By Allyson Oken
SAVOR the Central Coast Artist’s Village presented by Travel Paso Robles opened Saturday, Sept. 26 for the _ first time. Artists offered up their medium as the message, sharing the vivid color and scope of art inspired by the Central Coast.
Local artist Helen K. Davie was the featured artist, show-casing her special installation from Studios on the Park in Paso Robles. She has been an artist for more than 20 years and has illustrated 13 books for children, with several of them receiving awards. Davie is also a member of the Santa Barbara Printmakers and the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art as a member of The Painters Group (TPG), Central Coast Printmakers Groups and served as co-president for the Central Coast Print makers in 2008.
Davie, honored by this recognition, explained that as the featured artist she was asked to design the poster for the event this year. She said the poster that she created would be auctioned off to support arts education for youth in Paso Robles.
"there will be a silent auction where the poster will be auctioned off and all the proceeds will be going to support the Kids Art Smart program, through Studios on the Park," she said. "Through this organization we are able to provide art classes to all students in Paso Robles this year and the proceeds will go to supporting that. Some of us artists were talking the other day and we feel that anything of creativity, if it is nurtured, will help a person flourish in any career they choose. People need to be able to think creatively and if art can do that for a child that is fantastic."
Davie's art was featured with 20 other participating artists and exhibitors including Anne Laddon, Dennis Curry, DKH Fine Acrylic Paintings, Eve Chartrand, Forever Stocked, Grace Iaquinto, Jason's Works, Joe Thomas, Jordan Hockett, Kate Moldauer, Laure Carlisle, Marie Ramey, Native American Jewelry, Paso Jules & Marble Designs Jewelry, Revamped, Rich "Hap" Happoldt, Sharon Gellerman, Stephanie Wilbanks, Terez Tyni and Three Springs Handworks.
Each stop in the Artists Village offered a different perspective. Artists that embodied the essence of the Central Coast in their work were the standouts and the two that had vivid and captivating displays were Carmen Sandoval Arts, Crafts and Jewelry and Forever Stoked Art Gallery.
Cal Grown was an understatement when used to describe art using all local rawhide, shells, seeds, stone, fossils and feathers. This is the all-natural medium used by artist Sandoval of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash indigenous tribes. Her display illustrated her skill as a creator of fine jewelry and leatherwork. She explained that she has been making Chumash ceremonial regalia, jewelry and more since she was a little girl and only just recently started making it for non-native events and sales outside of the tribe.
"I work primarily with shells, stone, horn and other natural materials," Sandoval said. "Leather is my specialty. I really love leatherwork. My great-great-great-grandfather also worked with leather so I like to continue that tradition. He worked in rawhide and leather. What is really special is that with my Native American heritage I originally started doing more traditional work and then a friend of mine said, 'I am not native. I love the elements you use in your work. Is there any way that you could create a line that you can offer to the public like the pieces you create for your ceremonial work?' So this is what I came up with. I have been making traditional regalia and have been a dancer for many years. Really since I was a child I have been making regalia and it is an honor to carry on the tradition on our beautiful historical site."
To learn more about Sandoval and the work she does to preserve her heritage for generations of Chumash or to see her arts, crafts and jewelry, visit sanaqipnas.vpweb.com.
Aaron Adamski, an artist working with Forever Stoked Art Gallery out of Morro Bay, created a display that had people scrambling for their camera as they happened upon it, with fluidic, Seussian land and seascapes, abstract art with fractal patterns and art that felt as though you could step into it.
"We get inspired by nature and those images just stick in your brain and we are compelled to create. It is just what comes out when you pick up a paintbrush or pencil," Adamski said. 'A lot of the art tells a story. There are six different artists on display here featuring a bunch of different styles. This is one of mine of Mount Hood. It is based on an RV trip we took. So I have a series of paintings that tell a story. This is the type of inspired work we look for when it is chosen to hang at the gallery. It is really just a lot of fun."
Forever Stoked is located at 1164 Quintana Road in Morro Bay. For more information, visit foreverstoked.com.
To learn more about the Artist's Village or to join the exhibit next year, visit savor-centralcoast.com.