Santa Maria Sun / Art
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 22
Enjoy watching world-class art created in minutes at Los Olivos festival
BY JOE PAYNE
Los Olivos has always been a tiny town that can draw big crowds. Through several wine tasting rooms, higher end restaurants, and boutiques, the crossroads at Grand and Alamo Pintado serve as an epicenter of distilled cultural excellence right off Highway 154.
Among the ranks of quality shops are several art galleries that consistently show the work of world-class artists. Almost 30 years ago a coalition of gallery owners got together to create an art festival for Los Olivos with a fun twist, and thus the Los Olivos Quick Draw and Arts Festival was born. Event coordinator Holly Cline said the reins to the festival have been passed from organization to organization through the years.
“A couple of years ago the Los Olivos Business Organization passed it over to the Artists Guild of the Santa Ynez Valley,” Cline said. “The Guild created the Santa Ynez Valley Arts Committee to oversee and organize the event.”
The quick draw set-up is simple: A group of 20 various visual media artists create an entirely new work of art in exactly one hour’s time. Allotted only 45 minutes in previous years, the artists use every precious minute of the hour to create a piece that will subsequently be shown and auctioned before the end of the day.
“It’s normally rare to see an artist in their studio,” Cline said. “So, on one day you get to see about 20 artists who have their tools set up, who you can watch work, and have the opportunity to talk to and ask questions.”
This year’s event includes artists Vicki Andersen, Gwen Cates, Chris Chapman, Ken Christensen, Camille Dellar, Jim Farnum, Julie Fish, Mark Greenaway, Jeremy Harper, John Iwerks, Gary Johnson, George Lockwood, Joe Mancuso, Vel Miller, Richard Myer, Karina Puente, Luis Ramirez, Ray Sevilla, BJ Stapen, and Arturo Tello. During the Aug. 16 festival, the artists will introduce themselves at 10:30 a.m. and commence the quick draw at 11 a.m.
“Some of them bring a sketch or object to work from, but there really isn’t anything that unifies the theme, it’s just them putting their best foot forward,” Cline said. “I have been to many of these over several years, and I am just amazed at how they can go from nothing to a completed piece of art in the time they have.”
The outdoor event is being held on the Mattei’s Tavern property this year, which provides ample lawn for the art walk, quick draw area, and two live music stages. Food and wine is available from tavern chef Robbie Wilson and his team. Festival attendees can buy food and wine from Mattei’s, and admission to the event is free.
“I love this event; there is a lot of energy going on,” Cline said. “It is a sort of unique, intimate experience.”
Even after the quick draw is over, there will be hours of artist demonstrations, fine art vendors showing off their wares, and, of course, live music. The main stage is reserved for bands from 2 to 5 p.m. and singer/songwriters will perform on a separate stage. Main-stage entertainment includes Bear Erickson and his new band, Sean McCue and Michelle Beauchesne, Kathleen Sieck and the Paradise Road, and Paul Kenny. The singer/songwriter stage will include Peter Clayton, Jamey Geston, Kate Graves, Rusty Lindsey, Loren Radis, and Andy Sydow.
“Ultimately, what I think the goal of the Santa Ynez Valley Arts is to expand the show to really include arts of all kinds,” Cline said. “As it continues to grow, hopefully we can add some live theater and just celebrate some of the wonderful talent in the valley.”
Art demonstrations will include professional artists of various styles, such as the landscapes of Linda Nelson, the oil paintings of Laurel Sherrie, or the watercolors created by Erin Williams. One of the demonstrators is an Emmy-award winning animation director from Disney. David Knott, who was awarded for his work on The Penguins of Madagascar, will be using people at the festival as subjects while demonstrating his gesture life drawings.
Some of the businesses in Los Olivos have coordinated with the festival and will stay open later than usual. Several tasting rooms and restaurants will be open until 7 p.m. while the festival winds down.
“Some are having music, some are having goodies or trunk shows,” she said, “just a lot of things going on to extend the party into the evening.”
Arts Editor Joe Payne is not the fastest draw in the West. Contact him at email@example.com.