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Art Festivals, Fairs And Galleries In Groveland, On The Way To Yosemite
By Lynn Upthagrove

Groveland is a quaint gold mining town at the edge of the Sierras and has much more to offer the passerby than a node on the history ruler. Groveland is fast becoming known as a cultural Mecca for quality art, music, theater and food all served in a setting that could be described as off-off-Broadway! We hope that this article on art festivals, fairs and galleries in the Sierra Nevada foothills will entice folks to stop for a bit, a bite or an overnight on their way to Yosemite.

In search of Art, we start with our new gallery in town. Opened less than a year, the White Wolf Gallery is popular with artists and art aficionados for their ever rotating selection of pieces from photographs to sculptures and nature oils with homemade frames that are as much about the piece as the picture itself. They carry works from every price range from under-a-$1 postcards to sculptures in the 4 figures. In season White Wolf Gallery is open later on the weekends providing a great pre-dinner activity for those staying the night. You can contact the gallery at 209.962.0342.

Mountain Sage, on the west side of town, is not only the home gallery for owner-artist, Rob Hirsch and his brilliant photographs, but the business itself a work of art. Rob, with his wife Regina, has dedicated five years to creating a setting that is a rightfully a destination; from the eclectic Hammock Garden to the natural outdoor amphitheater, the map room, crafts center, book nook, free WiFi access, organic coffee impromptu sing-a-longs, movie marathons and so much more. One can quickly lose themselves nestled here with vision of Rob's photographs, a few daydreams and a Frisbee. www.mtnsage.com, 209.962.4686

Another place you could look for art in Groveland is at the Hotel Charlotte. Lynn and Victor don't just care for overnight visitors and dining guests but now attend to providing pleasing visuals to accompany your Charlotte experience. Local artists have come to find the Hotel Charlotte "The Place to Hang" for exposure and sales. Guests who have dined at the Charlotte will recognize the crisp photographs of local scenery by Terri Metz. Terri regularly rotates her images to match the seasons. Last week she retired a series of winter snowscapes and installed an aerial pictorial that follows from Moccasin through Groveland and over Pine Mountain Lake.

The Hotel Charlotte is the permanent gallery of Sierra Professional Artists. The monthly rotation in the front lobbies of works by various member artists of the Sierra Professional Artist association has yielded some lovely original watercolors, oils and collage pieces. The Hotel Charlotte website, www.hotelcharlotte.com/art-bios.html, provides a sampling of the artists' works and background information on those who have shown and those who are coming up in 2007. 209.962.6455

Expanding on Art in the Charlotte and with the backing of the Yosemite Chamber of Commerce, Lynn orchestrated the first Groveland Art Stroll (GAS). This event was held on the Sunday of 4th of July weekend and matched local artists with retailers and with a good marketing blitz, got folks out and about mingling, browsing and buying. In 2006 the program was expanded three Sundays.

For the 2007 season this tradition continues on the Sundays of our major holidays, May 27th, July 1st and September 2nd. With White Wolf Gallery, in their unique position of drawing on a broader field of artists, visitors can expect more artists with a broader diversity of styles, bigger canopies & tents, refreshments and specials from local restaurants and retailer discounts.

The Sierra Professional Artists have long held their annual show at the Groveland Hotel, now scheduled for Sunday, July 1st, which compliments the Groveland Art Stroll nicely, bringing a dozen artists to one location. The garden space provided by the Groveland Hotel is a perfect setting for the many pieces you will find on display and for sale. Funds from the art raffles benefit the local school art programs. The Groveland Hotel provides a comfortable setting for lunch, art, music and wine in the garden. 209.962.4000

The success of the Art Strolls has fostered an additional downtown event using the retail district to display quilts. On June 9th the Quilters guild is hosting their first Groveland Quilt Stroll (GQs). The 80+ member group has enough artistic quilts to hang the town from end to end. What a colorful day this will be. Demonstrations and food will also be available at the lower section of Mary Laveroni Community Park. 209.962.4950

Put Groveland on your list of things to do, either as a special event day or on the way to Yosemite and remember, when strolling through downtown Groveland, Lynn and Victor invite you make a stop at the Hotel Charlotte to see what's hanging; on the walls, in the halls, around the dining rooms.

Lynn Upthagrove, along with her husband Victor, own the Hotel Charlotte, in Groveland, on the way to Yosemite.


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