Four artists have opened three new venues recently, giving more artists opportunities for exposure
Art Central, 1329 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo; store (747-4200), gallery (788-0887). Hours 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; until 9 p.m. First Friday Art After Dark; today and Sunday Feb. 27, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Seeking a site for an art supply store, Etty Pacifico decided she’d likely get more traffic by locating north of Santa Rosa Street. Plus, rents are lower than downtown, and there is parking right in front of the store.
“We’re working out some of our kinks,” said Pacifico while preparing for the official grand opening held Feb. 4 for Art After Dark.
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The spacious building, which opened for business in early January, is large enough to accommodate a gallery as well. When a member of the Central Coast Watercolor Society suggested her group exhibit there, Pacifico figured, “why not?”
The artists came forward with plenty of paintings to help kick off the opening, according to board member Paula Schroeder. The show offers 94 paintings by 35 members. The watercolor group has recently severed ties with the former San Luis Obispo Art Center, after four decades.
“This is our first show in many years as an independent group,” said Schroeder. “We are all very excited about it and the new gallery space.” The exhibit will run through Feb. 24.
For future exhibits, Pacifico, who paints under her birth name Klinger and is represented by Chambers Gallery in Cambria, said she will jury in a permanent stable of artists. She figures the space, with 4- and 8-foot walls and partitions, can accommodate 15 to 30 paintings and 10 to 15 sculptures and other 3-D works.
Heaven & Earth, 964 Chorro St., upstairs, San Luis Obispo. 801-0163; 602-1542. Hours noon to 5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; until 9 p.m. first Friday Art After Dark.
Nestled in the heart of town across from the Mission, Heaven & Earth has barely enough space to turn around in. But the old building has a sense of history and charm that appeals to owners Jeremy Wakefield and Lynn Hessler.
For Wakefield, it’s like coming home. “I had this same exact spot” when she operated her gallery Heaven 20 years ago. There she sold crosses she created with found objects (which she still makes) before returning to her nursing career. When her close pal Hessler, who lives downstairs, remarked how she was drawn to the room, often sitting there when it was vacant, she had no idea of Wakefield’s connection to it.
Hessler, who works for a company painting murals all over the globe, offers her acrylic and encaustic works at the new gallery. The duo has also gathered other well-known artists, most of whom work with found objects, such as Peg Grady, who initially encouraged Wakefield to make her crosses.
Baywood Fine Art, gallery and art supplies, 1316 2nd St., Baywood Park. 528-8021. Hours noon to 5 p.m. Thursday-Monday.
Oil painter Mimi Whitney Hafft is adamant about what her new business displays. “I want to support the Central Coast artists,” she said. “I don’t want anything in here except Central Coast themes.” Since opening Nov. 1, Hafft has held workshops and exhibited work by the plein air group, the Thursday Painters, and individual artists.