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Lifting the Vale: Vale Fine Art reveals 3rd Annual Group Show



If, like me, you’re still mourning the March 30 closing of the “Savages” exhibit at Studios on the Park, then your Paso prayers have just been answered. Around the corner and down the block on 12th street, Vale Fine Art has launched its “3rd Annual Group Show” curated by artist Neal Breton, auteur of “Savages” and steward of SLO County’s most beloved beard. This time we’ll get to see some of his own work, alongside that of compatriots Josh Talbott, Lena Rushing, Jeff Claassen, Bret Brown, and Walt Hall.

Think of them as the Super Friends of the loose Savages collective. Vale regular Edward Walton Wilcox’s work will also be on view. “What we will have is a really good showcase of some of the best working artists in the area,” says Breton. He describes the show to me with a characteristic mix of excitement and cynicism, reiterating the comparative avant-gardism of the Paso arts scene.

“This is the show I’ve been wanting to have for years in SLO, but haven’t been able to get the attention of a gallery to do it justice,” Breton tells me. Considering the “3rd Annual” part of its title, it looks like this show has at least found its North County niche—and all you have to do is cross the great psychological barrier known as “The Grade” to see it.

But the question on my mind is more Biblical—specifically, will we have an opportunity to “take us the foxes, the little foxes” that have become Breton’s signature? “You will see one never-before-seen fox piece,” he promises me, “and two other older pieces that I have improved upon.” These vicious vulpes promise to “spoil the vines” of wine country once again with their violent exhibitionism.

The “3rd Annual Group Show” is on view through the end of April at Vale Fine Art, 619 12th St.; find out more at And when you’re done ogling/making erudite statements about/buying the art in the show, head around the corner to Pine St. and grab some bi bim bap at Jackee’s Korean Fusion. Because there’s a time and a place for artisanal fare … but cool kid art deserves cool kid grub, and this delicious order-at-the-counter joint fits that bill perfectly.

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