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The Route Of All Easels

ae studioGT’s guide to the 2012 Open Studios Art Tour

For the first three weekends in October, hundreds of artists around Santa Cruz County will open their studio doors to anyone interested in viewing their artwork up close and get a behind-the-scenes look at their work spaces. The Open Studios Art Tour is self-guided, and can be plotted out according to each participant’s interests using a guide/calendar which can be purchased for $20 at locations throughout the county. To help you navigate the event, we've handpicked eight varied, must-see artists.

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South County

ae NickChaoNick Chao >
Local photographer Nick Chao specializes in creating highly stylized portraits of models posing in nature, often wearing extreme, eye-catching fashion. Many of his photos have a dramatic and eerie quality, in the same vein of a Grimms' fairy tale. Sometimes his subjects have their faces painted a ghostly, skull-white with dashes of reds and blacks. Chao, a self-taught photographer, has a knack for drawing out vibrant colors, earthy tones and almost palpable textures in his images.

ae BlaiseRosenthal< Blaise Rosenthal
Pro snowboarder-turned-artist Blaise Rosenthal paints abstract, often colorful, and outwardly expanding geometric shapes. Instead of focusing on snow-covered landscapes, Rosenthal aims to portray the emotional experience of barreling down a mountainside. He uses heavily layered acrylics and charcoal to produce fractal designs with free-running drips of paint that complement the technical structure of his work.




ae CarolinaMcCallCarolina McCall >
Using vivid violets, deep blues and tropical oranges, figurative oil painter Carolina McCall captures the spirit and culture of Central American indigenous communities, where she has spent much of her time for the last 22 years. In her most recent work, she paints scenes based on the daily lives of Maya people—from open air markets, to priests practicing spiritual rituals, to ordinary men and women dressed in brightly colored, traditional garb.

ae DonMcPherson2< Don McPherson
A fixture in the Santa Cruz art scene, longtime watercolor painter Don McPherson paints a wide variety of local subjects and evinces an affinity for candid moments in his work, whether it’s a father pulling a splinter from his daughter's finger or a couple of elderly men playing cards over glasses of wine. McPherson graduated from San Jose State University with a Fine Arts degree and has lived, worked and painted locally ever since. He painted the posters for the 2003 Wharf to Wharf Race and the 2006 Santa Cruz County Fair. He was also named to the Santa Cruz Art League's 2004 “Winners Circle.”





North County

ae RussellBrutscheRussell Brutsche >
First and foremost, Russell Brutsche's paintings reflect his infatuation with the American West—trains coursing across dusk-lit plains and horses idling in the foreground of expansive landscapes. But beyond just capturing natural beauty on canvas, his majestic scenes include subtle juxtapositions, suffused by his passion for shedding light on socio-cultural ironies and injustices in the world.



ae JoshuaCripps< Joshua Cripps
Joshua Cripps' dramatic landscape photography tells stories about connecting with the most beautiful and farthest reaches of the planet, from mountains and oceans to deserts and canyons. His images are often composed of naturally occurring patterns, such as the curvature of smooth boulders submerged in a crystal clear lake, the ripples of sand on a desert dune, or jagged mountains reflected perfectly in a body of water at their base. And he has a real talent for capturing rare moments of almost surreal lighting.


ae MelissaWestMelissa West >
Melissa West uses linoleum block figures to make monoprints which depict a variety of subjects, including images from fairy tales, animals, and scenes from Santa Cruz. Exploring the fine line between comfort and menace, West aims to convey the tension and the magic that exists in a space.

ae LaurenJunker< Lauren Junker
When junk is transformed into art, and then that art is turned into something functional, everyone wins. Lauren Junker, creator of the Santa Cruz-based company Totally Tubular Design, collects old bicycle inner tubes and tires and sews them into stylish, eco-friendly purses and wallets. A friend of Junker's who makes RV covers taught her how to use an industrial sewing machine so she could make her first rubber tube bag, and the rest is history. 


The 2012 Open Studios Art Tour takes place during the first three weekends in October from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Studios in South County will be open Oct. 6-7. Studios in North County will be open Oct. 13-14. And 255 artists from North and South County will participate in an encore weekend, Oct. 20-21. To purchase your calendar/guide for $20, visit http://openstudiosarttour.org, or call 475-9600.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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