Exhibit at SLO church is a beacon for art lovers

Almost 100 artists display their work in ‘Awaken the Spirit,’ on display at the SLO United Methodist Church

Special to The TribuneMarch 16, 2013 

Before this month’s Beacon Art Show, I don’t think I’d seen so much local art in one spot since that big co-op space was open in The Creamery in San Luis Obispo. For a while it had the café that served Oprah’s favorite chicken salad sandwich.

This latest arts extravaganza happens just once a year, and it’s over at the United Methodist Church in San Luis Obispo. The sixth annual Beacon Art Show is juried, which means everything displayed is pretty darn good. But with 112 pieces, it’s also pretty darn overwhelming. Ninety-eight local artists responded to a call for entries and 112 pieces were selected from 208 entries, said Beth Mott, chair of the 2013 committee.

My favorite was one of Ken Christensen’s two oils, “Golden Sky Ranch.”

“I’ll never be able to afford a $2,900 painting,” I whined to my boss afterward. She assured me that as a woman without children I’d be able to save up the money in no time.

You can pick up a painting starting at around $100, and most are less than $1,000. A handful of sculptures, fabric and woodturning pieces round out the exhibit.

One of the fabric pieces that stands out is MaryLu Weaver Meagher’s “Canticle of Brother Sun,” a fabric stole. It took third place and was also purchased for the church’s permanent collection. Best of Show went to Glynis Chaffin-Tinglof for her oil called “Searching for Mary in the Trees.” As a fan of Marian apparition tales, I love that title.

Robert Dodge took second place with “The Starry River” of encaustic and pastel on birch cradle. It shares a certain something with van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”

The jury included the Rev. Rick Uhls of SLO United Methodist Church; Jeff Van Kleeck, Cal Poly’s University Art Gallery coordinator; and Ruta Salikis, the exhibition and development director at San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.

The trio gave merit awards to Peggy Jansson for her photograph on canvas called “Monestary of our Savior Yaroslavi Russia,” April Daily for her ink and watercolor, “Waiting for Spring,” and Pat Cairns for a watermedia called “Altar.”

Two events are planned in connection with the “Awaken the Spirit” themed show. Glenna Luschei will offer a poetry workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. She calls it “Pushing Out the Comfort Zone.” Also on the calendar is a Bel Canto Ringers handbell concert at 3 p.m. March 24.

If you go ...

What: “Awaken the Spirit,” sixth annual Beacon Art Show

Gallery hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Show runs through March 31

Where: San Luis Obispo United Methodist Church, 1515 Fredericks St., San Luis Obispo

Contact: http://sloumc.com

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

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