Karen Greenberg’s jewelry is all about beads — beautiful and unique beads from around the world. Annual event takes place Friday and Saturday in Solvang
Karen Greenberg’s jewelry is all about beads — beautiful and unique beads from around the world.
Mike McNutt’s garen art is made with railroad spikes, old wrenches and hammer heads.
Georganne Alex’s handbags are created from pieces of vintage Japanese kimono fabric.
Donna Anderegg makes porcelain kitchen ware that is useful and decorative.
And Syd McCutcheon likes to paint “leaners,” which are collages and paintings without frames that lean against the wall.
All will be among the 34 artists selling their designs at the Queen of Arts Show and Sale on Friday and Saturday at the Elverhøj Museum of History and Art in Solvang. It begins with a sip and shop from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday and continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. There is no charge for admission.
“There is a great variety of imaginative work with a wide range of prices,” said Esther Jacobsen Bates, executive director of the museum. “Shoppers are invited to meet the artists and peruse the fine selection of unique gifts, hand-crafted wood and leather goods, jewelry, ceramics, holiday items and much more.
“In addition to shopping, guests can enjoy food truck cuisine by Sass Catering from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a bake sale hosted by the National Charity League.”
In addition to the artists mentioned above, others are Emily Abello, Diane Arnold, Kristen Bates, Gabriel Bustamante, Joellen Chrones, Therese Colvin, Jess Conti, Patrice Duhau, Susie Dunbar, Linda Fox, Sandra Hopkins, Sukey Hughes, Susan Hugo, Carol E. Kemp, Cynthia Knight, Theresa Laursen, Kimberly Lorance, Lori McConnell, Monika Miehle, Shelley Nakano, Susan Owens, Diana Paul, Linda Pearl, Deborah Simpson, Mary Stanley, Lisabeth Thomson, Ute Wilson and Nancy Yaki.
The show, which now attracts about 800 visitors each day, began in 1996 by Ms. McCutcheon in her home in Ballard.
“I invited a group of seven artist friends to show their work during a weekend in November just before Thanksgiving. It was so popular that it grew and grew. I had to take out my furniture,” she said. “In 2002, Esther offered us the museum, which has a lovely gallery and garden. We call it the Queen of Hearts Show as a play on the word arts.”
Ms. McCutcheon, 71, uses a variety of mixed media for her art work — “whimsical paintings of flowers on the abstract side, goofy-looking dolls, fabric jewelry, and of course, the leaners that are acrylic paintings 5 by 7 inches in size.”
Mr. McNutt, a lab technician in the ceramics department at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, has been marketing his art work for approximately 15 years.
“I got my start at the Live Oak music festival and have been very well received in that venue,” he said.
“Being involved in the art community has been a very positive impact on my life. It has broadened my window on the world.”
Mr. McNutt said his past occupation as a mechanic makes him “comfortable” with the medium he has chosen for his art work.
“I have always appreciated older rusty things, and it’s very enjoyable when families are viewing my work and smiling and having fun trying to recognize the parts they are made from.”
Donna Anderegg, who grew up in Denver, earned her bachelor of fine arts degree at Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., enjoyed a short pottery internship in Japan and was a resident artist at Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass Village, Colo., and Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Mont.
“I make porcelain kitchen ware because it allows me to make something useful and decorative,” she said.
Georganne Alex’s art work involves the weaving and piecing of vintage Japanese kimono fabric, turning something old into something new.
“Last year, I purchased a shredder from the UK, and a machinist in town, Jeffrey Sipress, constructed it so that I could shred my smaller scraps that would normally go into the landfill. Now, I use that scrap to construct a different kind of textile that I use in my designs. My goal is to have no waste in my studio,” she said.
“I chose this type of art due to my passion for textiles, recycling and my profound respect for the Japanese design aesthetic. I have a life-long love of textiles,” said Ms. Alex, a Santa Barbara resident who began as a major in fashion design at Cal State Long Beach but earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature and her master’s degree in psychology at Antioch University in Los Angeles.
In the 1980s, she attended SBCC’s Adult Education weaving classes and began working with another artist/designer, Kitty Noble.
“We formed Alex & Noble and worked together for several years and then pursued our individual art and designs,”
The world of jewelry design opened up to Karen Greenberg when she took a jewelry class in 2008 at SBCC Adult Education.
“I wouldn’t have chosen this class, but a friend asked me to take the class with her. I am very glad she did. At the time, I was assistant executive director of Congregation B’nai B’rith in Santa Barbara, where I worked for 15 years. I left the synagogue in 2010, and this allowed me to focus more of my attention on my jewelry,” said Ms. Greenberg.
For her collection, which is called Mi Juleree, she buys beads from Switzerland, Argentina, Peru, United States, Belgium, Russia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Czech Republic, Italy, India, Bulgaria, Nicaragua and more.
“I string, knot and wire wrap vintage, murano glass, stone, bone, lava rock, pewter and sterling beads, just to name a few,” Ms. Greenberg said. “Mi Juleree designs reflect the extraordinary colors, textures, shapes and materials from different cultures. I like to think of my jewelry as a metaphor for what is possible when different cultures come together and discover that each has something wonderful to contribute. With time and attention to detail, together, we can create something beautiful.”
If you go
The Queen of Arts Show and Sale will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Elverhøj Museum of History & Art, 1624 Elverhoy Way in Solvang. Admission is free. For more information, call 805-686-1211 or visit www.elverhoj.org.