Talent in our midst

If any show deserves strokes, it’s Brushstrokes at the San Luis Obispo Art Center. The 19th annual exhibition by the center’s Oil, Pastel and Acrylic Group also includes mixed media.

The exhibit’s juror, Pasadena resident Walter Askin, said in some written comments that while he enjoyed seeing the work of a wide range of artists, deciding what could go into the show was a tough call. "It was also difficult, as some works of merit could not be included because of spatial limitations," he said. "I tried to select images by artists who use diverse approaches and reached out to works with a focus that is different from my own," he added.

Karen Kile, the center’s executive director, said Askin is known for his "imaginative and satirical painting, sculptures and graphic work."

Askin noted that landscapes were a favorite of the artists, understandably, considering the topography and variety of the San Luis Obispo County area. And yet, most of the winning entries were of subjects in distant lands, such as Harold Spencer’s oil painting, "Voyage to Africa," and Stuart Denker’s "Fishing Boat, Aegina, Greece."

And even though the show was open to artists from Santa Barbara, Ventura, Monterey and San Benito counties, most of the winners are from San Luis Obispo County.

Denker, who took first place, is from Los Osos. Spencer, who won Best of Show, is from Paso Robles; and John Barnard, who took second for his oil painting, "Red Rock Canyon," is from Atascadero.

Atascadero resident Jane Russell’s pastel work, "Stuck in Needles," took third place. Paso Robles artist Ann Laddon’s "Blanket of Poppies," an oil, earned honorable mention, as did Los Osos member Glynis Chaffin-Tinglof’s "Jack London Square, Oakland."

Kile calls the exhibit a crowd pleaser. "Many pieces have already sold to locals and tourists," Kile reported on the show’s sixth day. The exhibit continues through mid-April.