||November 2, 2006|
Gallery Walk Escondido
by lyle e davis
Time was when Escondido was thought to be that sleepy little village in North County that simply occupied a geographic place but didn’t offer a whole lot to do, or a whole lot in the way of cultural activities.
Escondido has come alive.
In addition to the Friday evening “Cruisin’ Grand” feature that has caught the imagination of folks in all of San Diego County, more and more people are flocking to Escondido to leisurely saunter up and down Grand Avenue and take in the world famous artists at the beautiful Escondido art galleries.
Yes, art galleries. In Escondido. If you weren’t aware of them, you’re one of the few.
Today, Escondido has developed an earned reputation as a most pleasant home of outstanding art galleries, their artists, and their works of art . . . whether it be an oil painting, water color, pencil or charcoal drawings, glass blowing, sculpture . . . you name the area of art and chances are it’s not only represented in Escondido but by an outstanding artist.
The galleries and museums serving Escondido and North San Diego County run a remarkable gamut of sizes. From the Cultural Arts Center, Escondido, to the Mingei Art Museum to middle size to small size studios and galleries, there’s something for everyone.
The city of Escondido has shown its willingness to serve the art community and its patrons. The city subsidizes the operation of the Cultural Arts Center to the tune of over $1 million annually. In addition, they support the Escondido Arts Partnership, and its related Escondido Arts District which boasts 27 members.
Some comfortable shopping will show that there is art for just about any individual’s budget, or his family budget, for that matter.
There are local artists who have national and international reputations and there are international artists of reknown who have found a comfortable home in a gallery in Escondido.
The viewing, enjoyment of, and the buying of art is a highly personal decision. Decisions as to which is the greater art form, or the greater medium, or the greater artist, in the end, rests with you.
It’s what you like that determines what you’re going to buy. Don’t buy because the artist is the current “in” artist. If you don’t like the art work, you’ll be miserable. Instead, find art that turns you on, that pleases your eye, your artistic palate . . . that pleases you.
After all, that is what art is there for . . . to please you.
Also, don’t be bashful about stretching your budget a bit. If you find a piece of art that truly pleases you, sometimes it’s worth stretching the budget a bit to acquire it. It is not only an aesthetic investment, it very well could wind up being an economic investment as well.
You can buy original art in Escondido, or you can buy fine art reproductions. Original art, of course, is more expensive, but fine art reproductions can light up a room with the talent displayed, and often at a fraction of the cost of what the original would cost.
A fine example of a gallery where you can find art that will meet almost any budget is Shiva Artistic Collections at 115 West Grand Avenue. It’s a comfortable gallery with a very eclectic mix of objects d’art. Paintings, sculptures, glassware, a wide selection in both media and prices.
Their neighbor, Tiedeman Watercolors Studio/Gallery, (Suite B, same address) has a variety of artwork to enjoy. Tom Tiedeman’s working art studio and gallery has beautiful watercolor paintings and they are most affordable. Tom deals in landscapes, wildlife, floral and seascapes. In addition to being a full time artist he also teaches at Palomar College Venture Program, in Rancho Bernardo at the Joslyn Center, as well as in his studio conveniently located in downtown Escondido. Tom, he points out, is the artist, his wife, Marti, is the martist. (she handles the marketing of Tom’s paintings). Tom’s paintings range from $200 to $800.
Right across the street is the Escondido Arts Partnership gallery . . . all decked out with displays reflecting the “Month of Glass” theme. A prominent artist, Joan Irving, of Escondido will be displaying her work there - a series known as “Totems.” (See front cover for example.) These are new glass sculptures which will be featured in a solo exhibition of Joan Irving's latest collection of work. The exhibition will run from November 1 through the 29th. There will be an Opening Reception on Saturday November 11th, from 6-8 p.m with wine and hors d’oeuvres.
Working our way east on Grand Avenue we come across the Artists Gallery at 121 W. Grand. One piece of art caught our eye . . . a beautiful oil painting of an egret; stately, elegant, excellent coloring . . . and we found it had won the blue ribbon. First prize. What is even more amazing is that this was the artist’s first effort at oil painting and it would appear we have a remarkable talent developing because the artist, Hope Tweed, is only 15 years old. She’s a sophomore at The Classical Academy High School, the new charter high school. She had some training from local artist, Betty Ericson, but after learning the basics, was self taught. “She would teach me by demonstration . . and then I’d go do it. She also taught me water colors, which is a very difficult medium; after that, everything seemed to come together. My grandmother was an artist but, really, I think it’s a God given talent.” Her paintings are already bringing sale prices of $750. She is, indeed, a developing artist that will gain more and more recognition locally as well as nationally.
