July 30, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Laguna Beach, CA – With over 45 years of history, the Sawdust Art Festival is excited about seeing its second generation of artists achieve careers as successful Sawdust artists. The second generation of artists that have learned the majority their creative skillset simply by growing up on the festival grounds and being exposed to a myriad of creative talents at a very young age, have grown into their own at the Sawdust. Second generation artists Jesse Bartels, Rachel Goberman, Reem Khalil, Nicole McQuaid, Julie Setterholm and Sandra Weir, each have their own unique stories and mediums, as they continue to actively develop their artistic abilities as Sawdust artists.
Jesse Bartels grew up at the Sawdust and started selling ceramics for his dad and long-time Sawdust artist, Marlo Bartels, at the early age of 8. He soon developed his own interest in creating ceramics throughout his teens, not only by working for his father and mentor, but also by taking additional ceramics classes throughout high school at LBHS, where he was taught by Bill Darnall, also a long-time Sawdust exhibitor. Once Darnall retired from managing the Ceramic Center at the Sawdust, Bartels took over and ran the demonstration booth for three years, eventually moving on to having his own Sawdust booth in 1995. Bartels started off selling hand-made raku pots, teapots and sake sets, moving on to create tile ceramics due to the ease in working with moveable units with the flexibility to form mosaics.
Young Bartels learned how to create larger tile projects by working with his dad on major public art projects, an experience that supplied him with his diligent work ethic. The largest tile painting Bartels created on his own reaches 30 feet in length and 5 feet high, and resides in a public space in the Bay Area. Bartels always “knew he was going to do art” for a living, and enjoys working with ceramic tiles for their historic quality. Bartels’ tiles are influenced by colors of the old coastal tiles from the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s. “Being a part of the California traditional colors that are influenced 100 years back is exciting,” said Bartels. “I’ve seen tiles that have lasted thousands of years and it’s great to be a part of that. I get to leave a lasting mark with my tiles. Not only that, but there’s no end to the variation on mosaic scenes. They are all hand-made out of individual parts.” Bartels is looking forward to acquiring larger timeless custom tile installations, while continuing to exhibit at the Sawdust.
Another artist who spent every summer at the Sawdust is Julie Setterholm, whose first memory of the Sawdust was at age 5 when she laid eyes on a dinosaur sculpture being welded and assembled by 45-year exhibitor Dion Wright. This first memory, where “everything on the grounds was being created and didn’t come from the store,” inspires Setterholm’s free-form copper sculptures and jewelry artwork to this day. Setterholm’s training came from other artists on the grounds also. She spent her teen years learning wirework and cold-working in jewelry from Tara “Flying Horse”; she learned how to weld bronze and use oxygen and an acetylene torch from Marcus Miller; she spent three years soldering with Earl Reed; and she picked up copper enameling from her grandmother, Mary Alice Hamilton.
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With over 14 years of hands-on training at the Sawdust, Setterholm proudly displays her jewelry and sculpture work that has advanced over the years. To keep things fresh in their free-form, Setterholm puts much effort into creating new copper shapes each year, something you can see in her jewelry designs and sculpture tree leaves; she also produces a new sculpture every year. Welding, enameling and cutting have become Setterholm’s skillset of choice in producing her artwork, and over the next three years Setterholm has a goal of building enough sculpture pieces to fill a gallery show.
Sandra Weir was exposed to the Sawdust at an early age through her mom, Anne Gunderson, and neighbor and close family friend, Ket Youngstead, both long-time Sawdust artists. Her first memory of being involved with the Sawdust was at age 15, when she helped her family haul wood to the grounds to build her mom’s booth. In her teens, she worked as part of the Sawdust’s grounds and security crews.
Weir’s first official Sawdust booth was in 1988 immediately following her high school graduation, where her dad helped her frame all of her artwork she had created at LBHS. Her high school art instructor was Hal Akins, father of a current Sawdust exhibitor and Board member. At her math tutor sessions, instructor Ron Rodecker, another long-time Sawdust artist, taught Weir about pointillism, rather than math. That first year Weir sold everything she had exhibited in her booth, and has continued as a Sawdust exhibitor ever since, learning various things from artists around her, such as painting techniques from Michael Hallinan and September McGee, pricing from John Eagle, color from Carol Snipp, pacing and positive attitude from David Nelson, figure drawing from Joie Jacomb, framing from Karen Petty, and the list continues.
Artists Rachel Goberman, Nicole McQuaid and Reem Khalil also have their own stories of being raised on the Sawdust grounds and acquiring their unique artistic abilities from the many artists around them. Goberman currently creates and sells her own unique jewelry in a booth across from her mother and long-time Sawdust artist Helen McNamara, and also serves on the Sawdust Board of Directors as Vice President. McQuaid has become a talented glassblowing artist and blows glass alongside her husband Jason McQuaid during the summer and winter shows, and teaches year-round glassblowing classes in Sawdust’s Spring Into Art series. Khalil grew up at the Sawdust learning how to paint silks from long-time Sawdust artist Olivia Batchelder, and is currently in her 12th year of creating her own clothing out of dyed organic fabrics and silks. Her current artwork features organic items, where everything is made from sustainable materials, from her handmade bamboo clothing to her newspaper bags and tags made from seeds.
The plethora of artistic knowledge on the Sawdust grounds is an ideal environment for any aspiring artist to grow up. The Sawdust family’s second generation of artists continues to develop artistic presences on the grounds, many even passing on their special history onto their own young children who can be seen roaming the festival booths.
To visit these second generation artists, or for more details about the Sawdust Art Festival’s 46th annual summer season, please visit www.sawdustartfestival.org or call 949-494-3030. The Sawdust Art Festival is open 10-10 daily June 29 through September 2, and is located at 935 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach with free City trolley service to and from the Act V parking lot. Admission prices are: Adults $7.75, Seniors (65+) $6.25, Children (6-12) $3.25, Children (5 & under) Free; Summer Season Pass $15; Annual Pass $20.
The Sawdust Art Festival is a non-profit art organization dedicated to educating the public and promoting the art created in Laguna Beach.
The Sawdust Art Festival thanks its 2012 sponsors Honda, 104.3 MYfm, Hoegaarden and Kendall-Jackson.