(credit: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
The Bay Area has lots of artists and lots of beautiful scenery, so it only makes sense that we also have plenty of art events. Here are a few on the Peninsula that you can check out this spring.
Downtown San Jose
San Jose, CA 95113
Focused in San Jose’s SoFA (South First Area) district, First Fridays features a variety of galleries and other venues which are open late and offer free admission for this popular event. There are over two dozen participating venues including restaurants, community organizations, museums, shops and galleries. This is an extremely popular event, with new work available every month. Many of the galleries are generous in offering food and wine to their guests.
Over 30 Communities
Date: May 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 2014
Silicon Valley Open Studios features hundreds of artists in over 30 communities during the first three weekends of May. A large operation, it distributes over 40,000 directories at over 400 locations throughout the Silicon Valley to ensure that the Open Studios is a successful event that attracts large numbers of art lovers and art buyers. Open Studios is the best way to meet and talk with a wide variety of artists whom you might not otherwise encounter. Visiting artists at work in their studios often means that prices are lower than you’d find in a gallery, and you can negotiate directly with the creator. Whether you buy or not, Open Studios is an opportunity to meet artists face-to-face, ask questions and really get a chance to appreciate their work.
For many years, Pacific Fine Arts has sponsored multiple art fairs throughout the Bay Area. The fairs focus on both fine art and arts and crafts. Unlike many art fairs, Pacific Fine Arts is unusual in that participation by artists is juried. Artists have to demonstrate expertise before they are included in the roster. Almost all of the artists who participate in the fairs are full-time professionals who make a living off of their art. Here are the details on some Pacific Fine Arts fairs that are coming soon.
Carlmont Village Shopping Center
1029 Alameda de Las Pulgas
Belmont, CA 94002
Date: March 29-30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This popular festival has been a Belmont tradition since 1978. The entire Carlmont Village Shopping Center becomes an art gallery. Belmont is known for its small town charm and beautiful vistas, making this a worthwhile day trip from anywhere in the Bay area.
Santa Cruz Ave. at El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Date: April 11-13, 2014
This festival has been popular with familes for over three decades. Over 90 artists will be participating. Many will actually be creating work on the spot.
Mountain View, CA
Date: May 3-4, 2014
This very popular festival doesn’t stop with art. There will be multiple bands, costumed performers and additional festivities.
Charles Kruger is well known in the Bay area as “The Storming Bohemian” ever since he entered the Bay Area cultural scene in the summer of 2009, attending 90 cultural events in 90 days and blogging about it. This project was successful enough to warrant a mention in The New York Times. His coverage of Bay area theatre can be found at Examiner.com.