There is a wonderful thing happening in Pacifica, California. It’s something people on the outside may not know about, I certainly had no idea it existed; but which continues to grow and flourish in the lovely coastal town lying quietly between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay. When we moved here two and half years ago, I had no idea it was so wonderful. Rather, I was focused on the small town house we’d bought and the difficulty I anticipated commuting to the city. The sense of township here –the Community Center, the Resource Center, and all the events – is strong and welcoming. Our daughter just loves her high school, which is bonus! I had no idea this place would begin to feel like home.
Here in the heart of Pacifica lies an arts community that is strong, talented, and warm, and I feel as though I fit right in.
I participated in the Art Guild of Pacifica’s Open house this weekend at the Sanchez Art Center. In the Open House, artists who rent studios at the Art Center open their doors to share their works, and for a nominal fee other Guild Members can display on a stretch of the gallery walls. I had a 7 foot span in the West Wing where I exhibited a combination of past and recent works along with my cards, pendants and prints.
Leslie and I put up my exhibition together earlier, and it was the first time I’d ever done one this way. We had a really cool time collaborating on what should go where, and as usual our strong personalities met in the middle to create something mutually satisfying. I was fascinated by the art that was up around us. I had no idea so much talent was hiding in Pacifica. But we felt that my work stood on its own merit.
The Opening Reception Friday was loads of fun. People were excited, animated and very welcoming, just as the artists around us were happy to be there and friendly. The Guild people made me feel at home. Linda Russell is always very nice, eager to answer questions, and welcomes any help we might offer. Saturday and Sunday I found myself keeping the snack table in order, and as it took me back to my event planning days in Corporate, I had a lot of fun with it.
By the end of the day on Sunday, all of the artists in our wing were friends, exchanging stories around our lives and our art. It was unexpected and cool, and I was impressed with the sense of mutual respect I felt. There was a chorus recital happening in the Mildred Owen Concert Hall adjacent to the Sanchez Art Center and part of the same complex, so people attending dropped in on our exhibition. I was happy to see Glynis and Susan Takalo drop by that afternoon, as well. It was a lovely surprise, although I wish they could have stayed longer. I wanted to talk more art with Glynis, as she had that glimmer in her eye, the same one I had eight months ago. In fact, I hope to see Glynis as a Guild member soon. It only costs $25 to join for a year, the exhibition fees are minimal at best, and the time commitment isn’t too demanding. She would have a great time nurturing her art and her artists’ spirit.
In spite of all this fun, Sunday evening rolled in and it was time to dismantle our exhibition. How is it that I can feel a combination of happiness and sadness at the same time? When I look back to March at the start of this artistic pilgrimage, I am satisfied with what I’ve learned and what I’ve done. But this was my last art event of the 2011 season, and it will always be special to me.