Santa Maria Sun / Art
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 11
Art's in the HusSolvang's latest art space creates a place for artists to display works and visitors to buy gifts
BY SHELLY CONE
Tucked in a small, shaded courtyard just off a bustling Solvang street is a little fine arts and crafts shop decorated with a lot of color and a touch of whimsy. Glass cases house one-of-a-kind jewelry, while the walls play host to collage pieces, paintings, and prints. Shelves hold collections of dolls, picture frames, and pin cushions.
Art Hus is only about a month old, but it’s already starting a buzz.
Run by a collective of 16 Santa Ynez Valley artists, the retail art gift shop came into being after a small group of artists discussed how nice it would be to have such a place. Carol Kemp and Syd McCutcheon run Solvang’s Art Clinic—a place where artists come to get advice on projects, take classes, or just escape the isolation of their own studios to mix and mingle with other artists. One such artist, Rachel Cane, suggested the idea of a retail fine arts and crafts shop—an idea Kemp and McCutcheon had talked about previously.
Kemp said that shortly after that conversation, Cane returned and said an opportunity had presented itself for the artists to obtain a downtown location. The women quickly gathered together a collective of artists from all mediums willing to participate. It was only three weeks from discussing the concept to finding a place and forming the collective to share overhead and take turns running the shop.
“It has become a really great thing. There’s been a lot of empowerment for people,” Kemp said. “We don’t limit this to just women, but it happens at this time to be women. Everyone has different things going on in their lives, so it means different things to different people.”
Art Hus features pieces by artists who work in a variety of mediums. The small shop is filled with paintings, decoupage, prints, fiber art, ceramics, collages, and anything else the artists fancy. Styles range from paintings to contemporary three-dimensional pieces and even jewelry. Kemp creates jewelry, collage and printed fabric, which she uses to create still more pieces. She said McCutcheon is also a versatile artist whose work spans several mediums.
Other artists involved include Barbara Carr, Colleen Darling, Chris diPego, Cindy Knight, Diana Paul, Debbie Simpson, Irene Estrin, Mary Price, Penny McCall, Rachel Cane, Susan Halme, Shelly Niro, and Sue Sattler.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive for the artists, but also for tourists.
“I’ve had people come in while I’m working and say, ‘Oh my God, I’m so glad I found this place! It’s so different,’” Kemp said.
Kemp explained that right now the Art Hus is limited to showcasing work of just the artists in the collective, but there’s plenty of selection for any taste. She said being part of Art Hus, seeing what it’s done for the artists and watching the idea come to fruition, has been rewarding.
“It’s a lot of great people,” she said. “It’s exciting to be a part of it.”
Arts Editor Shelly Cone hopes you don’t have “Art Hus … in the middle of the street” stuck in your head. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the fast track? Phillips 66 is looking to ship volatile Bakken crude oil through SLO County by train, but opposition efforts are gaining steam The great expander: Get an inside look at Cal Poly's research boom Pismo's Cliffs Resort faces two lawsuits Cougars & Mustangs: Relax, if you can Correction Police divvy up SLO Paso Robles settles wastewater fines