Tahoe-Truckee artists draw crowds and buyers | SierraSun.com

Tahoe-Truckee artists draw crowds and buyers

Andrew Cristancho
Sierra Sun

Retrieving the ceramic treasure she’d just acquired from her car’s trunk, a Roseville woman taking the annual Tahoe ARTour Friday gushed over a Truckee potter’s work.

“She has color and texture and that’s what we love about her,” Roni Hartley said about Teresa Wik’s clay creations.

Every year for the past five, Hartley has made her way to the North Shore and Truckee for the Tahoe ARTour.

She lifted brightly painted canvases and pottery out of the trunk, pulling off tissue wrapping to reveal each piece as she named her favorite local artists.

“Have you seen Tabitha Buzby’s stuff?” she enthused. “Oh, and Dayna [Galletti] over in Glenshire.”

Hartley and others prize the personal relationship they can develop with artists on the studio tour, not just for the connection but for great deals on art.

Mike Sabaese, a retiree living in Glenshire, boasted that his wife Carol has accumulated the largest Don Eagling (a painter based in Alpine Meadows) collection in Truckee.

“We got to know his work before he became well known …,” Carol Sabaese began to explain.

“And before his prices went up,” Mike Sabaese said, finishing his wife’s thought.

The remarkable prices are part of what draws her, said Helga Miller, the gift shop manager of the Nevada Museum of Art, as she toured a Truckee studio. Miller said her position at the museum almost requires her to attend the annual Tahoe-Truckee event, which she has done for at least 10 years. On a sunny Friday afternoon, she and two friends bought a few items to sell in the museum gift shop and others for themselves.

Doreen Vigo, a Reno medical technician, said she was looking for the library in downtown Truckee and happened to see an art tour sign. She and her 16-year-old daughter followed their curiosity and browsed the offerings at the Pioneer Trail enclave that featuring three Truckee-based artists. She said after this year’s accidental discovery of the tour, she will return.

Some artists benefit from the number of visitors. Eileen Nagle, a painter and cofounder of the Truckee Gallery, said she feels a creative burst before the potential collectors arrive.

“It does inspire you to get that last piece finished and in the frame,” Nagle said. “ARTour inspires you to go on and paint more.”

A contemporary artist and designer who participates in the tour, Carole Sesko said she is constantly advocating for more arts in the Tahoe Truckee community. She writes an art column in Moonshine Ink and said she helped to secure a provision for art and culture in the town of Truckee’s general plan. Her description of art could describe the success of the Tahoe ARTour.

“There is no rational or linear thinking ” the piece takes its own life,” she said.

Tahoe ARTour 2007 features seven distinct areas where art or studios can be visited: Glenshire, central Truckee and east end of Donner Lake, Incline Village, North Shore communities including Kings Beach, Tahoe Vista and Carnelian Bay, off of Highway 89 near Alpine Meadows and many locations in Tahoe city including six studios on the West Shore.

From the west toward the North Shore, ARTour stops include Tahoma painter Andy Skaff, Homewood painter Bill Clausen, Tahoe City painter Melinda Plumbridge, Carnelian Bay printmaker Sue Gross and Incline Village handweavers Lawrence and Judith Romiti.

Admission to Tahoe ARTour is free. Studios are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday. For more information or to obtain a map, call North Tahoe Arts at 581-2787 or visit http://www.northtahoearts.com.