Thursday, October 3, 2002
Seventy Monte-rey County artists opened their doors last weekend for the 14th annual Artists Studio Tour, and the quality of the show, sometimes uneven from year to year, was particularly high. I only made it to 15 studios, focusing on artists new to the area or whose work I didn''t know. (Apologies to old favorites Norman Foster, Anita Benson, Peggy Alonias, Barabara Edell Poole and Corinne Whitaker.)
Here''s what''s new and exciting: Donia Lilly, a young woman newly-arrived in P.G. from her world travels, who uses on-location sketches and written notes to inspire soft, semi-abstract pastels; Lauryn Taylor, also new to the area and to full-time art, having given up her job in the framing business this year to focus on her bright acrylic abstracts, which she creates in her Carmel studio. Also in Carmel is Meredith Stricker, an award-winning mixed media artist who paints in oils and acrylic, works with beaten copper, writes poetry, is a published essayist, and is coming out with her first book, Alphabet Theater, a collection of performance poetry and visual art that includes--get this--an opera about the Gulf War.
Out in Carmel Valley, I made my first trek to the studio-gallery of whimsical ceramicist Ania Malkowska, with her brightly colored, whirling dervish teapots. And I ended the day at the Miramonte studio of Jennifer Brook-Kothlow, who does ceramics, monoprints and paintings mixed with collage.
Except for Ania, none of these artists exhibits locally. They depend, as do many other artists, on the annual studio tour to gain exposure. There was a rumor that Artists Equity, which runs the tour, was about to disband this year, and it was only pressure from local artists desperate to keep the tour going that kept the organization together. Here''s praise from a fan hoping they stick around.
Money For Art...
Pac Rep isn''t the only local arts organization feeling the pinch of the current economic crisis (see pg. 9). With private donations down, everyone''s a little more desperate for a piece of the grant pie. The California Arts Council just announced its grants for the coming year, and eight county groups are among the lucky recipients. Pac Rep, Camerata Singers, Magic Circle Center, The Western Stage and Youth Music Monterey each take home $4,000. The Carmel Bach Festival gets $6,265; Monterey Symphony is $6,660 happier; and $12,315 goes to the Monterey Jazz Festival. All told, Monterey County received $45,000 of the Council''s $4 million purse. Congrats.