Open Studios South County, Annie’s Picks

This weekend, October 6th & 7th, artists from the southern part of Santa Cruz County will open their studios, and in most cases, demonstrate their work. Between the Monterey county line and up to the harbor you can visit all sorts of studios. Personally, I opt for innovative or unusual work in 3 dimensions. I have great respect for traditional art forms but I always learn something new and inspiring looking out of my comfort zone for new artists to visit... that’s a hint that you should too!

This year I attended the preview exhibit and was delighted to see more variety in the artist’s work. I was so taken by it all that I felt compelled to go out on a limb and share my own highly personal list of whom to visit. This is a small town so please do not take this as the only word for recommendations.... and please don’t let me know whom I left out. There are too many to list here. Apologies to all not mentioned. I served on the Open Studios committee when I first moved here in 1979 for a few years and I know how hard the artists work.

I actually would prefer not to do this because it’s unfair to those I left out and hate the thought! I strongly advise you to visit your neighbors who participate and see for yourself the wonderful panoply of talent we have in Santa Cruz County! Check out their site >>

Last year I took first-time visitors to see Dee Hooker #75 near Kennolyn Camp in Soquel. She’s a friend and I loved visiting with her wonderful mother, who always made something great to eat. Dee works in mixed media and constantly works on new and innovative ways. Her work and studio are beautiful and worth the drive to see.

Dee Hooker #75

Speaking of drives.... (Mother’s pride here) my son Taylor Reinhold #87. As a muralist, you can see his work at Plantronics, Kind Peoples along the freeway frontage road near Bay Ave, Eastside Brew Pub and later this year the new Capitola Skate Park. His prints, paintings, shirts, hoodies, and socks will all be available at his studio where you can make a mural. It’s a great interactive experience, kids and adults love it.

Taylor Reinhold #87

Charles Prentiss and his wife, Nikki Silva, have one of the best views of the Bay at their home and studio compound #23. It looks like he is doing a new series of paintings of our environs so go and see and buy.... I did, and my neighbor swore it was the one he wanted. I looked at “Wilder Ranch” for 2 years before buying. I just couldn’t get it out of my head and am thrilled to live with it in my home. If you remember my store downtown, I sold his paintings there.

"Wilder Ranch" oil painting by Charles Prentiss Open Studio artist #23 

Peter Vizzusi is another great spot to visit and watch glass blowers working blowing vases and drinking glasses, his specialty. #46 is a must see. Say hi to Melanie, Peter's wife, and my yoga teacher. Both of whom are witty and wise. Peter's glasses are nearly indestructible and come in many colors and styles. Must have!


Peter Vizzusi's unique & beautiful glass cups. #46

More gorgeous glass by another couple is #128 Marsha Blaker and Paul DeSomma, at this writing returning from inspiration in Italy where Paul learned his craft with the masters. Marsha’s undersea forms were originally done in clay with intensely beautiful detail, somehow, they are even more beautiful in glass. They are adjacent to the 17th Avenue studio complex that houses artists #112 -129. So go!

One more couple #77 and #78 Heather and Tim Mathews’ studio combines her gorgeous carved glass with his pure black and white photography. Heather is a consummate illustrator and she carves the glass into minutely detailed versions of her drawings. Tim has steadily worked at making his photography into fine art.

Here are some of the artists that were new to me, that I plan to visit in South County this weekend, I hope. There is never enough time.

#39 Terry Dowell

#94 Lynda Watson, have not seen her recent work

#102 Veronique Marks

#108 Mike McClellan, sculpture and stone, love his work!

#117 Cher Roberts

#134 Eric Apelt

Next week's blog will be about North County artists. Again, my regrets to the many talented artists who deserve mentioning but the room does not permit.

- Annie M.

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