OAKHURST – One of the finer aspects of foothill living is access to an abundance of tremendous art and gifted artists. That access really increases this weekend, as Sierra Art Trails (SAT) 2014 Yosemite Foothills Open Studio Tour takes place, now in its 12th year and running this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 3, 4 and 5, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you haven’t had a chance yet, we recommend you get your hands on an SAT Catalog ASAP. It’s a ticket for two to every studio open for the whole weekend, a potential for three full days of gallery hopping. The Catalog reads like a glossy magazine and is a piece of art in itself: lovingly created to showcase each artist, in full color, with bio and information about the individuals and their work, as well. It’s only $18 which means it would be worth the price even if you didn’t go on the fabulous jaunt that is Art Trails. But you should go!
This is a chance to see artists in action: working with clay, making prints, changing painter’s brushes, photographer’s lenses, and changing your own perspective on life itself. Life is better with art. We’re talking about glass, sculpture, mixed media, pastel, watercolor, oil, photography, jewelry, ceramics, fiber, drawing, furniture, woodworking, leather, and digital art.
Inside the Catalog is a map that clearly shows the location of all the artists participating this year, so you can plot out your trip. Many of the stops are kid friendly, and six students are showing this year, each one sponsored by a mentor. The young artists include brother and sister CJ Carlson and Hannah Carlson, Emma Wooding, sisters Kaitlyn and Camille Fisher, and Peter McLean. Their sponsors are Merylyn Whited, Janet Morita, the Woodings, Jim Elliot, and Nancy Robbins, respectively.
Sierra Art Trails gives art enthusiasts and newbies alike the chance to see fine art and fine crafts in the making, and to purchase works directly from the people who create them. This is a gift. Speaking of gifts, SAT is a perfect time to do some holiday shopping – many of the stops along SAT offer work in small doses that’s surprisingly affordable.
If you haven’t been to a gallery in a while, do you remember that art is uplifting? If you’ve ever had that feeling after you leave a gallery or a museum: the world is a little larger and the air more crisp. Colors seem to pop vividly and/or a sense of calm embraces you. Things just seem clear. That’s art. That’s what it does.
“Today, more than ever, artists are drawn to the area to find their muse, and many have made the foothills area their home,” writes SAT President Jon Bock. “Twelve years ago we realized the value of this cultural treasure, and wondered how we could share it with others. This spark of inspiration quickly burst into flame and Sierra Art Trails was born. It has been a great pleasure to collaborate with veteran artists, to learn from them and watch them refine their craft, and to welcome new artists to our area. It is an even greater pleasure to have the opportunity to share our thriving art community with the public.”
Maybe you’re already planning on going to Art Trails, and you have your catalog, and you’re all dialed in and figured out. Great! For the rest of us, here’s this:
HOW TO HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND:
1. Get your Sierra Art Trails catalog ($18)
2. Flip through, flag what catches fancy
3. Spend parts of Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the road
4. Stop where you feel like, eat what you want, enjoy
SAT takes place on Friday, Oct. 3 through Sunday, Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in homes, studios, galleries, and businesses in more than a dozen communities in Eastern Madera and Mariposa Counties.
The Catalog has all the details on attending the show, including a list of artists, an example of their work, their viewing locations, and a detailed map for a care-free arrival. The 2014 Catalog Cover Artist is Ginny Burdick. Read more about Sierra Art Trails on Facebook