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Wildling Museum Artists' Studio Tour


Posted: Friday, October 28, 2005

By: Holly Cline (Expired article)

Los Olivos, CA -

Many artists live and work in the Santa Ynez Valley. While the Wildling Art Museum has a national focus on the art of America’s wilderness, it would like to help the public discover the talent existing right here in the Valley. To facilitate this and raise funds for the Museum’s exhibitions and programs, the Wildling Art Museum is sponsoring the first Santa Ynez Valley Artists’ Studio Tour (SYVAST) the weekend of November 5-6.

For $25.00, ticket holders will be able to visit the studios of eighteen of the Valley’s foremost artists and craftsmen, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, and attend a wine and cheese reception at the Museum Saturday evening where many of the artists will be present.

The artists, who work in a variety of media, styles and subject matter, include Gwen Cates, John Cody, Merv Corning, Jim Farnum, Becky Gomez-Zussin, Suzan Hamilton-Todd, Pat Hedrick, Christine Kenny-McGowan, Joe Knowles, Barbara Lago, Teresa McNeil MacLean, Pat Roberts, Steve Todd, Suzi Trubitz, Bud Tullis, Annie Yakutis, Seyburn Zorthian, and Pamela Zwehl-Burke.

Participating artists live in all parts of the Valley and their studios range from a bedroom in the house to barns and specially designed studio spaces. The sculptor, Pat Roberts, for example, models her amazing horse and animal sculptures in her kitchen. The artists, whose studios will be included on the Wildling’s Tour, also work in a variety of styles and media: painting, drawing, print-making, sculpture, woodwork and furniture. Painters range from the virtuoso realism of Merv Corning, whose studio will be open Saturday only, to the calligraphic abstraction of Seyburn Zorthian and everything in between.

Jim Farnum. Patricia Hedrick, Gwen Cates and Teresa McNeil MacLean render landscape in a variety of media, including charcoal, pastels, colored pencils and acrylics, often with surprising coloristic effects. Farnum, who has had a number of solo exhibitions at the Chancellor Gallery in Santa Barbara and Art Brut in Los Alamos, was very influenced by the New York pastel artist, Wolf Kahn.

Hedrick’s drawings and paintings are built around tonal effects and explore the rhythms of cast shadows. She has been exhibiting contemporary California landscapes with the Easton Gallery in Santa Barbara and Young's Gallery in Los Olivos since 1993. She has participated in numerous group shows to help preserve the Sedgwick Ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley and has been invited to create work in celebration of the Channel Islands National Park's 25th Anniversary that will be exhibited this coming spring at the Ventura County Museum of History & Art.

MacLean has perfected her own unique technique working with colored pencils. Her favorite subject is the Sierras. One of her drawings was selected for the 1997-98 U.S. touring exhibit, “Art for the Parks Top 100.” In 1996, her work was exhibited at the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite. Locally, she has had solo shows at Grand Tales.

Gwen Cates has also shown at Grand Tales in Los Olivos, as well as at the Wine Emporium, and the Tantara Winery. Her colorful landscapes often include horses.

Horses are the chief subject of the artist, Suzan Hamilton-Todd, whose strong draftsmanly skills are readily identifiable. Hamilton and her husband Steve Todd, who turns beautiful wooden bowls out of trees that have been cut or blown down, share a new house where they each have studios on Santa Rosa Road.

Other painters included in the Nov. 5-6 Studio Tour include Becky Gomez-Zussin, Christine Kenny-McCowan, Joseph Knowles, Barbara Lago and Annie Yakutis. Kenny, who specializes in delicate watercolors of flowers, has just returned to the area and built a studio in Ballard. Several of Knowles’ large pastels of American bison are currently being shown as part of a contemporary Native American art show at the Jewish Community Center in Santa Barbara.

On Nov. 5 and 6 tour participants will also be able to see the working spaces of well-known Valley sculptors, John Cody and Pat Roberts. Cody has been producing monumental stone sculptures, mostly of animals, for over four decades. The serpentine stone that he carves is quarried in the San Rafael wilderness. Roberts’ bronze sculptures, replicating with tremendous accuracy the anatomy of horses in movement, have been shown and collected all over the world.

Bud Tullis also carves interesting wood sculptures, although he is better known for his finely crafted unique utilitarian pieces, such as tables, cabinets and chairs. Tullis worked for many years with the famous Santa Barbara furniture designer, Paul Tuttle.

Suzi Trubitz’ unique metal screens and hangings can be functional as well as decorative. Her studio, where she works with machines for bending, cutting and perforating steel is in downtown Santa Ynez.

Printmaking is also a fascinating medium, and Pamela Zwehl-Burke, who has exhibited nationally and internationally for 25 years and teaches Design, Figure Drawing and Printmaking at Santa Barbara City College, will show off her printing press and explain her ideas and techniques in her Valley studio.

For more information about the Santa Ynez Valley Artists’ Studio Tour call the Museum at 805-688-1082 or consult the Museum’s website, www.wildlingmuseum.org. Tickets may be purchased at the Museum (between Mattei’s Tavern and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church) during public hours, Wed-Sun, 11-5, by phone, or by sending a check made out to the Wildling Art Museum to SYVAST, P.O. Box 907, Los Olivos, CA 93441.





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