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Art, art, everywhere: There's still time to catch the 2015 Open Studios Art Tour 

It’s Sunday, and it’s hot—yes everybody, it’s Oct. 11 and global warming is making an appearance. El Niño, where are you? You’re late. 

My friend and I are doing what every 20-something does on a late weekend morning. Sitting in line for cheap Costco gas before we load up on equal parts caffeine and kombucha. We’re fueling up for the Open Studios Art Tour 2015 presented by Arts Obispo, and though this is happening all over the county in countless homes, our plans aren’t very ambitious because, again, it’s super hot.

click to enlarge WHERE ARE MY KEYS?:  Sue Hogan creates one-of-a-kind jewelry including chunky necklaces made of golf tees, keys, game pieces and more. - PHOTO BY REBECCA LUCAS
  • PHOTO BY REBECCA LUCAS
  • WHERE ARE MY KEYS?: Sue Hogan creates one-of-a-kind jewelry including chunky necklaces made of golf tees, keys, game pieces and more.

We pull up to our first stop on Twin Ridge Road in SLO, where it looks like one of five artists lives, according to the program map. There are signs outside, telling us where to go, where the front door is, etc. We walk into an incredibly beautiful home and are greeted by a dog that looks almost human. She gives us a bark and slinks between her owner’s feet. We walk across a perfect white carpet that I swear my Birkenstocks are staining as we look at the paintings by Jim Tyler, who, according to the program, has “powerful pastel paintings.” Tyler’s chatting with a couple of people, and we walk around looking at the silver jewelry by Leigh Ramirez that fills the space between the paintings on the wall. At this point, we realize that all five artists are showing their work in the same home and release sweaty sighs of relief because we don’t have to go back outside for that much longer. 

In the next room, the view is as bright as the paintings that hang on the wall; Tyler’s working on a pastel painting that’s displayed next to one that has just been finished. Both are naked and frameless. The pieces on display are of familiar local spots—some award winning and many community favorites—and fill the wall spaces of two different rooms. 

In the next room, his wife, Sheri Klein, has her glass fusions out for the world to see, and farther into the room is Skip Moss’s photography next to ColorVibe Designs. I am absolutely entranced by Moss’s Wave Abstract pieces and stare at them for a long time before I ask him how he got such an incredible angle of a breaking wave. 

click to enlarge COLOR ME HAPPY :  ColorVibe Design’s Sharon Gellerman blends in with her silk scarves on display. - PHOTO BY REBECCA LUCAS
  • PHOTO BY REBECCA LUCAS
  • COLOR ME HAPPY : ColorVibe Design’s Sharon Gellerman blends in with her silk scarves on display.

We talk for a long time about the changing world of art and photography and how Instagram can turn someone into an award-winning photographer. When you go, ask him about his experience with Ansel Adams.

Staring at his unique moments in time in this house intermixed with so many different media of art and expression, I’m reminded how important things like this art tour are in a town overflowing with artists but not enough public places to display their talents. While Moss and I are talking, my friend is witnessing a demonstration of how ColorVibe owner, Sharon Gellerman, designs her silk scarves.

After talking to people with sweat collecting under my bang-insulated forehead, we drive to the next spot, windows down, trying to capture as much fresh air as possible. 

Next stop: Cazadero Street. We walk up a driveway where yellow lanterns hang from a welcoming tree and Christine Cortese’s vibrant paintings are spread out in front of the basketball hoop next to the garden hose. This display spans from outside to inside the house. It’s bright and beautiful, circling around a lazy cat, a giant lemon tree, some snacks, and sweet chalkboard signs telling guests what they are looking at. Sue Hogan’s jewelry is outside, which leads us into her working studio where earrings comingle with paper flowers that she also makes. There’s also Carolyn Braun, who has “powerful representational pastels” (another description from the program) and Karen Wilkinson with tapestries and other creations. 

click to enlarge OPEN AIR:  Christine Cortese sits with her oil paintings in the driveway of fellow artist for Art Obispo’s Open Studios Art Tour 2015. - PHOTO BY REBECCA LUCAS
  • PHOTO BY REBECCA LUCAS
  • OPEN AIR: Christine Cortese sits with her oil paintings in the driveway of fellow artist for Art Obispo’s Open Studios Art Tour 2015.

The program is super handy, giving us mini example pictures and, of course, descriptions of the artwork. Hey, I wanted to see powerful pastels. What can I say? The program is full of places that we just can’t muster enough gusto to make it to because it’s too damn hot and I can’t stop sweating! 

There’s a house on Avocado Lane that I want to go to, primarily because I didn’t know an Avocado Lane existed in SLO, but also because Alice Sennett’s sculptures look amazing. I also wanted to check out Joey Salazar’s “Colorful, funky, inspiring” paintings and Bill Rumbler’s photography. There aren’t enough hours in the day! Luckily we’ve got next weekend.

- PAINT  THE TOWN:  Artsobispo.org will tell you where to pick up a program, who’s got art, and where they are in SLO County. The Open Studio Art Tour runs Oct. 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. -
  • PAINT THE TOWN: Artsobispo.org will tell you where to pick up a program, who’s got art, and where they are in SLO County. The Open Studio Art Tour runs Oct. 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Intern Rebecca Lucas is crossing her fingers for a cool down. Contact her through the editor at clanham@newtimesslo.com.

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