The Art Center Morro Bay’s new publicity chief says passers-by are sometimes afraid to come in because they think they’ll have to buy something.
I’ve got three things to say about that.
One, I was kind of afraid to go in because the last time I was there was with my dad for a November jazz concert and he sat in the front row and coughed a bunch and ate an Atkins Bar.
Second, even if visitors were required to buy art, there’s plenty of good stuff that probably costs less than a sweatshirt from the Embarcadero.
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Third, the Art Center is the happening spot to be in the middle of the afternoon. The day I dropped in, I found members of the Morro Bay Art Association talking and laughing and listening to KPYG on the radio.
Plein air painter Ron Myers greeted me and reminded me not to get so dazzled by the Chinese brush painting exhibit, “Chasing the Dragon,” that I forget to check out the Morro Bay Art Association member show upstairs. Photographer Ruth Ann Angus dropped by to work on publicity. She is looking forward to hosting a twice-monthly half-hour program about art on Estero Bay Community Radio. Listen and keep an eye out for the first episode at www.estero bayradio.org.Ruth Armstrong from Cambria was also hanging out. Her woodblocks were among my favorites from the member show.
And it was also nice to meet Patricia Kung of Los Osos who is one of three area artists with more than half a dozen works each in the Chinese brush painting exhibit: The other two are Paula Schroeder and Rosemary Greenville. The trio is also selling cards and matted originals. Schroeder’s small ink and watercolor on rice paper originals start at $25. She was among six winners in the national American Association of University Women 2012 Art Contest and belongs to the Atascadero AAUW chapter. Pat Cairns, another member of that chapter, also made the top six.
Other artists showing Chinese brush paintings include Jarien de Ham and Shantien Tom Chow, a Los Angeles-based Chinese calligrapher.
I recognized Chinese brush painting and learned that artists paint with rapid strokes and don’t go back with their brushes to make corrections as watercolorists might. Common themes that I would have called flora and fauna fall under a more appropriate term in Chinese-influenced art, “bird-and-flower painting,” which includes flowers, birds, fish and insects.
Back to shopping: If I were looking for a Morro Bay souvenir, the Art Center Morro Bay would be my first stop. An area of one wall called “Local Scenes” features photos and small paintings of Morro Bay and beyond. My favorite was Leonore Messenger’s “Pines by the Bay,” a coastal scene using fabric pieces. I was also drawn to several ceramic pieces she has in the member show.
For more information about the Morro Bay Art Association, such as newsletters, scholarships and membership, visit www.artcenter morrobay.com.
Contact freelance writer Monica Fiscalini at Monica_Jane2000@yahoo.com.