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SLOPOKE Art Show in Santa Ynez Valley Shines Light on Art of the West


If the notion of a western-themed fine art show at a storied thoroughbred horse ranch makes you kick up your heels in delight, you won’t want to miss the uniquely charming SLOPOKE, September 23-25. 

Held at Flag Is Up Farms — the 100-acre Solvang horse ranch owned and operated by Monty “the real life horse whisper” Roberts and his equine sculptor and equestrian wife Pat Roberts — in an open-sided but roofed 30,000 square foot riding arena with white museum-like walls set up in an open floor plan with led lighting for the art , this museum-quality art show is the brainchild of Tom Burgher,  a former Central Coast art gallery owner. 

Guest artist Michael Obermeyer. | Credit: Courtesy

“We’re going to spotlight 37 artists from all over the western half of the country,” said Burgher. “The furthest away is an artist named Rory Franklin from Duluth, Minnesota.” In addition, western artists from Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Minnesota, Louisiana, Montana, and California are featured in the juried show, judged by California artist Michael Obermeyer, who is also the featured Guest Artist. Obermeyer, whom Burgher described as “beloved by other art historians as perhaps the best plein air painter in the United States” serves as the President of the prestigious California Art Club and is a Signature Member of both the California Art Club and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. His 20 year career as an illustrator includes works for Disney Studios, the Anaheim Angels, McDonnell Douglas, Coldwell Banker, and the United States Air Force. Many of his paintings can be found in the U.S. Air Force Historical Art Collection at the Smithsonian Institute and the Pentagon.

Additional featured artists include Art Alvarez, Henry Blond, Naomi Brown, Tom Burgher, Annie Cappelli, Alexi Fine, Lori Franklin, Melinda Gandy, Whitney Gardner, John Godkin, I. Errol Gordon, Jan Handtmann, Carol Hartman, Kelly Hine, Patty Hughes, Doreen Irwin, Eric John, Kasia Kaznocha, Sheryl Knight, T. Kurex, Pamela Larsson-Toscher, Joe A. Oakes, Vicki Pedersen, Elisabeth Pollinow, Irene Pomitchy, Amy Rattner, Sharlene Rayl, Pat Roberts, Lee Rue, Janice Schultz, Naomi Shachar, Chris Slatoff, Glenda Stevens, Tara Rose Toner, Ami Usrey, and Tom Wright.

The event kicks off on Friday, September 23 with an Opening Night Artist Reception featuring the awards ceremony and live entertainment by the Silver Mountain String Band from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The event continues on Saturday, September 24, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Sunday, September 25, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  SLOPOKE tickets are on sale now, tinyurl.com/slopoke-2022.


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