Aug 30, 2017
Nestled in western Sonoma County’s lush wine country, about an hour north of San Francisco, the tiny village of Graton, California has been a hotbed of artistic activity since 1987. The assets of the hamlet changed slowly but surely for the better that year, thanks to the vision and determination of artist and distinguished architect J. Lamont Langworthy and his friend, builder Bruce Stephen of Los Padres Construction in Solvang.
In the 1980s, Langworthy and Stephen saw promise and an enormous amount of work in a 27,000 sq. ft., two-story former apple dryer and processing plant located on Bowen Street, paralleling railroad tracks that still coursed through Sebastopol. No simple rehab, the Hallberg apple-dryer had been vacant for 10 years and condemned by the county. The two friends’ goal was to provide generously sized, well-lighted, safe and affordable living and working studios to artists—similar to what they’d studied in San Francisco, Oakland and Emeryville. While they were foiled in their efforts to create live/work studios in Sonoma County, with just one exception, their steadfast and significant investments altered and enhanced the future of a small town that has attracted visitors and media attention worldwide. Now, in its 30th anniversary year of continual productive use by myriad talented artists, it’s time to celebrate the worthy concept behind Atelier One and its on-going success.
On Friday and Saturday, Sept 30–Oct 1, 2017, from 11 AM – 6 PM both days, the artists, creators and management of Sonoma County’s most treasured working artists building are welcoming visitors to see what is being made in the studios and on view in the hallways at Atelier One, 2860 Bowen Street, 2 blocks south of Graton Road. The event is free and open to the public.
Stories will be told and Brazilian samba and bossa nova music will echo through the hallways played by classical guitarist Sebastian Link from 1- 4 PM Saturday, Sept 30. Beverages and seasonal treats will be offered throughout the building with water stations on both floors, and plenty of beautiful, original, high quality artwork that has established Atelier One as one of the most desirable artist studio buildings in the North Bay will be on view—with most artwork available to purchase.
It’s also a family affair. Youngsters who are curious about art making, art education and artists lives are invited to ask questions and explore ideas in a stimulating environment. Street parking is ample. Dogs, even on leash, are prohibited.
Visitors will find vintage collectible assemblage, drawings and paintings in styles that embrace unusual and complex production processes—from realistic botanicals, whimsical and abstract paintings to representational paintings in the style of the old masters, plus conceptual art, prints, encaustic, elegant fiber and bio-material paper-based wall-hanging work and installations too.
Curiosity-seekers are also welcome to visit and ask any questions about the artful and unique handcrafted vessels they’ll see in FUNERIA’s Art Honors Life gallery, now located in the light-filled second floor studio from which the pioneering arts agency launched its first three biennial international funerary urn exhibitions beginning 2001. More than 100 original artist-made containers in all media will be on display.
To see the current roster of participating artists and studios in Atelier One’s 30th Anniversary celebration, including examples of each artists’ or studios’ work, please visit atelierone.blogspot.com.