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I did some 2nd Saturday ArtHopping last weekend and a few key thoughts occurred to me.
• At first it seemed like the numbers of people participating might be down, but several venues reported having excellent nights.
• When I see people heading into businesses specifically to look at art, it continues to impress me greatly and fill me with hope. It’s a hard thing to quantify.
• You can learn so much just by “getting out.” In visiting just a few venues, I accomplished the following:
1. Heard for the first time the talented young jazz vocalist Stephanie Foos performing at Maritime Seafood and Grill. She was accompanied by the incredible tandem of guitarist Bernie Baker and bassist Bruce Calin. The fact that those two pros are playing with her says quite a bit about her talent.
2. I visited two furniture/design stores on Park Marina Circle — Parmer’s and Ethan Allen — that are an excellent one-two stop for anyone looking for home furnishings. In Parmer’s, I chatted with photographer John Bradford about his fabulous photos of Shasta Caverns (they changed my whole view of the caverns). In Ethan Allen, I listened to Writer’s Forum writers read their original works.
3. I stopped into The Studio Experience (3404 Bechelli Lane, Suite B), and visited with a lovely trio of artists — Shirley Barone, Mickey Theobald and featured artist Susan Greaves. I learned that other talented area artists (such as Chuck Prudhomme) will be displaying in the gallery soon. I learned that Mickey’s son George was the extreme skier dude I went mountain biking with at Alpine Meadows a few years back.
4. I visited GMS Mann Custom Jewelers (5200 Churn Creek Road; in the business complex near the Appletree Apartments where Churn Creek and South Bonnyview come together). The business has been there for 20 years and I’d never stopped in. In addition to jewelry, it also sells sensational art and glass work.
5. I heard (also for the first time) jazz guitarist Mickey Jones perform at the packed ArtHop after-party at Tapas Downtown.
And all of this was just a little “getting out” on Saturday. It was a lot of connecting and learning, considering it didn’t require than much of an effort. Sometimes the toughest decision is to get up and out the door.