Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Art lovers, start your engines. The annual Capitola Art and Wine Festival is coming this weekend, September 11 and 12, a two-day street fair devoted to fine art and wine in—where else?—beautiful downtown Capitola. Fog or shine, the show will go on with upwards of 150 local and visiting artists, and 20 Santa Cruz Mountain wineries opening their booths (and popping their corks) to the public down in the village and along the Esplanade. Art Boy and I drop by the festival every year to see who or what is new. Look at the cool thing we came home with last year, this gorgeous turquoise-green, Art Nouveau-inspired vase from Foxlo Pottery, out of Cambria. (Notice how it coordinates with the color of my blog!) There's something for every taste and pocketbook at Capitola Art and Wine. Plus, you get a chance to get up close and personal with artists and winemakers alike. Live music (from Extra Large and The Refugees, to The Great Morgani and Santa Cruz Pipes and Drums), live dance, and comedy from Jetlag the clown (Rock Lerum) is provided non-stop at the Bandstand Stage. Event hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free; $5 buys you a commemorative wine glass for tasting. Individual drink tickets go for a buck apiece. Check it out!

Speaking of upcoming art events, the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County has cooked up something new for this year's Open Studios. To celebrate the event's 25th (Silver) Anniversary, the CCSCC is pulling a Willy Wonka and hiding a rare Silver Ticket inside three randomly selected OS 2010 Calendar/Artist Guides. Each Silver Ticket is good for either $500 or $250 off the purchase of a piece of art from a participating OS artist of your choice! There are only three Silver Tickets out there, so ask yourself if you're feeling lucky, then run out and buy your Calendar now! Click here for more info and a list of local Calendar vendors.

Have you ever wanted to give a movie critic a piece of your mind? (I know I have!) Ever wonder what it would be like to be a film critic for a day? You can find out this Sunday at Chaminade, when yours truly goes up on the auction block for a worthy cause, and bidding commences (I hope) on a chance to go to the movies with me and Art Boy.

Here's how it all came about. Most of this summer, Art Boy has been hard at work on a public art commission from the good folks at the CASA organization (Court Appointed Special Advocates for children in the Santa Cruz County court system). Because the finished painting will include a column of donor names, CASA Development Director Linda Bixby invited Art Boy and me to Imagine!, the organization's annual Gala Dinner and Auction this Sunday, to present the work-in-progress.

Normally, Art Boy would donate a painting or print to the auction as well, but in this case, he thought another Aschbacher in the auction might diffuse the focus on his commission piece. So he decided to donate me instead. With the kind indulgence of our friends at the Nickelodeon Theaters, CASA will be auctioning off a movie date with moi. The winning bidder, and three other close personal friends, will attend a private morning press screening of a new, upcoming film with myself and Art Boy, along with a few other local critics, at the Nickelodeon downtown. An after-screening lunch will be provided at Kianti, where, no doubt, a rousing discussion will ensue. To sweeten the deal, the Nickelodeon will also kick in 10 free movie passes redeemable at the Nick, the fabulously restored Del Mar, and/or Aptos Cinema. Be the first kids on your block to see a brand new movie the week before it opens! Enjoy the illicit thrill of going to the movies while everyone else is at work!

CASA's Annual Gala Dinner and Auction is this Sunday, September 12, 4 to 8:30 p.m. at Chaminade. $100 gets you wine, hors d'oeuvres, and live jazz on the Courtyard Terrace, an elegant three-course dinner in the Santa Cruz Ballroom, and access to the Silent Auction at 4 p.m., and the Live Auction at 6 p.m. Dan Green of KSBW returns as guest auctioneer. Maybe I'll see you there!

(Photo of Lisa & James by Jana Marcus.)

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