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May 7, 2010

Artists 'Imagine the Possibilities' through River Art Exhibit

Paso Robles Press, C1

Artists 'Imagine the Possibilities' through River Art Exhibit

Contributed

The City of Paso Robles has again joined forces with Studios on the Park to present the Paso Robles Festival of the Arts slated for Saturday, May 29, along with a number of key supporting local partners, including IQMS, Heritage Oaks Bank, KCOY TV, the Travel Paso Robles Alliance and the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.

"We are all thrilled to bring back this event. The positive response last year was overwhelming, and we knew we were onto something big with this festival as the day unfolded," said Barbara Partridge, Chair of the planning committee for the festival. "We had no idea what to expect in terms of attendance, and by midday the entire planning committee was elated; we estimate that about 5,000 people attended.

That's a huge number for a first time event. We still hear positive comments about ast year, and people are eager to hear about our plans for this year. In light of the enthusiasm in the community about Festival 2010, we have been inspired to come up with even more great artists, activities and surprises. It's going to be truly wonderful."

The Festival of the Arts will feature an environmental perspective, and will again offer access to the City's Salinas River Corridor Project plans, and answer questions during the event about the future of the river, according to organizers.

As a new enhancement, participating artists were asked to provide their vision of the future of the river, based on the findings of the Salinas River Corridor Project.

"The Festival of the Arts is truly unique in all that it has accomplished for our community to date and what it holds for the future. Last year's event generated over $200,000 toward a state clean water grant, and also provided a fun, engaging platform to educate residents about the Salinas River Corridor Project said Meg Williamson, Assistant City Manager and project manager for the Salinas River Corridor Project.

"The grant looks like it will come through in the near future, which is very exciting and has provided inspiration for this year's River Art Exhibition. We have asked the artists participating in the festival to envision the future of the Salinas River Corridor. We know that the community would like to see the possibility of walking trails, outdoor art installations, perhaps even an amphitheater along the corridor."

 

River Art Exhibit

Artists may have gone up the Salinas River without a paddle, but they kept their trusty paintbrushes handy as they drew inspiration from the river's natural beauty on Monday, April 26.

The artists represented just a handful of the more than 80 artists who will participate in the River Art Exhibition during the Paso Robles Festival of the Arts, slated for Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, May 29. The exhibit will showcase the artists' various interpretations and visions of the Salinas River Corridor.

Here's what some of the artists had to say about their various River Art Exhibition projects:

Pat Cairns:

"River Run"

"With all the rain this winter, the Salinas [River] actually ran above ground more than I've seen it in thirty years in our area. The blues of lupine and golds of poppies on the hills inspired me."

 

Rosanne Seitz:

"Riverbed near Bradley"

"I was attracted to the lighted hills in the background and the darker, shadowed areas of the foreground with the river reflecting the sky."

 

Anne Downs:

"River Discovery"

"This is a section of the Salinas River at the park in Paso Robles. The "discovery" was mine as well as the children's - I drove down from the Monterey Peninsula following the river and discovered this magnificent place for the first time. I liked seeing the children completely absorbed in their discoveries at the river's edge and their images reflected in the river."

 

Terry Henry:

"Salinas River Valley Beads"

The beads were developed from the Festival of the Arts logo and my image of the river and the rolling hills in the valley. The beads are all hand made using Italian glass and a propane oxygen torch. I have designed the necklace with the Salinas River; trees; and crops. Since the theme is "paint" the dream, the necklace is worked in silver with charms of turtles, fish and frogs. All healthy riparian ecosystems have riparian species.

 

Gregory Simmons:

"Salinas River Campfire 2"

"One of my favorite hikes is along the Juan Bautista De Anza trail not far from my home... each time, usually around dusk, I cannot help but to go back in time an envision what it was like for the Native Americans who followed the river for hunting and camping...then move up in time when the missionaries would follow that same trail and camped to get to their end destination. So it was easy to envision campfires at dusk with all that history laid before me."

 

Sarah Winkler:

"River Dream"

"My inspiration came from the title of the show, 'Follow the River, Paint the Dream' coupled with the memory of walking along the bank of the Salinas river bed during a hot late summer's eve - the sun setting, the animals stirring and the moss strewn oaks and brush coming alive with the scent of night approaching."

 

Ginger Toomer:

"Salinas River Oak"

"The contrast in colors and textures of foliage between this oak tree and shrub, along the bank of the Salinas River, caught my eye. Reflections of these contrasts in the water, and the patterns of the shadows as they blended and extended to the sand, inspired this painting. Painting with soft - or dry - pastels on a special paper (designed to 'grip' the pastel) allowed for multiple layers of color."

 

Larry Le Brane:

"I responded to the Salinas River area by creating a fused Glasscape, 'Take Me To The River.' I wanted to create a landscape in fused glass that showed the rugged beauty of the dry riverbed, surrounding vineyards and rolling hills. The colored glass I selected and hand-painted details seemed to reflect the unique solitude and beauty near the river. Visitors were so excited by the piece that I'm inspired to create another Glasscape for this year's festival, too."

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