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Autumn Studio Tour brings art to many visitors

By: Paul Apfel Special to News Messenger
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We doff our artists’ berets to Placer Arts for its 17th annual PlacerArts Autumn Studio Tour held last Friday to Sunday. “This was an opportunity for artists and the public to connect,” according to PlacerArts Executive Director Angela Tahti. “New relationships were formed, some of which undoubtedly resulted in sales and commissions.” This event clearly marked Placer Arts as a major player and leader in the region’s art community. The tour featured 90 artists in 57 locations displaying in private studios throughout Auburn and South Placer County as well as in the Auburn PlacerArts building, The Old Library Art Studio, Finnish Temperance Hall, Gold Hill Grange and Newcastle Packing Shed Art Studios. Lincoln tour visitors traveled on Friday up Highway 193 to the Newcastle Packing Shed Art Studios where Lincoln’s Bobbie Pilliard, who paints mostly in oils and pastels, was with several colleagues in the newly refurbished Newcastle Packing Sheds at 455 Main St. in Newcastle. “We were busy with visitors for the entire three days,” Pilliard said. “We’re no longer the best kept art secret in town.” A trip across the road and up Highway 80 a few miles brought visitors to Auburn and the PlacerArts studios on Lincoln Way, followed by a detour to the Carnegie Library on Almond Street. On Saturday, these Lincolnites stayed closer to home and visited with Diane Pargament and Margo Comer displaying and working in Pargament’s Lincoln Hills studio. Other Lincoln artists on the tour this year included Judith Huth and Linda Baugh. Huth works in digital photography and imaging while Baugh creates landscapes in oil, pastel and watercolor. In other South Placer art news, we note with sadness the surprise closing of Roseville’s landmark Civic Theatre West. Sources tell us that at least five other area art organizations in our area may be struggling with financial issues that threaten their continuation. As most arts organizations are nonprofits, relying heavily on corporate sponsorships and volunteer donations, community support is essential to survival. But to earn this, arts organizations have to reach out and engage their communities in a productive dialogue. I applaud Placer Arts for its positive efforts and leadership in bringing artists and their public together. But PlacerArts cannot be the only arts venue if Lincoln artists are to thrive. More local leadership and inspiration is needed in an environment of candor and full disclosure. If readers have any thoughts on this, I encourage them to let me know for another column.  Paul Apfel writes on art in and around Lincoln. Contact him at papfel@gmail.com.