Show Preview | Slopoke Exhibition & Sale

Pismo Beach, CA
Veterans’ Memorial Building, September 30-October 1

Lisa Johnson-McLoughlin, Mellow Yellow, oil, 16 x 20.

Lisa Johnson-McLoughlin, Mellow Yellow, oil, 16 x 20.

This story was featured in the September 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  September 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

When Tom Burgher set out to create a new regional art show, his main concern was quality. Burgher, owner of Seaside Gallery, felt overwhelmed by the sprawling art festivals that fill the southwestern art scene, and so he decided to host a museum-quality art show for top-notch artists. The result was the Slopoke Western Art Rodeo, which began as a monthlong show sponsored by his gallery.

But last year, the event morphed into the two-day Slopoke Exhibition & Sale, which begins on Saturday, September 30, at 9 a.m., and continues through the weekend with a fixed-price sale. “Our objective was to create a high-quality art event in all respects that was for the benefit of the artists,” Burgher says. Over 20 artists display their newest pieces on temporary walls built into the Veterans’ Memorial Building in Pismo Beach. Artists participating in the event include Valeriy Kagounkin, Loretta Tearney Warner, Joe Milazzo, Pat Roberts, and Tom Marlatt. Bugher says the presentation of the art was important to him in order to properly highlight the talent of each artist. “This open architecture allows people to walk through and engage with the artists, and they don’t feel trapped,” he says.

For the first five years, the event focused on western themes and imagery. But after a conversation with abstract artist Marlatt, Burgher decided to expand the show to include abstract and contemporary art as well. “Tom said his art was unidentifiable,” Burgher says. “I said, ‘If it’s unidentifiable, how do you know it’s not western?’” While much of the featured work includes oil and acrylic painting, various other mediums are represented including sculpture and photography. All work is juried into the event and later judged for awards by guest artist John Budicin, who also brings up to four of his own pieces to the event. 

While Burgher strives to match the exclusivity and stature of similar events, he maintains that the show is designed to benefit and promote the artists in the most authentic way possible. The event also includes live local music and a wine tasting. “It is more of an experience and not just a static art show,” Burgher says. —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
805.773.8057
www.the-slopoke.com

This story was featured in the September 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  September 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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