–You can’t miss the large purple building on Main Street in downtown Morro Bay, known as Art Center Morro Bay. This is the home for a variety of local and far away artists who are members of the Morro Bay Art Association. For more than 65 years the community and visitors have enjoyed viewing and purchasing quality paintings, sculpture, photographs and more.
Beginning in 1951, 17 dues paying members met in local homes and hung their paintings outside on neighborhood trees or used whatever space was available for shows. The association acquired its current home and opened their gallery doors in August 1971. With two spacious galleries, the association presents eight exhibits on a myriad of themes throughout the year.
Special exhibits featuring national and international artists, such as the Pastel Society of the West Coast are presented. Summer 2017 will delight visitors to the gallery with exhibits such as “Homage to the Ranches,” a tribute to the vanishing ranch life, May 4 to June 12, “On and Off the Wall,” with work from The Painters Group and Central Coast Sculptors Group, and “Let’s Rock,” a perspective on Morro Rock, June 15 to July 30, with “Pushing Boundaries-Exploring Abstraction,” a National Juried show, August 3 to September 18. An artist reception is held on Sundays during the first week of the shows.
Summer months also brings the popular Art in the Park starting with Memorial Day weekend and held also over the July 4th holiday and Labor Day weekend. Proceeds from this outdoor festival fund art scholarships for local college and high school students.
Second Mondays of the month demonstrations by local artists are held at the gallery from 3 to 5 p.m., and are open to the public with refreshments being served. On June 12 “Watercolor with Mixed Media” will be presented by Shirley Horacek, and on July 10 Marjory Abeyta presents “Graphite and Cretacolor Nero Pencils.” “Pastel painting will be demonstrated by Carol Timson Ball on Aug. 14.
Creativity Day is held every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. where anyone can attend and bring their current projects.
Many classes and workshops are offered for the public. On June 23 and 24, award-winning artist Clark Mitchell will present a two-day workshop entitled, “All Important Value in Your Pastel Landscapes.” Coast for this workshop is $250 for members and $275 for non-members and reservations can be made at artcentermorrobay.org.
Children’s summer classes this year are given by Tom Winans for young people 13 to 18 years of age and Jeanne Provensen for children seven years and up. Interested people can call (805) 772-2504 for details.
Members are the heart of the organization, 256 and growing. Art Center Morro Bay is run completely by volunteers. Membership in the Morro Bay Art Association runs $30 for an individual, $40 for family, and $15 for students. Non-members can also show their works at the gallery.
For more information see www.artcentermorrobay.org.
–Ruth Ann Angus