Sunday, December 8, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 40
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Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on December 7th, 2016, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 17, Issue 40 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 17, Issue 40

Solvang Antiques features demonstrations and small works throughout December

By JOE PAYNE

Solvang is filled with beautiful boutiques and artsy destinations, but one of its best spots for viewing fine art is in the back of an antique shop. Solvang Antiques is definitely a gorgeous place to enter, the antiques are high quality and stunning to view, but those who journey to the back of the store can find an incredible collection of fine art organized by one curator, Judith Hale.


RANGE OF WORK
The Small Works Show at the Judith Hale Gallery includes many smaller fine art pieces, and a few larger ones, to add contrast to the space. The work of many California artists, including several local painters and sculptors, shows together in the beautiful setting of Solvang Antiques.
PHOTO BY JOE PAYNE

The Judith Hale Gallery, situated toward the back of Solvang Antiques, is where longtime Santa Ynez Valley resident and art curator Judith Hale shares the work of several artists, both local and from elsewhere in the state. Hale opened her gallery in Solvang Antiques after closing the original Judith Hale Gallery, which hosted fine art in Los Olivos for 23 years. She’s an employee of the store and gets to curate the work of many artists she enjoys, rotating work on various themes throughout the year.

The location is a great home for the fine art that Hale arranges because of the kind of clients the store attracts, she said.

“I think people who appreciate fine furniture and the fine style of the things that [Solvang Antiques] sell are also interested in art,” Hale said. “The beauty is all there together.”

The current exhibit at the Judith Hale Gallery is the Small Works Show, which displays mostly smaller paintings and sculptures by the artists she features. The idea is that small works are easier to afford during the holidays when an original art piece could make a great gift, she said. 

Part of what the exhibition offers includes artist demonstrations on Saturdays in the gallery. So far Dirk Foslien, Richard Myer, and Joe Mancuso have demonstrated their skills and process at the gallery. Two more demonstration events are scheduled, including Santa Maria-based artist Sheryl Knight on Dec. 10 and Grace Schlesier and Dee Prater on Dec. 17.


DEDICATED CURATOR
Judith Hale had her gallery in Los Olivos for decades before relocating to Solvang Antiques where she also works. She takes the selection of artists and works seriously and has gained a following by artists and art lovers over the years.
PHOTO BY JOE PAYNE

Hale said she loves to invite artists from the Central Coast to Los Angeles to come and demonstrate their skills.

“It’s awesome to watch these artists work,” Hale said. “Not just painters, but sculptors too.”

The next demonstrator is Knight, who is known for her colorful landscapes, especially vineyards. Knight doesn’t know exactly what she’s going to be painting at the Judith Hale Gallery on Dec. 10, she told the Sun, but she’s excited to be there.

She said that Solvang Antiques is a great place to show her work, but also that the Hale’s gallery has a following of its own both locally and beyond.

“People in the valley, Santa Barbara County, and even other places come in and say they bought from her 20 years ago,” Knight said. “She’s got a great reputation and she is great to work with too.”

Hale said that hanging the Small Works Show posed some challenges. Putting together a show of mostly smaller works can tend to look too busy, she said, and so she included a few larger works to offer some contrast.

Enjoy the show
The Judith Hale Gallery at Solvang Antiques features the Small Works Show through Dec. 31. Artist demonstrations include Sheryl Knight on Dec. 10 and Grace Schlesier and Dee Prater on Dec. 17 from noon to 4 p.m. at Solvang Antiques, 1693 Copenhagen Drive, Solvang. More info: 686-2322 or solvangantiques.com.

Arranging the shows is a skill Hale has honed over decades, she explained. She tries to showcase the art so that contrasting work may show side by side, but in a way that highlights the character of both. A well-arranged show could help someone looking to buy a piece—maybe even for the first time—to find exactly what they want.

“I want the standard and the level to be excellent and still affordable,” Hale said. “The average family … can still afford to shop in this range. 

“And I love it when there is a young person with a fascination,” she added. “And I say, ‘Just strive to get the best little painting you can buy. Just start there, it won’t be your last painting.’”

Arts Editor Joe Payne is partial to cloudy sunsets, painted or otherwise. Contact him at jpayne@santamariasun.com.




Weekly Poll
Guadalupe is in the midst of new development, but is that a good thing?

No. The new homes will expand the town too much and run the small-town vibe.
No. Commercial development will follow and destroy all the local businesses.
Yes. The town can't survive another economic downturn without more business and residents in town.
Yes, but the town has to steer development toward tourism and the hospitality industry.

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