Saturday, September 19, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 29
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Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on September 9th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 28 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 21, Issue 28

Gallery Los Olivos reopens its doors for the first time since March, debuts Simple Pleasures exhibit

By CALEB WISEBLOOD

So far, 2020 has been quite challenging for all of us. Who would have ever guessed that a pandemic would hit and change our lives in so many ways,” said Cheryl Ambrecht, one of two featured artists in Gallery Los Olivos’ new duo show.

The popular venue’s closure, which lasted nearly half a year, officially came to an end on Thursday, Sept. 3, when Gallery Los Olivos reopened its doors to the public (safety procedures are posted at the front for guests to read before entering). 

The day also marked the debut of Simple Pleasures, an eclectic exhibition showcasing paintings by Ambrecht and handcrafted jewelry by Patricia Watkins.


Simple plan
Find out more about Simple Pleasures, scheduled to run through Monday, Sept. 28, by calling (805) 688-7517 or visiting gallerylosolivos.com. Gallery Los Olivos is located at 2920 Grand Ave., Los Olivos. The gallery is currently open Thursday through Monday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

SEA FOR YOURSELF
Among Cheryl Ambrecht’s new oil paintings on display in Simple Pleasures at Gallery Los Olivos is A Day in the Harbor.
IMAGE COURTESY OF CHERYL AMBRECHT

For Ambrecht, creating new art during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic was “to make lemonade out of the lemons,” she said. Over the past several months, the Santa Barbara-based artist has spent lots of time working in her studio as well as painting outdoors.

“Santa Barbara has such picturesque views and vistas, just about everywhere you go, from the mountains to the sea,” said Ambrecht, who especially enjoys painting ships, ocean waves, and other harbor subjects. 

Aside from scenic locales within Santa Barbara, she enjoys plein-air painting in the rolling hills of the Santa Ynez Valley. A retired graphic designer, Ambrecht became passionate about oil painting in 2002 and has created a fresh batch of landscapes, still life, and floral pieces for display in Simple Pleasures, to be paired with Watkins’ fine art jewelry.


LET THE SUNFLOWERS IN
Cheryl Ambrecht became passionate about oil painting in 2002 and has created a fresh batch of landscapes, still life, and floral pieces for display in Simple Pleasures.
IMAGE COURTESY OF CHERYL AMBRECHT

“Simple Pleasures illustrates all our pleasures of real life,” Ambrecht said, commenting on the exhibit’s title before describing her recent art ventures as painting until her heart’s content, with limited distractions.

For Watkins, the show’s title refers to her final products on display rather than the artistic process, she explained.


GUESS WHO’S BACK?
A staple of the Santa Ynez arts community since 1992, Gallery Los Olivos officially reopened its doors to the public on Thursday, Sept. 3, after its closure of nearly half a year.
PHOTO COURTESY OF GALLERY LOS OLIVOS

“Our show, Simple Pleasures, describes my end products but not the process or technique. The process and technique can take a long time,” Watkins said. “One of the simple pleasures for women is adorning a casual or dressy outfit with a piece of jewelry. That fact is almost as old as civilization itself.” 

Watkins uses pearls, vintage beads, gemstones, crystals, and other materials to create her jewelry—earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and other items. Sterling silver, bronze, and brass are among the various metals she uses.

One aspect that attracted her to showcase her works at Gallery Los Olivos, which she called one of her favorite galleries in Santa Barbara County, is its inclusivity of various art forms, she said. 

“Most of our artists are painters, but we also have two potters, one woodworker, one sculptor, and one assemblage artist,” said Watkins, a longtime member of both Gallery Los Olivos and Offtrack Gallery in Encinitas.

A staple of the Santa Ynez arts community since 1992, Gallery Los Olivos has new hours since reopening: Thursday through Monday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., during which guests can enjoy viewing Watkins’ and Ambrecht’s pieces in person (last month’s virtual exhibition is still available for viewing online at gallerylosolivosonline.faso.com).


FROM EAR TO EAR
On Saturday, Sept. 12, and Sunday, Sept. 20, featured artist Patricia Watkins will be on-site at Gallery Los Olivos. Her handcrafted jewelry is on sale at the gallery.
IMAGE COURTESY OF PATRICIA WATKINS

HIDDEN GEMS
Patricia Watkins uses pearls, vintage beads, gemstones, crystals, and other materials to create her jewelry—earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and other items.
IMAGE COURTESY OF PATRICIA WATKINS

“One of my favorite pieces in the show right now is a woven necklace of purple and turquoise color,” said Watkins, who used yarn and beads she had collected while traveling in Europe. The necklace is also adorned with pearls and gemstones.

A former high school teacher, Watkins first forayed into jewelry design while working for the Zarah Company, before launching her own jewelry business online, through her website (watkinsarts.com). On Saturday, Sept. 12, and Sunday, Sept. 20, Watkins will be working in the gallery. Her jewelry on display is also available for sale.

“If you purchase a piece, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did in making it,” Watkins said. 

Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood is grabbing his mask and heading to the gallery. Contact him at cwiseblood@santamariasun.com.









Weekly Poll
Should the county Public Health Department help elementary schools apply for the state’s waiver program?

Yes, that’s what the department is there for.
Schools shouldn’t open at all right now, nevermind with the county’s help.
If the state thinks schools are ready, what’s the problem?
Schools should have to fend for themselves; it shows whether they’re ready to handle reopening.

| Poll Results






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