SLO exhibit offers a taste of what’s in next month’s Open Studios Art Tour

The 6x6(x6) Open Studios Art Tour Show at ARTS Space Obispo. Larry Knapp's 'Angry Wisdom'
Photo by Joe Johnston 09-27-11
The 6x6(x6) Open Studios Art Tour Show at ARTS Space Obispo. Larry Knapp's 'Angry Wisdom' Photo by Joe Johnston 09-27-11 The Tribune

Fitting 100 works of art into the small ArtsSpace Obispo Gallery could be a squeeze, but since the work is limited to 6-by-6-by-6 inches, everything fits to a T.

That’s T for Tour, the Open Studios Art Tour, which opens Oct. 15, through the San Luis Obispo Arts Council.

It’s also a T for Taste: To give tour visitors a taste of what’s in store, the council is not only showing samples from less than half of the 236 artists who are taking part in this 13th annual event, it’s also offering a video tour at the gallery.

Painters and sculptors are not the only ones who participate; so do ceramicists, weavers, and more are showing their works at the preview.

Crissa Hewitt, whose jewelry reflects silversmithing talents, helped set up the current show at ArtsSpace, handling all of the shelf displays, according to new executive director Charlotte Alexander.

Alexander was delighted with Hewitt’s eye, along with the expertise of Tim Anderson and Gordon Fuglie, both previous curators at the San Luis Obispo Art Cen ter/Museum of Art, who hung the show, grouping the small pieces to complement each other and create themes.

Keeping art small enough to fit the required size was a challenge for many artists.

Lauren Birkhahn said she took advantage of the sides of the deepedge canvas she used to paint her foxes. Such canvases, or cradled boards, are box-like structures, a favorite for many artists, allowing them to paint on the sides if they choose, and to avoid frames.

Sheri Klein’s fused glass, “Picasso’s Girl,” makes the cut regarding size, although she’s recently created a larger work based on Picasso’s “Girl in the Mirror” for the upcoming ceramics exhibit at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.

“I love Picasso,” she said. “I really like modern art.” Klein is especially attracted to the bright colors and geometric shapes that lend themselves to her medium and appeals to her love of math.

A 13-year resident of San Luis Obispo, Klein moved here with husband Jim Tyler, a pastel artist, and their two children, from Washington, D.C.

A software engineer, Klein had dabbled in art, some silk screening, for example, until she took a week-long Cal Poly extension class in fused glass in 2005.

“I was just hooked immediately. It was just so much fun,” Klein said. “Sometimes you have to try a bunch of media until something fills the gap.”

Klein also ended up investing a lot of money in tools and materials. “It’s not a cheap hobby to get started in,” she acknowledged.

During Open Studios, her husband will show his pastels, along with friends and fellow artists and crafters Leigh Ramiriz, fine silver jewelry; Kari Appleton, jewelry; Heidi Peterson, ceramics; and Jackie Bradley, silk painting.

It’s a time for friends to gather, to make new friends, to meet artists doing what they love in their studios.