Friday, September 2, 2011


Listen: that whooshing sound you hear is Time's Wingéd Chariot, hurtling us into the Santa Cruz Fall arts season.

And, believe it or not, Open Studios is just around the corner. The official catalogue for the Open Studios Art Tour 2011 goes on sale today, and how cool is that green art glass vase by Jim and Connie Grant on the cover? Just the thing to get your juices flowing for another round of OS treasure hunting. This $20 catalogue also functions as a 16-month calender featuring artwork by all 300+ OS artists. You can order online, as we speak, or click here to find a catalogue-selling outlet near you.

Btw, Jim and Connie are South County OS artists whose marvelous one-of-a-kind glassworks combine clean lines and echoes of Deco with organic, Native American shapes and patterns. Check out their Celestial Art Glass website for more examples.

Open Studios starts early this year. North County artists (north of the Yacht Harbor to Davenport) open their doors the weekend of October 1 and 2. South County artists (south of the Yacht Harbor to Watsonville) open up October 8 and 9. Encore Weekend (countywide) is Oct 15 and 16. The catalogue will tell you which artists are participating in the Encore Weekend (in addition to providing a sample of work from each OS artist, and maps to their locations).

Also, last year's Silver Ticket gambit was such a hit, the Cultural Council is doing it again this year. Six individual Silver Tickets are hidden inside OS catalogues at various locations around the county. Each ticket is as good as cash toward the purchase of artwork from any OS artist. There are three tickets valued at $100 each, two tickets at $200 each, and one ticket worth $300. Feeling lucky? Buy a catalogue now and avoid the rush later on.

New this year, in addition to the preview exhibit of all OS artists at the Art League, downtown, there will also be a preview exhibit featuring the work of North County OS artists (from Davenport, Bonny Doon, San Lorenzo Valley, and Scotts Valley) at the R. Blitzer Gallery on the West Side. Both preview shows will be open September 24 through October 16, to allow the public face time with OS artists' work up close and personal.

In the meantime, check out these slideshows of this year's participating OS artists: North County and South County.

Last year, I blogged extensively about my OS adventures. Here's one of my favorite treasures that I found last year, a little ceramic angel by Peggy Snider, who greets me in my kitchen every morning with a poignant rustling of her wings. New treasures are out there, waiting to be found at this year's event. Click here for all the details. And happy hunting!

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