The Arts Feed

Pacifica Photographer Erik Piro Runner-Up in Santa Cruz Contest

Participants in the Santa Cruz County Visitors Council’s “Cruziest” photo contest showed they know how to “cruz” with a camera. The contest, which ran from May 1 to May 20, asked entrants to upload the photo that they thought depicts the essence of Santa Cruz in a single shot. Three winners were chosen, two by popular vote and one editor’s choice, and will receive vacation prize packages to visit Santa Cruz, California’s favorite beachside destination.
Second-place winner Erik Piro of Pacifica won with a photo (above) taken on Main Beach.  The shot features volleyball enthusiasts enjoying a day on the courts in the sun, with the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf in the background. Piro’s photo earned him a two-night stay at the Comfort Inn Santa Cruz, four all-day Beach Boardwalk passes, and a gift certificate for Capitola Village.
The Santa Cruz County Visitors Council is hosting another photo contest that asks participants to enter the photo that best depicts their perfect summer. The “Perfect Summer” photo contest accepts submissions until Saturday, June 30, and voting continues through July 8. For more information about the photo contests, or to enter, visit

Left Coast Annual Awards

Gariepy_Make My Day

Four artists received awards at Sanchez Art Center’s 2012 Left Coast Annual, juried by Michael Schwager of Sonoma State University. Jon Gariepy and Michael Acker were awarded the Juror’s Exhibition Award, each receiving $250 plus an exhibition in 2013; and Alan Grinberg and Sheila G. Ticen each received a Juror’s Award of Merit with $250. More than 500 pieces were submitted to the juror, who selected 55 for this exhibit. Gariepy and Acker will exhibit in Sanchez Art Center’s East Gallery in April 2013.
Jon Gariepy is fascinated by boats, ships, and water, and shows his love for them in his work. His clay piece titled Make My Day is a 12” x 56” x 8” ship in a beautiful ivory color that seems to have been broken and weathered by the elements. When one looks closely, one is surprised to see that the tiny windows open into a hidden interior life.
Michael Acker works with photographs, watercolor, and collage to build layered images of houses or buildings. Two of Acker’s pieces were accepted into the Left Coast Annual, and he received an exhibition award for the work titled Transition, which pictures a small strip mall-type building that seems to be sagging in the middle, collaged together with other architectural images, and covered by a beautifully complex and cloudy sky.
Sheila G. Ticen received a merit award for her oil painting titled Hereafter, which shows us a long, narrow, empty laundromat. The predominant colors are pink, pale blue, gray, and white, creating a reflective mood that is underscored by the many surfaces reflecting light in the painting.
Alan Grinberg’s digital photograph, The Fog of Route 1, is both real and surreal, as the taillights of receding vehicles melt into a stream of rosy light and the swoop  of an overpass seen from below takes on the shape of a tornado. Grinberg received a merit award for this tour de force.
Juror Michael Schwager is Professor of Art History and Museum Studies and Director of the University Art Gallery at Sonoma State University. He holds a BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts and an MA in Museum Studies from JFK University. Before coming to Sonoma State, Michael held positions at the San Francisco Art Institute, the Richmond Art Center, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. While he has worked with artists from across the United States and beyond, his primary focus has been on contemporary Bay Area art, about which he has organized numerous exhibitions. Certainly he chose a distinctive array of artworks by California artists for the “Left Coast Annual.”
Sanchez Art Center is at 1220 Linda Mar Blvd., 1.5 miles east of Highway 1. For more information: 650-355-1894 or

Riptide's Todd Bray Takes Third in Short Story Contest

Pacifica Riptide columnist Todd McCune Bray has come in third place in the Winter 2011-2012 Elephant Prize short story contest sponsored by Folsom online magazine In the Snake.  See Todd's story, along with the winning and runner-up submissions:


Riptide editor and publisher John Maybury edited Todd's submission "and so deserves a GI-NORMOUS credit of his own," says Todd.

Support the Arts When You Fill Out Your Tax Forms

Thousands of Californians like the arts, even when they're doing their taxes. At least that's the indication from the more than 10,000 taxpayers who donated over $160,000 to the Arts Council Fund on their tax returns in 2011 to support arts for California's children and communities. The "Tax Checkoff for the Arts" program continues in 2012, and the California Arts Council has set a goal of at least $250,000 in donations.
"The Tax Checkoff for the Arts program gives most Californians an easy and very direct way to improve arts and cultural programs in the state," says Craig Watson, director of the California Arts Council. "Even small donations add up in ways that help keep the arts alive in our schools and local communities."
The 2011 tax return form (to complete in 2012) from the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) will allow California taxpayers to contribute to the "Arts Council Fund" in the "Voluntary Contribution" portion of the form. The Arts Council Fund was included after the passage of SB 1076 by Senator Curren Price in 2009, citing the importance of the arts for California and the anticipated desire by Californians to directly contribute to the arts.
Individuals may make tax-deductible contributions in amounts of $1 or more. Arts supporters who use accounting services should tell their tax preparers about contributing to the California Arts Council, and encourage others to pursue this opportunity to support California arts.
Individuals interested in detailed information on the Franchise Tax Board's voluntary contribution should contact Marilyn Nielsen, deputy director, at 916-322-6404 or For more information on the California Arts Council, please go to
The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the Arts and Creativity. Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Vice Chair William Turner, Wylie Aitken, Michael Alexander, Andrew Green, Adam Hubbard, Charmaine Jefferson, Terry Lenihan, Susan Steinhauser, and Rosalind Wyman.

Pacifica Artist Scott Anthony

Most of you know me from the traditional jazz world, but many of you do not know about my other "career" as an artist. I recently joined an outlet for all kinds of home decor-related objects and artwork, and I just received word that I was the "Featured Artisan" recently at:


I hope you will take a look my work on this site and also click on the links below to see other paintings and silkscreens that I have available directly.
"Sonoma Coast" 2011
Acrylic on canvas, 24" x 18"
Other acrylic and watercolor paintings available
"Beach" 1985
Hand-printed silkscreen print, 36 colors
Other silkscreen prints available


Pacifica Filmmaker-Artist-Bail Bondsman Jerry Barrish in the News

Sculptor Jerry Barrish's once-a-year party at his Dogpatch studio gives pals a chance to admire his figurative junk sculptures while chowing down on hot dogs from a Let's Be Frank cart. Barrish is a filmmaker-artist-bail bondsman, not an everyday combination. The art lovers at his party included at least one writer who said he'd used Barrish's bail services, too, but the polite host couldn't recall, saying only, "I don't invite my clients." Film connoisseurs Janis Plotkin and William Farley are making a documentary about Barrish. (item in Leah Garchik's column, San Francisco Chronicle, November 10, 2011)

Golden State Glow: Arts, Culture and Californians

Arts, Culture and Californians, a report published by the Irvine Foundation, takes a look at California’s “arts ecology.” The foundation says: “This new research illustrates that arts and culture plays a significant role in the daily lives of Californians. The state is noteworthy for the avid participation of its people, the diversity and abundance of its arts organizations and the varied regional characteristics of its arts sector. California’s regions reflect distinctive populations, participation rates, numbers and types of arts and culture organizations, and levels of arts funding.”