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Art Attack

ae RobotLoveGT’s guide to the 2013 Open Studios Art Tour

For the first three weekends in October, hundreds of artists around Santa Cruz County will open their studio doors to the public, who will in turn have the opportunity to view their artwork and check out their work spaces. Those interested in participating in The Open Studios Art Tour can purchase a 2013 Guide for $20, which includes sample artwork from each artist, plus the locations of their studios. To help you navigate the event, we have handpicked eight varied, must-see artists.

NORTH COUNTY: Oct. 5-6

Jared Roth #21

Jared Roth has a talent for discovering beauty in unlikely places—like rotting shacks, abandoned chicken coops, salvage yards and landfills. It’s in such locations that he finds the hardware and inspiration for his awe-inspiring artistic creations: cabinets and wall hangings made from driftwood and barn wood. No two of his works look alike; each is uniquely intricate in design and tells a story. Known to stare at dilapitated boards for hours, Roth’s artistic vision gives truth to the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” 5221 Coast Road, Santa Cruz, 234-4380*

Denise Peacock #51

Wearable art is a great conversation starter, and a good way to spice up an outfit or win over a loved one come the holiday season. Whatever the occasion, look no further than Denise Peacock’s luxurious handmade jewelry. Her vibrant collection of Delisch bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings is something both art and fashion enthusiasts can appreciate. Vintage stones, high luster freshwater pearls, and clusters of uncut organic gems dazzle. 112 Getchell St., Santa Cruz,  458-3130*

Heejin Lee #102

When Heejin Lee moved to Santa Cruz from her native South Korea, she had no knowledge of the English language. All she knew was that she wanted to start a new life and gain a fresh perspective. It has been 10 years since she arrived in our beachside town, and she hasn’t looked back since. Her art—a diverse collection of mixed-media paintings that range from colorful abstracts to cityscapes—reflects her journey. Using bright, bold colors, sweeping shapes and whimsical lines and patterns, Lee crafts thought-provoking pieces that simultaneously reflect daily life and provide audiences with an escape. “After I put my piece up, it’s not mine anymore,” Lee says of her art. “I like to give people permission to make their own interpretation.” 1030 River St., #207, Santa Cruz, 420-7146*

Andrew Butler #145

Andrew Butler’s love of photography is inextricably linked to his love of travel. During a fateful trip to Bali more than 20 years ago, Butler purchased a 35mm camera and three lenses on a whim from another traveler. Though he lacked in photography knowledge at the time, his passion quickly grew as he traveled. During a two-month trip around India and Nepal, he caught what he calls “color fever”—an obsession with capturing vibrant colors on camera. One look at his bright and mesmerizing photographs, and you’ll catch the fever too. Often displayed in antique window frames, Butler’s works transport viewers to the far ends of the earth by bringing together light, architecture, fashion, culture, shapes, and ordinary faces. 401 Mott Ave., Santa Cruz, 457-2152


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SOUTH COUNTY: Oct. 12-13

Peter and Donna Thomas #171

Peter and Donna Thomas specialize in all things books—fine press books, miniature books, artists’ books, books made out of ukuleles, book jewelry, you name it. Though based in Santa Cruz, the couple travels the country as “Wandering Book Artists” in their brightly colored Gypsy Wagon Artists Bookmobile. Together, they make their own paper, print and bind the books themselves, with Donna contributing illustrations. If you thought pop-up books were great, you’ll get a kick out of these out-of-the-box creations. 260 15th Ave.,  Santa Cruz, 475-1455

Margo Mullen #177

Margo Mullen’s artistic creations have the power to make anyone feel like a kid again. In fact, she was a kid herself when her art career began. It was at the tender age of 4 that Mullen won an international art competition, for which her art was featured on the cover of a children’s magazine. Since then, she’s honed her craft at Cal State Monterey Bay and exhibited throughout the Bay Area. Mullen may be older and wiser, but her playful, cartoon-like acrylics—some of which can be found on local traffic boxes—prove she’s still a kid at heart. Her robot series, which depicts adorable little robots partaking in various adventures, is particularly irresistible. Hardly child’s play, Mullen’s vast body of work—from the aforementioned acrylics to eye-catching encaustics to vivid photography—is a must-see. 980 17th Ave., Bldg. 1, Santa Cruz, 236-6923*

Christopher Johnson #213

Creating art glass is a tricky business—one that Chris Johnson takes very seriously. In fact, he coined his method of artistic experimentation: “Stochastic glass.” Derived from the Greek word for “random,” stochastic is a term used in mathematical probability theory, suggesting the deliberate incorporation of a random element into a set of known variables. The creation of art glass using Stochastic techniques depends upon the ability of the artist to respond to the combination of unpredictable and known behaviors when molten glass is manipulated, such as stretching, reheating, layering, cracking and crimping. The result of his experimentation? One-of-a-kind, rainbow-colored creations that push the boundaries of the medium, and elicit nothing but admiration. 2260 Chanticleer Ave. #10, Santa Cruz, (510) 910-7342*

Thomas Jacobs #256

Whether he’s photographing sleeping sea lions on a dock in Moss Landing, a cobblestone alley in Portugal, or a wistful window in Paris, Thomas Jacobs knows how to capture the magic of each moment. It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t until 2002, when he was laid off from a software company, that he turned his photography hobby into a full-time job. Now, he not only photographs locally and abroad, but he also teaches Photoshop classes, tutors photographers, and does fine art printing for other artists. It’s easy to get lost in Jacobs’ evocative images. 107 Granada Drive, Aptos, 588-2062 


The 28th annual Open Studios Art Tour takes place during the first three weekends in October, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m, at locations throughout Santa Cruz County. Studios north of the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor will be open Oct. 5-6; studios south of the harbor will be open Oct. 12-13; 250 artists will also be exhibiting during the Encore weekend, Oct. 19-20. To purchase the 2013 Guide for $20, visit artscouncilsc.org/open-studios.

*Artist also exhibiting during Encore weekend.

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