Thursday, November 18, 1999
Saving the Slough
On Oct. 14, the Weekly reported on a group of North County landscape artists who had begun staging weekly Thursday "paint-ins" at the Elkhorn Slough to protest a development project planned for the adjacent Pajaro Valley Golf Course. Painter Bill Fenwick, one of the organizers of the initiative, explained that their aim is to show people the natural beauty of the slough in order to heighten community opposition to the project, which includes 84 townhouses, 90 single-family homes and an expansion of the golf course.
Our concern struck home. Last Thursday, the local palette protesters were joined by six comrades-in-arms from San Jose. Bob Freimark, art professor Emeritus at San Jose State University, says he read the original Weekly article and was so incensed, he showed up with five of his ex-students to paint alongside Fenwick and his buddies. "We do watercolor landscapes, and we've been painting the slough together recently," Freimark says of his contingent.
Freimark hopes to make the Thursday jaunt down to Monterey County a regular habit. "What we want to do is record and document the beauty of the slough, and plead with Leon Panetta to perhaps suggest that it be made a national preserve of some kind," he says. The artists hope to hold an exhibition of their work at a local venue. Any takers?
Miller Library Closed for Winter
The Henry Miller Library in Big Sur will be closed for the next few months, to allow for needed repairs and the final clinching of the deal on a significant new acquisition. Director Magnus Toren won't divulge the details of that acquisition just yet, beyond hinting that it relates to Miller's literary corpus, and is a "complete archive." "We are bringing it here to the Henry Miller Library, to its proper place, prior to the time when the seller would have broken it up and sold it at auction around the country," Toren says. The Monterey County Bank and other local donors have provided funding. Over the next few months, while the library is closed, its notoriously ill-functioning septic system will be overhauled and its security system strengthened--following two separate, still unsolved, thefts in October. The library will reopen around mid-March.
Own a Mini-Pic
The Monterey Museum of Art's annual holiday miniatures' show will open (quietly) Saturday, with a public reception scheduled for Dec. 8, from 5:30-7:30pm. What started 20 years ago with a handful of museum staffers creating Christmas tree ornaments for the Festival of Trees celebration, has exploded into an annual fundraising event for the museum. This year, more than 100 local artists created original miniatures--none larger than 5 inches by 7 inches. Painting within such strict space limitations is challenging, says MMA Director Richard Gadd; "When you're restrained to [that size], you really have to work your composition." The public is invited to buy raffle tickets at $5 apiece for the pieces that strike their fancy. Winning tickets will be drawn Jan. 3, the day after the exhibit closes.
Kids' Art Contest Winners
Sometimes you have to be a parent to enjoy a children's art show, but the Big Sur Land Trust's "Walk on the Wild Side" competition, designed to strengthen local children's connection to the beauty of our natural surroundings, inspired some marvelous pictures. The 15 school-age finalists will display their entries at the Devendorf Park branch of Carmel's Harrison Memorial Library through Dec. 13. First place winners in three age categories were: Cindy Lau, 14, of Salinas, who used felt-tip pens to create an animal picture that explodes with color; Alex Bynum, 12, of Marina, who used colored pencils for a delicately rendered animal drawing; and Marc McMillan, 8, of Carmel, whose cut-out gray whale fairly gambols across the page. (To view all three pictures, visit the Weekly's online issue at www.coastweekly.com).