One of the things that has kept me in Cambria all these years — and indeed many who pass through or are lucky enough to stay — is the beauty of the place. The rolling hills, the crashing waves, the flora and fauna all provide inspiration to a creative soul like me. Indeed, Cambria has a longstanding reputation as an artists’ colony for these very reasons, and that hasn’t changed.
For 17 years, Arts Obispo has provided an opportunity for many of these artists to connect with the public via the “Open Studios Art Tour.” Originally staged as one weekend for South County and one for North County, the event now runs two weekends, with the entire county exhibiting.
There are 219 artists total this year including 17 right here in Cambria. New is a pilot program for students, to give them the opportunity to experience presenting and promoting themselves (four are participating). This year, the tour runs Oct. 10-11 and 17-18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all days.
Promoting the arts
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The mission of Arts Obispo is to promote the arts — visual, performing and literary — to adults and youths and to provide artists with avenues to share and sell their works. Going into their 35th year, they are part of the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council, which in turn is part of the California Arts Council.
Of course, they also advocate for arts in schools, programs that are so integral to the development of our children.
Program Director Lori Lerian says the tour is a way for artists to demonstrate their processes.
“Most people have no idea what goes into artistic works! This is a way to learn, to greater appreciate the work and to make it a much more personal experience.”
As an artist myself, I very much understand that.
As the group’s website (www.artsobispo.org) states, “This service is intended to increase connection between makers and consumers. An arts harmony of sorts!”
What a lovely way to spend a weekend. There are beautiful catalogs of all the artists’ addresses available across the county. In Cambria, the catalogs are at Amphora Gallery on Burton Drive and at the Chamber of Commerce.
The event is free. Lerian told me they will also have a mobile-friendly online mapping system this year.
See firsthand where so many incredible pieces of art are made. Meet the artists; learn the stories and motivations behind the works. You can choose a medium, choose an area of the county, schedule it around lunch in a favorite or new spot, check out the Scarecrows in town, a good concert at night. … I tell ya, these could be some incredibly fun and awe-inspiring weekends!
By the way, the catalog includes information on whether the artists are participating in one or both of the weekends (hey, artists like to go see other artists!), whether they’re working studios and whether the space is wheelchair accessible. They’ve thought of it all to make your experience easy and satisfying.
Many of the artists listed will have many more photos of their works on the Arts Obispo website if you care to see more for planning purposes.
You may know what inspires you about Cambria and the Central Coast but here is an opportunity to see what inspires others to create beautiful works of arts around areas of the county you may not even be familiar with!
Grab a friend, grab a catalog and your adventurous spirit and take in a broad sampling of the incredible artistic talent this area is known and loved for, firsthand at the 17th Annual Open Studios Art Tour! Feed your imagination, feed your soul.