OAKHURST – The works of a record number of artists will be on display for the 11th annual Sierra Art Trails Open Studio Tour, taking place October 4 – 6.
Based in Oakhurst, which is located about 20 minutes south of Yosemite National Park, the region has a reputation for having more artists per capita than anywhere else in the United States.
The annual showcase features works of art in just about every media one can imagine at a series of venues throughout the region.
Stops along the trail include nearly every foothill community, with the first stop being in the small town of O’Neals, followed by Yosemite Lakes Park and Coarsegold, Oakhurst, Ahwahnee, North Fork and Bass Lake. The annual tour attracts thousands of art lovers, and every year the number of visitors continues to grow.
“We’re really excited for this year, we have 108 artists who are taking part and they have some amazing works of art to share with the public,” says Jon Bock who organizes the annual art show and year-long series of events that lead up to it.
Bock says the large number of artists is fueling what he is sure will be a great weekend for art lovers.
“What I’m seeing is that people are genuinely excited this year, that’s makes me feel really good. The artists are making bigger efforts and we’re getting more online and mail orders for catalogs. I feel a really good energy this year and I hope that translates to a good weekend.”.
The cost to attend the self-guided tour is $18 for two adults. The 2013 Sierra Art Trails Catalog, which also serves as the admission, contains a profile of each of the artists, maps and other information regarding the area.
“I’d like to see even more people support the arts and get the catalog; it’s a great publication. It’s become a resource for culture in the area,” Bock said.
The Sierra Art Trails Open Studio Tour was started in 2002 to take advantage of a very large and active art community.
“We wanted to draw people in to the region from areas outside of Yosemite and the Sierra. Really it was the realization that we had a cultural resource and the chance to take advantage of that and make the region a destination,” Bock explains.
Guests received a free preview of the exhibit at a special event at Yosemite Gallery Row in Oakhurst on Saturday. In addition to showing off some of pieces that will be on display at the tour, five young people were introduced whose works will be included in the tour as part of the Student Sponsorship Program. The five local children are Hannah Carlson, sisters Camille and Kaitlyn Fisher, Rylee Jackson and Pedro Villa.
Local artist Jerry Bosworth received the annual Community Award in which the Sierra Art Trails purchased one of his works for $500 as a show of gratitude for his efforts in bolstering the art community. Bosworth accepted the donation under the condition that he be allowed to give it to the Student Sponsorship Program.
Another community award, the Keeper of the Flame Award, was given to the Children’s Museum of the Sierra. The award is given to a person or organization that embodies the Sierra Art Trails’ mission of promoting the importance and value of arts in society.
“Art doesn’t just enrich the community, our artists help make this a better area to live,” said Bock.
Bosworth will be donating 25% of each photograph sold during the tour to the Little Church on the Hill restoration project, while another artist, James Hudson, is donating 100% of his proceeds to the Ahwahnee Volunteer Fire Department.
To learn more about the artists along the trail, visit the special Sierra News Online section for Sierra Art Trails, along with a link to where you can purchase the catalog.
One catalog is good for two people.
Order your catalog early so you have time to plan your Art Trails adventure.
Special thanks to Virginia Lazar for contributing photographs to this story.