What SLO County's arts community is looking forward to this year

San Luis Obispo County arts professionals share their most-anticipated art events coming up this year

Special to The TribuneJanuary 4, 2013 

A sketch of the Live Oak Music Festival by Ardella Swanberg; the artist attends each year.

ARDELLA SWANBERG

In last week’s column, artists and arts administrators looked back at 2012. For this week they told me about the art exhibit or event they’re most looking forward to this year.

Painter Ardella Swanberg said she anticipates the Live Oak Music Festival near Cachuma Lake each June. “My son and I go together; he spends his time jamming with other campers while I sketch and listen to the acts,” she said. “My favorite spot is in the shade of one of the huge oaks at the back. Everyone who goes to the show has to pass me and I sketch whether there is music or not.”

She recommends checking out the local artists and craftsmen who display at the festival, especially Rosanne Seitz’s landscapes.

Laurel Sherrie’s favorite annual event is the Arts Obispo Open Studios Art Tour.

“I’ve participated every year, and this one (the 15th) will be the best ever,” she said.

People enjoy the drive in the country to get to her rural studio in South County, she said. “I paint and live my life as a studio artist — where I also garden and have a menagerie of dogs, chickens, turkeys, pigeons and other birds. It’s my ‘slice of paradise’ and I enjoy sharing it.”

“For its sheer volume of visual sensory experiences, the tour can’t be beat,” said Arts Obispo Executive Director Charlotte Alexander. Scores of volunteers are already planning for October 2013.

There’s also a buzz about upcoming exhibits at San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. Flo Bartell has marked several on her calendar. Josie Rodriquez is a fellow encaustic artist who uses her wax in inventive ways and is expected to show in the winter. Bartell is also looking forward to Cambria sculptor Gail Lapins’ show this month.

Co-chair for the California Sculpture SLAM, Lucie Ryan acknowledged bias with her pick for 2013. “I just want everybody to know that we will be bringing the best, the newest and the most talented sculptors to SLOMA in August,” she said. “We expect this to put SLO County and SLOMA on the map as a hot place to see contemporary sculpture for the future.”

David Prochaska is also predicting a good year on the campus where he teaches art. “I am excited that the Cuesta College Gallery will be once again playing an active role in the visual experiences of all of San Luis Obispo County,” he said. His picks: Dalton and Jeff Jamieson set to open Feb. 22 and new works by Los Angeles painter Tom Wudl in September.

Lucia Mar School District teachers are the featured artists for Joan Bogle’s choice for 2013. She is a member of the El Camino Art Association in Arroyo Grande and is gearing up for “Heart’s Desire,” which runs through the end of February. The Jan. 18 reception will be a great spot to learn more about the group’s fund-raising efforts for its scholarship program for high school students.

Lena Rushing also has a group show she is looking forward to. She’ll participate in “Small Stories” with Peg Grady, Josephine Crawford and Neal Breton at Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obispo.

To the north, we’ve got the Paso Robles Festival of the Arts on Memorial Day weekend. Sasha Irving of Studios on the Park expects more than 6,000 visitors to visit downtown City Park for a celebration of the arts.

The Vault Gallery in Cambria has Adam Licsko slated for mid-year. Check out the recent series of articles about the painter in the Huffington Post.

In Morro Bay, Jane Siragusa, owner of Gallery at Marina Square, is guessing that the November craft show might just be her favorite, once again with a new round of jewelry, ceramics, stained glass, fused and blown glass, woodworking, and fabric artistry.

But first, don’t miss “It’s For the Birds,” a photo exhibit honoring the 17th annual Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival to run Thursday through Feb. 18 at Art Center Morro Bay.

Contact freelance writer Monica Fiscalini at Monica_Jane2000@yahoo.com.

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