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Central Coast Artists Collective celebrates second anniversary with exhibition at Art Center Morro Bay 

The walls of Art Center Morro Bay have long been home to a wide variety of art, but since May 18 a particular type of art has made its home at the center.

"The pieces featured are all over the map," Carl Berney said with a laugh. "But they all have that same defining trait of being from the [Central Coast Artists] Collective."

Until June 26, the Central Coast Artists Collective (CCAC) will present its craft-makers, photographers, and sculptors as part of its second-anniversary celebration. CCAC's fourth artist group, The Painters Group, will have its show at Art Center Morro Bay Sept. 21 through Nov. 6; entries open July 1.

click to enlarge COLORFUL COMPOSITE Photos like Madame Butterfly by Peggy Jansson (pictured here) are part of the Central Coast Artists Collective's exhibition. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CENTRAL COAST ART COLLECTIVE, ART BY PEGGY JANSSON
  • Photo Courtesy Of Central Coast Art Collective, Art By Peggy Jansson
  • COLORFUL COMPOSITE Photos like Madame Butterfly by Peggy Jansson (pictured here) are part of the Central Coast Artists Collective's exhibition.

"This is the first show of its kind for the collective and highlights the works of artist group members," according to the organization. "It also celebrates two successful years for the collective and hopefully will inspire more artists to join one or more of its artist groups."

Berney, CCAC's treasurer, said that each category was individually juried by artists within the respective genre groups and featured contributions from across San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties—with each category also featuring awards for the respective top pieces selected for the exhibition.

Some of the winners include Peggy Jansson, James McDonald, Barry Lundgren, Susanna Lindsey, Larry Le Brane, Kenneth Wilbanks, and more.

The works range from paper weaving, mosaics, landscape paintings, stone carvings, fused glass, wood construction, light shows hanging from the walls, and metal and bronze pieces—all showcasing, according to Berney, just how much the Central Coast's local artists have to offer.

"We have 20 craft-makers, 24 sculptors, 50 photographers—with a grand total of 120 pieces of art present at this exhibit," Berney said. "Across the board, it's all representative of the great work locals have made."

Representing that locally made work is the collective's goal, as currently—according to Berney—Central Coast artists don't have many options to take part in exhibitions like this, and the only way this current exhibition took place was due to the collective renting out the center for use.

click to enlarge CRAFT-MAKING MAGIC Maple Burl Vase by Barry Lundgren won first place in the craft-making group's portion of the exhibition. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CENTRAL COAST ART COLLECTIVE, ART BY BARRY LUNDGREN
  • Photo Courtesy Of Central Coast Art Collective, Art By Barry Lundgren
  • CRAFT-MAKING MAGIC Maple Burl Vase by Barry Lundgren won first place in the craft-making group's portion of the exhibition.

"Some artists can get a spot at a restaurant or coffee shop, but that's really it for just being able to exhibit their art," he said. "[They] can't go to a gallery because that art has to be curated by whoever runs the gallery, so it's hard to represent everyone here on the Central Coast."

Berney said that in years past, before the creation of the collective, local artists would display their works at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, but in recent years the museum shifted its focus.

"Right now, the artist collective is trying to pick up where the museum left off," he said. "The collective is doing OK in supplanting the administrative services that SLOMA provided, but we still lack that building to hold exhibitions."

Berney said that the CCAC is looking to move forward with more events and hopefully a new home to exhibit their works.

"This current show has only been up a couple of weeks—so it's hard to truly gauge its success—but it's doing as well as most shows do around Morro Bay," he said. "The reception for the opening of the exhibition went very well—we had several hundred people that came to that."

With such a large showing of support, Berney said the CCAC is in talks with the city of San Luis Obispo about finding a more permanent building they can use to house their artists—a group he hopes will continue to grow and evolve.

"The art groups represented by the collective are currently confined to SLO and Santa Barbara counties, but the charter for the collective includes these two counties and Monterey County as well," he said. "On top of that, those artist groups can have members from anywhere, so it's representative of a wide range of people that could be partly based anywhere on the Central Coast."

click to enlarge SUPER SCULPTURES Sophisticated Lady, Meet Me at Duke's by Larry Le Brane showcases the unique range of art that can come from anywhere on the Central Coast. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CENTRAL COAST ART COLLECTIVE, ART BY LARRY LE BRANE
  • Photo Courtesy Of Central Coast Art Collective, Art By Larry Le Brane
  • SUPER SCULPTURES Sophisticated Lady, Meet Me at Duke's by Larry Le Brane showcases the unique range of art that can come from anywhere on the Central Coast.

Ultimately the CCAC plans to hold more exhibitions later in the year, including the Painters Group show in September.

Berney said he's hopeful—as is the rest of the CCAC—that the group will continue to grow and get more people involved in the arts across SLO, Santa Barbara, and Monterey counties, and beyond.

"It's growing and not shrinking, and that's allowed us to continue to throw these events and get the word out about artist workshops," he said. "People are interested in art from out here, and I'm hoping things stay that way." Δ

Staff Writer Adrian Vincent Rosas is appreciating the art around him on the Central Coast. Reach him at [email protected].

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