Saturday, February 8, 2014


Hearts For the Arts at Artisan's Gallery
If you're in the market for some tasty, affordable art (and who isn't?), gather round. The best art deals in town are happening this week at two local venues. The annual Hearts for the Arts silent auction (a fundraiser for the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County) is in full swing at Artisan's Gallery.  And the affordable art show, Take Aways: Art To Go, continues for one more week at the Pajaro Valley Arts Council in Watsonville.

Here's a recap of the original Hearts for the Arts concept. It was a combination live/silent auction, wine and chocolate tasting, and schmooze-fest held on a massive scale at the Santa Cruz Civic right around Valentine's Day every year.

Nowadays, the spirit of the original Hearts event lives on at Artisan's. For several years now, owner/curator Linnea Holgers James has invited local artists to donate a 10"x10" work of art on the theme of hearts and/or love, which she displays grouped together on a back wall of the gallery like a quilt.  Bid sheets are available for anyone who wants to come in and place a bid on their favorite piece(s).
"Every Which Way," by James Aschbacher, at PVAC

Participating artists this year include Doug Ross, Isobel George, Sally Bookman, T Mike Walker, Isabelle Fearnsby, James Aschbacher, Brenda Mills Brannan, printmaker Liz Lyons Friedman, sculptor Peter Koronokos, and jewelry-maker Alena Byrnes, among many others.

Artisan's is open 10:30 am to 6:30 pm Sunday-Friday, and 10:30 am to 8:30 pm Saturday. Bidding on these items closes next Friday, February 14, with all proceeds to benefit ACSCC—which, in turn, supports the arts in Santa Cruz County.

Meanwhile, down at the PVAC, the month-long Art To Go show is heading into its final week. In this user-friendly exhibit, a staggering array of local artists—more than 50, at last count—offers smaller work at ridiculously reasonable prices.
From "Ancestors," by Chris Miroyan

Nothing in the show is over $300, and many pieces, including a lot of glass, ceramics, and jewelry, are priced under $100. Such a deal! Look for 2D art by Jane Gregorious, d. hooker, Marie Gabrielle, Sefla Joseph, Beth Shields, Roberta Lee Woods, the ubiquitous James Aschbacher, the mysterious bird-headed "Ancestors" series by Chris Miroyan, and so many more.

There's also glass art by Jim and Connie Grant and Penny Waller, sculpture from Jamie Abbott and Fanne Farnow, rustic, hand-shaped tea cups by Mike Beebe, book art by Donna and Peter Thomas, jewelry from Lynn Guenther—well, I could go on and on.

But, hey, don't listen to me—go check it out for yourself. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm. Closing reception will be on Sunday, February 16, 2 - 4 pm, and will also feature a drawing for donated art.

And even if you don't bid or buy, these shows give us all another chance to marvel at the abundance and variety of art produced right here in our burgh. Bask and enjoy!

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