Arts & Culture

Don't miss Arti Gras and other upcoming art events in San Luis Obispo County

Arti Gras and will take place Feb. 9 at the Elks Lodge in San Luis Obispo.
Arti Gras and will take place Feb. 9 at the Elks Lodge in San Luis Obispo.

Grab your calendars; it’s time to save some dates.

As you may know, San Luis Obispo used to have a downtown Mardi Gras parade. The void left a beignet-size hole in the heart of many who found alternatives ranging from getting the old krewe together for a house party to dining and dancing at Bon Temps Creole Café.

Arts Obispo also stepped up to give the grown-ups a place to show off their sequins and feathers. The party/fundraiser is called Arti Gras and will take place Feb. 9 at the Elks Lodge in San Luis Obispo.

The annual event is the group’s major fundraiser for Arts in Education, which supports programs in schools including a poetry recitation competition for high school students and the County Office of Education’s countywide writing competition.

Money raised will also go toward teaching elementary teachers how to include the arts in their lesson plans. Call 544-9251, ext. 10, to reserve a seat. Tickets are $100 per person, but Arts Obispo members pay just $50. Join its local partner of the California Arts Council for $50.

The San Luis Obispo Art Museum’s adult class catalog for 2013 is online at Painting, assemblage, digital art, critique workshops and more will be offered during the year.

One class that jumped out at me is “Designing Eco Clothing” with Melinda Forbes and Julie Frankel. The two will demonstrate how to deconstruct and redesign reclaimed garments and during four evenings starting Jan. 31. Participants will then create garments and accessories from recycled materials using hand stitching.

Artist Harold Spencer will mark his 58th anniversary of reading selections from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 15 at Studios on the Park, 1130 Pine St., Paso Robles.

Also, hear “A Child's Christmas in Wales” by Dylan Thomas and enjoy apple cider and sweet treats.

Julie Frankel also gets a plug this week for the two San Luis Obispo utility boxes she recently painted with Marcie Hawthorne. Photographer Keith Tracy took quite a few shots showing artists working on the boxes and the finished works. See Tracy’s round-up of this nifty public art sponsored by the city of San Luis Obispo at

One of my favorites is Frankel and Hawthorne’s dogs at Upham and Santa Barbara streets. Their colorful contribution at Monterey Street and Grand Avenue features mariachi performers.

Contact freelance writer Monica Fiscalini at