Tuesday, February 6, 2018

ART to GO!

Hearts for the Arts: love themes
Now that it's positively spring-like outside, it's time to do what Santa Cruz does best: celebrate art and the artists in our midst!

Two fabulous new art shows are up and running this week.

First up, welcome back a beloved local tradition, Hearts for the Arts, the long-running benefit for the  Arts Council of Santa Cruz County.

Once upon a time, it was the biggest clambake of the art season, a catered affair at the Civic Auditorium, where artists came out of their lairs to mingle, while art patrons came all fired up to bid on their work — fueled by free champagne a chocolates provided during the increasingly raucous live auction that closed the evening.

These days things are a bit more (ahem) decorous. Artisan's Gallery, downtown, generously provides the wall space for an ongoing silent auction that opened February 1st, and continues to February 13.

In keeping with the Valentine season, most of the art pieces feature hearts or other love-oriented themes.

And the varying interpretations of that theme is what makes the show so interesting — as you can see from the eclectic grouping, above!

Besides small paintings, there are textiles, mixed media, encaustics, and a selection of fine jewelry to tempt art lovers — 100 pieces in all. Each piece comes with a preemptive strike option, a "Buy Now" price that will secure that item without any further bidding.

Several pieces have already sold out of the show this way, so get out there and place your bids!

I love my Connie Grant watercolor!
And while you're there, check out the vast selection of art, craft, jewelry, and greeting cards Artisan's has to offer. (How funny is it that Art Boy's painting ended up above the greeting card rack featuring champagne cards!)

Meanwhile, down in Watsonville, it's time for the Pajaro Valley Arts annual fundraiser Take Aways: Art to Go. The show features 62 local artists showing small, original pieces, priced to take away!

The cool thing about this show is that each artist displays a selection of pieces, grouped together, so you really get a sense of not only their style and use of materials, but the kind of artistic journey they're on.

It's also handy to have a few extra pieces on display as others are sold and whisked away!

The Aschbacher wall, PVA: on a journey

(Here's our score from the Preview Reception (above): a lovely little watercolor by Connie Grant that we just couldn't resist! You may know her from the fabulous art glass she's made for years with her husband, Jim Grant.

But just look how wonderful these little abstracts are! We love ours!)

The PVA Gallery on Sudden Street is such a rabbit warren of interesting little rooms (it's converted from a stately Victorian house), it's worth it just to poke around and see what marvels you find. There's always a surprise around the next corner!

See for yourself in this virtual tour of the Take Aways show!

One of my other favorite discoveries was this marvelous little window suite of mini chairs (each about 12" tall) from Cristie Thomas and Scott Lindberg. How cool are these? I especially love the one with the tree-limb chair back and legs!

Take Aways: Art To Go runs through March 4 at the PVA Gallery. There will be a closing reception March 4, 2-4 pm. But don't wait 'til then to see the show — pieces are already disappearing off the walls!

Exclusive Seating: mini-chairs by Cristie Thomas and Scott Lindberg

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