May 3, 2019
By Lauri Luck
Pie Eyed Open Studio is having its very last show. I invited all 85 artists who have shown with me over the past 5 years to come back for this final event and the response has been overwhelming - 80 said yes!
Who doesn’t like to get all their friends together for a party?! Well that’s what’s happening at the Pie Eyed Reunion Show and Farewell Party May 10th – 12th. As always – everyone is invited to come to this special free event celebrating 5 Years — 50 shows — 80 artists. Bring friends and relatives and join all the Pie Eyed fans who have embraced and enjoyed our unique presentation of local Art + Pie all these years. Read about our history below.
Pie Eyed began in 2013 as a monthly weekend show featuring several local artists in different media at artist Lauri Luck’s studio in Patrick Amiot’s arts compound on Gravenstein Highway South in Sebastopol. (See Pie Eyed History information below.)
It is a small exhibition space, and in order to fit 80 artist’s works in the show, the wall space has been divided into 30” squares. Each 2D artist will get a square to use however they see fit and each 3D artist will get a pedestal.
There will be painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, collage, ceramics, jewelry, metal work, junk sculpture and even a quilt. Much of the work will be for sale. Local musicians will add their tunes to festivities
And don’t forget those pies! All homemade by Lauri Luck in a variety of fruit flavors including Old Fashion Apple, Blueberry Ginger Lime, Cranberry Pear and Bumbleberry. The best loved Pie Eyed pie though is Lemon Chess — made from an 1850 recipe from Charlotte, NC.
The Pie Eyed Reunion Show
Works in a variety of media by 80 local artists
Location: 2371 Gravenstein Hwy S, Sebastopol, CA
Date & Time: May 10–12, 2019, Friday 3–7pm, and Sat & Sun noon–4pm
In early 2012 I decide to look for a new studio and called my friend Patrick (Amiot) to see if he had heard of any interesting spaces that might be available. He said “Perfect timing” – turns out he had a place to rent on his new property, the former Old Sensuality Shop on Rt. 116.
It was a few weeks before he would show it to me, said that it was rough, and he wanted to clean it up first. Eventually Michael & I met with Patrick to see the space. Outside looked interesting but inside was indeed very rough. The 20’ x 20’ space was divided awkwardly into three small dark rooms all carpeted in damp green shag carpeting. Patrick was his usual energetic happy self, bouncing around telling me what a great space this could be for me. Feeling light-headed from the mildew I was having a hard time seeing the potential, but my contractor husband Michael assured me the interior walls could come out and a supporting beam could go in giving me unobstructed use of the full 400suare feet. Still, as it stood - damp, dark and cramped, it was not very appealing, but Patrick’s creative energy was contagious and as inviting as sunshine. I said – “I love it!” Patrick replied “Great! What kind of car do you want on your roof?”
I moved in in May. The rent was higher than was comfortable for me, but I thought I could earn enough during Art Trails in October to carry me for the year. I put on a great show with lots of new work, but the sales were not a plentiful as they had been the year before. It was disappointing but I figured I would open my studios on weekends for art shows and all would be good. Nobody came.
I persevered. Renga Arts was still happening at the time and had a good influx of customers. The owner Joe encouraged his customers to go check out my studio. I continued to open every weekend and soon a few folks trickled back to my space. This was not working – I needed to come up with a plan.
One afternoon at home I made a pie and was handing a piece to my husband when the phrase “Pie Eyed” popped into my head. I love making pie and I thought maybe if I combined pie and art that would encourage folks to come to my studio. A few days after this my printmaker friends Joyce Libeu and Jeremy Joan Hews asked if they might join me for one of my shows. We decided on Thanksgiving weekend. I created the first flyer that identified the event as Pie Eyed Open Studio and sent it out to my email list – all 75 names. Joyce and Jeremy sent the flyer out to their much larger lists as well. We hung ort art, I baked 4 pies and when we opened that weekend we entertained and sold art to over 100 guests. Pie Eyed was born!
Over the next 5 seasons Pie Eyed grew into something rather special. 50 amazing shows featured art from 85 local artists including painters, printmakers, jewelers, quilters, photographers and sculptors. Some artists I knew beforehand, others were friends of these artists and still others came to a show and asked if I would look at their work. I was so impressed by all the wonderful art right here in our community.
Music rarely scheduled appeared unexpectedly in the form of guitar, accordion, digeridoo, recorder and handmade harmonic drums.
And then there were the pies. I brought to the table a wide variety of heirloom pies, the best loved the Lemon Chess pie based on an 1850 recipe out of Charlotte, NC. Repeat visitors often brought me treasured family recipes and even cookbooks that helped expand my pie repertoire. Along with fresh coffee all were served on a delightful and eclectic variety of little plates and mugs, even the spoons and forks, from Goodwill and garage sales.
Art, pie and music were enjoyed by guests both local and from all over the world NY, Florida, Canada, Mexico, England and Slovakia. And all walks of life - art lovers, pie lovers, farmers, writers, musicians, a cowboy from ND whose color-field paintings of rodeos were in the collection of the Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Dean of Art, Architecture and Design at Cornell University and two young men from Charlotte, NC who had been hitch-hiking all over the US for 2 years. They had seen the ART + PIE sign and had come in because they were hungry. I served them some of their hometown Lemon Chess pie. Visitors come on their own, with friends and family and many bring their dogs. While dogs are always welcome at Pie Eyed perhaps the most surprising guests that ever visited were four mamma goats looking for peach pie!
In addition to solo and small group shows Pie Eyed hosted the Bird Show in 2014 with 22 artists focusing on the subject of birds. Not necessarily bird artists the show became a wild combination of traditional images in painting and drawing as well as junk sculpture made from blocks of wood, rakes and gears. There was even a robot named David Scribbly who was programmed to draw birds.
Pie Eyed also hosted two Big Art Treasure Hunts – the first in 2014 followed by a second in 2016. In each 60 small pieces of art were hidden all over Sonoma County with clues posted on Facebook every other day. Treasure hunters searched solo or with friends and in the process became friends with their fellow Treasure Hunters. And if you found art treasure got to keep it. A big party followed both events where everyone gathered to show off their finds and share stores about their Treasure Hunting stories.
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