, Carmel. 372-2841. Reception: 9/27, 7:30pm. Through: 9/30.
The Gallery at Ventana. Opening Reception. Mobiles by Carmel artist Laurent Davidson. Ventana Inn, Highway 1, Big Sur. 667-2787. Reception: 9/25, 4:30-6:30pm. Through: 10/23.
Trajan Gallery. Opening Reception. Painter Thomas Pradzynski will sign copies of his monograph at the opening of his show of paintings and graphics of Paris, Venice and Naples. Ocean Avenue at San Carlos Street, Carmel. 625-4388. Reception: 9/26, 1-4pm. Through: 10/1.Ongoing
Back Porch Fabrics and Quilt Gallery Scissors. Exhibit. Quilts by Jeanne Pryor. 157 Grand Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-4453. Through: 10/14.
Big Sur Village Pub Exhibit. Photographs by Jeff Klamer. Highway 1 in Big Sur, next to Big Sur River Inn. 667-2355. Through: 10/23.
Borders Cafe Reflections. Exhibit. Photographs of reflections in street scenes from Paris and San Francisco by Joe Smolen. 2080 California Blvd., Sand City. 899-6643. Through: 10/31.
Carl Cherry Center for the Arts. New Assemblages and Paintings. Exhibit. Book-related art and other works by Hope Kroll. 4th Avenue and Guadalupe Street, Carmel. 624-7491. Through: 10/15.
Carmel Art Association. Exhibit. Watercolors by W.F. Stone; Plein Air watercolors of California scenes by Rollin Pickford; and works by five CAA artists in the September Gallery Showcase. Dolores Street between 5th and 6th avenues, Carmel. 624-6176. Through: 10/6.
Carmel Valley Manor. Exhibit. Watercolors and pencil and ink sketches by William L. Stanley. 8545 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. 626-4806. Through: 9/30.