Annual fundraising exhibit returns to Pajaro Valley Gallery

WATSONVILLE — Artist and curator Jane Gregorius believes that art is for everybody. No matter where they come from, how they live or what they do — art is something people should be able to enjoy — and own.

“Usually when you go to a gallery, things are incredibly expensive,” Gregorius said. “Certain pieces can cost thousands of dollars. It can make the art seem out of reach.”

The Pajaro Valley Gallery will be celebrating the opening of “Take Aways: Art to Go!” this weekend, with an opening reception on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. The annual invitational exhibit features 62 notable artists from Santa Cruz County. Everything from sculptures, wax art, paintings, print work, photography and glass work will not only be on display but also for sale — for every type of budget.

According to Gregorius, who curated the exhibit along with Susanna Waddell, all of the artists are required to sell their pieces for $300 or less. Many of the pieces are even under $100.

“Obviously, it means that we don’t have everything — you’re not going to see huge marble sculptures,” she said. “But since we are showcasing affordable work, more people will come to buy. A larger volume is sold.”

The artists chosen for “Take Aways: Art to Go!” are from all over Santa Cruz County, plus one from Moss Landing and another from San Jose. Pajaro Valley Arts invited friends and other local artists they knew to contribute. Many were also discovered through the annual Open Studios Santa Cruz art tour.

Unlike most art exhibits, once someone decides to buy a piece, they can take it home with them that same day. The artists will continually rotate their pieces and add more as they are sold. New art will be coming in and out of the gallery every day.

“The artists themselves receive a 70 percent commission, which honestly is very good in the art world,” Gregorius said. “And the other 30 percent goes to support PV Arts. It’s a great fundraiser.”

On Sunday at 2 p.m., the gallery will hold an opening reception for “Take Aways: Art to Go!”, with free appetizers as well as wine for a suggested donation. Nearly all of the featured artists will be on hand at the event to speak with attendees.

Artists exhibiting and selling include Cristi Thomas, Scott Lindberg, Stephanie Martin, Andrew Purchin, Peter Vizzusi, Rose Sellery, Jenni Ward, Charles Prentiss, Barbara Downs, Jamie Abbott and many others.

“Take Aways: Art to Go!” will run through March 4. On that day, a closing reception will be held, which will include a raffle for several donated pieces from the exhibit.

“Things have already been selling ahead of time,” Gregorius said. “I think people really like having this kind of opportunity.”

The Pajaro Valley Gallery is located at 37 Sudden St. in Watsonville and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and ADA accessible. For information, call 722-3062.


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