Arts center expands in Scotts Valley
by Peter Burke
Dec 15, 2011 | 4229 views | 1 1 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Holiday artwork on display in the current location of Scotts Valley Artisans
Holiday artwork on display in the current location of Scotts Valley Artisans
Scotts Valley Artisans customer Gerry Wesson of Felton does some of her holiday shopping. Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner
Scotts Valley Artisans customer Gerry Wesson of Felton does some of her holiday shopping. Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner
Carmel. Sonoma. Santa Fe. Scotts Valley?

The first three places are known for their fine arts and the artists who create paintings, jewelry, sculptures and clothing shown in the many galleries, gift shops and showrooms in each city.

Scotts Valley has never been known as a mecca for art. Could that change?

Dawn Teall, the founder of Scotts Valley’s newest nonprofit, Scotts Valley Artisans, said that can change and envisions a bright future for the city and the broader Santa Cruz County as a destination for artists and buyers.

“Santa Cruz County has the artists,” Teall said. “There are so many artists here, and the artists doing art professionally are astonishing. There is no reason people shouldn’t be coming here, rather than Carmel or the city.”

Scotts Valley Artisans — which Teal and her mother, Pam Nielson, opened as a business last year — received its nonprofit 501(c)3 status, Thursday, Dec. 8. The center is also planning to nearly triple in size by moving from its location next to Erik’s DeliCafe in Scotts Valley to the former Scotts Valley Library building behind the Cinelux movie theater in the Kings Village Shopping Center.

“We’re really excited to see a local business that supports local artists that opened for the holidays bump to a one-year term and grow into three times the size at a permanent location,” said Chris Ow, Kings Village’s manager.

The art center already houses nearly 100 local artists’ work — from woodcarving to pottery, jewelry and painting — in an upscale indoor-bazaar-type setting. Artists pay a monthly fee of $48 for space, plus 15 percent of their sales. The store has been staffed by Teall and Nielson, who turn over proceeds to the artists.

So far, Teall said, rent money from the artists has gone toward keeping the lights on.

“We want the artists to get the majority of the money for their work,” she said.

But her vision is much more grandiose.

Teall sees the new location as an opportunity to teach art classes in a classroom attached to the main room, host an artist in residence, set up regular music nights and serve as a home base for as many as 300 artists.

“I think it’s going to be beautiful and wonderful,” said Leanna Simmons, the owner of Eleven 3 Jewelry. “It’s a permanent space where I can tell my clients where they can go to see my work.”

The awarding of the nonprofit status has opened the door for Teall to apply for grants that could allow her vision to come to fruition.

“Our mission is to never have to turn away an artist from Santa Cruz County,” Teall said. “We want to make it available to every artist in the county to be part of.”

Teall thinks the model allows artists to actually make part of a living on their artwork by being part of a hub, like Scotts Valley Artisans. She said the low cost of showing the art allows artists to charge reasonable prices and the warm, inviting atmosphere fosters community.

Classes taught by the artists will add another dimension to the center. Teall said that by February, there will be a full class schedule, with lessons on jewelry making, life drawing, mosaic, gourd making, collage and others.

“I’m doing grant writing to bring art classes to the community at a really affordable rate and also make sure the artists make a decent wage for teaching,” Teall said.

Teall is laying the groundwork for the Jan. 6 opening. She’s reached out to University of California, Santa Cruz, for interns and is working with Cabrillo College to provide space for student artwork. She’s also forming a board of directors to accompany Scotts Valley Artisans’ nonprofit status and has repainted the inside of the old library building in preparation for the move.

The old location will remain open through Dec. 23.

“We want to do this strategically,” Teall said. “We will be able to sustain, because we rely on the artists’ contributions.”

At a glance

WHAT: Scotts Valley Artisans

WHEN: Jan. 6, grand reopening in the former library building

WHERE: 230-C Mount Hermon Road, in Scotts Valley

INFO: 439-9094

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Anna Lee Steed
December 19, 2011
Congratulations to Pam and Dawn for having the courage to turn a wonderful idea into a reality. As a full time artist living in Aptos, i am thrilled to have a space such as Artisans where I can exhibit my paintings. I signed up as soon as I heard about it! I am looking forward to teaching oil and acrylic painting in the new space starting early in 2012.

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