We survived Halloween and all the cute and scary (!) trick-or-treaters, and now we're experiencing Dio de los Muertos, which has grown in popularity in California the past few years. I love the sugar skulls and other colorful decor of this Mexican tradition.
Three of our locals are sharing the front room as featured artists in a fun and wonderful show they are calling "The Girls."
Sharron Babcock's precision-made jewelry (earrings, bracelets and amulets) is made with the tiniest of beads in lovely patterns for all occasions, including seasonal items like pumpkins and Christmas trees.
Joellen Chrones works with fused glass and makes colorful dishes, bowls, plates, small picture frames and pocket vases. Her whimsical work is food and dishwasher safe. Her favorite subjects are chickens, birds, animals and funny faces.
Finally, Nicole LeRoux is primarily an animal artist, which makes sense, since she is the main caregiver to the farm animals at La Purisima Mission. She paints her animals with acrylics and extends her work to commissioned pet portraits, as well. Nicole also sculpts ornaments and magnets in polymer clay, which she then paints.
The People's Choice award for October went to fine artist Betsee Talavera for her acrylic painting "Tidal Surge." Congratulations, Betsee, for winning this coveted award.
In the main gallery, there are a number of outstanding pieces, including a collection of pottery from Ann Brink and a wonderful variety of handcrafted ornaments on the central Christmas tree.
Several paintings caught my eye. I especially like Diane Atturio's "Old Man of Sedona," featuring a gnarly old tree done in watercolor. Bold colors and abstract brushstrokes bring Tonya Romano Schultz's "Summer Flame" to life, and "Foley Vineyards" by Sylvia Kokatnur is another fine example of her excellent work.
In addition to being a gallery full of fine art, Cypress Gallery is an amazing gift shop. You'll find a multitude of handcrafted items priced affordably: small original paintings and prints featuring La Purisima Mission, Lompoc scenes, animals and florals, as well as jewelry, glass pieces, pottery, gourds, textile items and handcrafted Lompoc souvenirs. In addition, there is an extensive selection of greeting cards for all occasions.
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Join us at the Lompoc Valley Art Association's monthly general meeting, which is open to the public, on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Stone Pine Hall, 210 South H St. in Lompoc. After refreshments and a short business meeting, there will be a presentation by a local artist.
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Cypress Gallery, which is operated by the members of the LVAA, is located at 119 E. Cypress Ave. New hours are Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call 737-1129 or visit lompocart.com.