Arts & Culture

Give local, unique art this holiday season

Marie Ramey’s art is part of The Under $200 Art Show at The ARTery in Atascadero.
Marie Ramey’s art is part of The Under $200 Art Show at The ARTery in Atascadero.

Buy art — for yourself or as gifts through the holidays, but by all means, heed the artists’ plea and buy their art while they are living — not only to support them but also to show your appreciation for their craft and to buy one-of-a-kind items.

Galleries and museums are essential is bringing art to the public, but showing work there is not the ultimate goal. The art you see is for sale. Admiring it, discussing, and writing about it is not enough. We must support it and all that goes into each piece — the thought, the time, the blood, sweat, tears and years of honed artistic skills.

The art you see in front of you, it is the only one there is.

The ARTery in Atascadero just hung its annual Under $200 Art Show, featuring 40 pieces from artists working across San Luis Obispo County.

“I’d rather buy artwork than have nice furniture,” said Bobbi Nunez, a painter who owns and operates The ARTery. “You can completely lose yourself in a piece of art — the color, the lines; I have a piece at home I look at every single day. It’s mesmerizing.”

Deanna Strachan of Atascadero has a mixed-media piece in the show called Love Me, Love Me Not.

“Buying art, it’s not just appreciating what it looks like but the time we put into it — the story or the effort, it’s a chance to own a story someone else is telling,” she said.

Artists are taking active positions in promoting art in the community. One such person is painter Ethel Landers, who curates the GALA Center gallery in San Luis Obispo.

“My purpose in making and marketing art is to spread joy,” Landers said. “Obviously it is helpful to have the extra income when my art sells; however, my art comes from my soul and I use it to connect to spirit, to animals, to the earth, and to others. By buying my art now, rather than after I am gone, we make that connection now and become part of the collective good.”

ArtsObispo is the county’s largest single-agency art supporter, not just visual arts but writing, spoken word, just about every aspect of creative expression.

Lori Lerian is the program director for ArtsObispo and described purchasing art as a key element in perpetuating a cycle that keeps art alive.

“Art is created with a story behind it and can convey an emotion or a sense of place with the buyer,” Lerian said. “Buying a piece of art means you are purchasing, or giving, something personal and unique. And, by purchasing art, you have supported the artist and helped them create more.”

This is the last column by Paula McCambridge, a freelance writer in Atascadero, who has decided to pursue other freelance work.

If you go

What: The Under $200 Art Show

Where: The ARTery, 5890 Traffic Way, Atascadero

When: Through Jan. 15, 2016; Reception is Friday, Nov. 20 from 6-9 p.m.


Ethel ‘Tink’ Landers

Painter and curator for the GALA Center gallery