Monday, June 13, 2011

Art I'm Looking At: 2011 Art at the Source

Art at the Source is one of two major open studio events that allow artists working in Sonoma County to show and sell art directly to the public from their places of work.  Both events are held annually on a pair of weekends. Today, Sunday, June 12 was the last day of Art at the Source showings. Art Trails, the other local open studio event is held on two weekends in the fall, in October.

As usual, I got a late start on the last day, so only got to see about 15 artists--and that many mostly because I headed first for The Barracks, which brings a large number of artists together under one roof (in buildings that once were barracks at a naval air station on the western edge of Santa Rosa).

I particularly enjoyed the assemblage work of Maris Peach (, paintings by Suzanne Edminster ( and by Karina Nishi Marcus, and the hat block collection of hatmaker Amy Smith at Flying Color Studios. These open studio weekends are wonderful for the way they bring artists and the public into direct contact, but also for the chance meetings among art lovers they may engender. In Maris Peach's studio, I enjoyed talking with the artist about her work, about a little girl that found these doll parts frightening, and with a man--whose name I didn't catch--about  T. E. Lawrence and The Seven Pillars of Wisdom; later I enjoyed meeting a young photographer (a visitor, not an exhibitor) named Gwen that shared my eye for unintended art. An excellent way to bring art to the community and to bring the community to art.

The photo above is part of Maris Peach's extensive collection of the odds and ends she uses to make her assemblages; the strings of doll appendages immediately caught my eye. The bottom photo is part of the large collection of hat forms I found in the studio of Amy Smith--unintended art, but beautiful nonetheless. But Ms. Smith is not just a collector of hat blocks, she's a hatmaker that puts the forms to excellent use making all manner of interesting headgear.

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