Go a little further east and you’ll find another fairly new store that deals in art objects. Small items that are colorful and would make great gift items for the upcoming holidays, or one that caught our eye . . . a sarcophagus . . which, upon examination, one finds is actually a cabinet or bookcase! Price? $950.
If we walk a bit further east, we find Artisan’s Gallery and More at 224 East Grand. This is a large facility with a large number of artists studios and a wide variety of media. You’ll find paintings, photography, sculpture, embroidery . . .you name the art form and chances are Artisan’s Gallery and More either display it . . . or teach it. They offer a variety of classes here . . . both artistic and practical. Computers, for example. They have a 15 computer laboratory and provide regularly scheduled classes.
One of the more dynamic artists we found at Artisan’s Gallery and More was local photographer Bill Williams. Williams is the globe-trotting sort. Only recently he returned from Tibet where he caputured innumerable photos of that far and distant (and freezing cold) country.
We were taken with his photo of boats on the Nile River , which is featured on our cover of this week’s issue. He has many other landscapes, seascapes, portraits, still life studies. . . . a broad spectrum of superb photography.
One of the most prominent art galleries in Escondido is the Robert Wright Fine Arts Gallery. Billed as the largest American Fine Art Gallery you quickly see why. There are a variety of works of art from which to choose . . . sculptures, paintings, etchings, bronzes . . . and you’ll find PleinAir Impressionists, such as featured artist Sally Jordan . . as well as world reknown equestrian sculptor, Carol Cunningham.
Robert Wright Gallery will introduce artist Sally Jordan’s “Fall Harvest Collection.” The collection consists of 25 original California plein aire oil paintings of the San Diego North County.
Jordan is classically trained in the fine arts with special emphasis on landscape. The paintings reflect the style of the early California artist during the first half of the last century. Her ability to capture nature’s exrtraordinary attributes with brilliant use of light, shadows and colors of the landscapes identify her paintings from all others.
Ms. Jordan is one of an elite group of American painters who duplicate a fine example of meticulous detail and tradition aesthetics that sustain the beautify of find American Impression-ism.
Subject matters in this collection includes the fresh harvested straw and hay fields of the valley, the reservoirs, Rancho Santa Fe, shores of LaJolla, parks at Sycamore Canyon, Pauma Valley, Poway, and other San Diego locations.
Gallery hours are Sunday and Monday by appointment, Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Robert Wright Galleries are located at 140 East Grand Avenue. For more information call 432.6700.
Just a few doors further west is old friend, Scott Kuhnly. We’ve featured Scott and his works often in The Paper. His is a mighty talent for capturing realistic moments in time . . . with studies of old ranches, farms, old cars, boats . . . all done in minute, realistic and colorful detail.
Some fine art reproductions will run considerably more, as the original art work would also run considerably more.
In the same general area is another form of art . . . photography. Check out Wild Rose Photography at 254 East Grand Avenue. They do portraits, weddings, graduation photos, as well as restoration of old keepsake photos you may have.
One final gallery to touch on, The Doug Jones Gallery. He’s located on the south end of Escondido, on Summit Drive, operating out of his home. He is a portrait artist, (an example of his work can be seen on page 12) but they also have a gallery of original art work for discriminating buyers. It’s best to call them at 745 0949 for an appointment to view.
If you have a desire to get out in the fresh country air, you may want to journey to Julian and visit with the folks at Mountain Beadworks. They’re located at 3411 Highway 79 in Julian. And, you can call them at 765 3100. They provide activities and instructions for both individuals and groups. They have supplies, they have instructors, they have imagination. What’s more, once you finish your design, they’ll even help you complete the piece. You may want to check out their website too. Go to:
So there you are. You can head out into the country, get some good fresh pine-scented air and explore the world of art . . . or you can can comfortably walk most of Grand Avenue in an afternoon. Four hours, tops.
It’s all out there, just waiting for you. Our Gallery Walk of Escondido is far from completed. There’s lots of great art to see out there. Put on some comfortable walking shoes and have at it!