If you've never taken the time to attend Silicon Valley Open Studios, now is your chance. It's only once a year.
WEEKEND 1: May 4th - 5th
Atherton, Belmont, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo, Woodside
WEEKEND 2: May 11th - 12th
Ladera, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Loyola, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Stanford, Sunnyvale
WEEKEND 3: May 18th - 19th
Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, San Jose, Saratoga
Get a copy of the official Artist Directory. They’re free. You should be able to find them at bookstores, art stores, or your local library. I found them at Books Inc on Castro. Any of the 3 weekends will be fun, but you should definitely focus on the May 11 & 12 weekend because that’s when the event is happening in Mountain View. When I think of Silicon Valley Open Studios, I think of Jaki Ernst. Her studio is called Pig Wings and Promises. She’s participated in the event for probably 20 years. She’s an illustrator, author, and designer. She’s a book artist. She writes them, designs them, and does the illustrating, printing and binding. I stopped by her studio and she showed me a few of her handmade limited edition books. One of them is a scroll in a beautifully handmade intricate little wooden box. I’ve never seen anything like it and I felt like I was holding something incredibly special.
Her studio is on Verlarde Street in old Mountain View. Look for the yellow signs. She has a beautiful studio and she opens it to 15 other artists to join her during the Silicon Valley Open Studio event. That’s right, you can go to her studio and meet 16 different artists! Some of them have been showing their work with Jaki for years and others are accomplished new talent. For some of them, this will be their first exhibition ever. How nice for them to get to partner with someone as experienced and well-connected as Jaki.
Visiting the work space of the artist is a very special thing to do. You get to see where the magic happens and talk directly to the artist about what they were thinking about during the creative process. They’re usually really happy to talk to people about how they create their art. Ask questions! Look at the directory and it’ll tell you what medium each artist uses. I would recommend that you also go see artists that do something that you might not be familiar with. One thing about living in the Bay Area is that people are from all corners of the world and I always enjoy meeting artists from other countries and hearing about how and where they learned their skill.
Have a wonderful time at Silicon Valley Open Studio. Support an artist, or two or three, shop local, and bring home some fabulous treasures. I love Mountain View.