MOUNTAIN AREA — Sierra Art Trails 2019 is expected to draw thousands of visitors to the Yosemite foothills this weekend to celebrate art — and the local artists working throughout the area.
The three-day event takes place Friday through Sunday (Oct. 4-6) and is one of the highlights of the year for the mountain area art community.
Exhibits are underway this weekend in homes, studios, galleries and businesses in communities throughout eastern Madera and Mariposa counties.
The show is the largest art event in the area, say organizers, and spotlights local artists and artisans working in a wide range of media including painting, photography, jewelry, sculpture, fiber arts, woodcarving, ceramics and glass.
Even the catalog for the event is a collectible, full-color publication that includes articles, special features, artist listings and detailed maps that guide visitors to the various Art Trails locations.
This year’s catalog features cover art by Trowzers Akimbo.
At this year’s event, Mary Beth Harrison, a full-time teacher who lives in North Fork, displayed some of her artwork, which, she said, combines plein air oil painting, photography and studio work. Harrison is an active member of the Yosemite Western Artists and studies oil painting under Linda McCoy and Dreama Tolle-Perry.
Oakhurst artist Tricia Nickerson specializes in nature photography. Her business is called Flights of Fancy.
Hannah Desch is a North Fork artist whose current interest is creating wheel-thrown ceramic dishware. She says her creations are inspired by “natural forms and color palettes.”
Sierra Art Trails is a nonprofit organization “dedicated to supporting artists and artisans, promoting art education, and benefiting our communities through cultural tourism,” according to the group’s website.
In addition to the Open Studio Tour, Sierra Art Trails also offers workshops, demonstrations, lectures, and special exhibits for artists and the general public.
The organization supports art in the foothill community by raising funds for student scholarships, school art programs, public art and other area art-related projects and organizations.
Sierra Art Trails is operated by a dedicated group of volunteers who manage and promote the organization, plan exhibits, activities, events and fundraisers — and publish the annual Sierra Art Trails catalog, which often becomes as prized as the art it promotes.