Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Jul 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Hide and Seek

hideandseek1First time Open Studios artists come out of hiding

Mike Shuler’s studio is concealed behind a forest of bamboo and a nondescript mailbox. It’s an easy place to miss—nearly hidden in the unincorporated Live Oak area.

Until now, the undeniably talented artist (and his studio) has remained, for the most part, out-of-sight from Santa Cruzans. (His woodwork is typically shown in galleries across the country.) That’s all about to change when Shuler and his wife Rainey, (a photographer), invite Santa Cruzans to walk beyond the bamboo and view their work during the next two weekends of Open Studios.

On a recent warm, breezy October day, when I stop by his studio, I, like most people, get a little lost. Finally I spot the driveway and I venture onto the Shuler’s sequestered property. Mike’s studio looks like it might have been an old garage. Inside, piles of wood stand tall like stacks of books in a library. Machinery and woodworking accoutrements are scattered about. A beautiful piece of wood that’s on its way to becoming a vase is secured to his lathe (a large machine that functions like a pottery wheel but works with wood). He says the stunning piece of wood was a former pinecone, and when it’s completed it will retail for about $700. This is the work of an artistic genius.

Hideandseek2Mike has never been able to keep his hands off of wood. The creative obsession started when he was just a boy at age 6. “I started making things out of whatever I could find,” he says. “I had a few tools and was always building things and I just never quit.” By the time he hit age 14, he made his own lathe.  Now, 51 years after he first started “making things” Mike will finally share with Santa Cruz audiences what the rest of the country has already figured out—that this segmented wood turning artist needs to come out of hiding.

And so does his wife. While Rainey may not be a full-time artist with nationally showcased work (like her husband), she may well be on her own journey to achieving similar success. She’s 55, and when you hear that she just started snapping pictures a year-and-a-half ago, yet now she’s operating at a near-professional level, it’s easy to surmise that artistic brilliance runs in this family.

She favors photography—colorful snapshots of nature, flowers, birds and the like. She zooms in, presses ‘click’ and out come images that look almost painterly. Colors and details are so vivid that her work takes on a surreal quality, like the series she shot of two avocet birds. “It was the end of the day, I saw her (the female bird) sticking her neck out over the water, and I aimed my camera there,” she says. “I watched this whole breeding thing happen. I cry every time I watch it.” (She turned the series into a slide show.) And in fact, it looks like Rainey captured a private moment between the two birds. The pictures are stunning and intimate, and at the end of the series we see the two birds nearly wrap their wings around each other and walk off. Unbelievingly intriguing and private.

“I’m trying to share intimate moments with nature,” Rainey says.  “Sometimes I’ll sit in the mud for three hours, and wait in a stinky old lagoon, wearing junky clothes, and I look like a total nerd, and I don’t care anymore. I wait for them to do something and I’ll start firing [taking pictures] over and over.”

Up until this Open Studios show, Rainey’s work has only been shown in one other place. She, like her husband, has remained fairly hidden to local audiences, but it seems that Santa Cruz and Open Studios have now found them.

Mike and Rainey Shuler will have their studios open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 13-14 and Oct. 20-21. Their studios are at 1735 Rodriguez St., Santa Cruz. Look for the bamboo.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Boards Are Back in Town

More than a century after a famed trio of Hawaiian princes first surfed in Santa Cruz, their redwood olo surfboards are returning to the Museum of Art & History

 

We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident

Saturday, July 4, is the 239th birthday of the United States, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence (the U.S. astrology chart has Aquarius moon—freedom for its people, by its people). Cancer, a liberating and initiating sign, is the “gate” where Spirit enters matter. Cancer receives and distributes Ray 3 (Divine Intelligence) and Ray 7 (new rules, new rhythms, new free nation under God). Cancer represents an intelligent freethinking humanity that can and must create right economics for the world. This means a policy of sharing, an opportunity for the U.S. when Venus (money, resources, possessions, etc.) retrogrades July and August in Leo (the heart of the matter). The United States has a unique spiritual task for the world: to lead humanity within and toward the light, accomplished by its people who must first awaken to this task, learn discrimination and be directed by the soul to assume the Herculean task of spiritual world leadership. Let us review the first words of our Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.” Let us form that union together. The following is a review of the spiritual tasks for each sign. Read all the signs. They all apply to everyone.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Designing Woman

Female gardener helps build Versailles in fun, if uneven, ‘A Little Chaos’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Lunch is Packed

Picnic basket lunches from Your Place, plus smoked chili peppers, and new owners at Camellia Tea House

 

What would you like the Supreme Court to rule on next?

Raising the minimum wage so that those that are in poverty now can have a higher standard of life. Greanna Smith, Soquel, Nanny

 

Bruzzone Family Vineyards

Bruzzone Family Vineyards is a small operation run by Berna and John Bruzzone. Starting out a few years ago making only Chardonnay, they eventually planted Pinot Noir on their extensive property and now make this varietal as well.

 

Ty’s Eatery

Pop-up hooks up with Santa Cruz Food Lounge for healthy comfort food